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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

Why Was the Gorilla Harambe Killed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Why Was He There in the First Place? It's Time to End to Captive Breeding

(3) Comments | Posted June 1, 2016 | 6:26 PM

Grief and outrage

Many people worldwide already know about the killing of a 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a 4-year-old child who fell into the gorilla's cage (please also see Bron Taylor's "

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Heart of a Lion: The Biography of a Courageous Peripatetic Predator

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 11:35 AM

Removing walls of misunderstanding about mountain lions and other so-called "dangerous" predators

As a member of the Board of Directors for The Cougar Fund, and also because I've studied various predators for decades, I'm always amazed at how some people casually write off these amazing nonhuman animals (animals)...

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Should Female Dogs Be Used As Puppy Mill Breeding Machines and Unwanted Pups Killed?

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2016 | 12:34 AM

Dogs are "in." It's almost impossible to read a newspaper or magazine or watch a TV show and not see something on dogs almost daily. Because so many people are keenly interested in these amazing beings, it's essential to get things right and to give them the very best life...

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Why Should Spot Run? The Ins and Outs and Ups and Downs of Pet-Keeping

(1) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 3:15 PM

So, do you really want to share your home with a companion animal?

Dr. Jessica Pierce's new book called Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets is a must read for all. It will move you here and there as you ponder what it means...

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Should Grizzlies in the Yellowstone Area Be Delisted and Trophy Hunted? Protecting Animals in the Rage of Humanity

(8) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 1:32 PM

Protecting animals in the Rage of Humanity: A conversation with world renowned photographer Tom Mangelsen and environmental writer Todd Wilkinson who are working hard to protect the bears

In an increasingly human dominated world, in an epoch called the anthropocene, nonhuman animals (animals) are suffering greater than ever before....

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Hugging a Dog Is Just Fine When Done With Great Care and on Their Terms

(4) Comments | Posted April 28, 2016 | 3:31 PM

A rule of thumb before hugging a dog is to pay very close attention to individual differences, your relationship with the dog, and the situation at hand

Yesterday I received a bunch of emails about an essay published by Dr. Stanley Coren called "The Data Says 'Don't Hug...

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On Comparisons Between Dogs and Wolves: Facts Versus Beliefs

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2016 | 6:23 PM

Getting things right in the name of science

Over the past week a large number of people have sent me information about two recent essays, one called "The World Is Full of Dogs Without Collars" and the other titled "Man's Pest Friend." Both are concerned with...

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Is "A Life Worth Living" a "Good Life" for Other Animals? The Science of Animal Well-Being Promotes Compassion for Individuals

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2016 | 9:31 PM

Is "A Life Worth Living" a "Good Life?"

The purpose of this brief essay is to discuss two phrases that are used in discussions of nonhuman animal (animal) welfare. Many people write about giving animals a "good life" and by this they mean that we should try as hard...

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'Animal Reunions': A Fascinating and Heartfelt PBS Film on the Power of Trust and Love

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2016 | 6:12 PM

Human-animal reunions are issues of the heart and based on deeply shared emotions

A new Nature TV program called Animal Reunions (please also see) is one of the most outstanding and fascinating films I've seen in a long time. It will air Wednesday, March 30, 2016...

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Food Justice and Personal Rewilding as Social Movements: Social Justice Mandates Animals Should Not be Treated as Marginalized "Others"

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2016 | 5:53 PM

Social and food justice: If you truly believe in social justice you might want to rethink whom you eat

In her excellent essay, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian clearly showed "Why Justice for Animals Is the Social Movement of Our Time." Here, I want to follow up on...

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The On-Going Travesty of the Secretly Abducted Swaziland Elephants Including One Death: It's Not Only "Animal Rights Activists" or "Extremists" Who Care

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2016 | 4:04 PM

An elephantine travesty: A secret abduction and a secret death

I recently wrote an essay called "The Stolen 18: Swaziland Elephants Secretly Shipped to U. S. Zoos to Avoid Legal Challenge." However, it turns out that only 17 elephants were shipped, because according to the zoos one had...

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The Stolen 18: Swaziland Elephants Secretly Shipped to U. S. Zoos to Avoid Legal Challenge

(7) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 4:36 PM

An elephant "abduction": Bad news for elephants

A few months ago I wrote an essay with Catherine Doyle and Keith Lindsay called "The Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoos Propose Importing Wild African Elephants" about three zoos proposing to import 18 elephants from Swaziland to the United...

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NRA Backed SHARE Act Is About Killing Animals Not Sharing Space and Coexisting Peacefully

(8) Comments | Posted February 27, 2016 | 9:31 AM

Being able to kill animals on public lands will provide "more opportunities for Americans to enjoy the great outdoors"

My email inbox has been "ringing" constantly with news that the U. S. House of Representatives passed what has become known as the SHARE Act, more specifically, the Sportsmen's Heritage and...

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What's in a Name? Is an Unnamed Cow Less Sentient Than a Named Cow?

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 1:52 PM

On being a "who": Words count

A recent essay in the New York Times by Philip Corbett called "Is a Cow a 'Who' or a 'Which?' Our Standards Editor Weighs In" raises some very important questions about the language with which we refer to nonhuman animals (animals). Here,...

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

(17) Comments | Posted February 6, 2016 | 9:19 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 | 3:23 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?

(5) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 12:37 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

(7) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 11:00 PM

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 | 8:00 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 | 3:23 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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