Timeline of the wild-animal suffering movement

by Louis_Francini1 min read16th Jun 20209 comments


History of EAWild Animal Welfare

Here is a timeline of the wild-animal suffering (WAS) movement which I originally wrote in 2018. I recently updated the timeline with some more recent events. The timeline has major contributions from Mati Roy and Blue and some minor contributions from Vipul Naik and Issa Rice. Here are some of the major developments in the history of the movement, quoted from the article:

Big picture
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated!