Difference between revisions of "Timeline of wild animal suffering"

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| 1995 || || Publication || [[wikipedia:David Pearce (philosopher)|David Pearce]] || David Pearce publishes his transhumanist manifesto ''The Hedonistic Imperative'', which argues that biotechnology can and should be used to eliminate the experience of suffering.<ref>{{cite book|author=Pearce, David|title=The Hedonistic Imperative|url=https://www.hedweb.com/hedab.htm|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20180527232626/https://www.hedweb.com/hedab.htm|archivedate=2018-05-27|deadurl=no|date=1995|publisher=hedweb.com}}</ref> It includes a section on wild-animal suffering.
 
| 1995 || || Publication || [[wikipedia:David Pearce (philosopher)|David Pearce]] || David Pearce publishes his transhumanist manifesto ''The Hedonistic Imperative'', which argues that biotechnology can and should be used to eliminate the experience of suffering.<ref>{{cite book|author=Pearce, David|title=The Hedonistic Imperative|url=https://www.hedweb.com/hedab.htm|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20180527232626/https://www.hedweb.com/hedab.htm|archivedate=2018-05-27|deadurl=no|date=1995|publisher=hedweb.com}}</ref> It includes a section on wild-animal suffering.
 
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| Summer 1995 || || Publication || Andrew Luke || Andrew Luke's article "And the Hyenas Laughed No More?" is published in ''The Vegan'', in which the author argues for the incompatibility between veganism and environmentalism and describes a world with no predation as a vegan utopia.<ref>{{cite magazine |last=Luke |first=Andrew |date=1995 |title=And the Hyenas Laughed No More?|url=https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-summer-1995/6|magazine=The Vegan|location= |publisher=The Vegan Society|access-date=2020-04-17}}</ref>
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| Summer 1995 || || Publication || Andrew Luke || Andrew Luke's article "And the Hyenas Laughed No More?" is published in ''The Vegan'', in which the author argues for the incompatibility between veganism and environmentalism, and describes the creation of a vegan utopia—a world where no harms befall any sentient beings.<ref>{{cite magazine |last=Luke |first=Andrew |date=1995 |title=And the Hyenas Laughed No More?|url=https://issuu.com/vegan_society/docs/the-vegan-summer-1995/6|magazine=The Vegan|location= |publisher=The Vegan Society|access-date=2020-04-17}}</ref>
 
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| 1996 || December || Publication || David Olivier, Steve Sapontzis || ''Les Cahiers antispécistes'' publishes its 14th edition, which is dedicated to discussing the problem of predation and human intervention in nature.<ref>{{cite journal |last1=Olivier |first1=David |last2=Bonnardel |first2=Yves |title=Éditorial |journal=Les Cahiers antispécistes |date=December 1996 |volume=14 |url=https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/editorial-14/  |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20180721033959/https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/editorial-14/<!--https://archive.is/AdO7s--> |archivedate=2018-07-21 |deadurl=no |language=fr-FR}}</ref> It features articles by David Olivier and Yves Bonnardel, as well as a translation of an article by Steve Sapontzis. For example, one article by Yves Bonnardel is entitled "Contre l’apartheid des espèces: À propos de la prédation et de l’opposition entre écologie et libération animale" ("Against the apartheid of species: On predation and the conflict between ecology and animal liberation").<ref>{{cite journal |last1=Bonnardel |first1=Yves |title=Contre l’apartheid des espèces |trans-title=Against the apartheid of species |journal=Les Cahiers antispécistes |date=December 1996 |volume=14 |url=https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/contre-lapartheid-des-especes/  |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20171003100009/https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/contre-lapartheid-des-especes/ |archivedate=2017-10-03 |deadurl=no |language=fr-FR}}</ref>
 
| 1996 || December || Publication || David Olivier, Steve Sapontzis || ''Les Cahiers antispécistes'' publishes its 14th edition, which is dedicated to discussing the problem of predation and human intervention in nature.<ref>{{cite journal |last1=Olivier |first1=David |last2=Bonnardel |first2=Yves |title=Éditorial |journal=Les Cahiers antispécistes |date=December 1996 |volume=14 |url=https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/editorial-14/  |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20180721033959/https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/editorial-14/<!--https://archive.is/AdO7s--> |archivedate=2018-07-21 |deadurl=no |language=fr-FR}}</ref> It features articles by David Olivier and Yves Bonnardel, as well as a translation of an article by Steve Sapontzis. For example, one article by Yves Bonnardel is entitled "Contre l’apartheid des espèces: À propos de la prédation et de l’opposition entre écologie et libération animale" ("Against the apartheid of species: On predation and the conflict between ecology and animal liberation").<ref>{{cite journal |last1=Bonnardel |first1=Yves |title=Contre l’apartheid des espèces |trans-title=Against the apartheid of species |journal=Les Cahiers antispécistes |date=December 1996 |volume=14 |url=https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/contre-lapartheid-des-especes/  |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20171003100009/https://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/contre-lapartheid-des-especes/ |archivedate=2017-10-03 |deadurl=no |language=fr-FR}}</ref>

Revision as of 04:50, 17 April 2020

This is a timeline of the movement to reduce wild-animal suffering (sometimes also called the "WAS" or "RWAS" movement).

