Where went the wolf?

The very attributes that make small dogs cute and popular are slowly strangling their ability to function as real animals Photo by Richard Clark/Getty By Jessica Pierce, is a bioethicist whose work focuses on human-animal relationships and interconnections between ecosystems and health. She is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her books include Run, Spot, Run (2016); Unleashing Your Dog (2019) and A Dog’s World (2021), with Marc Bekoff; and Who’s a Good Dog? And How to Be a Better Human (forthcoming, 2023). She  writes the blog All Dogs Go to Heaven for Psychology Today, and is based … Continue reading Where went the wolf?

Lessons from the foragers

Hadza hunters in the Gideru mountains, Tanzania. Photo by Matthieu Paley/Paleyphoto Hunter-gatherers don’t live in an economic idyll but their deep appreciation of rest puts industrialised work to shame By Vivek V Venkataraman, is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is also assistant director of the Guassa Gelada Research Project in Ethiopia, and the co-founder and co-principal investigator of the Orang Asli Health and Lifeways Project in Peninsular Malaysia. In the seminar I teach about hunter-gatherers, I often ask my students whether they think life was better in the past or … Continue reading Lessons from the foragers

Restoring Dignity to Our Animal Kin

Anthropologist Amanda Stronza reflects on death, grief, and the profound interconnections between animals and humans. By Lauren Krauze  Is there a disconnect between what we love and how we live? For the last thirty years, anthropologist Amanda Stronza has been investigating this question through her studies of the relationships between humans and animals. Her research and work in applied conservation have taken her around the world, from Botswana to the Amazon, where she has investigated what influences humans to care about and interact with certain species the way we do.  In recent years, Stronza has become known for her practice of rescuing … Continue reading Restoring Dignity to Our Animal Kin

What has feelings?

The eyes of the conch snail. Photo by Alex Permiakov/Getty As the power of AI grows, we need to have evidence of its sentience. That is why we must return to the minds of animals Kristin Andrews is the York Research Chair in Animal Minds and a professor of philosophy at York University in Toronto. She is on the board of directors of the Borneo Orangutan Society Canada and a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Her books include The Animal Mind (2nd ed, 2020) and How to Study Animal Minds (2020)   Jonathan Birch is an associate professor in philosophy … Continue reading What has feelings?

If not vegan, then what?

A herd of longhorn cattle and their calves on a farm outside Cambridge, United Kingdom. Photo by Andrew Testa/Panos A vegan diet can be hard to adopt, even if you’re convinced it’s the right thing to do. What are the next-best options? By Peter Godfrey-Smith – is professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind (2020) and Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness (2016), among others. He lives near Sydney. Suppose a person is very concerned about the ethical issues around … Continue reading If not vegan, then what?

Inside the brains of aging dogs

In a citizen science project, thousands of pet dogs are helping scientists to understand what happens to memory and cognition in old age. by Lesley Evans Ogden Hana aced her memory test. After viewing the contents of three identical boxes arrayed in an arc on the back deck of her home, the 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel had to remember which box held a treat — a task she quickly learned after just a few trials. Hana and her human companion, Masami Shimizu-Albergine of Bainbridge Island, Washington, are helping scientists to learn something too: when dog smarts reach their peak … Continue reading Inside the brains of aging dogs

Visual thinking: How to comprehend animal consciousness

Humans are good visual thinkers, too, but we tend to privilege verbal thinking. KEY TAKEAWAYS By Temple Grandin Excerpted from VISUAL THINKING: THE HIDDEN GIFTS OF PEOPLE WHO THINK IN PICTURES, PATTERNS, AND ABSTRACTIONS by Temple Grandin published on October 11, 2022 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2022 Temple Grandin. It always struck me as ridiculous to think that a dog or a cow does not have consciousness, yet people continue to debate the subject. Aristotle believed that what set men above animals was the ability to reason. … Continue reading Visual thinking: How to comprehend animal consciousness

Is winter as miserable for animals as it is for us?

If dogs are out in coats and boots, how are the squirrels feeling? by Bridget B. Baker While the weather outside may indeed get frightful this winter, a parka, knit hat, wool socks, insulated boots and maybe a roaring fire make things bearable for people who live in cold climates. But what about all the wildlife out there? Won’t they be freezing? Anyone who’s walked their dog when temperatures are frigid knows that canines will shiver and favor a cold paw – which partly explains the boom in the pet clothing industry. But chipmunks and cardinals don’t get fashionable coats or booties.  In … Continue reading Is winter as miserable for animals as it is for us?

Dogs can smell people’s stress – new study

When we’re stressed, our hormones and nervous system produce all sorts of odors. by Clara Wilson Dogs have a long history alongside humans, giving them an amazing ability to read human cues. Dogs also possess an incredible sense of smell, which enables them to detect diseases, such as COVID and lung cancer, in humans from odor alone. Whether dogs’ capabilities extend to detecting odours associated with psychological states has been explored far less.  When people are stressed, there are hormonal and nervous system changes that alter the kinds of odors produced by the body. My colleagues and I wanted to know if dogs … Continue reading Dogs can smell people’s stress – new study

Fortune favours the shrewd

Attaining and maintaining power lies at the heart of almost all animal societies. And it’s as devious as human politicking by Lee Alan Dugatkin, is professor of biology at the University of Louisville. His books include Power in the Wild: The Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways Animals Strive for Control over Others (2022) and, along with Lyudmila Trut, of How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) (2017). The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power … We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention … Continue reading Fortune favours the shrewd