I'm often criticized for being an advocate for using what we know about the cognitive and emotional lives of other animals on their behalf, but, in reality, I'm just an advocate on the one side of the coin. At a lecture I gave in Sydney, Australia, a few years ago, someone in the audience kept saying that I was an advocate-and that scientists shouldn't be advocates-because I was on the side of kangaroos, whereas he favored killing them because he viewed them as pests. He went on (and on) saying that scientists shouldn't be advocates but when we chatted later it turned out he also was a researcher but he was working for the kangaroo meat industry. I told him that he was indeed an advocate and at first he said, "No, I'm not". After a few minutes he came to see that he was indeed an advocate but not in my camp. Advocacy is a double-edged sword and if you're for something or against it you are an advocate.
I respectfully disagree with Dr. Mech, and I hope he and others will join the discussion. As Colorado State University Professor Bernard Rollin notes, science is neither value-free nor ethics-free. And, he is right on the mark when he writes, "'the common sense of science'...is to science what ordinary common sense is to daily life." Science will benefit when scientists incorporate this view into their work.