Big picture

Year/period Key developments Key people Key organizations
pre-1970 Wild-animal suffering is occasionally mentioned by philosophers as an example of the amorality of nature. In general, there is little discussion of whether humans should intervene to improve the situation. Leonardo da Vinci, David Hume, Lewis Gompertz, Giacomo Leopardi, Arthur Schopenhauer, Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, J. Howard Moore
1970–2004 After the emergence of the contemporary animal rights/welfare movement, wild-animal suffering is discussed by animal rights philosophers and their critics. The critics consider intervention in nature a reductio ad absurdum of animal rights, while some animal rights authors take it to be a serious moral issue. Most discussion takes place through journals, and discussion participants are mostly academics Peter Singer, David Olivier, Yew Kwang-Ng, David Pearce (early emergence)
2005–2012 During this period, interest in wild-animal suffering blossoms with the help of the Internet. Prolific and passionate individuals such as Brian Tomasik, David Pearce, and Oscar Horta play a leading role in creating content and birthing online communities. The academic moral philosophy community also continues debating the issue. Brian Tomasik, David Pearce, Oscar Horta
2013–2016 Organizations begin to form that focus on wild-animal suffering, research, and advocacy (as either a primary or secondary focus). Publications reated to wild animals come from a mix of individuals and organizations. Some organizations use prizes to incentivize work on wild-animal suffering, with mixed results. The nascent effective altruism community exposes more people to wild-animal suffering earlier on in their lives Brian Tomasik, Simon Knutsson, Jacy Reese, Magnus Vinding, Michael Dickens Animal Ethics, Foundational Research Institute, Animal Charity Evaluators, Sentience Politics
2017–2020 In this era, a large share of the production of research related to wild-animal suffering is by individuals as part of their work for organizations. Key organizations that sponsor a large number of publications are: Utility Farm, Wild-Animal Suffering Research (the two would later merge into the Wild Animal Initiative), Animal Ethics, Sentience Institute, and (starting late 2018) Rethink Priorities. The ecosystem is sustained by grant money from the Effective Altruism Animal Welfare Fund, Animal Charity Evaluators' Animal Advocacy Research Fund, and individual donors. Brian Tomasik, Lewis Bollard, Persis Eskander, Georgia Ray, Ozy Brennan, Abraham Rowe, Oscar Horta Utility Farm, Wild-Animal Suffering Research (the two would later merge into the Wild Animal Initiative), Animal Ethics, Sentience Institute, Rethink Priorities, Animal Charity Evaluators

