"Dogs ARE Persons!" (The Other Side of the Debate)

"Dogs ARE Persons!" (The Other Side of the Debate)

In a recent post (Are Dogs People? Really?), I criticized the claim that new dog brain studies show that non-human animals are persons. Here three smart protectionists explain why they think I am wrong—and why the courts should grant legal status to non-human species.
Are Dogs People? Really?

Are Dogs People? Really?

Using the latest M.R.I. technology, a group of neuroscientists are exploring what goes on inside the heads of dogs. Their research is exciting, but the fact that a brain structure lights up when our canine friends are happy does not mean that "dogs are people, too."

Animal Cruelty and the Sadism of Everyday Life

Two recent studies help explain why some people find pleasure in torturing animals. The answer lies in sadism and a configuration of traits called The Dark Triad.

Ten Special YouTube Animal Videos

From parrots who love music to oral sex in fruit bats, YouTube videos offer rarely observed but scientifically important examples of animal behaviors.
Why Do Human Friends (But Not Pets) Make People Live Longer?

Why Do Human Friends (But Not Pets) Make People Live Longer?

The keynote address at the recent conference on human-animal relationships spun my head around and has caused me to question whether our pets are really our "friends."

Would You Save a Puppy or a Child From a Burning Building?

You come across a burning building. You hear the howls of a dog and the cries of a human infant. You only have time to save one or the other. Which one would you choose?

Should We De-Sex All Of Our Pets?

In 1867, the streets of New York were awash with homeless dogs. The city council took action and began drowning 700 dogs a day in the East River. Thanks to the success of the spay and neuter campaign, fewer unwanted pets are killed today than ever before. But a new study has found that cutting your dogs gonads off may make it more likely to get cancer.

Crustacean Rights: The Case of the "Lucky" Crabs

Should we be concerned with pain and suffering in invertebrates? Here's why stone crabs are high on my list of immoral foods.

The Problem With Incest

There is a good reason why sex with close relatives is taboo in nearly every human society.
Are You an Animal Person? It Could Be In Your Genes

Are You an Animal Person? It Could Be In Your Genes

A new study of Vietnam Era veterans suggests why some people and not others love animals.

Why Are Rape Victims More—Not Less—Likely To Become Pregnant?

A woman's chances of getting pregnant are much lower than most people think. But they are considerably higher if she is raped.
Puppies, Kittens, and Human Health: Science Versus Wishful Thinking

Puppies, Kittens, and Human Health: Science Versus Wishful Thinking

According to Psych Today blogger Melanie Greenberg, scientists have proven that getting a pet will make you healthier. Here are a dozen studies suggesting she is wrong.
Do Pets Prevent Sudden Death In Children With Epilepsy?

Do Pets Prevent Sudden Death In Children With Epilepsy?

A new study on the death rates of children with epilepsy found that living with a pet...
Do Pets Go To Heaven?

Do Pets Go To Heaven?

What happens to animals when they die? We recently asked people which species they thought went to Heaven. The results were surprising....

Puppies and Broken Hearts

Will getting a pet unclog your arteries and stave off the Grim Reaper?

In Defense of (Some) Meat

Beyond the yuck factor—why it is okay to kill animals because they happen to taste good...

A Blood Sport For The Rich and Famous?

In an earlier Psych Today post, I looked at the comparative cruelty of horse racing. A new report indicates the situation is even worse than I thought.

Horse Racing: Cruelties We Condone and Cruelties We Condemn

The deaths of three thoroughbred horses on the set of HBO's series "Luck" speaks volumes about our culture's conflicted attitudes toward animal cruelty.

Natural Healers: The Four Pillars of Medicine and How Animals Use Them

Animals have evolved the same basic strategies human doctors use to fight infectious diseases. Is meat-eating the reason pet owners get sick more frequently than their dogs?

Animals On the Borderline: The Horse Slaughter Controversy

Horses don't fall neatly in our moral categories. That's why the issue of banning horse slaugherhouses is more complicated that you might think.

Your Worst Animal Nightmare

Fear of snakes is the most common animal phobia. Two new studies show that giant snakes not only kill people, they may be headed your way...

A Scientific Mystery: Do Wild Baboons Kidnap Puppies for Pets?

This YouTube clip claims that wild baboons kidnap puppies and raise them as pets. It's a sceintific mystery that I can't get out of my head.

The Animal Research Paradox

The animal research paradox —we need animal research to determine if it is ethical to conduct animal research.
Forbidden Foods: Does Loving Pets Make It Easier To Eat Meat?

Forbidden Foods: Does Loving Pets Make It Easier To Eat Meat?

A new theory holds that prohibiting the consumption of a few species makes it possible for us to eat other species. Does loving our pets make it possible for us to eat meat?

New Books for Intelligent Animal Lovers

Some new books for animal lovers.

Was Hitler a Vegetarian? The Paradox of the Nazi Animal Protection Movement

It's scary when professors fight - especially over Nazi animal love.

Why Do Chicks Like Music? Why Does Any One?

Barry Manilow explained! Scientists have found that the chicks are born with a preference for "easy listening." music. In their experiment...
The Two Serial Killers in My Life

The Two Serial Killers in My Life

I have known two serial killers. Derek Anderson was one of my students. He killed his father, his mother, his brother and the family dog. The other one is my cat....

Does Dolphin Therapy Work?

Does swimming with dolphins help children with autism?

Returning to Meat

Two out of three vegetarians eventually resume eating meat. The reason my ex-vegetarian nephew, a New York City fireman, reverted back to meat was unique. Here is his story---and the reason I could not tell it in my book.