The quote may hold different meanings to the readers of this essay. To me, I thought Cave was making a point about how animal species do not have a view about its own value to society. Many animals, including the jerboa, have limited thoughts about how to survive in its environment. An animal is not going to have a view about its impact on society and how it can help others (humans in particular); all it wants to do is find their next meal and a shelter to live in.
Cave makes many assumptions, not only about how the jerboa does not have a viewpoint, but also how humans view the creature. Cave states that the jerboa is an endangered species. He essentially asks the reader why we should care about the jerboa. Then, makes a few assumptions as to why people may want to save the species. Cave assumes that some may only value the jerboa for just being a wild species, which is an intrinsic value. These people may just be satisfied knowing the jerboa still roams the earth, but not actually get to see it in person. He also argues that some may think it has an instrumental value; the species may have some important scientific value or aid in medical research in the future. The value of the jerboa depends on the view of each individual. As Cave assumed, some may value it for being a living thing, value it for its potential in the scientific or medial fields, and some may not particularly care about the endangered species.
Although Cave made several assumptions in his essay, I feel as if they accurately categorized and narrow down the views of society. They were broad assumptions, but most people would fall into one of the categories he defined.
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