All of aRound's Comments + Replies

Visualising animal agriculture

For another anecdotal data point - I found that both the contrast between where money is spent and where the suffering happens, and the cumulative death count were highly effective emotionally (the dots animation less so).

However, for me personally, I'm not sure 'number of killed animals' is the best measurement for negative impact. I could imagine viewing an animal farming industry where the animals got to live free and happy lives until their sudden painless deaths as a pretty positive thing - animals in the wild generally live in far worse conditions and it seems unrealistic to expect humans to keep animals in a happy environment if there was no gain from it whatsoever.

Visualising animal agriculture

This isn't something I'd thought about at all - I guess wild animal suffering is one of those things you just accept as unfortunate but inevitable.

Still I wouldn't say the absolute scale (# of suffering farm animals vs. # of suffering wild animals) makes much of a difference, rather the scale of what can be accomplished with a given resource investment. Suffering in factories seems like a much easier problem to solve, and I'd expect the amount of suffering reduced per dollar invested to be far higher.

Also, I would feel a lot more hesitant about large-sca... (read more)

0markus_over3yI think that's pretty much it. Right now, there aren't many known concrete promising interventions to my knowledge, but the value of information in this area seems extremely high. Using the standard method of rating cause areas by scale, neglectedness and tractability, it seems wild animal suffering scores a lot higher on scale, much higher on neglectedness (although farm animals are already pretty neglected), and seemingly much lower on tractability. There's quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the scale, but still it seems very clear it's orders of magnitude beyond farm animals. Neglectedness is apparent and not uncertain at all. The one point that would count against investing in wild animal suffering, tractability, on the other hand is highly uncertain (i.e. has "low resilience", see https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/the-moral-value-of-information-amanda-askell/ [https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/the-moral-value-of-information-amanda-askell/] ), so there's a chance that even little research could yield highly effective interventions, making it a highly promising cause area in that regard. You're right about this one, and we probably all agree on things being a bit tricky. So either research on our long term impact on ecosystems could be very helpful, or we could try focusing on interventions that have a very high likelihood of having predictable consequences. (That all being said, there may be many reasons to still put a lot of our attention on farm animal suffering; e.g. going too public with the whole wild animal suffering topic before there's a more solid fundamental understanding of what the situation is and what, in principle, we could do to solve it while avoiding unforeseen negative effects, seems like a bad idea. Also finding ways to stop factory farming might be necessary for humanity's "moral circle" to expand far enough to even consider wild animals in the first place, thus making a solution to factory farming a precondition to