I am on a listserve that discusses insects in Iowa. Recently someone brought up a topic about cornfields. A blog on the National Public Radio webpage mentioned a photographer who went around the world photographing all of the living things he could find in a cubic foot of different habitats. This he did on a forest floor, a beach, and a number of different habitats.
When he attempted to do this in a midwestern corn field, he was surprised at the results. There was almost no life. He found a mite, a spider eating a crane fly, and a small mushroom. Not much else. He was surprised at the absence of life on the ground in the corn field.
Someone on the list asked–why does it matter? If the corn field is being used to grow corn, is there a need for other life forms to be present?
It is an interesting question, and one which is sort of hard to answer. But perhaps you can understand my thoughts best if I explain it this way. If I saw someone murdered and someone would ask why it is important, or what is the significance of that one person no longer living, I would have the same difficulty answering.
The only answer I can come up with is this: That is just wrong. I might be able to come up with lots of smaller reasons why. But the ultimate answer is that it is wrong.