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A Welfare State for Elephants? A Case Study of Compassionate Stewardship

David Pearce

Abstract


Technological advances over the next few decades will mean that every cubic meter of the planet will be computationally accessible to surveillance, micromanagement and control. Such unprecedented power places an immense burden of responsibility on the planet’s cognitively dominant species – Homo sapiens. Status quo bias equates the natural with the morally good; yet the immense burden of suffering in Nature calls this intuition into question. Human and non-human animals typically flourish best when free-living rather than incarcerated or wild. This paper presents a costed case study of compassionate stewardship of an entire species of free-living non-human animals. The successful construction of an elephant welfare state would be a key historical milestone on the road to a compassionately run global ecosystem.


Keywords


elephants; natural harms; compassionate stewardship; intervention in nature; neonatal care; healthcare; nutritional support; speciesism; suffering; wild animals

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2015-002-pear




Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196


Executive Editor: Matteo Andreozzi
Managing Editor:
Adele Tiengo
Associate Editors:
Rod Bennison - Alma Massaro - Kim Stallwood - Jessica Ulrich
Consulting Editor: Leonardo Caffo
Review Editors:
Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Matthew R. Calarco - Gabriele Cambiotti - Piergiorgio Donatelli - Arianna Ferrari - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Piergiacomo Pagano - Paola Sobbrio - Sabrina Tonutti