The Effect Of Global Poverty Reduction On Wild Animal Welfare

Tomáš Petr

Tomáš studied bachelors in sociology at the Charles University in Prague and now switched to studying masters in zoology at the same university.

Author’s Note

The aim of this thesis is to interface two concepts: wild animal welfare and human poverty. The primary objective of the thesis was to find an economic model that would explain a correlation between these two parameters. Such a model doesn’t seem to exist in the current literature. I found only the GDP per capita-based environmental Kuznets Curve, which, however, in many studies did not bring stable results, and its derivative Animal Welfare Kuznets Curve. This type of Curve tries to explain the relationship between the welfare of domestical animals and the development of the country economy. No Kuznets Curve in conjunction with wild animals was established yet. Thus, the benefit of this thesis might rest in revealing the requisite for future efforts to explore and implement the Wild Animal Welfare Kuznets Curve, which would distinctly explain the relationship between the welfare of wild animals with GDP per capita increase.

The second, qualitative, approach used in this thesis is based on a case study which, however, due to the character of the bachelor thesis, was modest in scope. In this section of the thesis, I did an analysis of the legislation of four states based on their economic development. Future and more rigorous research in this direction (ie. involving more countries) might provide stronger conclusions.

In the theoretical part of my thesis, I have relied on the assumption that the lives of wild animals are always positive and therefore habitat destruction and decreasing wild animal populations are negative. However, on reflection, this is still an open question to debate and although recent research suggests that the lives of animals in the wild might be net positive, other authors have suggested the opposite. I specify this epistemological problem in my thesis on p. 14 (the last paragraph): “Phenomena reducing animal welfare considered to be a “naturally” bound to ecosystems such as predation, starvation, diseases, excessive cold or heat, or natural disasters are not considered in this thesis, as these are not directly caused by human activities or lack predictability. For animal suffering concerning causes not rooted in human activities, we could refer to Delon & Purves (2018); Sözmen (2013) or Tomasik (2017).”

You can find the original thesis, review by the thesis supervisor and opponent and the final grade at