New York University has launched a new interdisciplinary program to support, coordinate, and disseminate research about the well-being of wild animals.Co-directed by Becca Franks (environmental studies) and Jeff Sebo (environmental studies, philosophy, bioethics, law), the Wild Animal Welfare Program “aims to advance understanding about what wild animals are like, how humans and wild animals interact, and how humans can improve our interactions with wild animals at scale.” Of particular interest are questions such as “How much positive welfare (pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, and other such states) do wild animals experience, and how much negative welfare (pain, suffering, frustration, and other such states) do they experience? To what extent is humanity helping and harming wild animals at present? To what extent, if any, can humanity help wild animals more or harm them less in the future?”
The program will “pursue this goal through foundational research in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as through outreach to academics, advocates, policymakers, and the general public.”
Its first event, “How Can Humans Improve Our Interactions with Wild Animals at Scale?” takes place later this month.
You can learn more about the program here.