(Video) Reporter: It's a story that's deeply unsettled millions in China: footage of a two-year-old girl hit by a van and left bleeding in the street by passersby, footage too graphic to be shown. The entire accident is caught on camera. The driver pauses after hitting the child, his back wheels seen resting on her for over a second. Within two minutes, three people pass two-year-old Wang Yue by. The first walks around the badly injured toddler completely. Others look at her before moving off.
Peter Singer: There were other people who walked past Wang Yue, and a second van ran over her legs before a street cleaner raised the alarm. She was rushed to hospital, but it was too late. She died.
I wonder how many of you, looking at that, said to yourselves just now, "I would not have done that. I would have stopped to help." Raise your hands if that thought occurred to you.
As I thought, that's most of you. And I believe you. I'm sure you're right. But before you give yourself too much credit, look at this. UNICEF reports that in 2011, 6.9 million children under five died from preventable, poverty-related diseases. UNICEF thinks that that's good news because the figure has been steadily coming down from 12 million in 1990. That is good. But still, 6.9 million is 19,000 children dying every day. Does it really matter that we're not walking past them in the street? Does it really matter that they're far away? I don't think it does make a morally relevant difference. The fact that they're not right in front of us, the fact, of course, that they're of a different nationality or race, none of that seems morally relevant to me. What is really important is, can we reduce that death toll? Can we save some of those 19,000 children dying every day?
And the answer is, yes we can. Each of us spends money on things that we do not really need. You can think what your own habit is, whether it's a new car, a vacation or just