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Suffering in nature is suffering we should prevent.

We conduct multidisciplinary research across ecology, welfare biology, philosophy and economics in the hope of identifying policies to improve the wellbeing of all types of wild animals. Our goal is to reduce the suffering experienced by nonhuman animals in nature.

Research

July 12, 2017

Euthanizing Elderly Elephants: An Impact Analysis

When elephants reach their sixties, they lose their last set of molars and starve to death. Euthanizing elderly elephants might seem like a good way to prevent their suffering from starvation. Unfortunately, while there’s little good evidence about how many elephants die of molar loss, the research on causes of death suggests that it’s relatively rare, and the research on elephant longevity suggests that few elephants live to be old enough for molar loss to be an issue. Thus, euthanasia of elderly elephants is unlikely to be a high-impact intervention for people interested in wild-animal suffering.

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July 11, 2017

An Analysis of Lethal Methods of Wild Animal Population Control: Invertebrates

If invertebrates are sentient beings they should be treated so that they do not suffer unnecessarily. Very rarely is the potential suffering of insects considered in agricultural population control. It is likely then that some of the current methods being used inflict significant suffering on target and nontarget insects. This paper tentatively suggests that fast-acting, broad-spectrum insecticides paired with artificial population regulation present an interim solution that may minimize insect suffering in agriculture.

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June 29, 2017

An Analysis of Lethal Methods of Wild Animal Population Control: Vertebrates

Many animals are sentient beings and as such should be treated so that they do not suffer unnecessarily. My conservative estimate suggests that the human control of wild animal populations affects at least 25 million vertebrates annually. Unfortunately, popular lethal methods of population control also inflict significant suffering on target animals. Rather than lethally reducing existing populations, an alternative is to artificially manipulate population growth such that target species reproduce at slower rates.

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Blog

October 12, 2017

Infant Mortality and the Argument from Life History

Cross-posted from Ozy Brennan’s personal website  Many people argue that suffering predominates in nature. A really simple formof the argument, supported by people like Brian Tomasik, is what one might call the argument from life history. In general, in most species, females produce many more offspring than can survive to adulthood; in some cases, a female may…

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October 4, 2017

We Have No Idea If There Are Cost-Effective Interventions Into Wild-Animal Suffering

Cross-posted from Ozy Brennan’s personal website with minor edits. I sometimes see people claiming very confidently that wild-animal welfare is completely intractable and there are no cost-effective interventions we can do to improve wild animals’ welfare. (Exact implications of this claim generally depend on the speakers’ values.) This is honestly a quite extraordinarily claim. Think of all…

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September 26, 2017

Our Room For More Funding

Wild-Animal Suffering Research is currently funded by a $30,000 grant from Effective Altruism Funds - Animal Welfare. The funding covers the part-time work of three research associates until the end of May 2018. Our administrative and IT expenses are covered by the Effective Altruism Foundation. We estimate we can use up to $93,660 for the next…

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