Environmentalism: For Nature’s Sake or for Ours? Questions of Justice?

Ethics has traditionally focused on duties to persons. But do we also have duties to nature? To care for the environment? For other species? Animals can feel pain and suffer, so if minimizing pain and suffering is a moral duty, then animals would seem to be due some moral consideration.  But, what about the environment? It doesn’t feel pain or suffer.  Human beings and other living creatures are dependent on the environment for life. Does that mean that it is really for our sake that we should take care of the environment? Or, is there some intrinsic value to nature for its own sake, and we should respect that?

Hands holding globe