Against human exceptionalism

In a tight spot, you’d probably intuit that a human life outweighs an animal’s. There are good arguments why that’s wrong Jeff Sebo is clinical associate professor of environmental studies, affiliated professor of bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy and law, and director of the animal studies MA programme at New York University. He is also on the executive committee at the NYU Center for Environmental and Animal Protection and the advisory board for the Animals in Context series at NYU Press. He is co-author of Chimpanzee Rights (2018) and Food, Animals, and the Environment (2018), and the author of Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves (2022). This January, a … Continue reading Against human exceptionalism

Is virtue signalling a vice?

Proclaiming one’s own goodness is deeply annoying. Yet signalling theory explains why it’s a peculiarly powerful manoeuvre Tadeg Quillien is a postdoctoral researcher in evolutionary biology and computational cognitive science at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. As a quick stroll on social media reveals, most people love showing that they are good. Whether by expressing compassion for disaster victims, sharing a post to support a social movement, or denouncing a celebrity’s racist comment, many people are eager to broadcast their high moral standing. Critics sometimes dismiss these acts as mere ‘virtue signalling’. As the British journalist James Bartholomew … Continue reading Is virtue signalling a vice?

We must not own animals

We will never truly advance our ethical relationship with other animals until we stop treating them as chattels for use Gary L Francione is Board of Governors Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law in New Jersey, US; visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Lincoln, UK; and honorary professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia, UK. His most recent book is Why Veganism Matters: The Moral Value of Animals (2021). What’s wrong with eating meat and other animal products, such as dairy or eggs? The usual answer appears to be simple: these products involve a great … Continue reading We must not own animals

Trolls be gone

Anonymous users generate most toxic abuse and conspiracy theories online. The right to be anonymous should be curtailed Stephen Kinsella is founder of Clean Up the Internet, and a competition lawyer with a longstanding interest in human rights, digital technology, and democracy. He lives in Stroud, UK. We have come a long way from the optimism that surrounded the internet in the early 1990s. As Tim Berners-Lee has remarked several times, there was a ‘utopian’ view of its potential to democratise news and reinforce social cohesion. Indeed, only 10 years ago, we were celebrating the role that online communications played in the Arab Spring. Now, … Continue reading Trolls be gone

He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

Bernard Rollin was a pioneer in animal rights. He left us with this scalding interview. BY BRANDON KEIM Well into the 1980s, doctors would perform open-heart surgery on infants without giving them pain-relieving drugs. This is hard to believe: By the standards of contemporary medicine, not to mention common sense, the practice is akin to torture. Yet then-conventional wisdom held that babies did not feel pain, at least not in any meaningful way. Their brains and nervous systems were considered undeveloped. And regardless of what they felt, they wouldn’t remember it. One can read about this in Science and Ethics, … Continue reading He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

Beware the ‘Climate-Stupid Agriculture’ of Bill Gates and His Allies

Bill Gates is just plain wrong when he says the only way to grow food is with synthetic fertilizers. by TIMOTHY A. WISE As world leaders wrap up the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, new scientific research shows that there is still a great deal of magical thinking about the contribution of fertilizer to global warming. Philanthropist Bill Gates fed the retreat from science in his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster earlier this year. “To me fertilizer is magical,” he confesses, nitrogen fertilizer in particular. Under a photo of a beaming Gates in a Yara fertilizer distribution warehouse in Tanzania, he … Continue reading Beware the ‘Climate-Stupid Agriculture’ of Bill Gates and His Allies

Will Natural Resilience Leave Humans Behind On The Escalator To Extinction?

The Glasgow climate summit will tell. BY NATHAN GARDELS – Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine. While our species, unique in its capacity to envision a future and plan its behavior, stumbles toward climate action in the misty precincts of Scotland this week, the rest of nature can’t wait. It is moving on in evolutionary resilience, one organism at a time, flexibly adapting to human-induced planetary warming. This capacity to conjoin “urgency” with “agency,” biologist Thor Hanson writes in Noema, is a lesson humankind needs to learn sooner rather than later if it is going to either avoid the tipping point … Continue reading Will Natural Resilience Leave Humans Behind On The Escalator To Extinction?

FROM SURVIVOR TO STRIVER: CULTIVATING COURAGE AND BUILDING BOLDNESS

Gary Z McGee, Contributor Waking Times  “I would rather be ashes than dust.” ~Jack London You have from this moment until the day you die to live the life you want to live. Most people will default to the culturally programmed setting of mere survival. They will make excuses for why they don’t strive. They will remain content with merely surviving. Strivers, by contrast, are not content. They choose not to default to the preprogrammed setting. They choose to strive. They choose to live life to the fullest despite doubt, despite struggle, and despite a world that seems to be preventing … Continue reading FROM SURVIVOR TO STRIVER: CULTIVATING COURAGE AND BUILDING BOLDNESS

The Whale Who Will Come Soon

A whale-watching trip is a voyage into the psychic dimensions of ocean in the 21st century. BY REBECCA GIGGS The beachfront narrows to an ocherous ribbon, belted by blue, above and below. After a while, a handful of shearwaters appear in the air above the Cat Balou. The birds flash around us; like knife-thrower tricks at a circus. Diving through the water, each is crowned in a diadem of bubbles. The shearwaters come from Antarctica, like the humpbacks, and also Siberia, South America, and Japan; they arrive in Australia, where they often die in large numbers from exhaustion. Such bird deaths, … Continue reading The Whale Who Will Come Soon

The Social and Environmental Perils of Magical Thinking

We can’t just assume that the pandemic, the climate crisis, and other pressing societal issues will work out fine. BY LOUISE FABIANI  THERE HAS BEEN MUCH coverage in recent media of citizens who fail to acknowledge the existence of such global crises as Covid-19 or anthropogenic climate change. They are said to be skeptical or in denial. They refuse to participate in any solution for the simple reason that they believe them to be non-issues. Just as dangerous to the common good is a person who fully accepts the existence of a problem, yet believes as a matter of course that everything will work out … Continue reading The Social and Environmental Perils of Magical Thinking