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type People involved Details
1487–1501 Publication Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks laments the suffering experienced by wild animals due to predation and reproduction.[1]
1779 Publication David Hume David Hume in his posthumous work Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion makes reference to the antagonism experienced and inflicted by wild animals upon each other.[2]
1821 Publication Joseph de Maistre Joseph de Maistre in The Saint Petersburg Dialogues, describes the extent of suffering and violent deaths experienced by animals in the wild.[3]
1824 Publication Lewis Gompertz Lewis Gompertz in Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes explores predation as a moral issue and advocates intervening to prevent it in certain circumstances.[4]
1824 May 30 Publication Giacomo Leopardi Giacomo Leopardi engages in a dialogue with Nature in "Dialogo della Natura e di un Islandese" ("Dialogue between Nature and an Icelander"), questioning why Nature brings humans and other animals into existence only to inflict suffering and death upon them.[5]
1851 Publication Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer compares the pleasure experienced by a predator to the pain experienced by the prey to argue that the world contains more pain than pleasure.[6]
1856 July 13 Publication Charles Darwin, Joseph Dalton Hooker In a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker, Charles Darwin discusses the wastefulness and cruelty of nature as an evidence against the existence of a benevolent God.[7]
1860 May 22 Publication Charles Darwin, Asa Gray In a letter to Asa Gray, Charles Darwin cites wild-animal suffering—in particular, the suffering inflicted by parasitic wasps to caterpillar hosts—as an example of the theological problem of evil.[8]
1874 Publication John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill's essay "On Nature" is published posthumously. The essay discusses the amorality and cruelty of nature and argues that humans should struggle against it.[9]
1899 Publication J. Howard Moore J. Howard Moore in Better World Philosophy laments the existence of carnivorous animals,[10] he argues for a "Confederation of the Consciousnesses", as an ideal arrangement of the living universe, where sentient individuals of all species—excluding the irredeemable carnivora—bring together their individual talents and collaborate for the benefit of all.[11]
1906 Publication J. Howard Moore In his book The Universal Kinship, J. Howard Moore argues that the egoism of sentient beings—a product of natural selection—which leads them to exploit their sentient fellows, is the most mournful fact of existence, and speculates whether a sufficiently sympathetic human could significantly improve this situation if given the chance.[12]
1932 Publication Clarence Darrow In his autobiography The Story of My Life, Clarence Darrow describes in detail the brutality of the suffering experienced by animals in the wild.[13]
1952 August Publication Alexander Skutch Alexander Skutch publishes "Which Shall We Protect? Thoughts on the Ethics of the Treatment of Free Life", in which he discusses the ideal ethical relations towards "free life"; including predation.[14]
1962 July Publication Alexander Skutch Alexander Skutch publishes "Vegetarianism and the Evil of Predation", in which he argues that vegetarianism is a direct response to the greatest and most far-reaching evil of all—predation.[15]
1973 June 14 Publication Peter Singer Peter Singer responds to a question about predation, arguing against interference in practice because the long-term consequences of intervention cannot be predicted. However, he accepts that intervention to reduce wild-animal suffering would be morally justified if one could be reasonably confident that the long-term effects would be positive.[16]
1979 Publication Stephen R. L. Clark Stephen R. L. Clark's article "The Rights of Wild Things" is published. It argues that humans should defend wild animals against unusually large dangers, but should not try to regulate all of nature.[17]
1980 Publication J. Baird Callicott Environmental philosopher J. Baird Callicott's article "Animal Liberation: A Triangular Affair" is published. It discusses conflicts between animal liberation and environmental ethics.[18]
1984 (summer) Publication Mark Sagoff Environmental philosopher Mark Sagoff's article "Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce" is published.[19] The article argues that animal liberation and environmental ethics are incompatible. It claims that animal liberationists may be committed to supporting large-scale intervention to reduce wild-animal suffering, and argues that this should be taken as a reductio if one supports environmental ethics.
1987 Publication Steve Sapontzis Animal rights philosopher Steve Sapontzis's article "Predation" is published in Ethics and Animals.[20]
1991 Publication Arne Naess Deep ecologist Arne Naess publishes an article arguing that humans should intervene in some cases of wild-animal suffering.[21]
1993 June Publication David Olivier David Olivier publishes the article "Pourquoi je ne suis pas écologiste" (Why I am not an environmentalist) in the French animal rights journal Les Cahiers antispécistes.[22]
1995 Publication Yew-Kwang Ng Economist Yew-Kwang Ng's paper "Towards Welfare Biology: Evolutionary Economics of Animal Consciousness and Suffering" is published in Biology and Philosophy.[23] Ng introduces the term "welfare biology" (cf. conservation biology), which he defines as the positive study of the well-being of affectively sentient individuals. He discusses which species possess affective sentience. Ng then mentions that many species produce a large number of offspring, only a few of which survive to maturity. The paper argues that non-survivors suffer negative welfare. Since non-survivors greatly outnumber survivors, Ng considers this evidence in favor of the "Buddhist premise" (that wild animals experience more total suffering than happiness).
1995 Publication David Pearce David Pearce publishes his transhumanist manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative, which argues that biotechnology can and should be used to eliminate the experience of suffering.[24] It includes a section on wild-animal suffering.
Summer 1995 Publication Andrew Luke Andrew Luke's article "And the Hyenas Laughed No More?" is published in The Vegan, in which the author argues for the incompatibility between veganism and environmentalism, and describes the creation of a vegan utopia—a world where no harms befall any sentient beings.[25]
1996 December Publication David Olivier, Steve Sapontzis Les Cahiers antispécistes publishes its 14th edition, which is dedicated to discussing the problem of predation and human intervention in nature.[26] It features articles by David Olivier and Yves Bonnardel, as well as a translation of an article by Steve Sapontzis. For example, one article by Yves Bonnardel is entitled "Contre l’apartheid des espèces: À propos de la prédation et de l’opposition entre écologie et libération animale" ("Against the apartheid of species: On predation and the conflict between ecology and animal liberation").[27]
1998 October 20 Presentation David Olivier David Olivier of Les Cahiers antispécistes discusses wild-animal suffering at a debate at the Maison de l’Écologie in Lyon.[28]
2003 (summer) Publication Tyler Cowen Tyler Cowen's paper "Policing Nature" is published in Environmental Ethics.[29] Cowen gives arguments from utilitarian, rights-based, and holistic moral perspectives in support of policing nature. He criticizes the argument that humans should refrain from interfering in nature because it is hard to predict the results of intervention. Cowen discusses predator population reduction as a possible intervention.
2005 May Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik first begins to think about animal welfare after reading essays by Peter Singer.[30]
