Will wild-animal suffering be a mainstream moral issue by the beginning of 2100?

One of the questions from https://jacyanthis.com/big-questions.

Resolves according to my judgement of whether the criteria have been met, taking into account clarifications from @JacyAnthis, who made those predictions. (The goal is that they'd feel comfortable betting to their credance in this market, so I want the resolution criteria to match their intention.)


Resolves YES if wild animal suffering becomes a mainstream moral issue then stops being one before 2100? (Probably either because people stopped caring or eliminated such suffering entirely.)

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How is this not true already ? Veganism is pretty mainstream and is in large part about reducing animal cruelty

predicts YES

@Odoacre IME most vegans are not empathetic towards wild animal suffering (only domesticated animals)

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@CarsonGale by your reasoning, vegans would be fine with eating fish, or hunted meat

predicts YES

@Odoacre Yeah that's a good point. I'll rephrase, IME, most vegans are not empathetic towards wild animal suffering that doesn't involve humans.

predicts YES

@CarsonGale I find that really hard to believe. Have you actually asked any ?

Non just vegans, but most humans are empathetic to animals.

I'll just give you some examples of people trying to help animals that were suffering for non human related problems:

  • beached whales, it is common for people to attempt to rescue the whales, sometimes successfully.

  • There are many animal rescue centrers where people can bring injured animals. It does not matter if the animal was injured by a car or if it was mauled by a bear. Assistance is provided regardless.

  • Similarly, many people will rescue wild bird chicks if the parent cannot raise them. Again, there are specialized centers for this as well if you don't know how or are not willing to do it yourself

Now, it's true that most cases of animal suffering that people think of involve humans, This is just becasue it's much more likely for you to be exposed to, or able to do something about, cases where the suffering is caused at least idirectly by humans. I'm talking stuff like pollution control,

To say that becasue the suffering was caused by humans changes something about the animal or the nature of the suffering is just absurd.

predicts YES

@Odoacre oops, ignore the bit about pollution control, it was supposed to be taken out

predicts YES

@Odoacre these are all good points and I think you're right. The weaker point that I'll stand behind is that most vegans seem to want to increase natural environments, rather than decrease them (even when wild animal suffering is explicitly acknowledged). And in those conversations that I've had, people seem highly resistant to the idea that e.g. a large forest can produce enormous amounts of suffering.

predicts NO

@CarsonGale more likely, they simply don't share EA values and don't see suffering not within the human sphere as a problem. I share that view (though I'm not a vegan and am not bothered by factory farming either) and it's one of many areas where I think "normie" moral intuitions are much more correct than EA moral intuitions. Not that that's directly relevant - my point is more that many people I've found have a tendency to deflect rather than address the root disagreement head-on when discussing issues with another person whose base axioms are fundamentally incompatible with their own.

predicts YES

@CarsonGale Thank you for aknowleging, but you keep putting words in vegan's mouths and I can't help but wonder that kind of vegans you have been talking to. Even if vegans were all dumb and actually thought what you seem to think they think, they would be motivated by concern for animal's wellbeing (as in, they believe natural environments increase animal wellbeing especially in opposition to artificial ones), therefore proving my original point.

  • veganism is mainstream (most people know what veganims is, there's plenty of places that cater to vegan customers, it is socially accepted and non controversial

  • vegans care about wild animal wellbeing

  • caring about wild animal wellbeing is mainstream

predicts YES

@Odoacre yeah I agree the delta here is probably just that some vegans I've spoken to either disagree with the extent of wild animal suffering or aren't familiar enough with the concept.

Is this first-world or global?

@MrMayhem I think first world should be sufficient. Third-world countries don't really have the luxury of considering these sorts of moral issues deeply.

@JacyAnthis How should this resolve if wild animal suffering becomes a mainstream moral issue before 2100, then is no longer one by 2100? (Either because people stopped caring or eliminated such suffering.)

@IsaacKing YES because I take "by" to in general include prior events.

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