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Thread: suffering in the wild

  1. #1
    jeff
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    Default suffering in the wild

    I promote veganism and animal rights because I don't want the animals to suffer. In my opinion it makes no difference why somebody is suffering. So some time ago I started thinking about wild living animals. Their suffering is something that seems almost completely ignored or forgotten by most animal rights activists. In my opinion it is one of the most important concerns. For a simple reason: there are much much more animals in the wild than in factory farms.

    And nature is cruel. Animals in the wild suffer from many things like predation,
    disease, parasites, injuries, cold, starvation, stress and more. Many animals give birth to hundreds or thousands of offspring hoping a few of them live long enough to grow up fully.

    So what could be done to help them? Helping farm animals is relatively easy, go vegan and convince others of doing the same. But nature is very complex and very few people care about the suffering of wild living animals. So I think the best thing we can do today is to promote the idea that they also need our help (at least within the animal movement) and that helping them also belongs to animal rights. And then scientists, ecologists, biologists and other people will deal with that question and find the answers.


    Our ethics concerning humans and human rights do not end with the abolition of slavery, so why should our ethics concerning animals?

    I can recommend everyone this article for further reading.


    'Many humans look at nature from an aesthetic perspective and think in terms
    of biodiversity and the health of ecosystems, but forget that the animals that
    inhabit these ecosystems are individuals and have their own needs. Disease,
    starvation, predation, ostracism, and sexual frustration are endemic in so-called
    healthy ecosystems. The great taboo in the animal rights movement is that
    most suffering is due to natural causes.'
    - Albert, in Nick Bostrom's "Golden"

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    I agree with some of this, but I also have a couple of problems with it

    (a) There is a danger that people will say, "Oh, there's more suffering that's not caused by humans than arises from farming etc, so there's no point in being vegan," whereas as we know being vegan is well worthwhile

    (b) If we start trying to stop lions eating zebras etc we risk causing more suffering than we prevent. We have already caused a lot of suffering by upsetting ecosystems and it's not at all clear how we could improve them IMO.

    So care is needed.

  3. #3
    V for Veganica Sarabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Yeah, what can we do? It sounds kind of like worrying about the suffering of cancer patients when there's not really more you can do. Yeah, there's a lot of suffering. Some suffering is unavoidable.

    The article you mention is utilitarian, by the way. It is not vegan.

    Also... you know they're off their rocker when they start talking about sending out space probes to reduce the suffering of sentient life on other planets that doesn't even exist. Always beware when people start straying off course like that... to me it's a sign they are not well-grounded students. It reminds me of James Watson... who won the Nobel Prize for discovery of DNA and to this day is in search of a gene that will prove black people are stupider than other races. People like this need to get with the program.
    "To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana." - Buddha

  4. #4
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    And nature is cruel.
    Nature contains elements of pain, destruction and cruelty, but that doesn't mean that nature is cruel. Nature is also good.

    Many meat eaters use that way of thinking (some animals kill other animals, so why can't humans do it as well), but there's no logic - or passion - in the 'nature is cruel' way of looking at things. Even if some people in some village may be violent, that village isn't violent.

    And even if there would be a village with only cruel people, or an area with only brutal predators, that wouldn't give anyone else an excuse to add more harm to the world, so - with all due respect - I'm all against the 'nature is cruel' way of looking at life.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  5. #5
    RubyDuby
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Nature does not need our help. Nature balances itself. It seems like you're placing human thinking, feeling and emotions into animals in nature. They have their own point of view.

    Quote harpy View Post
    We have already caused a lot of suffering by upsetting ecosystems.
    exactly.
    Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

  6. #6
    Why hello! xwitchymagicx's Avatar
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Good grief, if we helped and saved every animal we'd be over-run!!

    Survival of the fittest! Disease and predation and lack of food etc stops populations exploding!

    You can't tell a carnivore to go gently on its food can you either?