2005 July Brian Tomasik, Bernard E. Rollin Brian Tomasik reads Bernard E. Rollin's Animal Rights & Human Morality, which introduces him to the possibility of insect sentience.[30] He writes, "I was completely startled to realize this possibility and spent the next several minutes contemplating how much suffering the world would contain if this were true. The spider's webs in my basement began to take on a new, horrible significance."
2005 October 17 Brian Tomasik, Peter Singer Brian Tomasik writes a letter to Peter Singer, asking him whether he thinks insects are sentient and whether they experience a net-negative balance of suffering over happiness.[30]
2005 June Brian Tomasik, David Pearce Brian Tomasik hears about and reads David Pearce's Hedonistic Imperative.[30] He writes, "This piece helped me see how bad suffering was and may have been one of the last straws helping me see that life in the wild was far below hedonic zero on average, especially when the pain of death was taken into account."
2006 June Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik's collection of essays on utilitarianism is first posted to his website at utilitarian-essays.com.[31]
2006 (summer) Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik writes "Calculations Regarding Wild-Animal Suffering".[32]
2006 December Community Seth Baum Seth Baum starts a utilitarian community blog Felicifia.com.[33] He had previously had a personal blog under the same name. Wild-animal suffering would become a popular topic of discussion on the site and its successor forum Felicifia.org.[34]
2006 April 29 Publication Yew Kwang-Ng, Matthew Clarke Matthew Clarke and Yew-Kwang Ng publish an article analyzing a kangaroo cull from the perspective of welfare biology.[35]
2006 July Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik writes "The Predominance of Wild-Animal Suffering over Happiness: An Open Problem".[36]
2008 (early) Oscar Horta, Brian Tomasik Oscar Horta writes to Brian Tomasik to cite one of his articles. Horta and Tomasik agree that wild-animal welfare was important, and Horta begins to discuss it with his Spanish / Latin American friends.[30]
2009 April Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Do Bugs Feel Pain?".[37]
2009 June 4 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Caring about Animal Suffering".[38]
2009 July Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik writes the first version of his article "The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering".[39]
2009 Publication David Pearce David Pearce publishes "Reprogramming Predators".[40] The post receives criticism from ScienceBlogs.[41]
2009 December 25 Community Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik starts the Felicifia thread "How Best to Encourage Concern for Wild Animals?".[42]
2010 March 2 Community spindoctor Felicifia member spindoctor starts the thread "Lobby group for wild animal suffering?".[43]
2010 May 10 Community Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik considers forming an organization to promote concern for wild-animal suffering, and solicits advice on Felicifia.[44]
2010 April 19 Community Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik creates the Facebook group "Most of the world's animal suffering occurs in the wild".[45][30]
2010 September 15 Project The domain name animal-ethics.org is registered.[46]
2010 September 19 Publication Jeff McMahan Jeff McMahan's piece "The Meat Eaters" is published in the New York Times.[47][48] He argues in favor of intervention in nature, and specifically reducing predation.
2010 Publication Oscar Horta Philosopher Oscar Horta's article "Debunking the idyllic view of natural processes" is published.[49]
2012 August Project Eitan Fischer Animal Charity Evaluators is founded, initially, during the first year, under the name Effective Animal Activism (EAA). It is founded by Eitan Fischer as part of the 80,000 Hours organization. Right from the beginning, Animal Charity Evaluator recognizes RWAS as a high-priority cause area.[50][51][52][53]
2012 October 30 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Medicine vs. Deep Ecology", which responds to the argument that we should not intervene in nature because ecosystems are complex systems.[54]
2012 May 24 Community The Facebook group originally called "Most of the world's animal suffering occurs in the wild" is renamed to "Reducing Wild-Animal Suffering" following a poll.[55]
2013 June 24 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Ideas for Volunteering to Reduce Wild-Animal Suffering".[56]
2013 June 24 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Applied Welfare Biology and Why Wild-Animal Advocates Should Focus on Not Spreading Nature".[57]
2013 September 4 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Intention-Based Moral Reactions Distort Intuitions about Wild Animals".[58]
2013 November? Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Crop Cultivation and Wild Animals".[59]
2013 December 3 Presentation Adriano Mannino, Ruairí Donnelly Adriano Mannino and Ruairí Donnelly give a talk on wild-animal suffering at the University of Zurich.[60][61]
2013 December 15 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Does the Animal-Rights Movement Encourage Wilderness Preservation?".[62]
2013 Project Sentience Politics, an "anti-speciesist political think-tank", is founded as a subdivision of the Effective Altruism Foundation.[63] One of the issues originally considered by the project is wild-animal suffering.
2013 Project Animal Ethics is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit.[64]
2014 January 19 Project Oscar Horta, Leah McKelvie The first (non-placeholder) Wayback Machine snapshot of Animal Ethics is from this date.[65] Wild-animal suffering is one of their focus areas. Leah McKelvie and Oscar Horta are two of its three founders.[66]
2014 July 8 Publication The Wikipedia article "Wild animal suffering" is published.[67]
2015 February 3 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "The Importance of Insect Suffering".[68]
2015 February Podcast Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik is interviewed about wild-animal suffering on the podcast The Reality Check.[69][70]
2015 March 5 Project Animal Ethics announces its first Essay Prize on suffering in nature and intervention, with a reward of $1,500.[71]
2015 April 12 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Why Vegans Should Care About Wild Animal Suffering" on the website Reasonable Vegan.[72]
2015 May 1 Publication Magnus Vinding Magnus Vinding publishes the e-book Speciesism: Why It Is Wrong and the Implications of Rejecting It. It argues that reducing wild-animal suffering is a moral imperative.[73]
2015 May The philosophy journal Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism publishes a special double volume on the ethics of wild-animal suffering and intervention in nature, edited by Animal Ethics staff.[74]
2015 September Publication Simon Knutsson Simon Knutsson publishes "How Good or Bad Is the Life of an Insect?".[75]
2015 October 31 Community The /r/wildanimalsuffering subreddit is created.[76]
2015 November 5 Project The domain name utility.farm is registered.[77]
2015 November 28 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Estimating Aggregate Wild-Animal Suffering from Reproductive Age and Births per Female".[78]
2015 December 14 Publication Jacy Reese Vox publishes an article by Jacy Reese arguing in favor of reducing wild-animal suffering.[79][80] This prompts critical responses from Motherboard and the National Audubon Society.[81][82]
2015 December 26 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "How Wild-Caught Fishing Affects Wild-Animal Suffering".[83]
2015 December Project Animal Charity Evaluators announces that Animal Ethics is one of their standout charities.[84] They would maintain that status until November 2017.[85]
2016 February Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "How Painful Is Death from Starvation or Dehydration?".
2016 March 15 Publication Catia Faria Catia Faria submits her PhD thesis "Animal Ethics Goes Wild: The Problem of Wild Animal Suffering and Intervention in Nature".[86]
