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Author: Bob Fischer


When COVID-19 struck, tourists stopped visiting sites where they formally fed animals. As a result, the animals went hungry, with some starving to death. I argue, however, that this doesn’t show that it’s wrong to create such dependency: had we been willing to intervene on behalf of wild animals, there wouldn’t have been any moral issue. Moreover, I argue that we can identify the individuals who most plausibly have some responsibilities to help animals in crisis situations – namely, those who are bound up in caring relationships with those animals. At the same time, though, I don’t think it’s obvious how they should help, and I think there is a serious case to be made for not distinguishing between wild and domestic animals in this context. Given that, euthanization becomes an option that needs to be taken seriously.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research