Can anyone identify when onscreen (season and episode, or movie) Spock (or someone else) said this (or something very near to it)?

"To destroy your home planet's ecosystem for imaginary wealth is highly illogical."

Or did he (or anyone on Star Trek) not say it?

See this quotation attributed to Spock, for example, in this product on Ebay, as well as on various meme-blogs:

enter image description here

The quotation sounds familiar (particularly the "imaginary wealth" bit), it sounds like Star Trek ethos, and it sounds like a comment Spock would make (even without the word "illogical"). But I can't find a source for it (I tried searching various sources on the web, including http://www.chakoteya.net/). Thanks!

By the way, I'm familiar with the similar Quark quotation: "They irradiated their own planet?!" (Deep Space Nine, season 4, episode 8, "Little Green Men")…as well as the similar Spock quote: "Judging by the pollution content of the atmosphere, I believe we have arrived at the latter half of the twentieth century" (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home).


2 Answers 2


I'd guess it's a corruption of this bit from Star Trek IV, during the aquarium tour:

SPOCK: To hunt a species to extinction is not logical.

GILLIAN TAYLOR: Who ever said the human race was logical?


After doing several Google searches by date, the oldest reference I can find to this "quote" is a meme image (the middle one in your question), posted on Pinterest January 1, 2010. The image was apparently posted in response to a contest for ecology-related pins.

Pinterest was opened to the first few thousand users as a closed beta in March 2010, so this probably indicates that the image was posted by a developer or early beta tester of the Pinterest site - someone who had access to it during the development/early beta stages.

Here's a link to the reverse image search that found it. Please note that the result is a cached page and no longer available.

Also, as Micah noted in another answer, the meme is likely based on the line "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical" from Star Trek IV. This line is a favorite amongst ecologists & conservationists, and as Sean pointed out, is even painted on the wall of an exhibit at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky (the Polar Bear exhibit, IIRC).

  • It's older than that. I remember seeing the quote on a wall at the zoo in Louisville somewhere in the 1980-1990 timeframe.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:35
  • 1
    @SeanDuggan : I looked that up. The quote used at the Louisville Zoo is the line "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical" from Star Trek IV.
    – Omegacron
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:45
  • @Omegacron: Good catch. I misremembered.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 23, 2015 at 22:01

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