2016 March 20 Publication Magnus Vinding Magnus Vinding publishes the e-book The Speciesism of Leaving Nature Alone, and the Theoretical Case for "Wildlife Anti-Natalism".[87]
2016 March 23 Project Animal Ethics announces that none of the submissions to its Essay Prize met the standards they expected, and the prize was not awarded. However, they gave a $1,500 grant to the author of the best paper, Meera Inglis from the Department of Politics of the University of Sheffield, to continue her research on invasive species.[88]
2016 April 22 Publication Michael Dickens Michael Dickens publishes the blog post "The Myth that Reducing Wild Animal Suffering Is Intractable".[89]
2016 May 9 Publication Ole Martin Moen The article "The ethics of wild animal suffering" by Ole Martin Moen is published.[90]
2016 May Publication Simon Knutsson Sentience Politics publishes the policy paper "Reducing suffering among invertebrates such as insects" by Simon Knutsson.[91]
2016 June Project The Foundational Research Institute publishes research plans announcing that it is "greatly increasing research on wild-­animal suffering".[92] However, this never came to pass and WAS is not a focus area of FRI as of July 2019.
2016 August 25 Publication Michael Dickens Michael Dickens publishes the blog post "Why the Open Philanthropy Project Should Prioritize Wild Animal Suffering".[93]
2016 September 1 Publication Phillipp Ryf Phillipp Ryf submits his Master's Thesis "Environmental Ethics: The Case of Wild Animals".[94]
2016 September 5 Publication Animal Charity Evaluators publishes the results of an exploratory (n=612) Mechanical Turk study. The study is about the effects of vegan advocacy on attitudes towards wild-animal suffering. ACE claims that the results suggest that environmental messaging makes people less supportive of intervention. On the other hand, the post assuages WAS advocates' concerns that animal rights messaging does so.[95]
2016 September Presentation Stijn Bruers, Stefan Torges Stijn Bruers and Stefan Torges give talks about wild-animal suffering at the 2016 International Animal Rights Conference.[96][97]
2016 November 15 Presentation Peter Singer Peter Singer gives a talk on wild-animal suffering at the Princeton Environmental Institute.[98]
2016 November 19 Project Animal Ethics announces its second Essay Prize on suffering in nature and intervention, with a reward of $1,500.[99]
2016 November 25 Publication Michael Plant Michael Plant writes a blog post critiquing arguments for the claim that wild animals experience net suffering.[100] Brian Tomasik responds on his blog.[101]
2017 April 5 Publication Animal Charity Evaluators publishes another survey on animal advocacy messaging and attitudes towards wild-animal suffering.[102]
2017 April 22 Project Utility Farm publishes its first article, arguing for "An Ethic of Intervention" with regard to wild-animal suffering.[103]
2017 April 26 Project Utility Farm announces its 2017 essay contest with a top prize of $1,500.[104] The contest received no quality submissions, and the prize was not awarded.[105]
2017 April Funding Lewis Bollard Lewis Bollard of Open Philanthropy Project allocates $30K from the animal welfare EA Fund to the Effective Altruism Foundation's research of wild-animal suffering, stating that he is impressed with their work but is unsure how tractable it will be. He also cites internal changes at EAF that left WAS research with no funding.[106]
2017 May 3 Community Evan Gaensbauer Evan Gaensbauer creates the Facebook group "Wild Animal Welfare Project Discussion" as part of a larger attempt to build networks for new EA causes.[107]
2017 June Project Wild-Animal Suffering Research is split off from Sentience Politics as a separate organization under the Effective Altruism Foundation. Sentience Politics shifts gears to focus exclusively on political campaigns in Switzerland, and gains independence from EAF.[108][109]
2017 June 1 Project The domain name was-research.org is registered.[110]
2017 June 2 Project Jacy Reese, Kelly Witwicki Sentience Institute is founded.[111]"
2017 June 2 Publication Sentience Institute publishes "Summary of Evidence for Foundational Questions in Effective Animal Advocacy" which contains a lot of information on RWAS outreach.[112]
2017 June 10 Publication Utility Farm publishes "Keep (Known) Space Neutral" by Abraham Rowe.[113]
2017 June 11 Publication Utility Farm publishes "When Caring For Pets And Service Animals, Keep Other Animals In Mind" by Ari Benjamin.[114]
2017 June 29 Publication Persis Eskander Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "An Analysis of Lethal Methods of Wild Animal Population Control: Vertebrates" by Persis Eskander.[115]
2017 July 5 Publication Brian Tomasik Brian Tomasik publishes "Which Stimuli Are Painful to Invertebrates?".[116]
2017 July 11 Publication Persis Eskander Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "An Analysis of Lethal Methods of Wild Animal Population Control: Invertebrates" by Persis Eskander.[117]
2017 July 12 Publication Ozy Brennan Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "Euthanizing Elderly Elephants: An Impact Analysis" by Ozy Brennan.[118]
2017 July 13 Publication Abraham Rowe, Briana Schulzetenberg Utility Farm publishes "Study: Effective Communication Strategies For Addressing Wild Animal Suffering" by Briana Schulzetenberg and Abraham Rowe, which found that WAS materials describing humans as "stewards of" or "participants in" nature were more effective than materials describing humans as "intervening" in nature.[119]
2017 October 4 Publication Ozy Brennan Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes the blog post "We Have No Idea If There Are Cost-Effective Interventions Into Wild-Animal Suffering" by Ozy Brennan.[120]
2017 October 12 Publication Ozy Brennan Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes the blog post "Infant Mortality and the Argument from Life History" by Ozy Brennan.[121]
2017 October 18 Project Abraham Rowe Utility Farm publishes "Reviewing 2017 and Looking to 2018" by Abraham Rowe.[122]
2017 November 10 Publication Ozy Brennan Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "“Fit and Happy”: How Do We Measure Wild-Animal Suffering?" by Ozy Brennan.[123]
2017 November 22 Publication Georgia Ray Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "Parasite Load and Disease in Wild Animals" by Georgia Ray.[124]
2017 November 25 Publication Ozy Brennan Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes the blog post "Creating Welfare Biology: A Research Proposal" by Ozy Brennan.[125]
2017 November Funding Lewis Bollard Lewis Bollard of Open Philanthropy Project allocates $50K from the animal welfare EA Fund to Wild-Animal Suffering Research.[126]
2017 (fall) Project Rebecca Raible Rebecca Raible is awarded a £4,710 grant from the Centre for Effective Altruism to research WAS intervention ideas and write an overview of wild-animal suffering.[127]
2017 December 27 Publication Animal Ethics announces the winner of its second Essay Prize, "Life-fates: meaningful categories to estimate animal suffering in the wild" by Brazilian scientists Wladimir J. Alonso and Cynthia Schuck-Paim.[128]
2017 September Project effectivethesis.com is launched. They create a section recommending theses on RWAS which is provided from suggestions by Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Efektivni Altruismus.[129]
2017 Funding Persis Eskander "[ACE's Animal Advocacy Research Fund awards] funding to Persis Eskander (Wild-Animal Suffering Research) for this project. This research will examine the agricultural practices that harm vertebrate wild animals."[130]
2018 January 19 Publication Georgia Ray Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes the blog post "Invertebrate Sentience: Urgent But Understudied" by Georgia Ray.[131]
2018 January 24 Publication Abraham Rowe Utility Farm publishes "Seven Broad Rules for Effective Discussions of Participation Ethics" by Abraham Rowe.[132]
2018 February 12 Publication Nicholas Denton, Duncan Purves The article "Wild animal suffering is intractable" by Nicolas Delon and Duncan Purves is published (online first).[133]
