Thing is, the prime directive is meant to prevent captains from playing god, messing up entire civilizations, etc. But the way it's portrayed in Star Trek, even saving a race from extinction is some form of monstrous act.
I would amend that to say that a few
Star Trek episodes (and writers) portray it that way, but that hasn't been consistent over the decades. Certainly, that wasn't how it was ever portrayed on TOS.
Honestly, I remember when "Homeward" first aired, pretty much every Trekkie I knew thought it was ridiculous. I'm inclined to ignore that one. Lord knows Kirk would have!