Bitesize ethics: Animal Ethics
This mini-series provides a short introduction to practical ethics, looking at some of the issues that concern philosophers and the public alike today.
Questions about our responsibilities toward, and our treatment of, non-human animals have garnered significant attention over the last four decades. The focus, however, has almost exclusively been on our responsibilities toward captive or domesticated
animals. In this talk, we will adopt a different focus, one that has taken on a new relevance in animal ethics circles more recently – the problem of wild animal suffering in nature, and whether and to what extent, we have a duty to help mitigate
such suffering. Many people think we should refrain from intervening in nature as much as possible. But given the sheer enormity of the suffering, pain and distress experienced by wild animals (and given that some of the suffering experienced has
arisen from human activities), we need to consider whether we have duties of assistance towards animals suffering in the wild? And if we do, how extensive should this duty be?