2018 February 13 Publication Persis Eskander Animal Charity Evaluators publishes the blog post "To reduce wild animal suffering we need to find out if the cause area is tractable" by Persis Eskander.[134]
2018 February 16 Publication Animal Ethics publishes their 2018 strategic plan, which includes initiating "the development of welfare biology in academia with some biologists and animal welfare scientists beginning to work in this field ".[135]
2018 February 23 Publication Georgia Ray Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes the blog post "Are seafood substitutes good for wild fish?" by Georgia Ray.[136]
2018 March 23 Project Utility Farm announces the launch of Nature Ethics, a wild animal suffering outreach project.[137]
2018 March Funding Lewis Bollard Lewis Bollard allocates $100K to Wild-Animal Suffering Research via the EA Funds.[138]
2018 April 14 Podcast Persis Eskander Persis Eskander of Wild-Animal Suffering Research is interviewed about wild-animal suffering on the animal rights podcast Our Hen House.[139]
2018 April 30 Publication Animal Ethics publishes a bibliography of wild-animal suffering.[140]
2018 April Publication Les Cahiers antispécistes publishes a volume devoted to wild-animal suffering.[141]
2018 May Publication Les Cahiers antispécistes publishes a book entitled "Éliminer les animaux pour leur bien: promenade chez les réducteurs de la souffrance dans la nature" (Eliminate animals for their own good: walk among the reducers of suffering in nature) by Estiva Reus. The book critiques the wild-animal suffering movement.[142]
2018 June 10 Presentation Persis Eskander EA Global 2018 takes place in San Francisco. Persis Eskander of WASR gives a talk about "Crucial Considerations in Wild-Animal Suffering".[143][144] Ozy Brennan (WASR), Persis Eskander (WASR), Kieran Greig (ACE), and Abraham Rowe (Utility Farm) participate in a panel on "Strategic Movement Building for Wild-Animal Suffering".[145][146] There is also a meetup for people interested in the topic.[147]
2018 June Funding Lewis Bollard Lewis Bollard allocates $70K to Animal Ethics, $40K to Utility Farm, and $30K to Wild-Animal Suffering Research via the EA Funds. He notes that all three organizations have converged around the strategy of building an academic field of wild-animal suffering, but have different approaches.[148]
2018 August 10 Publication Steven Nadler Steven Nadler's in his essay "We Have an Ethical Obligation to Relieve Individual Animal Suffering", argues that we should intervene to relieve suffering in the wild, using the example of a starving polar bear.[149]
2018 September 4 Publication Persis Eskander Persis Eskander from Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "An Introduction to Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity".[150]
2018 September 9 Publication Ozy Brennan Ozy Brennan from Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "Intervention Report: Feeding Wildlife As A Means of Promoting Welfare".[151]
2018 October 18 Publication Animal Ethics publishes "Research projects in welfare biology".[152]
2018 October 28 Publication Denis Drescher Denis Drescher publishes "Wild Animal Suffering Research Ideas 2019".[153]
2018 December 19 Publication Animal Ethics publishes "Welfare biology research: Vaccination of animals in the wild".[154]
2018 December 20 Publication Ozy Brennan Ozy Brennan from Wild-Animal Suffering Research publishes "Intervention Report: Wildlife Contraception".[155]
2018 December 22 Publication Rethink Priorities publishes "Detecting Morally Significant Pain in Nonhumans: Some Philosophical Difficulties".[156]
2018 (winter) Publication Oscar Horta Oscar Horta publishes "Concern for Wild Animal Suffering and Environmental Ethics: What Are the Limits of the Disagreement?".[157]
2018 December 30 Funding Lewis Bollard, Natalie Cargill, Toni Adleberg, Jamie Spurgeon The EA Animal Welfare Fund management team (Lewis Bollard, Natalie Cargill, Toni Adleberg, and Jamie Spurgeon) grants $20,000 from the EA Animal Welfare Fund to Utility Farm. Also, they grant $75,000 to Rethink Priorities, whose research agenda within animal welfare includes assessment of work on wild animal welfare.[158]
2019 January 25 Project Abraham Rowe, Persis Eskander Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm merge to form the Wild Animal Initiative.[159]
2019 February 5 Publication Johan Lindsjö, Katarina Cvek, Elin M. F. Spangenberg, Johan N. G. Olsson, Margareta Stéen Johan Lindsjö, Katarina Cvek, Elin M. F. Spangenberg, Johan N. G. Olsson, and Margareta Stéen publish "The Dividing Line Between Wildlife Research and Management—Implications for Animal Welfare".[160]
2019 February 27 Publication Animal Ethics publishes "Welfare biology research: Sexual competition".[161]
2019 April 12 Funding Elisabeth Dimitras Animal Ethics grants an undisclosed amount to Elisabeth Dimitras to study wild animals admitted to sanctuaries and rescue centers (wild animal rehabilitation centers) in Greece. The project aims to analyze data from rehabilitation centers to figure out "reasons for admission, mortality rates, cause of death by age and sex, how this varies over time, and the outcomes of the animals after treatment".[162]
2019 April 15 Publication Persis Eskander Robert Wiblin interviews Persis Eskander on the 80,000 Hours podcast about "Animals in the wild often suffer a great deal. What, if anything, should we do about that?".[163]
2019 April 21 Funding ACE's Effective Animal Advocacy Fund grants US$44,000 to Animal Ethics.[164][165]
2019 March 6 Funding Lewis Bollard, Natalie Cargill, Toni Adleberg, Jamie Spurgeon The EA Animal Welfare Fund management team (Lewis Bollard, Natalie Cargill, Toni Adleberg, and Jamie Spurgeon) grants $50,000 from the EA Animal Welfare Fund to Wild Animal Initiative. Also, they grant $80,000 to Rethink Priorities, whose research agenda includes research into wild animal welfare.[166]
2019 June 7 Publication Rethink Priorities publishes "Life history classification", "Insect herbivores, life history and wild animal welfare".[167]
2019 June 9 Publication Rethink Priorities publishes a series of articles on invertebrate sentience.[168]
2019 June 14 Publication Rethink Priorities publishes "What Do Unconscious Processes in Humans Tell Us About Sentience?".[169]
2019 July 1 Publication Animal Ethics publishes a new article about how fireworks harm nonhuman animals of all sizes.[170]
2019 April Project Wild Animal Initiative launches Wildness, a podcast on wild animal ethics.[171]
2019 January Project Wild Animal Initiative launches The Compassionate Cat Grant aiming "to gather information on cat predation education at the rescue organization level and draw conclusions regarding the effect of advocacy efforts on the welfare of wild animals".[172]
2019 Funding Oscar Horta, Maria Salazar ACE's Animal Advocacy Research Fund awards funding "to Oscar Horta and Maria Salazar (Animal Ethics) for this study. The purpose of this research project is to explore how to establish an expert field of research on wild animal welfare."[173]
2019 Funding "[ACE's Animal Advocacy Research Fund awards] funding to Oscar Horta (Animal Ethics) for this project. The purpose of this project is to gain insight into the lines of research on wild animal suffering most likely to be accepted by and appealing to biologists and animal welfare scientists and students."[174]
2020 January 15 Publication Jeff Sebo Jeff Sebo in "All We Owe to Animals", describes the seriousness of the threat of climate change to both humans and nonhuman animals and argues that we have a moral obligation to relieve the suffering of individual wild animals.[175]
2020 February 10 Publication Animal Ethics Animal Ethics publishes "Scientists' attitudes towards improving the welfare of animals in the wild: a qualitative study"[176]
2020 February 29 Publication Animal Ethics Animal Ethics releases the first video of an online course on wild animal suffering.[177]
2020 April 3 Publication Animal Ethics Animal Ethics releases Introduction to Wild Animal Suffering: A Guide to the Issues, as a companion text to its online video course.[178]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Louis.

