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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Writing by Others

July 25, 2017

How Good or Bad Is the Life of an Insect?

Cross-posted from Simon Knutsson's personal website  First written: Sep. 2015; last update: Oct. 27, 2016 Summary If I died and was offered to be born again as an insect or cease to exist, I would definitely choose not to exist. This essay focuses on the quality of life of honey bees because they are well-studied,…

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July 14, 2017

Reducing Suffering Amongst Invertebrates Such As Insects

First written: May. 2016 Summary “I am sure that insects can feel pain” said Vincent Wigglesworth, an entomologist and professor of biology (Wigglesworth & Others, 1980, p. 9). Several scientists and philosophers argue that because invertebrates such as insects, spiders, worms and snails may very well be able to feel pain or suffering, our moral…

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July 11, 2017

Legal Personhood and the Positive Rights of Wild Animals

“Why did I feed these animals against all advice? Because we live in the same place, because they were individuals, because they had relatives, experience, a past, and desires, because they were cold and hungry, because they hadn't found enough to eat in the fall, because each had just one life.” - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas…

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June 29, 2017

Which Invertebrate Species Feel Pain?

Invertebrates are the most common animals on earth, composing 97% of known species (“Articles 16 September 1988,” n.d.), and have complex behavior and nervous systems. While it may be impossible to tell conclusively whether a non-human species can feel pain or not, there are concrete factors that may increase the chance that a given species feels something analogous to pain in humans.

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June 29, 2017

How Many Wild Animals Are There?

For such a straightforward question, the answer to how many individual animals exist is surprisingly unexplored in scientific literature. A variety of reasonable estimates have been made for the number of animal species, but means of gathering data on animal abundance in different environments are so varied that the actual number of individual animals is relatively unexamined.

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Further Reading

Last updated: 09 October 2017

The following is a comprehensive collection of wild-animal suffering research.

Animals in nature – Animal Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.animal-ethics.org/animals-in-nature-section/

Faria, C., & Paez, E. (2015). Relations 3.1 – June 2015: Wild Animal Suffering and Intervention in Nature: Part I. LED Edizioni Universitarie. Retrieved from https://market.android.com/details?id=book-nzU8CQAAQBAJ

Faria, C., & Paez, E. (2015). Relations 3.2 – November 2015: Wild Animal Suffering and Intervention in Nature: Part II. LED Edizioni Universitarie. Retrieved from https://market.android.com/details?id=book-VllSCwAAQBAJ

Greig, K. (2017, April 5). Effects of Farmed Animal Advocacy Messaging on Attitudes Towards Policies and Decisions Affecting Wild Animal Suffering | Animal Charity Evaluators. Retrieved from https://animalcharityevaluators.org/blog/effects-of-farmed-animal-advocacy-messaging-on-attitudes-towards-policies-and-decisions-affecting-wild-animal-suffering/

Home | Essays on Reducing Suffering. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://reducing-suffering.org/

Publications in English on wild animal suffering and intervention in nature (for and against). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://masalladelaespecie.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/publications-wild-animal-suffering-intervention.pdf

Stafforini, P. (n.d.). Wild animal welfare: a bibliography | Pablo’s miscellany. Retrieved from http://www.stafforini.com/blog/wild/

Tomasik, B. (2015, April 9). The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering – Foundational Research Institute. Retrieved from https://foundational-research.org/the-importance-of-wild-animal-suffering/

Wild animal suffering. (2017, June 22). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wild_animal_suffering&oldid=786871736

Wild Animal Suffering Survey Report | Animal Charity Evaluators. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://animalcharityevaluators.org/advocacy-interventions/prioritizing-causes/wild-animal-suffering/wild-animal-suffering-survey-report/