Are poultry birds really important? Yes...

post by Vasco Grilo (vascoamaralgrilo) · 2022-06-19T18:24:14.436Z · EA · GW · 2 comments

The negative utility of poultry lives seems to exceed the utility of human lives for the mean country.


Negative utility of poultry lives as a fraction of the utility of human lives for the mean country: R = RN*RU = 2.79[1] (> 1).

  1. ^

    I believe this is an underestimate, as the mean value I estimated here [EA · GW] is 300 (= 768/2.79) times as high. The difference is discussed here [EA · GW].

  2. ^

    Ratio between the utility of human life between 2025 and 2100 estimated here [EA · GW] for the 95th percentile and mean countries (see tab "Future utility of human life"; the method is explained here [EA · GW]).


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Question Mark · 2022-06-21T05:03:36.841Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Here's a chart of the amount of suffering caused by different animal foods that Brian Tomasik created. Farmed fish may have even more negative utility than chicken, since they are small and therefore require more animals per unit of meat. The chart is based on suffering per unit of edible food produced rather than suffering throughout the total population, and I'm not sure what the population of farmed fish is relative to the population of chickens. Chicken probably has more negative utility than fish if the chicken population is substantially higher than the farmed fish population. Beef is probably the meat with the lest negative utility.

Replies from: vascoamaralgrilo
comment by Vasco Grilo (vascoamaralgrilo) · 2022-06-21T11:37:38.957Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for commenting! I am aware of that article, but you have just nudged me to make the calculation. Based on the Weighted Animal Welfare Index of Charity Entrepeneurship:

  • The "total welfare score" (WS) is:
    • Lower than 100 for humans (as that is the defined maximum).
    • -44 for "FF fish – traditional aquaculture".
    • -56 for "FF broiler chicken".
  • The "estimated population size" (P) is:
    • 1 T for "FF fish – traditional aquaculture".
    • 22 G for "FF broiler chicken".
  • Consequently, the total welfare (= WS*P) is:
    • 44 T for "FF fish – traditional aquaculture".
    • 1.2 T for "FF broiler chicken".
    • Lower than 0.80 T (= 100 * 8.0 G) for humans.

This suggests the negative utility of FF fish is:

  • 40 times (= 44/1.232) as large as that of FF chickens.
  • More than 60 times (= 44/0.80) as large as that of humans.