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Marc Bekoff
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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 www.literati.net/authors/marc-bekoff/; www.ethologicalethics.org.

Entries by Marc Bekoff

Rewilding Our Hearts: Ecocide Is Suicide

(2) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:09 PM

We're killing a very tired and less resilient planet at alarming rates.

It's common knowledge that we're losing species and habitats at an unprecedented rate in a geological epoch known as the "anthropocene" -- the age of humanity. While the term has not been formally recognized as official nomenclature,...

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Can Evolutionary Biology Tell Us What's Kinky?

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Carin Bondar's phenomenal and learned TED talk called "The Birds And The Bees Are Just the Beginning" is one of most informative lectures I've heard in a long time. Her tongue-in-cheek style is extremely...

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We Are Animals and Therein Lies Hope for a Better Future

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 10:52 AM

This past year was remarkable in terms of what we have learned about the cognitive, emotional and moral lives of nonhuman animals (animals). A new and outstanding book called We Animals by award-winning photojournalist and activist Jo-Anne McArthur whose work also is featured in the wonderful documentary The...

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Human-Animal Relationships: Where We Are and Where We're Going

(3) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 7:00 AM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Denise Herzing's TED talk made me think of many larger themes centering on the fascinating lives of the other animals with whom we share our magnificent planet. It also made me deeply appreciate the rapidly growing...

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University of Colorado Reconsidering Using Live Animal Laboratories

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:09 PM

The University of Colorado, Boulder, has recently announced that it is going to reconsider the use of live nonhuman animals in undergraduate classes. This decision astounded me given that numerous colleges, universities, medical schools, and veterinary schools have been scaling back and totally eliminating the use of live...

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Humanlike Violence Is Extremely Rare in Other Animals

(43) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 4:38 PM

In the depressing and sad wake of the recent ghastly tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the details of which are easily available and too horrific to repeat here, a number of people have asked me, "What can we learn about human violence from nonhuman animals?" Given recent acts of heinous human...

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Dawkins' Dangerous Idea: We Really Don't Know If Animals Are Conscious

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 3:49 PM

In 2007 I published a book called Animals Matter and at about the same time Erin Williams and Margo Demello published a book called Why Animals Matter. And just this month another book called Why Animals Matter by Marian Dawkins has been published. I think of it as "Dawkins' Dangerous...

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Rewilding Our Hearts: Maintaining Hope and Faith in Trying Times

(2) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 10:25 AM

Humans are a force in nature. We're all over the place, big-brained, big-footed, arrogant, invasive, menacing, and marauding mammals. No need to look for mythical Bigfoot: we're here! We leave huge footprints all over the place and have been rather unsuccessful at solving urgent problems. Robert Berry fears we're simply...

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One Small Step for Chimpanzeekind

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 1:37 PM

Chimpanzees have been much in the news recently. There's been a lot of concern about their use in invasive biomedical research and deceptive ploys by those who want to use them (more background information and discussion can be found here and here and

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Empathic Rats: Rats Choose to Help Others Over Chocolate

(14) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 11:53 AM

Anyone who's kept up with the latest and greatest about the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of nonhuman animals ("animals") knows "surprises" are being uncovered almost daily and that many non-primate animals are showing intellectual and emotional capacities that rival those of the great apes. Some fascinating new...

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The Thanksgiving Day Massacre: Life in a Tiny House of Horrors

(12) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 12:25 PM

I know many of you have heard this questions over and over again, "Why kill turkeys to celebrate Thanksgiving?" They say repetition is boring conversation but I feel it's essential to ask this question repeatedly, because there really is no reason at all to slaughter sentient beings in the name...

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Wild Animals Do Not Belong In the Cruelest Show on Earth

(4) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 12:25 PM

Every now and again I learn of a formal move to make the lives of animals better, and none could be more needed and timely than a new pending bill that is geared to ban wild animals in traveling circuses. HR 3359 has been introduced to do just...

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Animal Massacre in Ohio: The Horrible Fate of the "Zanesville 49"

(6) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 1:01 PM

By now many of you know about an incredibly bizarre incident involving animals who ran rampant after being released from a private animal reserve near Zanesville, Ohio after one of the owners of the reserve released them and then apparently shot himself. I first heard about it early...

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Babe, Lettuce, and Tomato: You Want a What?

(5) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 1:19 PM

On a recent trip to Toronto, Canada to celebrate World Animal Day with Jill Robinson, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia I first went to a protest organized by Toronto Pig Save, a group founded by Anita Krajnc. This wonderful grassroots organization is made...

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Chimpanzees in the Crossfire: Are They Really More Clever Than Us?

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2011 | 11:52 AM

There's much continued debate about how clever we are and how clever other animals are. This was among the wide variety of topics discussed at a recent meeting about the similarities and differences between us and other animals, mainly the great apes. While we certainly are exceptional in...

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The Child's Right to Play: Let Children Be Animals

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2011 | 1:23 PM

I recently had the pleasure of attending an incredible meeting called "Playing Into the Future -- Surviving and Thriving." The major theme of this international gathering concerned the importance of play for children and how we can create a future where play is valued and where every country...

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Animal Minds and the Foible of Human Exceptionalism

(12) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 4:21 PM

"Man in his arrogance thinks of himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity. [Yet it is] more humble and, I believe, true to consider him created from animals." (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man)

Nonhuman animals (animals) are magnificent and amazing beings. They clearly have wide-ranging cognitive,...

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Fat Monkeys and Fat Lies: Animal Abuse in Studies of Obesity

(15) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 4:48 PM

As I've pointed out in many essays (see also) our relationships with other animals are confused, challenging, frustrating, and range all over the place. Recently we've learned that rhesus monkeys, called "Furry couch potatoes," are being used to study human obesity and...

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Ending Animal Abuse Is Merely a Click Away

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 11:50 AM

Animal abuse remains rampant in a wide variety of places. I'm always surprised by what I read about how we treat nonhuman animal beings in situations where abuse seems unimaginable.

But it's incredibly easy to contribute to ending it.

So many of us spend a lot...

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Dead Cow Walking: National Hamburger Day Is a Celebration That Shouldn't Happen

(44) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 9:20 AM

December 21 is National Hamburger Day. It's interesting that a dead cow on a bun is called a hamburger rather than a cowburger, so I looked up the origin of the word. I discovered that historically, beef and other meats served on a bun were called "Hamburg steaks"...

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