Why SeaWorld Can’t Float: Censorship and Business Ethics

SeaWorld attempted to censor talks at the 14th International Conference of the American Cetacean Society (ACS) last November that criticized them in the areas of the ethics of captivity and their business practices. Dr. Thomas White, who was one of the presenters being closeted, has now posted his presentation for all to see. It's well worth the time to view and share it.

Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships

A new book by philosopher Lori Gruen called "Entangled Empathy" sets out a new ethic for our interactions with other animals, including humans, that involves blending our feelings and our knowledge of the others with whom we are in relationship and focusing on their situations by attending to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and sensitivities.

Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Animal Abuse and Poor Conservation

The "Wicked Tuna" series sponsored by the National Geographic Society (NGS) continues on showing incredible torment and torture of these sentient beings. The NGS also is fully aware that "overfishing throughout their range has driven their numbers to critically low levels." It's astounding that the NGS, given their commitment to conservation, would air such a program.

New Conservation Science is Misguided and Too Much About Us

New Conservation Science argues conservation should focus on human self-interests. It is wrong-minded and ignores the magnificence of nature including the fact that other animals and diverse ecosystems have intrinsic value and should be valued for whom and what they are, not for what they can do for us. There are far too many of us and it shouldn't be all about us.

Animals in Emergencies: Lessons from the Christchurch Quakes

"Animals in Emergencies" is a must read, not only for those who are trained to rescue animals in disasters, but also for general readers, because one never knows when she or he will be called on to help an animal in need, not only in disasters that have wide ranging effects but also when an animal is hit by a car or simply lost and in physical and emotional pain.

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

A team of scientists has published an essay, just released today, that clearly shows that the killing spree by the Canadian government that resulted in the slaughter of 890 wolves should never have been conducted or published because it violated clearly stated welfare guidelines. This new essay is a much-needed response to the horrific slaughter of the wolves.

Polar Bears, Pollutants, and Erectile Dysfunction

High levels of PCBs reduce the density of bears' penis bone making for hard and unhard times. Polar bears and many other species are getting screwed, or not, and what's even more egregious is that PCBs are very slow to break down, they disperse and accumulate over time. Their presence threatens the survival of this magnificent species and many others.

Dogs on the Inside: Must See Documentary on Dogs and Inmates

A new documentary, called "Dogs on the Inside," shows how dogs can be catalysts for trust, rehabilitation, and love behind bars. Clearly, it's a win-win situation for the dogs and the inmates. This film reflects my own experiences of teaching inmates about animal behavior as part of Jane Goodall's global Roots & Shoots program. It is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Bipartisan Support to Protect "Food Animals" from Torture

"Food animals" at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center need all help possible, and now there is bipartisan support brewing in the U. S. Congress to protect them against the heinous treatment to which meat researchers subject them in their reprehensible quest for profit. An essay in the New York Times brought to light the unimaginable ways these animals are brutalized.

Compassionate Conservation: More than "Welfarism Gone Wild"

A forthcoming essay lays out the agenda for compassion as a practical ethic for conservation. The guiding principle for the rapidly growing field called "compassionate conservation" is "first do no harm" and stresses the importance of individual animals. For those who want to learn more about compassionate conservation, there will be a meeting in July 2015 in Vancouver.

Rare Warty Pig at Bristol Zoo Eats Family and Other Losses

There are major problems at this zoo including losses of a rare monkey and birds who escape. Although the Bristol Zoo is considered to be a "good zoo," clearly it is not good enough to avoid these tragic events and more needs to be done to make sure they don't happen again. Zoos change their residents' behavior and there never can be too much surveillance of the animals.

Animals in France: What Really Happened about Sentience?

Animals in France have new but very limited status, "living beings gifted sentience," but it's extremely limited in scope. They're still property, farm animals are not covered, and this change "only applies to pets or wild animals tamed or held in captivity. The sentience of wild animals, meanwhile, is not recognized." It's better than nothing but still lots to do.

Lonely Ants Die Young: They Don't Know What to Do When Alone

Socially isolated lose ants lose digestive functions and suffer due to this loss. They die at around six days of age, whereas group-living ants die at around 66 days of age. This study on ants shows that social isolation and health are closely related and much more research is needed in this area. It's notable that "even ants" show a negative reaction to loneliness.

Invasive "Rat Research" Should be Abolished Once and for All

Despite the fact that the federal Animal Welfare Act in the U. S. does not consider rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, to be animals -- no kidding -- they surely are, and they should be protected from harm and suffering incurred in invasive and abusive research. In fact, to get this most-needed discussion going, I and others call for abolishing their use.

Killing Tigers For Money and Protecting the Wild

Two new books are essential reads for anyone who's interested in how we are negatively affecting other animals and their homes. The first, called "Blood of the Tiger," exposes the conspiracy and greed that continues to impede saving these magnificent animals, and the second, called "Protecting the Wild," implores us to rewild and to enlarge and connect protected areas.

