Environmental ethics like any branch of ethics seeks to set certain standards for the good conduct of human beings so as to create a just and better society.It says that that we must take into consideration all aspects of environment ie; complete biosphere rather just economic growth and prosperity of human being before taking any action or decision.So we owe responsibility towards trees,birds,animals and even non-living things like land or natural heritage.
How did I encounter this ethical dilemma?Well,a pigeon made a nest on my balcony and laid two eggs on it.
Should I destroy her nest or leave it.The question is whether pigeon encroached into my space or have we humans encroached into pigeons’ space by cutting their trees recklessly.I think the second case is more convincing because these birds fear humans and would make a nest in our space only out of desperation.We are the culprits,who have pushed them so far.People would argue that we can’t live in jungles anymore.I would say yes, neither in natural jungle nor in a concrete jungle! We need a middle path,harmonizing relation between nature and human needs.
This means I have no right to destroy her nest.In any case,I can’t kill her unborn babies.
I feel bad for her.Every time I enter the balcony, she flies away from the nest but keep looking from the far away branch.This must be traumatic for her.
Few days later I find that she has discarded the eggs but still lives in the nest.Now if I destroy the nest,I wouldn’t be guilty of killing lives.Moreover, if I do so I will relieve her from the trauma of facing me again and again.
But what is the chance that she won’t face the same situation again somewhere else.Further,I don’t have the right to destroy her dwelling in the first place.
What if I do so but with a sense of apology for the bird. I recall Buddha’s words who said that any act done with right intention and full of kindness is justified even if it brings a wrong result in the short run (as I understood his words).So is my act of destroying nest justified if I seek an apology from the bird and pray God that she finds a better place? I am sure readers have something to suggest.