Essay Ideas 6 to 10
6. Big Business
A large pest control company fumigates an empty chicken shed to kill
various insect pests. Unknown to them, their poison has also killed a
family of badgers who took up residence very recently.
- What elements of the actions can be assigned to "bad
luck", and what can be assigned to "good luck"?
- Are the company guilty of persecuting a badger?
- What else could have gone wrong?
- Should they plead guilty or not guilty in court?
- Do they need to change their procedures?
7. Precautionary Action?
In the 1990s people believed that eating the brains of cattle could
give you the fatal CJD brain disease. At the time, the scientists said
that there was not enough evidence to prove that harm would take
place. As a result, the politicians did not act, which allowed some
people to contract and later die from CJD.
Now some farmers believe that badgers might give tuberculosis to
cattle. Some scientists believe that cattle get TB mainly from one
another; and very little (if any) from badgers. So far as is known,
there have been no cases of TB-infected meat or milk getting into the
human food chain for at least 40 years.
- What questions do the politicians need to ask before they decide
to kill thousands of badgers?
- What factors do they need to consider?
- How important should public opinion be?
8. Selling Out?
A Badger Group formed itself "to protect badgers, their setts
and their environment in as natural and interference-free state as
possible". A nearby stately home has just received lottery funding
to open a "UK Native Zoo". The stately home want to pay the
badger group £150,000 to build an artificial badger sett with an
observation gallery, as well as £25,000 per year to maintain the sett
for the badgers.
- What moral choices to the badger group have?
- Would it be better if the observation gallery was accessible for
- What if the artificial badger sett would be used to look after
cuddly orphaned badger cubs?
- Should they accept the money?
9. Is trying to help good enough?
A badger group have a well-regarded rehabilitation pen located deep
inside some remote woodland. One year the pen is broken into and two
badgers stolen. It is believed that badger baiters stole the badgers so
they can be used for badger baiting with dogs. Given that the rehabilitation pen
can never be made 100% "burglar-proof", should the badger
group close down the pen?
10. Nurturing Nature?
A farmers wife takes in a poorly abandoned badger cub, nurses it to
health and maturity, and successfully releases it into the wild. After a
few weeks the badger returns to the farm, and kills several
- To what extent does it matter whether the rabbits are wild
(causing damage to crops and undermining walls) or domestic pets
(living in a hutch)?