iOS app Android app

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

Humans Are a "Unique Super-Predator" Claims New Research: We Really do Kill Here, There, and Everywhere

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 12:14 PM

This morning my email inbox was brimming over with news about an essay published in Science magazine by researchers from the University of Victoria (Canada) and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation called "The unique ecology of human predators." While the full essay is currently available, I think...

Read Post

Compassionate Conservation, Cecil the Murdered Lion, and Blaze the Slaughtered Yellowstone Bear

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 11:39 PM

"More than ever conservation needs new ideas, risky ventures to find out what will work and what won't; biodiversity doesn't benefit from us calling each other stupid as a substitute for rational discourse." (Harry Greene, 2015, Pleistocene rewilding and the future of biodiversity, in Ben Minteer and Stephen Pyne (editors),...

Read Post

Yellowstone Regrettably Kills Blaze, the Mother Bear Who Attacked an Off-Trail Hiker

(28) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 6:38 PM

Blaze, a grizzly bear with a clean record, was killed by Yellowstone National Park workers, and her two surviving cubs will be sent to spend the rest of their lives in a zoo (for more on this story, please see this essay). Coming on the heels...

Read Post

Killing the Grizzly Bear Who Killed a Man in Yellowstone and Her Cubs Is a Horrific Idea

(32) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 4:42 PM

I've had numerous emails asking me to weigh in on the plans to kill a female grizzly bear who killed a man in Yellowstone National Park and her cubs. Of course, this is a horrific tragedy, but there is no reason at all to kill the bear and her cubs...

Read Post

Animal "Euthanasia" Is Too Often Slaughter

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 3:48 PM

I've been long interested in how the word "euthanasia" is misused in different branches of science and in venues where nonhuman animals (animals) are killed because they're no longer needed. Euthanasia is defined as "the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering."...

Read Post

Why Science Doesn't Need Mice

(14) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:44 PM

A recent editorial called "Why Science Needs Female Mice" by the New York Times Editorial Review Board relies on a new study published in Nature Neuroscience by Robert Sorge and his colleagues titled "Different immune cells mediate mechanical pain hypersensitivity in male and female mice."

Read Post

New York Blood Center Abandons Chimps to Die of Starvation

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 2:10 PM

"Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this"

Yes, you can believe your eyes and feel your heart break. It's a fact that a colony of 66 chimpanzees in a Liberian laboratory are being abandoned by the New York Blood Center. As a...

Read Post

Butts and Noses: Secrets, Lessons, and Surprises from Dog Parks

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 2:44 PM

I love going to dog parks. So, too, do dogs and their people. Dog parks are a fascinating recent and growing cultural phenomenon. Indeed, I go rather often to what I call my field sites, for that's what they are, to study play behavior and other aspects of dog behavior...

Read Post

Wildlife Services Slaughtered 2.7 Million Animals in 2014 in the Name of Coexistence

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 3:13 PM

I've written a number of essays on a federal agency called Wildlife Services whose stated mission, namely, "to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist," couldn't be further from what they actually do. Federal agents working for Wildlife Services killed 2,713,570 animals in...

Read Post

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

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 2:56 PM

For many people dogs are considered to be family members and their best friends. Indeed, because of the long period of close association between dogs and humans, a deep bond has evolved (for numerous references and discussion please click here).

While the existence of this co-evolved and special...

Read Post

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

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 5:10 PM

There's a very good life beyond beef and after meat

Dr. James McWilliams' new book called The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals is a very thoughtful work about our meal plans in which he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating nonhuman animals...

Read Post

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to Kill Thousands of Cormorants: There Will Be Blood

(9) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 9:17 AM

In August 2014 I wrote an essay called "Birds and Us: Should Cormorants Be Killed to Save Salmon?" in response to Felicity Barringer's essay in the New York Times called "Taking Up Arms Where Birds Feast on Buffet of Salmon." Ms. Barringer's essay dealt with the...

Read Post

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

(3) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 5:38 PM

The violent death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in the jaws of an orca named Tilikum in early 2010 triggered a series of journalistic articles and books on the history and conditions of orca captivity resulting in severe injuries and deaths to both orcas and trainers (see for example, "

Read Post

Peter Singer Argues for 'Effective Altruism' for Charitable Giving in His New Book

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 2:27 PM

Renowned and controversial philosopher Peter Singer's books and essays have always been brain stimulators for me and numerous other people, including academics and those who reflect on how they live their lives. And, his new book called The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About...

Read Post

Beneath the Surface: SeaWorld Insider Goes Beyond Blackfish

(6) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 5:38 PM

I recently received a book I've been anxiously waiting for: John Hargrove's Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish (the book was written with Howard Chua-Eoan). Mr. Hargrove is a former senior orca trainer at SeaWorld and was in the award-winning documentary Blackfish.


Read Post

Dogs Don't Remember Yesterday, Claims Psychologist

(28) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 3:58 PM

A few days ago a colleague asked me if I'd seen an essay called "Dogs Don't Remember," published by Dr. Ira Hyman. I hadn't, and then, as I was doing an interview, a similar question about mental time travel by animals came up so I decided...

Read Post

Scalding Live Chickens Is Business as Usual on Factory Farms

(5) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 1:31 PM

Media is extremely important in spreading all sorts of news to a broad, and often unknowing public. Recently, an investigative essay by Michael Moss in the New York Times told the story of the ways in which nonhuman animals (animals) called "food animals" are brutalized at a Nebraska research facility,...

Read Post

Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: Misinformation, Abuse, and a Need for Change

(3) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:50 AM

Filmmaker and professor at American University's School of Communication Chris Palmer's highly acclaimed new book, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King, is part memoir, part confession, and part indictment of the cable and television networks for failing to put...

Read Post

Why SeaWorld Can't and Shouldn't Float: Censorship and Business Ethics

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 5:17 PM

SeaWorld would have us believe that they are a stellar corporate citizen, committed to research, education and the welfare of not only the cetaceans in their facilities, but of all who live in the ocean. They argue that they are being unfairly targeted by environmental extremists, animal rights activists, and...

Read Post

Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 5:24 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...

Read Post