    The best thing is to reduce our damage to biodiversity and natural habitats...if it wasn't for that animals would do perfectly fine by themselves.
    "It's not that people suddenly start breeding like rabbits; it's just that people stopped dropping like flies" - population explosion

  7. #7
    rxseeeyse
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    To me, I think the meaning of less suffering applies to what we can do, like factory-farming is a suffer caused by human therefore we can work towards lessening that suffering. But I really don't see how wild animals suffering are caused by humans (except we could reserve more forests and clean water for them). Like the article said, most animals suffering are caused by nature...
    I can understand it would be nice for all suffering to stop, but I think it is wrong to interfere even more into nature and wild animals lives. I suppose to make predation stop we would have to use future technologies to change ex. lion's genes to make them eat grass....And also change all animals fertility rates so they don't over populate...

  8. #8
    Rocket Queen
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    I won't say I don't think nature is cruel, it is in that a lot of animals suffer. Nature is cruel as life is and I don't like to think about a lot of the stuff that happens naturally in the world. I don't think about it because I am vegan by nature and it upsets me.

    However, I don't get angry if animals suffer, unless they suffer due to human actions. If we started interfering with nature on a large scale in order to 'help' animals (we never will in my opinion, no one gives a toss about the animals that do need their care enough, to care for wild ones!) we would cause a humongous problem.

    I want nature to win.
    Human beings make animals suffer due to the 'nurture' of society, that it is ok to do that. I am vegan because I want that attitude to end.
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  9. #9
    LiveVegan
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    I hate to see when carnivores kill other animals. It especially is hard to see when they kill babies or the mother of babies. It really is difficult to watch and honestly I turn it off. I like the "Living with lions" shows as much as the next person, but I don't watch the killing parts because it disturbs me. Now that I've said all that...

    Nature is what it is. Its an apathetic survival of the fittest. Period. There's no room to be slow or not be at peek performance. That includes carnivores who often are killed and eaten too. I hate this part about the world but it can't be changed.

    The difference here between veganism and living in the wilds is that animals don't have a choice. He either takes a life and eats or he/she dies. Humans have the luxury to eat a multitude of foods and the decision is ultimately theirs if they eat with compassion or eat with viciousness. Something an animal has no control over. I'm not going to hate an aligator for dragging a wilderbeast into the water and killing him or her no matter how cruel the death seemed to be to me. (I do find that hard to watch).

    Because we are vegans we have allowed ourselves to see through the confinements that most of society veils. It makes us want to abolish all the pain and suffering of the world but its not possible. Working to change human's wanton cruelty and destruction is something we should be focusing on instead. There's nothing we can do to stop nature from being nature besides destroy it ourselves. By changing ecosystems and altering nature we WILL be killing many more animals then carnivores would ever be able to kill.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Animals in nature are doing just fine. They are meant to live in the wild. Besides, us humans face danger everyday too. We get diseases, die in car crashes and airplane crashes, get killed by people with guns or knives, get mugged, fall and brake our bones, die in wars, etc.

    Animals in the wild face danger, but they also have plenty of time to enjoy life. Some live longer lives than others, but the same goes for us humans.
    All about the animals, Lucia

  11. #11
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Quote jeff View Post
    Helping farm animals is relatively easy, go vegan and convince others of doing the same.
    I think it's the word "relatively" that's the significant one here...

    lv

  12. #12

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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    To Live Vegan:

    I also hate to see the animals in the wild get killed by carnivores. I stopped watching nature shows because of it, however, I rather see how the animals live and die in the wild rather than seeing them caged up in zoos. I bet all the tigers and lions in all the zoos all over the world would give their "left paw" for just one week of freedom. I also keep telling myself that the animals in the wild that kill other animals are quite good at it and the poor animal is dead in a matter of minutes, hopefully even sooner than that. And yes, Live Vegan, we have a choice, and our choice is just plain common sense.
    All about the animals, Lucia

  13. #13

    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Nature isn't cruel, it's nature, it has no concept of cruel. Cruelty is a man-made concept. Nature is life, and that's just how life is. What do you propose we do?