Doing the Right Thing: An Interview with Stevan Harnad

Readers will find here a wide-ranging interview/dialogue with Dr. Stevan Harnad, the founder and former editor-in-chief of the highly influential journal called Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS). Dr. Harnad is a broad, eclectic, and thoughtful man and this discussion covers many topics including research methodologies, computers, and animal ethics.

Wolf Murder Canadian Style Continues as if It's Conservation

The Canadian government plans to kill wolves once again to save caribou. An earlier murder escapade in Alberta didn't work and there's no reason to assume this one will. They even use collared "Judas" wolves to lead shooters to more wolves. The real problem is loss of habitat due to oil and gas development and logging. Some people just like to kill other animals for fun.

Cooperative Feather Play Between an Orca and a Dolphin

Read about a playful interaction between Skana, who inspired Greenpeace, and her dolphin friend.

Odd Couples Redux: Animals Make Friends with Other Species

An essay in the New York Times by Erica Goode offers a nice review of unlikely friendships that form between members of different species. While there is a lot to learn, one thing is for sure, we no longer have to put the word friends in quotes because we're not sure if nonhumans form meaningful and enduring friendships. Indeed, this never should have been the case.

"Food Animals" Brutalized at Federally Funded "Meat Lab"

An essay in the New York Times by Michael Moss shows that animals at Nebraska's U.S. Meat Animal Research Center are engineered, harmed, and killed -- some left to die on their own -- in their reprehensible quest for profit. If you're a doubter and think this is some "radical hype" this essay will show you just how brutal "food animals" are treated in the name of science.

A Matter of Breeding: How We've Greatly Harmed BFF Dogs

A new book by Michael Brandow called "A Matter of Breeding" provides a "biting history of pedigree dogs" due to the quest for status by humans. It's surely going to rub people in many different ways, ranging from acceptance to anger, but it's an essential read for those who want to know more about how we have strongly affected the awesome beings whom many call their BFF.

Foie Gras Is Not a Non-issue: Ducks and Geese Matter

In a recent essay in the New York Times called "Let Them Eat Foie Gras," essayist Mark Bittman writes, "The lifting of the California ban against selling foie gras (the hyperfattened liver of geese or ducks, brought about by overfeeding the live animals) is pretty much a nonissue." Tell that to the ducks and geese who have food shoved down their throat to fatten them up.

Rats Like Tickling: Why Is the Animal Welfare Act So Lame?

New research shows the benefits of tickling rats before rather than after they are subjected to pain, that pigs display empathy, and much more. We've known that rats, mice, and many other animals display empathy and are highly emotional and sentient beings, so why does invasive research continue and why does the federal Animal Welfare Act ignore research on these animals?

Is Sandra Orangutan a Person and More Free? No, She Is Not.

The personhood case of Sandra Orangutan, who still languishes in the Buenos Aires Zoo, remains a mystery. She is still in the zoo, no one seems to know if and when she will go to a sanctuary, the action taken on her behalf doesn't mean that the zoo has to release her to a sanctuary, and her status under Argentine law really hasn't changed. Good luck and many blessings.

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun: Birds, Fish, and Reptiles Too

A recent issue of Current Biology is devoted to the biology of fun and covers animals including dogs and other mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and invertebrates. The online essays are free, and I highly recommend reading them to learn what we know about the emotional lives of animals and why having fun has evolved. It's a no-brainer, many animals simply love to have fun.

The Cow's Nose Shows How They're Feeling About Life

New research shows that nasal temperature in dairy cows is affected by positive emotional states. Specifically, researchers have discovered that a drop in nasal temperature is associated with a more positive emotional state induced by stroking the cows. We owe it to cows and others to give them the very best lives we can and it's easy to assess what they're feeling.

I'm Glad I'm Not Sarah Palin's Dog: Dogs Aren't Stools

Sarah Palin: "Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog." Rather than making heartless comments about her son, Trig, using their family dog, Jill, as a stepping stool, Ms. Palin could have provided valuable lessons in humane education concerning the importance of respect for other animals.

The Jane Effect: A New Book Celebrating Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall has had a significant impact on the lives of innumerable people and other animals. This new book contains essays about Dr. Goodall as friend, colleague, partner, professor, naturalist, exemplar, visionary, and inspiration, written by researchers and many others whose lives she has touched. It was conceived as a gift to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Let's Make Compassion and Rewilding All the Rage in 2015

An "old" book, two new books, and a growing international movement all call for compassion and rewilding revolutions. It's about time to make compassion rock, as a young student once told me, so let's all do something as a unified community to foster global compassion for all animals, human and nonhuman, and their homes. And, then, let's be creative and do even more.

Sandra Orangutan and Personhood: An Essential Clarification

Worldwide media about granting personhood and rights to Sandra Orangutan needs closer scrutiny. Here, attorney Steven Wise, who heads the Nonhuman Rights Project, provides an essential clarification.

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