澳大利亞人類學家托姆·凡·多倫（Thom van Dooren）于2014年撰寫的《飛行方式：滅絕邊緣的生命與損失》一書呼吁人們更多地關注我們周圍每天發生的滅絕，參與?；ず捅；ど鋃嘌?。作為這個星球的一部分，即使只是小動作。作為滅絕研究領域的領軍人物，托姆·范·多倫將哲學見解與自然科學知識結合起來，向我們傳達了一個重要信息，即當前大規模滅絕的倫理意義。
The book titled “Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction”, composed by Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren and published in 2014, called on people to pay more attention to extinctions happening everyday around us, taking part in the protection and conservation of biodiversity as a part of this planet, even just by small actions. As a leading figure in the field of extinction studies, Thom Van Dooren incorporated philosophy insights into his words, together with knowledge of natural sciences, transmitted an important message to all of us regarding the ethical significance of current mass extinctions.
In this book, Dooren depicted how endangered lives like grieving crows and urban penguins managed to survive under tough situations and deteriorating environment. During his interview with the National Geographic magazine, he said that the main purpose of this book was to rethink and reflect the role of humanities play under modern context of extinctions, from ethnic, historic and ethnographic perspectives. In his words, he expressed concerns on the fact that nowadays the rate of extinction in species is rapidly speeding up, reaching up to almost the same one as when dinosaurs were all gone.
While towards the indifference of people felt about the extinctions of other species, he mentioned the phrase “mourning fatigue”, probably one of the minor reasons why people do not care so much about extinction events. Yet the major cause of this phenomenon still goes to the lack of awareness in the society concerning decreasing biodiversity. More importantly, in order to uncover the uniqueness of those species at the edge of extinction, we need to really comprehend what makes extinction matters in depth. In his point of view, “there is not a single extinction tragedy”, meaning that a story lies behind extinction cases of each one of them, which yet to be discovered.
In this interview, Dooren also expressed his understanding towards the term “human exceptionalism” that he used also in the book. He explained that it was the superiority humans stand over all of the rest species that resulted in these indifferent feelings towards them. And more people need to realize the importance of other beings, as they are an irreplaceable part of our homeland, so that they could rejoin “the community of life”.
In a sum, this book recovered a way of responding ethically to extinctions by telling lively stories of birds, reminding us of the valuable positions they sit at within both the ecosystem and our daily lives.