I have argued that conservation practice ought to value the individual. It should not, as it currently does in almost every case, prioritise without question holistic categories (such as species) over sentient individuals. Such individuals can be coherently defined, recognised and understood. They are meaningful to us in a way that holistic categories – abstractions from the real world – are not. 'Individual' is the kind of category that cannot reasonably be replaced by holistic categories, even if there are good conservation reasons to give holistic categories some prominence.