Bird Conservation International

Research Article

Collecting birds: the importance of moral debate

Marc Bekoffa1 and Andrzej Elzanowskia2

a1 Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology University of Colorado Boulder Colorado 80309–0334 U.S.A

a2 Scientific Advisory Council to The Humane Society of the United States 700 Professional Drive Gaithersburg Maryland 20879 U.S.A.

In a recent article in this journal, Remsen (1995) attacked moral (and other) objections to killing birds for museum collections, objections that are frequently raised by the general public and scientific community alike. The only grounds for moral objections against killing birds that Remsen considers and rejects are reverence for all life or personal (p. 157; all page references refer to Remsen 1995), that is sentimental (p. 165) reasons. What Remsen ignores is avian sentience and the moral imperative of respecting it.