Major updates to our section on helping animals living in the wild

24 Dec 2019

As part of our broader efforts to raise awareness and provide information about wild animal suffering, we have expanded and improved all our articles about helping animals living in the wild and the reasons why wild animal suffering matters. We hope these pages will inspire people to become concerned for animals living the wild as individuals with interests, and provide researchers and activists with ideas and resources.

We recently announced a significant update of our texts about the situation of animals in the wild, which provide information about what the lives of animals living in the wild are actually like. Our updated texts about helping animals in the wild aim to inspire and facilitate action to help them. The texts we added or greatly updated are the following.

We created a general introduction that summarizes the main points on which the case for caring about wild animals rests:

Introduction to wild animal suffering

You can also read our full section on why we should care about the situation of animals in the wild:

Why wild animal suffering matters

To supplement this information, you can also read our full section on the different ways we can help animals suffering in the wild and improve their situation here:

Helping wild animals

These texts cover a wide range of reasons to, and ways of, making a difference for wild animals.

Some people may regret that there is so much animal suffering in the wild but think it is not possible to help them. However, the fact is that people already frequently help animals living in the wild. Of course, this is often done for a reason other than for the sake of helping the animals, such as vaccinating them to prevent the spread of illness to humans or to animals who humans exploit for food. This has been done on a large scale around the world for many decades, which shows that there are no insurmountable obstacles. And it is also possible to do this for the sake of animals themselves.

The scale of wild animal suffering can cause people to feel overwhelmed. This, while understandable, should not lead anyone to feel apathetic about trying to solve it. Showing examples in which we can currently help animals living in the wild can help to combat this feeling. It can help people understand that the problem is far from being intractable. Whether all wild animal suffering can be prevented is not the relevant question for this; rather, it is whether we can effectively maximize our impact in saving animals from it. For this reason, we engage in informing people of this as an important part of raising concern for animals living in the wild and contributing towards a future where much more is done to help them.

This kind of work in identifying ways of helping animals living in the wild is the sort of work that the future discipline of welfare biology would investigate in much greater depth. It’s true that our knowledge of the subject is still very limited, but the same is true for any other discipline that’s in its infancy. Once welfare biology is taken up as a new discipline in academia, our knowledge and ability to help animals living in the wild could be revolutionized.

There is still much more work to do to make a difference for animals in nature. In order to allow us to do more work for wild animals please consider supporting our work.