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Marc Bekoff
Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. He has published numerous books on animal behavior, animal emotions, and animal protection. His homepages are;

Entries by Marc Bekoff

Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 6:24 PM

Entangled empathy and a rescued rat

A new book by Wesleyan University philosopher Lori Gruen called Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals is a wonderful addition to a growing literature in the transdisciplinary field called anthrozoology, the study of human-animal relationships (the Kindle edition can be...

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New Conservation Science Is Misguided and Too Much About the Major Problem -- Us

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 1:31 PM

Doing conservation "in the name of us" is narrow-minded, short-sighted and misguided.

A recent essay published in the Huffington Post by noted scientist and ethicist John Vucetich and his colleagues called "Should We Conserve Nature for Nature's Sake, or for Our Own?" centers on different views of where...

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Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Animal Abuse, Inhumane Education, and Poor Conservation Practices

(3) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 10:55 AM

A few years ago I wrote an essay called "Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Killing These Majestic Beings" about the launch of a series about killing these sentient animals. I figured the series would run for one season and then be pulled in favor of something else that would...

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Slaughtering Wolves in Canada: A New Essay Shows Just How Unscientific, Unethical, and Inhumane These Studies Are

(1) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 5:30 PM

Many people, including myself, have written about the egregious killing of 890 wolves by the Canadian government "in the name of science" to attempt to recover threatened woodland caribou (please see "Researchers Kill 890 Wolves to Learn About Them: There's Something Very Wrong" and "On Killing...

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Invasive 'Rat Research' Should Be Abolished Once and for All

(1) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 10:10 AM

In response to my recent blog post called "Rats Like to Be Tickled: Why Is the Animal Welfare Act So Lame?", in which I discussed the well-established scientific fact that rats, mice and many other animals display empathy and are highly emotional and sentient beings, I received many...

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Compassionate Conservation: More than "Welfarism Gone Wild"

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 11:31 AM

Conservation is ethically challenged

The evolving field called compassionate conservation, in which the guiding principle "First do no harm (link is external)" stresses the importance of individual nonhuman animals (animals), is gaining increasing global attention because most animals need considerably more protection than they are currently receiving and...

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Wolf Slaughter Canadian Style Continues as if It's Conservation: Let's Stop It Now

(8) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 12:05 AM

The Canadian government plans to kill wolves once again to try to save woodland caribou. An earlier murder escapade in Alberta didn't work (please see "Researchers Kill 890 Wolves to Learn About Them: There's Something Very Wrong") and there's no reason to assume this one will. Shooters even...

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A Matter of Breeding: How We've Greatly Harmed Dogs Who Depend on Us for Their Well-Being

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 5:50 PM

A Matter of Breeding by Michael Brandow is a detailed and unflinching socio-cultural history of dogs, viewed with humor and sarcasm, and explains how a long tradition of valuing them based on fancy looks and fanciful lineage has not been helping them, but rather, doing just the opposite...

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"Food Animals" Brutalized at Federally Funded "Meat Lab" in the Name of Money

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 4:27 PM

"Food animals" are engineered and brutalized at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

An incredibly important investigative essay in the New York Times by Michael Moss called "U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit" shows clearly and in most disturbing detail that "food...

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Foie Gras Is Not a Non-Issue: Ducks and Geese Don't Like Having Food Shoved Down Their Throats

(5) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 12:03 PM

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,...
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Rats Like to Be Tickled: Why Is the Animal Welfare Act So Lame?

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 5:47 PM

Yesterday was one of those days when a lot of very interesting news continually popped up in my inbox. The first thing to arrive was an announcement about a research paper by Sylvie Cloutier, Kimberly L. Wahl, Jaak Panksepp, and Ruth C. Newberry called "Playful handling of laboratory...

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

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 11:01 AM

It's a no-brainer -- dogs and many other nonhuman animals (animals) love to play with their buddies in all sorts of ways, and they have fun doing it. In a recent essay called "Playful fun in dogs" published in Current Biology in an issue devoted to

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

(3) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 6:01 PM

"Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog."

I've had a number of people asking me to weigh in on the recent incident in which Trig, Sarah Palin's 6-year-old son, used Jill, their beloved family dog, as a stepping stool. Ms. Palin's thoughtless and heartless comment was, "Chill....

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The Jane Effect: A New Book Celebrating Jane Goodall

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 4:25 PM

Jane Goodall has had a significant impact on the lives of innumerable people around the world. A new book edited by Dale Peterson (Dr. Goodall's biographer) and me, titled The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall, contains essays written by researchers, including some who worked with Dr. Goodall, and...

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

(2) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Each December, as we roll into a new year, I find myself thinking about what's happened in the past twelve months and what's coming up as we move into a new year, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Because of my own interests in animal protection and the conservation sciences...

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Sandra Orangutan, Rights and Personhood: An Essential Clarification of the Court's Decision

(1) Comments | Posted December 25, 2014 | 4:04 PM

Worldwide media about granting personhood and rights to Sandra Orangutan who currently languishes in the Buenos Aires Zoo needs closer scrutiny. Here, attorney Steven Wise, who heads the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), provides a very important clarification of the court's decision.

The Nonhuman Rights Project...
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Do Cows Moo 'Get Me The Hell Out of Here' on Factory Farms?

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 12:41 PM

New research on "cow talk" shows that mothers and their offspring can communicate using different types of "moos." In a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science by Mónica Padilla de la Torre and her colleagues, with the cryptic title, "Acoustic analysis of cattle (Bos taurus)...

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Unearthing Ted Turner: Last Stand Is a Fascinating Read

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 4:31 PM

When you hear these provocative topics -- female genital mutilation; rewilding the American West with bison, wolves and grizzly bears; dramatically transforming capitalism as we know it; eradicating nuclear weapons; the actress-activist Jane Fonda; and mixing environmentalist with humanitarian instincts to achieve more peace in the world -- what one...

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On Killing Wolves and Other Animals: Should Only Trained Ethicists Weigh In?

(2) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 10:43 AM

News about the massacre of 890 wolves in Canada by a team of researchers "in the name of science" has reached a global and eclectic audience. Numerous people around the world who have never gotten involved in protesting such "research" have weighed in with incredulity and outrage. I...

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Harvard Researcher Kills Rare Spider "In the Name of Education:" When Will the Killing Finally Stop?

(1) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 8:45 AM

Recently I wrote an essay called "Researchers Kill 890 Wolves to Learn About Them: There's Something Very Wrong" about the intentional and inexcusable "experimental" massacre of 890 wolves in Canada using incredibly inhumane methods. The killing did not work, and there also was substanital "collateral damage" in that...

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