SHOULD CONSERVATION TARGETS, such as the proportion of a region to be placed in protected areas, be socially acceptable from the start? Or should they be based unapologetically on the best available science and expert opinion, then address issues of practicality later? Such questions strike to the philosophical core of conservation. Ambitious targets are often considered radical and value laden, whereas modest targets are ostensibly more objective and reasonable. The personal values of experts are impossible to escape in either case. Conservation professionals of a biocentric bent might indeed err on the side of protecting too much. Anthropocentric bias, however, more commonly affects target setting. The pro-growth norms of global society foster timidity among conservation professionals, steering them toward conformity with the global economic agenda and away from acknowledging what is ultimately needed to sustain life on Earth.