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The number of wild animals vastly exceeds that of animals on factory farms, in laboratories, or kept as pets. Therefore, animal advocates should consider focusing their efforts to raise concern about the suffering that occurs in the natural environment. While in theory this could involve trying directly to engineer more humane ecological systems, in practice I think activists should concentrate on promoting the meme of caring about wild animals to other activists, academics, and other sympathetic groups. The massive amount of suffering occurring now in nature is indeed tragic, but it pales by comparison to the scale of good or harm that our descendants -- with advanced technological capability -- might effect. I fear, for instance, that future humans may undertake terraforming, directed panspermia, or sentient simulations without giving much thought to the consequences for wild animals. Our #1 priority should be to ensure that future human intelligence is used to prevent wild-animal suffering, rather than to multiply it.




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