Social Implications

Ethical Issues: Culture

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"Let not any one species encroach upon others rights." -ancient Ishoupanishad-

Indigenous people (the first inhabitants of a region) throughout the world have similar ethical conceptions regarding the natural environment. Indigenous cultures, due to their constant connection to the natural environment, have created notions of compassion and respect for all components of nature. They have always recognized the importance of biodiversity. Industrial cultures, on the other hand, are based in artificial environments, they have become removed from the natural environment thus losing respect for its value. As the diversity of plants deteriorates distinct cultures are threatened, because their livelihood is dependent upon their landuse. Degradation of cultural diversity is directly related to the decline in biological diversity. As globalization is rapidly increasing, our world is becoming intensely homogenous. This uniform lifestyle necessitates mass production of similar products. In turn, monocropping and industrial agriculture have been developed. The agribusiness practices have virtually obliterated all diverse and sustainable forms of agriculture, and have threatened distinct lifestyles and cultures. These lifestyles that are threatened maintain a balance and sustainability with the environment. The concept of bioethics is thus rooted in the indigenous notion of respect for the natural order of things (Shiva, 1997). We are greatly endangering this order by readjusting natural compositions and encouraging global homogeneity.

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