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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, animal protection, and compassionate conservation. His homepage is and, with Jane Goodall,

Entries by Marc Bekoff

The Exotic Pet Trade: Horrific Global Animal Abuse and an Assault on Sentience

(17) Comments | Posted February 6, 2016 | 10:19 AM

The exotic pet trade is an international enterprise that is responsible for unimaginable, inexcusable,and unforgivable pain, suffering and death. It is a topic of great interest to anthrozoologists, conservation psychologists, conservation biologists, and to many others interested in animal protection, and a number of...

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Dogs, Cats, and Humans: Does 5X the Oxytocin = 5X the Love?

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 4:23 PM

Do dogs really love us five times more than cats?

A recent essay by Elyse Wanshel called "Who Loves Their Humans More -- Cats Or Dogs? Here's The Answer" caught my eyes and those of numerous others around the world. How could it not? Dog people and...

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What's a Good Life for an Old Dog? Ice Cream or Nasty Pills?

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 1:37 PM

Old dogs can be a gift because so many are really incredible beings and because of the many lessons we can learn from them in their waning days (please see, for example "My Old Dog: Rescued Seniors Show that Old Dogs Rock"). A web search for "

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Science Shows Fish Feel Pain, So Let's Get Over It and Do Something to Help These Sentient Beings

(3) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

A set of essays in the new journal Animal Sentience concerning the question of whether fish feel pain is a must read. Fish are not mere streams of readily available unfeeling protein.

There are many fascinating and vexing issues in the study of nonhuman animal (animal) cognition and emotions, and...

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Do Dogs Ever Simply Want to Die to End the Pain?

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 9:00 AM

In early November I spoke with no-kill advocate Nathan Winograd about the possibility that nonhuman animals (animals) can experience irremediable psychological suffering. And, I just discovered an essay he recently published for Huffington Post on this topic called "Irremediable Psychological Suffering? There's No Such Thing." Here,...

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A Rewilding Manifesto: Compassion, Biophilia, and Hope

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 4:23 PM

"Nature is still our mother, but she's grown older and less independent. We've grown more self-reliant, and as a result we're beginning to redefine our relationship to her. We still need and cling to her ..." (Diane Ackerman, The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us, p. 308)

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How and Why Dogs Play Revisited: Who's Confused?

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 5:14 PM

Watching dogs play is very exciting, and there has been a lot empirical research on how and why dogs (and other animals) engage in this activity with boundless zeal. A number of people have asked me to comment about dog play after reading this section in a new book by...

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Trophy Hunters' Smiles Show How Much They Really Like to Kill

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2015 | 11:35 AM

Trophy hunting, or what some call "trophy murder," is a hot button issue. In a recent essay called "Is Trophy Hunting Really Trophy Murder? Intentions and Words Should Matter" I examined some of the reasons why people choose to go out and kill other animals for fun and...

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The Evolution and Ethology of Terrorism: We Are Unique, Violence Is a Dead End, But There Is Hope

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 1:05 PM

Recent events across the world make it clear that human animals are capable of horrific within species violence. A number of people have asked me questions about the evolution and ethology of terrorism, and I consider that to be questioning whether or not we can we explain human terrorism and...

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SeaWorld San Diego Claims They're Going to End Killer Whale Shows for New Image: But Are They Really Going to do this?

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 12:01 PM

For many years SeaWorld has been under intense scrutiny and has been fined because of its rampant abuse of killer whales (orcas) and the death of trainers (for comprehensive reviews please see Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity and

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Teach the Children Wrong: New Zealand Kids Kill Possums and Birds for Fun and Games and a Bathroom

(5) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 4:04 PM

Teach the children wrong

There can be no doubt that youngsters are attracted to nonhuman animals (animals) for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from fascination, to curiosity, to wanton cruelty and abuse (please see here and here). It is also well known...

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The Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoos Propose Importing Wild African Elephants

(4) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 4:51 PM

The American public is under the impression that elephants are no longer captured in the wild and imported for display in zoos. Surely, such an archaic and inhumane practice must have been relegated to the past! In reality, zoos have failed to create a self-sustaining collection of captive elephants in...

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The Florida Bear Massacre: This Thrill Killing Event is a Horrific, Unregulated, and Unscientific Brutal Bloodbath

(2) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 4:49 PM

On October 15 I published an essay called "Florida's Upcoming Bear Hunt: A Tragic Failure to Apply Solid Science, Public Opinion, and Compassionate Conservation." I concentrated on what was then an upcoming bear hunt that was thoroughly ill founded in that it ignored public opinion and sound science.

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"Pound for Pound": A New Book Shows How Shelter Dogs Loved a Woman Back to Life

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 10:35 AM

A few months ago I was asked to write endorsement for a forthcoming book called Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp, and I was hesitant because my desk was overflowing with other...

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Is Trophy Hunting Really Trophy Murder? Intentions and Words Should Matter

(13) Comments | Posted October 18, 2015 | 10:59 AM

"Still, the need to hurt animals that some children feel doesn't explain why some adults hunt and kill large, and often dangerous, animals that they have no intention of eating. I have searched the psychology literature and, while there's a lot of conjecture about what it means, the...

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Florida's Upcoming Bear Hunt: A Tragic Failure to Apply Solid Science, Public Opinion, and Compassionate Conservation

(18) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 5:59 PM

As evidence mounts around the globe that the emerging principles of compassionate conservation can succeed in resolving conflicts between human and nonhuman animals (animals) while respecting the needs of all stakeholders (see, for example, here and here), painful examples remain of cases in which...

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Boulder, Colorado Bear Killing Challenges Anthrozoology: Why Not Just Say 'No'

(4) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 4:25 PM

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King Jr.

A mother bear was tragically and unnecessarily killed in Boulder, Colorado, on Thursday October...

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Saving Wolves With Compassionate Conservation: The Killing Must Stop

(5) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 3:08 PM

October 12-18 is Wolf Awareness Week.

North Americans are often quick to condemn the brutality of other cultures and countries, inserting ourselves, sometimes using violent force, to establish what we consider peace keeping and a "good life". Why then, has this sense of empathy not reached the...

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"Ridiculously Gorgeous Rare Bird" Photographed, Caught, and ... Killed by Researcher

(59) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:45 PM

Nine months ago I wrote an essay called "Harvard Researcher Kills Rare Spider 'In the Name of Education': When Will the Killing Finally Stop?" about a puppy-size female spider called the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), who was admired by Harvard researcher Piotr Naskrecki and then killed...

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Shame on Naropa University if They Turn Into a Prairie Dog Killing Field

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:13 PM

I began my book Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence with the following quotation by Chögyam Trungpa, founder of Naropa University, a place that is supposed to be a contemplative setting motivated by compassion and respect. "When human beings lose their...

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