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Animal Liberationist Responses to Non-Anthropogenic Animal Suffering

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Animal liberationists generally pay little attention to the suffering of animals in the wild, and it is arguable that this is a significant proportion of the total amount of animal suffering. We examine a range of different responses of animal liberationists to the issue of non-anthropogenic suffering, but find none of them entirely satisfactory. Responses that lead logically to the conclusion that anthropogenic suffering should be eliminated can apply equally logically to the suffering of animals in the wild. On the other hand, the solution of micro-managing habitats to prevent suffering is counter-intuitive, and on closer examination eliminates the intrinsic value of animals' lives. On balance, the approach that we favour is acceptance of the intrinsic value of individual animal lives, extending this from either individual human lives (as accepted predominantly by theists), or from biodiversity, species and ecosystems (as currently accepted by ecocentric philosophies). We also suggest that the combination of animal liberation and environmentalism only really makes sense in the context of a belief in the redeemable qualities of nature, as expressed in quasi-Hindu terms or in terms of some Biblical animal liberationist worldviews.


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