Introduction to wild animal suffering: A guide to the issues

3 Apr 2020

We are very happy to announce that we’ve just released Introduction to wild animal suffering: A guide to the issues. This is to acquaint readers with the basic ideas about what wild animal suffering is, why it matters, what is currently being done about it, and what more can be done about it.

This is a companion text to our online video course on wild animal suffering (the first videos of which we recently released). It is divided into small units, with each chapter corresponding to one of the videos. It can be read independently of the videos because the content is the same, with minor modifications. The main difference is that this text contains references for each video. Those of you who are eager to know about the rest of the material in the video course, which we are publishing over the course of several months, can see all the information now in this guide.

It is meant to be an accessible text, which is not written in a technical or academic style. We have tried to present it in language that is easy to understand and a structure that is easy to follow. The whole text is over 200 pages, and includes an extensive bibliography that we hope will allow readers interested in the issue to investigate further.

This is a new area of work about which there is still a need for new information and research materials, so we invite everyone to watch the videos and read this guide. We believe it will be of interest to anyone concerned about the situation of animals.

In particular, we hope it will be useful for those involved in animal advocacy, as it can provide them with ideas about how to incorporate advocacy for animals who live in the wild into their work. It can also benefit people who are already familiar with wild animal suffering and who want to learn more about how to get involved in work in this field. Moreover, this guide will be interesting to students and researchers in life sciences, as it examines in detail how work in this area can potentially serve to help wild animals. It’s available as a book in PDF format. You can download it here:

Introduction to wild animal suffering:
A guide to the issues

It is divided into three parts, which correspond to the modules of the video course. The first section describes the situation of animals living in the wild, and the ways in which they are being helped and can be helped. It describes the many harms that they face, such as disease, parasitism, hunger, and natural disasters. It describes how their situation is far from idyllic. It then describes how there are many valuable ways of helping animals living in the wild.

The second section describes the ethics surrounding our decisions about animals. This includes what different ethical theories have to say about our treatment of animals, especially about our obligations to help animals living in the wild. It also discusses what sentience is, which animals are sentient, and why sentience is the right criterion for moral status.

The third and final section describes how academic work can help animals. It describes welfare biology, an emerging area of research that would investigate the wellbeing of animals and effective ways of helping them. It also outlines the work that could be done in this field and ways of promoting it. The section finishes by answering objections to helping animals and explaining the importance of the future.

If you would like to hear the contents of the book read, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified when new videos with this material are released.

We want to express our gratitude to Animal Charity Evaluators, which funded this work through its Effective Animal Advocacy Fund.