In July 2019, User:Mati Roy reviewed the whole timeline and added notable events since mid-2018. It took zir about 6 hours. Formatting of sources was outsourced [more info to come]. The work was live-streamed here: [1], [2], [3]. [Funding information to come.]

What the timeline is still missing

  • Tomasik articles that I, User:Louis, didn't bother to add so far
  • New Nature Ethics articles
  • New WASR articles
  • ACE Research Funding
  • Horta articles
  • Other academic philosophy articles, perhaps, depending on relevance
  • There should be stuff between Mill and Singer?
  • Buddhists?
  • Relevant pieces of WAS art (?)
  • Popularity of RWAS (?) (ie. Google Trends, WAS FB group members, etc.)
  • Table of total money went to charity working on RWAS (see Google Sheet Total Money and Grants -- edit access public).

Timeline update strategy

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See also

External links

References

  1. da Vinci, Leonardo (2004-01-01). The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete. Translated by Richter, Jean Paul. 1888. folio 1219. Why did nature not ordain that one animal should not live by the death of another? Nature, being inconstant and taking pleasure in creating and making constantly new lives and forms, because she knows that her terrestrial materials become thereby augmented, is more ready and more swift in her creating, than time in his destruction; and so she has ordained that many animals shall be food for others. Nay, this not satisfying her desire, to the same end she frequently sends forth certain poisonous and pestilential vapours upon the vast increase and congregation of animals; and most of all upon men, who increase vastly because other animals do not feed upon them; and, the causes being removed, the effects would not follow. This earth therefore seeks to lose its life, desiring only continual reproduction; and as, by the argument you bring forward and demonstrate, like effects always follow like causes, animals are the image of the world. 
  2. Hume, David (1779). Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Observe [...] the curious artifices of nature, in order to embitter the life of every living being. The stronger prey upon the weaker, and keep them in perpetual terror and anxiety. The weaker too, in their turn, often prey upon the stronger, and vex and molest them without relaxation. Consider that innumerable race of insects, which either are bred on the body of each animal, or flying about infix their stings in him. These insects have others still less than themselves, which torment them. And thus on each hand, before and behind, above and below, every animal is surrounded with enemies, which incessantly seek his misery and destruction. 
  3. de Maistre, Joseph (1821). "Seventh Dialogue". The Saint Petersburg Dialogues. In the immense sphere of living things, the obvious rule is violence, a kind of inevitable frenzy which arms all things in mutua funera. Once you leave the world of insensible substances, you find the decree of violent death written on the very frontiers of life. Even in the vegetable kingdom, this law can be perceived: from the huge catalpa to the smallest of grasses, how many plants die and how many are killed! But once you enter the animal kingdom, the law suddenly becomes frighteningly obvious. A power at once hidden and palpable appears constantly occupied in bringing to light the principle of life by violent means. In each great division of the animal world, it has chosen a certain number of animals charged with devouring the others; so there are insects of prey, reptiles of prey, birds of prey, fish of prey, and quadrupeds of prey. There is not an instant of time when some living creature is not devoured by another [...] Thus is worked out, from maggots up to man, the universal law of the violent destruction of living beings. The whole earth, continually steeped in blood, is nothing but an immense altar on which every living thing must be sacrificed without end, without restraint, without respite until the consummation of the world, the extinction of evil, the death of death. 
  4. Gompertz, Lewis (1992). Singer, Peter, ed. Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes. Fontwell: Centaur. pp. 93–94. Y: As you think it wrong for man to kill other animals for food, do you also think it wrong that animals should devour each other? As this is the general law of nature.
    Z: It appears wrong, according to the rules by which we govern our own actions to each other; and should I witness the attempt in any animal of destroying another, I would endeavour to frustrate it; though this might probably be wrong.
     
