Wild animal welfare is the welfare of non-human animals under natural conditions.
Wild animals outnumber animals in factory farms by several orders of magnitude (Tomasik 2019). In spite of this, the welfare of animals in the wild has received very limited attention and concern; a comprehensive online bibliography in this area lists about fifty publications, most of which published online or in relatively unknown journals (Stafforini 2016). Wild animal welfare is thus a highly important and neglected focus area (Tomasik 2015).
As of yet, there have been no serious attempts to improve wild animal welfare, but the issue currently appears to have relatively low tractability. Some in the effective altruism community, however, have argued that this impression is mistaken (Dickens 2016). Interventions that have been proposed include doing advocacy for wild animals, supporting research into potential solutions, and building general capacity (Knutsson 2016).
Dickens, Michael (2016) The myth that reducing wild animal suffering is intractable, Philosophical Multicore, April 22.
Francini, Louis et al. (2020) Timeline of wild-animal suffering, Timelines Wiki, June 16.
Knutsson, Simon (2016) Reducing suffering among invertebrates such as insects, policy paper by Sentience Politics.
Matthews, Dylan (2021) The wild frontier of animal welfare, Vox, April 21.
An engaging overview of recent developments in the field of wild animal welfare, with a focus on Wild Animal Initiative.
McMahan, Jeff (2010) The meat eaters, The New York Times, September 19.
Ng, Yew-Kwang (1995) Towards welfare biology: evolutionary economics of animal consciousness and suffering, Biology and Philosophy, vol. 10, pp. 255–285.
Rowe, Abraham (2020) The scale of direct human impact on invertebrates, Effective altruism forum, September 2.
Stafforini, Pablo (2016) Wild animal welfare: a bibliography, Pablo Stafforini’s Blog, June 6.
Tomasik, Brian (2015) The importance of wild-animal suffering, Relations, vol. 3, pp. 133-152.
Tomasik, Brian (2019) How many wild animals are there?, Brian Tomasik’s Blog, August 7.