Category: Editorial

Animal Rights are a Human Right

It has long been accepted in our culture that humans are owed a certain level of inherent rights. We generally accept that humans have a right to life, liberty, and property, and have developed these ideas as the quest for equality grows in our culture. However, we cannot have a full conception of human rights without considering animal rights as a part of this. The concept of animal rights as fundamental to human rights relies on the recognition that humans are in fact an animal species, and therefore the compartmentalization of different kind of behavior to different species in fact...

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4 Facts That Prove Pigs Are Smarter Than You Think

Pigs are finally enjoying some time in the spotlight as the world realizes that these smart, playful animals make truly fantastic pets. While traditionally pigs have been thought of strictly as farm animals, people now see the unique intelligence that pigs possess. Much like dogs, they are highly social, creative, and a joy to cuddle with. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about pigs that prove they belong in the family, not on a plate. Move Over Dogs — Pigs are the New Smart Pet When we think of animals that can relate to humans,...

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Tax Bill Set to Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Oil Development

The GOP-backed tax bill inching closer to becoming law contains a provision that would open up an environmentally sensitive part of the Alaskan tundra for oil drilling. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) spans more than 19 million acres and is one of the last untouched ecosystems in the United States. It is home to over 200 varieties of migratory birds, 30 species of land mammals, and 40 species of fish, and is the only U.S. refuge where polar bears live. Other notable residents include walruses, beluga whales and snowy owls. The land is also the main calving grounds for North America’s largest caribou...

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Violence Toward Animals: “Can You Please Help My Daughter?”

Some New Zealand schools encourage kids to kill animals and it’s simply wrong. This essay by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., originally appeared in Psychology Today During the past few weeks I’ve written a number of essays about New Zealand youngsters being encouraged to harm and to kill nonhuman animals (animals) as part of their education. It’s all part of the country’s war on wildlife, the goal being to get rid of all predators by 2050. (For more details please see “Imprinting Kids for Violence Toward Animals,” “Scapegoating Possums: Science, Psychology, and Words of War,” “Long-Term Effects of Violence Toward Animals by Youngsters,” “Youngsters...

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Here’s What Happened When the CIA Tried to Turn Cats into Spies

The 1960s proved a turbulent time for the United States. With the counterculture movement and tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the ’60s brought about change and general unease throughout the nation. As such, the American government was doing everything in its power to get the upper hand against Russia. According to 1960s writer Tom Vanderbilt of Smithsonian Magazine, “the U.S. government deployed nonhuman operatives–ravens, pigeons, even cats–to spy on Cold War adversaries.” Cats? Yes, cats. Cats, notoriously stubborn and disobedient creatures, were the CIA’s animals of choice to be trained for undercover work....

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Yemen is Dying While the World Watches

Yemen is being destroyed by a man-made humanitarian crisis. Already the poorest country in the Middle East, over 80 percent of its population is in need of basic assistance due to armed conflict and a skyrocketing cholera epidemic sweeping over large war-torn regions of the country. The cholera outbreak has spread to an estimated half a million people, or around five thousand per day, half of them children.  It has claimed the lives of about 2,000 people since April. “This is the world’s worst cholera outbreak in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. In the last 3...

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Say Goodbye to Bottled Water

To stay hydrated, a human body needs about half a gallon of fluid intake per day. The healthiest choice is drinking water, and more and more people are paying attention to this; therefore, the bottled water industry has been constantly growin — and by now, Americans are drinking more bottled water than soda. On average, Americans drink 36.5 gallons per year, which contributes strongly to the 79 million single-use plastic bottles we use daily. But what happens to the bottles after they are emptied? Unfortunately, in the U.S. only about 30% of PET bottles are recycled. While this is...

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The Havoc of Hurricane Harvey & How You Can Help

Southeast Texas is reeling. Coastal towns like Rockport have been devastated by extreme winds. Houston has been hit by trillions of gallons of rain. Rivers, streams, creeks, and bayous have risen at alarming rates. Officials have issued mandatory evacuation orders over concerns of levees overtopping or breaking. The storm has affected nearly 7 million people in 18 counties. Ten people are dead and thousands are displaced (and assessing the true extent of the impact has not even begun). The area’s most vulnerable residents have felt a magnified impact. For example, Houston’s homeless population often take refuge in low-lying spaces (e.g. under freeways...

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