Wild animal welfare

Magnitude

See: How Many Wild Animals Are There?

Severity

See: The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering (by Brian Tomasik from the Foundational Research Institute)

Tractability

On March 15th 2019, the Wild Animal Initiative mentions that:1

If we were to be asked today about the highest priority welfare biology projects, we are, admittedly, fairly uncertain; no comprehensive effort to identify these projects has occurred. This gap in our knowledge base captures the essential direction of Wild Animal Initiative’s work — a major strategic shift toward a twofold goal: first, identifying and prioritizing early welfare biology projects, and second, completing the heavy lifting necessary to lower the costs of early welfare biology.

However, given that little research has been done on wild animal suffering prioritization, it’s likely that a lot of progress can be made on that question.

Neglectedness

Few organizations work in that cause area. The organizations focus on reducing wild animal suffering listed below have a total less than 200,000 USD of annual funding as of 2018.

Interventions

Indirect impact

A common misconception is that the cause of reducing wild animal suffering and the causes of environmentalism and climate change are generally mutually supportive, but they are actually more often independent issues and sometimes even in opposition. The archetype example would be to replace forest by pavement, which would reduce the animal population hence reducing animal suffering, but would also likely increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere hence accentuating climate change.2

Organizations

Direct focus:

One of the focus:

There are also organizations that work on reducing risks of astronomical suffering that also does research relevant to wild animal suffering, notably the Foundational Research Institute.

Preventing human extinctions might also be a priority for reducing wild animal suffering as, without humans, wild animal suffering is likely to continue for another 2 billion years (so see also organizations working to reduce existential risks).

Discussion groups

External links