Soper, C. A. and Shackelford, Todd K. (2018) If nonhuman animals can suicide, why don’t they?. Animal Sentience 20(14)
David M. Peña-Guzmán, Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?
An evolutionary analysis suggests that selection is unlikely to have tolerated the capacity for intentional self-killing in nonhuman animals. The potential to escape pain by suicide would have presented a recurrent and severe adaptive problem for an animal with a reproductive future to protect. If the potential for suicide arose in the evolutionary past, anti-suicide mechanisms may have co-evolved, as we believe they have in adult humans. Peña-Guzmán’s (2017) argument that some nonhuman animals can suicide is incomplete without an account of the defences that result in the vast majority opting not to.