The Coming Obsolescence of Animal Meat

DAN KITWOOD / GETTY IMAGES Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way. by OLGA KHAZAN SAN FRANCISCO—The thought I had when the $100 chicken nugget hit my expectant tongue was the one cartoon villains have when they entrap a foreign critter and roast him over a spit: It tastes like chicken.That’s because it was chicken—albeit chicken that had never laid an egg, sprouted a feather, or been swept through an electrified-water bath for slaughter. This chicken began life as a primordial mush in a bioreactor whose dimensions and brand I’m … Continue reading The Coming Obsolescence of Animal Meat

Human Drugs Are Polluting the Water—And Animals Are Swimming in It

ESTHER AARTS Salmon on psychotropics, platypuses on prozac, and other strange tales from the wild by REBECCA GIGGS What impels small salmon, called smolts, out of their nursery brooks to the ocean? Across thousands of miles, the fish transmogrify from fingerlings into trollish adults—hook-jawed, toothy, and, in the case of many males, humpbacked. Though reversing the journey does not rescind their metamorphosis, the big fish famously return, waggling against currents, vaulting over dams, and pushing together, like a blade, toward the very gravel beds where, years earlier, they hatched. The salmon “pulse,” as some people describe this recurrent migration, is … Continue reading Human Drugs Are Polluting the Water—And Animals Are Swimming in It

Your Dog’s Personality Changes to Match Yours, According to a New Study

FILADENDRON By KATHERINE GILLEN  It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks—well, kind of. Apparently, your dog might be morphing into a (furrier) version of you. That’s according to a new study from Michigan State University and published in the Journal of Research in Personality. It found that not only does your dog’s personality change naturally as she gets older, but different human characteristics also have an effect. To conduct the study, researchers pooled from a sample of 1,681 dogs (So. Many. Dogs.) and their owners. The dogs ranged in age from one-and-a-half weeks to 16 years and included 50 different breeds. The owners were also asked to take their own … Continue reading Your Dog’s Personality Changes to Match Yours, According to a New Study

Empathy, Morality, Community, Culture—Apes Have It All

Primatologist Frans de Waal takes exception with human exceptionalism. BY STEVE PAULSON ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN HENDRIXMARCH Frans de Waal calls his new book Mama’s Last Hug in reference to an emotional encounter between Mama, a 58-year-old chimpanzee, and Jan van Hooff, an 80-year-old biology professor. Mama is frail and near death when Van Hooff, who had overseen her care for decades, enters her cage at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands. Mama smiles and Van Hooff bends toward her. She strokes his white hair and drapes one of her arms around his neck, patting the back of his head with her long fingers. … Continue reading Empathy, Morality, Community, Culture—Apes Have It All

Sir David Attenborough Urges Young People To Look Up From Their Screens At The “Great Treasure” Of The Natural World

Laura Gallant/BuzzFeed The broadcaster talks to BuzzFeed News about his new Netflix show Our Planet, why we need to get off our screens and how there are so many more species on our planet we’ve yet to discover. by Scott Bryan Sir David Attenborough is into the sixth decade of his career. In that time, he has appeared on black and white, colour, high definition, and even 3D television. And, over the decades, has been consistent in educating us about the natural world while also highlighting the grave threats it faces — such as Blue Planet exposing the damage posed by single-use plastics. … Continue reading Sir David Attenborough Urges Young People To Look Up From Their Screens At The “Great Treasure” Of The Natural World

What Makes Music Special to Us?

Clarifying the differences between what animals and humans hear. BY HENKJAN HONING We are all born with a predisposition for music, a predisposition that develops spontaneously and is refined by listening to music. Nearly everyone possesses the musical skills essential to experiencing and appreciating music. Think of “relative pitch,”recognizing a melody separately from the exact pitch or tempo at which it is sung, and “beat perception,”hearing regularity in a varying rhythm. Even human newborns turn out to be sensitive to intonation or melody, rhythm, and the dynamics of the noise in their surroundings. Everything suggests that human biology is already … Continue reading What Makes Music Special to Us?

DON’T SHOOT THE DOGS: THE GROWING EPIDEMIC OF COPS SHOOTING FAMILY DOGS

John W. Whitehead, TRI  Waking Times “In too much of policing today, officer safety has become the highest priority. It trumps the rights and safety of suspects. It trumps the rights and safety of bystanders. It’s so important, in fact, that an officer’s subjective fear of a minor wound from a dog bite is enough to justify using potentially lethal force, in this case at the expense of a 4-year-old girl. And this isn’t the first time. In January, an Iowa cop shot and killed a woman by mistake while trying to kill her dog. Other cops have shot other kids, other bystanders, their partners, their supervisors and even themselves while firing … Continue reading DON’T SHOOT THE DOGS: THE GROWING EPIDEMIC OF COPS SHOOTING FAMILY DOGS