  5. Leopardi, Giacomo (1882). Singer, Peter, ed. Essays and Dialogues. Translated by Edwardes, Charles. Ludgate Hill: Trübner & Co. pp. 78–79. Thus I reply to you. I am well aware you did not make the world for the service of men. It were easier to believe that you made it expressly as a place of torment for them. But tell me: why am I here at all? Did I ask to come into the world? Or am I here unnaturally, contrary to your will? If however, you yourself have placed me here, without giving me the power of acceptance or refusal of this gift of life, ought you not as far as possible to try and make me happy, or at least preserve me from the evils and dangers, which render my sojourn a painful one? And what I say of myself, I say of the whole human race, and of every living creature. 
  6. Schopenhauer, Arthur (1851). On the Sufferings of the World. Archived from the original on 2018-07-20. The pleasure in this world, it has been said, outweighs the pain; or, at any rate, there is an even balance between the two. If the reader wishes to see shortly whether this statement is true, let him compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is engaged in eating the other. 
  7. Murray, Michael (April 30, 2011). Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199596324. 
  8. "Letter 2814 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 22 May [1860]". Archived from the original on 2018-07-21. With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.— I am bewildered.— I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I [should] wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. 
  9. JS Mill. On Nature.
  10. Moore, John Howard (1899). Better-World Philosophy: A Sociological Synthesis. Chicago: The Ward Waugh Company. pp. 123–125. The chief activities of beings, both human and non-human, are put forth, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of procuring food. The suppression, entire or partial, of one being by another for nutritive purposes is, therefore, the form of the most frequent and excessive egoism. The lowly forms of life—the worms, echinoderms, mollusks, and the like—are, for the most part, vegetarians. So, also, are prevalently the insects, birds, rodents, and ungulates. These creatures are not, as a rule, aggressively harmful to each other, chiefly indifferent. But upon these inoffensive races feed with remorseless maw the reptilia, the insectivora, and the carnivora. These being-eaters cause to the earth-world its bloodiest experiences. It is their nature (established organically by long selection, or, as in the case of man, acquired tentatively) to subsist, not on the kingdom of the plant, the natural and primal storehouse of animal energy, but on the skeletons and sensibilities of their neighbors and friends. The serpent dines on the sparrow and the sparrow ingulfs the gnat; the tiger slays the jungle-fowl and the coyote plunders the lamb; the seal subsists on fish and the ursus maritimus subsists on seal; the ant enslaves the aphidae and man eats and enslaves what can not get away from him. Life riots on life—tooth and talon, beak and paw. It is a sickening contemplation, but life everywhere, in its aspect of activity, is largely made up of the struggle by one being against another for existence—of the effort by one being to circumvent, subjugate, or destroy another, and of the counter effort to reciprocate or escape. 
  11. Moore, John Howard (1899). Better-World Philosophy: A Sociological Synthesis. Chicago: The Ward Waugh Company. pp. 162–163. It is not possible, and it never will be possible, to organize all the beings occupying space into one immense confederacy. This would be ideal, but from the inexorable nature of things it can never be. The denizens of the sea depths can not correlate with the inhabitants of the clouds. The lion can not fraternize with the lamb, nor the hawk with the sparrow. The natures of beings have been evolved thru war, and they are in large part irredeemably antagonistic. But the approximation, if honest, may be more successful than is supposed, and may include many species not human. The bird may contribute his song and plumage, the sheep his fleece, the horse, the ox, the elephant, and the camel their strength or speed, the cow and the fowl their secretions, the dog his fidelity, and man his art. The ultimate and ideal aggregation of the living universe will not be a pan-American union nor a Euro-American league, nor even an aggregation whose spirit is embodied in a parliament of man, but the widest and most consummate possible Confederation of the Consciousnesses.] 
  12. Moore, J. Howard (John Howard) (1906). The Universal Kinship. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Co. pp. 249–250. The preponderance of egoism in the natures of living beings is the most mournful and immense fact in the phenomena of conscious life. It has made the world the kind of world it would have been had the gods actually emptied their wrath vials upon it. Brotherhood is anomalous, and, even in its highest manifestations, is but the expression of a veiled and calculating egoism. Inhumanity is everywhere. The whole planet is steeped in it. Every creature faces an inhospitable universeful, and every life is a campaign. It has all come about as a result of the mindless and inhuman manner in which life has been developed on the earth. It has been said that an individual of unlimited faculties and infinite goodness and power made this world and endowed it with ways of acting, and that this individual, as the world's executive, continues to determine its phenomena by inspiring the order of its events. But one cannot help thinking sometimes, when, in his more daring and vivid moments, he comes to comprehend the real character and condition of the world, what a discrepancy exists between the reputation of this builder and his works, and cannot help wondering whether an ordinary human being with only common-sense and insight and an average concern for the welfare of the world would not make a great improvement in terrestrial affairs if he only had the opportunity for a while. 
  13. Darrow, Clarence (1932). The Story of My Life. Whichever way man may look upon the earth, he is oppressed with the suffering incident to life. It would almost seem as though the earth had been created with malignity and hatred. If we look at what we are pleased to call the lower animals, we behold a universal carnage. We speak of the seemingly peaceful woods, but we need only look beneath the surface to be horrified by the misery of that underworld. Hidden in the grass and watching for its prey is the crawling snake which swiftly darts upon the toad or mouse and gradually swallows it alive; the hapless animal is crushed by the jaws and covered with slime, to be slowly digested in furnishing a meal. The snake knows nothing about sin or pain inflicted upon another; he automatically grabs insects and mice and frogs to preserve his life. The spider carefully weaves his web to catch the unwary fly, winds him into the fatal net until paralyzed and helpless, then drinks his blood and leaves him an empty shell. The hawk swoops down and snatches a chicken and carries it to its nest to feed its young. The wolf pounces on the lamb and tears it to shreds. The cat watches at the hole of the mouse until the mouse cautiously comes out, then with seeming fiendish glee he plays with it until tired of the game, then crunches it to death in his jaws. The beasts of the jungle roam by day and night to find their prey; the lion is endowed with strength of limb and fang to destroy and devour almost any animal that it can surprise or overtake. There is no place in the woods or air or sea where all life is not a carnage of death in terror and agony. Each animal is a hunter, and in turn is hunted, by day and night. No landscape is so beautiful or day so balmy but the cry of suffering and sacrifice rends the air. When night settles down over the earth the slaughter is not abated. Some creatures see best at night, and the outcry of the dying and terrified is always on the wind. Almost all animals meet death by violence and through the most agonizing pain. With the whole animal creation there is nothing like a peaceful death. Nowhere in nature is there the slightest evidence of kindness, of consideration, or a feeling for the suffering and the weak, except in the narrow circle of brief family life. 
  14. Skutch, Alexander F. (1952). "Which Shall We Protect? Thoughts on the Ethics of the Treatment of Free Life" (PDF). The Aryan Path. 23: 382–386. 
  15. Skutch, Alexander F. (1962). "Vegetarianism and the Evil of Predation" (PDF). The Aryan Path. 33: 298–302. 
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