In this chapter, Matthias Schumann discusses the changing evaluation of social Darwinism in Japan and China in relation to the fields of disaster relief and animal protection since the late nineteenth century. He shows that the perception of social Darwinism in both countries has been intimately connected to contemporary discussions about culture, civilisation and nation-building. Initially, social Darwinism appeared as a key theory for understanding and effecting modernisation and nation-building. From the beginning, however, East Asian theorists of social Darwinism applied the concept of struggle to the state rather than at the individual level. After the turn of the century, and particularly after WWI, a more pronounced critique of social Darwinism gained prominence. Especially in the case of China, social actors in the spheres of disaster relief and animal protection appropriated global concepts and discourses which could be used to critique the logic of social Darwinian struggle.