How Many Non-human Animals Should there Be?

Speaker: Simon Knutsson, Researcher Foundational Research Institute
Time: Sunday, 01:30 PM – 02:00 PM
Room: H3010

What is a desirable non-human animal population size? When we affect animals, both in the animal industry or in the wild so that there are fewer or more of them, does that result in a better or worse outcome? Insofar as the answer depends on whether their lives are worth living, how does one determine whether a life is worth living or if it would have been better if the individual had never existed? Relatedly, how can one quantify amounts and balances of happiness versus suffering in a life and in a population? In addition, since populations contain at least some individuals whose lives are clearly miserable, there is also a question of whether the existence of other individuals with better lives can counterbalance that misery and make the state of the population good on the whole.