Professor Singer's book also left me with a feeling of hope for the future. He writes, "... when I speak about effective altruism I am often asked how I can remain optimistic about human nature and its potential for altruism" (page 179). After all, there are wars all over the place and it seems as if everyone is a thief or a violent predator. However, based on available data, both he and I agree that the vast majority of people are kind and decent, and that "If the world seems to be a more violent and dangerous place than ever before, however, this impression is an artifact of the media. There are plenty of violent people, but for any randomly selected person today the chances of meeting violent death at the hands of his or her fellow humans is lower now than it has even been in human history" (pages 180 to 181).
Similarly, in an essay I wrote titled "Humanlike Violence Is Not Seen In Other Animals," I noted in an interview with the Huffington Post called "Animal Morality Research Suggests We All Have Complex Emotions" that there's much new solid research showing that across cultures humans are really much nicer than we ever give them credit for and it's relatively few people who actually wage wars, kill people, and harm children, but they get in the news. However, probably more than 99 percent of the people in the world are nice, kind, generous, and beneficent people, and that's what we're discovering in nonhuman animals (please see the above essay for available data supporting this claim).