Essay Ideas 11 to 15
11. Threats and Generalisations
A boy gets a puppy to look after for a few weeks, whilst his
grandmother is in hospital. On a night-time walk, the puppy is attacked
by a badger who is protecting her young cubs. The boy is understandably
very upset and says "I hate badgers - they should all be
- Is he wrong to hate badgers?
- Was the badger wrong to attack the dog?
- What are the risks in making generalisations from a
12. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge?
In the woodland near a scientific research centre are a colony of
unusual wild red badgers. About half of them are red - this is because
they have a very minor genetic difference from normal badgers, but
otherwise seem to be just like any other badgers. The scientists want to
capture the badgers and breed a new type of badger which is always
- Should the badgers be forced into this badger
- Would the experiment have any more justification if the scientists
claimed that red badgers seem to be immune to contracting diseases
such as tuberculosis?
A highways department want to stop badgers being killed in traffic
accidents on a stretch of road. Over the past three years, 13 badgers
have been killed at the same spot. In the most recent accident, a badger
ran out into the path of a motor-bike, as a result of which the
motorcyclist was killed. To make badgers easier to see at night, the
highways department want to spray local badgers with a water-based dye,
which will fluoresce and reflect the headlights of vehicles. The
highways department believe that, on the face
of it, the high-tech dye appears harmless to badgers.
- What are the pro and cons involved in this scheme?
- Is it likely to work?
14. Homes for Badgers
A large property developer has a huge brown-field site. He wants to
build 1,000 executive homes on the site. This will give him a profit of
about £30,000,000. So he can boost his environmentally-friendly
marketing campaign, he wants to build a couple of setts for some badgers
in an area of new woodland that he will plant too.
- How does the use of concrete, stone, steel, aluminium, plastic and wood for the
houses, balance against the planting of a new woodland and helping
wildlife (like badgers)?
- How does it affect things if he builds a small house for an
on-site nature warden to live in too?
15. What is a "vermin" species?
Because of their tendency to kill chickens and ducks, foxes are
classed as vermin. This means that that can be killed, on a whim, by
farmers; and should not be given significant life-saving treatment at
the vets. However, badgers can also kill chickens; but they are not
classed as vermin.
- Why should be class some animals as vermin, and others as