The posthuman dog

If humans were to disappear from the face of the Earth, what might dogs become? And would they be better off without us? by Jessica Pierce is a bioethicist and writer. She is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her books include A Dog’s World (2021) and Unleashing Your Dog (2019), with Marc Bekoff, and Run, Spot, Run (2016). She also writes the blog All Dogs Go to Heaven for Psychology Today. She lives in Colorado. Edited by Pam Weintraub If you share your home with a dog, you may have found yourself rolling your eyes … Continue reading The posthuman dog

A question of bias: Trophy hunting is a contentious industry and shaping research to get a desired outcome doesn’t help

 A visitor walks past a rifle brand advert during the annual Huntex held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 25 April 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Kim Ludbrook) By Don Pinnock Follow In the complex and urgent crises of climate change, biodiversity collapse and pandemics, it makes good sense to heed science and specialists. But what happens when scientists intentionally load the dice? The inquiry explored below began after a simple question by the editor of the highly respected journal Science to five researchers who submitted a letter opposing import bans on trophy hunting. Could they, asked the editor, declare any potential conflict of interests? It turned … Continue reading A question of bias: Trophy hunting is a contentious industry and shaping research to get a desired outcome doesn’t help

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone? The Answer Might Surprise You

Por  Sarah Ashley We know you don’t take pleasure in leaving your dog home alone. But sometimes it has to be done (ever heard of something called work?). If you must head out sans dog, the general consensus is not to leave your dog alone for more than four hours. This time varies depending on your dog’s age, health, behavior and temperament. A puppy who still needs to be potty trained and a senior dog who snoozes most of the afternoon require very different schedules. Read on to learn more about the factors affecting how long you can leave your dog … Continue reading How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone? The Answer Might Surprise You

Enduring memory

How can animals whose brains have been drastically remodelled still recall their kin, their traumas and their skills? Thomas R Verny is a psychiatrist, writer and academic. He has previously taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, York University, Toronto, St Mary’s University, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. His latest book is The Embodied Mind (2021). He lives in Ontario, Canada. Edited by Pam Weintraub Ibegan exploring the concept of cellular memory – the idea that memory can be stored outside the brain, in all the body’s cells – after reading an article on Reuters headlined ‘Tiny Brain No … Continue reading Enduring memory

Creatures of the Popol Vuh

For the K’iche’ Mayans, animals were not lower beings but neighbours, alter egos and a way to communicate with the gods by Jessica Sequeirais a writer, literary translator, and editor of Firmament magazine published by Sublunary Editions. She is based at the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. Edited by Sam Haselby Animals are everywhere in the Popol Vuh. They leap and lick and crawl and bite and squawk and hoot and screech and howl. They are considered sacred, not as disembodied beings in some faraway place, but in their coexistence with humans, day by day … Continue reading Creatures of the Popol Vuh

You Are Not the Boss of Your Dog

Cesar Millan popularized the idea that every pack needs a stern leader. It’s misguided—but so appealing. BY MARGRET GREBOWICZ The idea that dogs are pack animals who require a pack leader was introduced in the 1940s. It became known as dominance theory, and eventually alpha theory. But it wasn’t until many decades later that the idea of the pack leader became a staple of the American dog owner’s vocabulary and conceptual scheme, thanks to the “Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Millan. Millan’s enormously popular TV show ran from 2004–12 and brought dog training before American audiences like no other show has, before or … Continue reading You Are Not the Boss of Your Dog

Underwater views of Antarctic jellies are ‘a magic portal to another world’

The short film “Life Beneath the Ice” features delicate, illuminated marine creatures. By Mindy Weisberger  The gelatinous, transparent bodies of bizarre jellylike sea creatures — illuminated by the twinkling of an internal light, and some with a recent meal still visible in their bellies — tumble and drift in hypnotic footage that was captured below the Antarctic ice. Edited into a “trippy video composition,” as filmmaker and scientist Emiliano Cimoli described the film in a statement, the footage presents close-up views of jellyfish, comb jellies and other soft-bodied, see-through ocean life in the Ross Sea, a deep body of water in the … Continue reading Underwater views of Antarctic jellies are ‘a magic portal to another world’

What animals think of death

Having a concept of death, far from being a uniquely human feat, is a fairly common trait in the animal kingdom. Susana Monsó is an assistant professor at the Dept. of Logic, History, and Philosophy of Science of UNED (Madrid). She is the author of La Zarigüeya de Schrödinger (Schrödinger’s Possum), a book on how animals experience and understand death. Edited bySam Dresser When the Virginia opossum feels threatened, she plays dead. Lying on the ground, curled up into something resembling the foetal position, with her eyes and mouth open and her tongue hanging out, she stops responding to the world. Her … Continue reading What animals think of death

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

Don’t farm bugs

Insect farming bakes, boils and shreds animals by the trillion. It’s immoral, risky and won’t resolve the climate crisis Jeff Sebo is clinical associate professor of environmental studies, affiliated professor of bioethics, medical ethics, and philosophy, 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). Jason Schukraft is a senior research manager at the think-tank Rethink Priorities in … Continue reading Don’t farm bugs