Animal Ethics: animal suffering in nature

Animals in nature new website section Animal Ethics is pleased to announce a new section on its website dedicated to the situation of animals in the wild. This is a very important issue that affects an enormous number of animals but has been underaddressed and underresearched until recent times. Fortunately, though, the tide is changing, as more people are realizing that animals in nature need our help just as those exploited by humans do.

With this new section we intend to contribute to this change of attitude. The section is divided in three parts, which you can visit here:

Why animal suffering in nature matters

The situation of animals in the wild

Aiding animals in nature

This section contains a collection of papers exploring the various aspects of animals living in the wild. You will find papers explaining the reasons for the prevalence of animal suffering and premature death in nature. These include disease, malnutrition and thirst, hostile weather conditions, physical injuries, psychological stress, antagonism between animals (which includes parasitic and predation relations) and natural disasters.

The section also includes papers which, by considering both population dynamics and the evolutionary reasons underlying them, clarify the indicators used to evaluate whether suffering prevails over happiness in nature. These papers also explain the arguments why animals in the wild can be harmed in the same ways as domesticated animals and humans, and why we should care about this.

More practical papers detail different ways we can help those animals in need in nature. The topics they address include rescuing trapped animals, vaccinating and healing sick and injured animals, sheltering orphan wild animals, providing food and water to hungry and thirsty animals, and aiding animals affected by fires and natural disasters.

Furthermore, this new section also examines what courses of action we can follow in order to learn more about the issue of animals suffering in nature and raise concern about it, so, in the future, more significant actions are carried out to intervene in favor of these animals.

The papers include long lists of scientific references as well as many real world examples documented with videos or addressed in the media. We intend for this section to be a helpful resource for those wishing to do research about animal suffering in nature. More significantly, we hope it can help raise concern about this important topic and provide a useful tool for antispeciesist activists wanting to help all sentient animals.


2 thoughts on “Animal Ethics: animal suffering in nature

  1. When faced with an injured wild animal, I’ve been advised a number of times to “leave it up to nature”, as if we are separated from nature. The irony is that conservation “manages” nature, yet pulls away when wild animals suffer. But that should not surprise us for “conservation” – more often than not – is simply about managing and exploiting the rest of nature to support our unchallenged growing population. This needs to change….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Fortunately, though, the tide is changing, as more people are realizing that animals in nature need our help just as those exploited by humans do.’
    Umm… Ria, with all due respect, we need to be very careful around the hubris embedded within this. My own feeling would be that if nature could make the actual choice, then it might just prefer that humans (modern, industrial at least) stepped away and left well enough alone.
    It also reminds me – as so many things in the world these days seem to – the Robbie Burns line, ‘The bast laid schemes ‘o mice ‘n men gang aft a’gley’.
    Unless of course I happen to be missing something here. Which is quite possible.


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