|Friday, 09.09.2016 16:30-17:20 Room B|
|Wild animal suffering: Why 99% of wild animals die as babies already, and what we can do about it|
Consistent altruism for all sentient beings encompasses not only farm animals, but also wild animals – there are tens of billions of farm animals and trillions of wild animals. We`re familiar with the view of nature as a roughly idyllic place, but this romanticized view conceals the fact that most wild animals suffer intensely due to starvation, disease, parasitism and predation. In fact, more than 99% of wild animal individuals never make it to adulthood and die gruesome deaths as babies already. This is because most species bet on the numbers as a reproductive strategy: They produce way more offspring than can make it to adulthood and bet on a few individuals surviving. This raises the question of whether and to what extent we have a duty to reduce the suffering of wild animals, too. The complexity of ecosystems certainly warrants a cautious approach. At present, we should focus on conducting research in "welfare biology" and raising awareness of wild animal suffering.