  14. #14
    LiveVegan
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Mollfie, I love your avatar.

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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    -
    Last edited by MCMLXXXVI; Jul 18th, 2013 at 04:17 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    What I care about isn't just plain suffering, but rather suffering which I as a human participate in.

    Just as with Human Rights, I do not concern myself with situations in which people suffer because they choose crappy situations; I care about when crappy situations are imposed on others. I guess my real concern is freedom, not just happiness.

    Same with animals. Animals in the wild are wild. My concern is not to project what I feel they would like (freedom from predation, access to sex, etc.) but rather that animals are free from HUMAN exploitation. My concern isn't that all animals get warm beds, but rather that animals aren't HUMAN property.

    I care not for guilded prisons whether they be for humans of animals. My concern is freedom first.

    The concerns about wild animals are rather unfounded to me. I read the OP post as misguided anthropomorphizing of wild animals that borders on the same concerns for wild free undomesticated humans by humans living in society. IMHO, freedom is often much more worthwhile than the material safety of consumer society.

    I fight animals to be free, not for all animals to have a golden cage where they don't worry about predators and have all the sex they want. Wildness is a virtue.
    context is everything

  17. #17
    patientia
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Humans should just leave other animals alone. Just that.

  18. #18
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Quote patientia View Post
    Humans should just leave other animals alone. Just that.


    lv

  19. #19

    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Quote LiveVegan View Post
    Mollfie, I love your avatar.
    Thank you <3

    Quote patientia
    Humans should just leave other animals alone. Just that.
    Very true.

  20. #20
    jeff
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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    Quote harpy View Post
    (a) There is a danger that people will say, "Oh, there's more suffering that's not caused by humans than arises from farming etc, so there's no point in being vegan," whereas as we know being vegan is well worthwhile
    Yes. It is probably too early to promote the topic among typical omnivores.

    An important exception are biologists and some other scientists. It could be very promising to promote the knowledge that wild animal suffering also matters among them. A good example are Professor Yew-Kwang Ng and his 'Welfare Biology' http://www.springerlink.com/content/uj81758r187l7777/

    And I think it is very important to spread the topic among vegans and animal rights advocates.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: suffering in the wild

    What? There are more animals in the wild that are suffering than there is at the hands of human beings? Bullshit. All the many of millions of food animals in factory farms, plus all the millions of animals used for leather, wool, entertainment and experimentation has got to out number the animals in the wild and their suffering. Also, humans are moving into the backyards of many wild animals which also lowers the numbers of animals suffering in the wild. Also, most animals in the wild do not suffer for as long as animals that are exploited and eaten by humans. And animals in the wild have many times when they are happy and relaxed. Just look at the wild animals shown on TV. A lot of animals in the wild keep the same mate for life. A lot of animals in the wild go out of their way to protect not only their babies, but others of their species. So come on. Whoever wrote that "more animals suffer in the wild than the cows", how about all of the animals that are living free in comparison to all of the food animals that live in factory farms and never see the light of day. If I was an animal, I would chose to live in the wild than spend my entire life indoors and suffering everyday.

    Even if the animals in the wild suffer, not all of the animals suffer in the wild. Whoever wrote that article should do their homework. It is survival of the fittest in the wild. About human animals saying that the "Animals in the wild suffer, so why be vegan?" I could just scream at that question. How about "Oh, animals in the wild eat other animals" so why should humans not eat meat?" What about all the human animals suffering from cancer and other horrible diseases? Humans also get killed in car crashes. Humans also suffer from terrorist attacks. Humans go to war and many of them die. (Why does war still exist after all these years.) Humans murder other humors. Everyday, humans could die. We do not know what waits around the corner for us humans each day we are alive. The same goes for animals in the wild. Animals in the wild should stay there and us humans should leave them alone.
    All about the animals, Lucia

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