What is the difference between conservationism and environmentalism?
While people argue about what seems to be a subtle difference, it’s actually one based on a basic philosophy: who owns nature? The conservationist would say it’s the human’s right and responsibility to manage the wilds to the best of our abilities. Why? Because who else will do it. Conservationists are fine with hunting and eating meat, in general.
The environmentalist will say that humans are in conflict with nature, and that needs to change. Humans need to reduce their impact, repair the damage they’ve done, and try to live in harmony. Environmentalists tend not to believe in eating meat or hunting.
Put another way, the conservationist wants to manage resources and the environmentalist wants to protect the resources, even from humans.
Next time we’ll learn about Euell Gibbons, who straddled these lines with asparagus and Grape Nuts.