Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

According to the Nonhuman Rights Project, "For the first time in history a judge has granted an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a nonhuman animal…in a case brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project … Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe issued an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo.

Dogs, Humans, and the Oxytocin-Mediated Strong Social Bond

A new study has shown that mutual gazing by dogs but not wolves increases oxytocin levels in humans. To demonstrate there was a causal relationship, when oxytocin was administered to a new group of dogs before they interacted with their owners, the researchers saw an increase in the extent of mutual gaze between owners and dogs and an increase in oxytocin in the humans.

Why Writing for Psychology Today Is a Good Idea

A recent essay called "Prof, no one is read you" shows why writing for popular audiences is more effective than publishing in professional journals. It turns out that "82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences."

Wildlife Services Slaughtered 2.7 Million Animals in 2014

Wildlife Services, more appropriately called Murder Inc., wages a horrific war on all types of wildlife using inhumane and indiscriminate methods. In 2014 they killed 2,713,570 animals. Wildlife Services kills using taxpayers money and there is enormous collateral damage and what they call "unintentional killing." Fortunately, their killing ways are being scrutinized.

Worms Sniff Out Cancer in Urine Better than Blood Tests

Researchers using what they call a Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT) discovered that its sensitivity was 95.8% and "this is markedly higher than that of other existing tumour markers." Who would have thought a roundworm could be such a reliable cancer detector? I think the discovery of this new test should be made widely known.

The Modern Savage: A New Book Questions Why We Eat Animals

James McWilliams' book "The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals" is a very thoughtful work about our meal plans where he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating other animals and shows that labels such as "cage free," "free range," and "humanely raised" are not necessarily sound and ethical. There's a good life beyond beef and after meat.

The Emotional Lives of Rats: Rats Read Pain in Others' Faces

A new study shows that rats are able to read the pain that other rats are suffering. When are those people who are responsible for writing legislation to protect animals from invasive and abusive research going to use the scientific information that is readily available to protect them from unnecessary harm, pain, and death? The federal Animal Welfare Act is lame.

Do Orcas Go Crazy Because of Petting Pools and False Hopes?

Orcas who lived in petting pools show higher levels of aggression than other killer whales. This essay lays out the details of what is known about aggressive encounters and early experience. It is objectively clear that there is a correlation between “petting pool” history and significant later orca aggression. Now we need to know more about why this is so.

Thousands of Cormorants to be Killed: There Will be Blood

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to perform a heinous experiment that includes killing 11,000 cormorants and destroying 26,000 nests to save salmon despite experts arguing that killing the cormorants is wrong and won't work. Conservation has a bloody history and there simply is no reason to continue these killing ways.

Peter Singer Argues for "Effective Altruism" in His New Book

Renowned philosopher Peter Singer's new book called "The Most Good You Can Do" is a very thoughtful discussion about charitable giving. Whether you agree or disagree with Professor Singer's arguments I guarantee they will make you think deeply about what you do with your money and if your donations really do the most good you can do. This book also left me hopeful.

Beneath the Surface: SeaWorld Insider Goes Beyond Blackfish

Former senior orca trainer John Hargrove's new book called "Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish " will blow your mind—or not. Nearly every page in this book made me stop and think about how we humans have had wide-ranging negative impacts on the lives of numerous individuals who we keep in captivity for our, not their, benefit.

Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse

Caitlin O'Connell's book "Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse" is an outstanding up close and personal work of art about these magnificent beings. In this monumental work you'll meet Greg, the Don, along with Abe, Keith, Mike, Kevin, Torn Trunk, and Willie, and read about the roller coaster of emotions of a pachyderm posse and also those of the author.

Whipping Horses: A Critical Analysis Shows It is Unwarranted

The British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) conclusion that whipping horses is okay, that it is in the best interests of horse safety, is flawed. The BHA "is an organisation that exists to promote, as well as regulate, the racing industry," and the authors of a recent critique note that many of the BHA's conclusions are not supported by available data.

Scalding Live Chickens Is an Accepted Brutal Business Model

Nicholas Kristof's NYTimes essay "To Kill a Chicken" is a must read. It begins: "IF you torture a single chicken and are caught, you’re likely to be arrested. If you scald thousands of chickens alive, you’re an industrialist who will be lauded for your acumen." I leave it to you to decide whether to read it, but be assured that when you eat chicken you're eating pain.

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE)

A new organization called Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE) is dedicated to making the use of animals obsolete. Their website, a wonderful source of information, shows clearly that "It is now possible to conduct a vast array of experiments without using animals and derive results that are faster, cheaper and more relevant to human medicine."

Spiders: Oral Sex During Mating Saves Males' Lives

Male Darwin's bark spiders have evolved a unique strategy for avoiding cannibalism during mating. They perform oral sex that seems to relax older females so that they are less likely to eat the males.

Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: Misinformation & Abuse

According to Dr. Chris Palmer's book called "Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker," the state of wildlife filmmaking worsens every year. He argues it’s time for wildlife filmmaking to move in a more ethical direction. Broadcasters such Animal Planet, Discovery, National Geographic, and the History Channel must do better. And viewers can play a role in making this happen.

Dogs Don't Remember Yesterday, Claims Psychologist

Ample data show dogs and many other animals are not "stuck in an eternal present"—they remember the past and plan for the future. From an evolutionary point of view, it would be somewhat odd and exceptional if other animals didn't "remember yesterday" and plan accordingly.

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.

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