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Animals, like humans, suffer and die from natural causes. This is particularly true of animals living in the wild, given their high exposure to, and low capacity to cope with, harmful natural processes. Most wild animals likely have short lives, full of suffering, usually ending in terrible deaths. This book argues that on the assumption that we have reasons to assist others in need, we should intervene in nature to prevent or reduce the harms wild animals suffer, provided that it is feasible and that the expected result is positive overall. It is of the utmost importance that academics from different disciplines as well as animal advocates begin to confront this issue. The more people are concerned with wild animal suffering, the more probable it is that safe and effective solutions to the plight of wild animals will be implemented in the future.


‘Animal Ethics in the Wild makes a powerful case for helping wild animals. It also provides the most comprehensive treatment to date of the incredibly important, and yet incredibly neglected, problem of wild animal suffering. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in combating speciesism.'

Kyle Johannsen - Trent University

‘Catia Faria has for some years been a pioneer in the effort to make both moral philosophers and members of the wider public think seriously about the appalling suffering that many billions of animals endure in the wild every day. In this book, she states the case for beneficent human intervention and then meticulously analyses and rebuts a large variety of objections that have been or might be made to her proposal. This book is thus a carefully argued and timely discussion of a highly serious moral problem that remains tragically underappreciated.’

Jeff McMahan - Sekyra and White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

‘Catia Faria does several important things in Animal Ethics in the Wild. First, she provides a detailed yet accessible account of commonly deployed moral arguments for protecting animals from harm, and then shows why those arguments also apply to free-living or wild animals. Further, Faria encourages people - like me - to think more carefully about who our ethical values applies to, and then to rethink what our ethical commitment to wild animals requires of us. This book has the power to change readers’ behaviour as its implications are at once radical and simultaneously self-evidently logical.’

Siobhan O’Sullivan - UNSW Sydney

‘Catia Faria’s book develops a powerful, thought-provoking and comprehensive defence of the controversial argument that there’s an obligation to help suffering wild animals, whatever the cause of their suffering. Faria makes an important intervention into current ethical debates about animals, and her book is strongly recommended for scholars of animal and environmental ethics.’

Clare Palmer - Texas A&M University

‘This book is devoted to an ethical issue that has the particularity of being largely neglected by moral philosophers, even though it concerns those individuals who are the most numerous and who suffer the most. Its author succeeds in completely reversing the usual burden of proof: those who, after reading the book, wish to continue denying our moral duty to reduce the suffering of animals living in the wild will have to find a mistake in Catia Faria's simple, effective, and rigorous demonstration to the contrary. No doubt a little shaken by this read, the rest of us will most likely see these ideas settle in slowly. As our immediate reaction wears off, our perplexity will likely give way to acquiescing to the author's very ambitious yet seemingly inescapable conclusions.’

Valéry Giroux - Associate director of the Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRE), University of Montreal

‘Brilliant and eloquent. Animal Ethics in the Wild is a strong and firmly grounded call to us all to consider the need for helping animals in nature. Catia Faria makes an extremely compelling case for the reasons we have to intervene in nature to reduce animal suffering, while she thoroughly dismantles the major anti-interventionists arguments. A definitive work. A major contribution to animal defence from a superbly lucid thinker.’

Núria Almiron - Co-director of the UPF-Centre for Animal Ethics

‘Impeccably analytical and elegantly structured around Albert Hirschman’s distinction between appeals to futility, jeopardy, and perversity, I know of no more thorough defense of intervening in nature to reduce animal suffering than Catia Faria’s lucid book.’

Paula Casal - ICREA Research Professor, Pompeu Fabra University

‘Faria has written a wonderfully clear, rigorous and compelling book in defence of intervening to alleviate wild animal suffering. This is the book that everyone interested in wild animal ethics must read. And it is also the book with which those seeking to defend the widespread intuition to 'leave nature alone' must grapple.’

Alasdair Cochrane - University of Sheffield

‘From now on, the starting point of discussions of the suffering of wild animals, and of what we should do about that suffering, will be Catia Faria's superb account of these issues in Animal Ethics in the Wild.’

Peter Singer - author of Animal Liberation and Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

‘In recent years, interest in wild animal suffering has increased significantly, but long before that Catia Faria was already a pioneer on this topic. Her long-awaited book, Animal Ethics in the Wild, is a groundbreaking contribution that makes a compelling case for why this is a very important, yet often overlooked, problem. The book explores in careful detail the normative underpinnings of our reasons for helping wild animals to prevent the natural harms they suffer. I hope this book will be widely read, as anyone interested in what we owe animals would benefit greatly from it.’

Oscar Horta - Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Santiago de Compostela

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