Welcome Back, Animals!

It’s time to consider how we can have more animals in our daily lives in the city. BY PAMELA YEH & IAN MACGREGOR-FORS The shelter-in-place orders and the massive drop in human activity in our cities, designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, have given us surprising and unexpected sightings of wildlife species across cities around the world. But beyond general awe—and a brief respite from the gloominess of the news—what can seeing all of this wildlife tell us about human-deprived spaces? Although the media has mainly covered unexpected sightings occurring in urban settings as a result of lockdowns, there … Continue reading Welcome Back, Animals!

To Prevent Pandemics, Bridging the Human and Animal Health Divide

Veterinarians, farmers, and zookeepers could help prevent the next pandemic, but their expertise has been overlooked. BY LYNNE PEEPLES NADIA BEGAN COUGHING on March 27. The 4-year-old Malayan tiger’s keepers at the Bronx Zoo in New York City also noticed she wasn’t finishing her daily allotment of raw meat. Concerned, they called in Paul Calle, the zoo’s head veterinarian. The team immobilized and anesthetized Nadia, so she could be put through a series of X-rays, ultrasounds, and routine blood work to look for known causes of respiratory disease in cats. “Since New York City is the epicenter for Covid in the U.S.,” … Continue reading To Prevent Pandemics, Bridging the Human and Animal Health Divide

Ever Wonder ‘What It’s Like To Be A Bird’? David Allen Sibley Has Some Answers

A page on Swallows from David Allen Sibley’s What It’s Like To Be A Bird.David Allen Sibley/Knopf “A bird’s experience is far richer, complex, and ‘thoughtful’ than I’d imagined.” by BARBARA J. KING This sentence on the first page of David Allen Sibley’s What It’s Like to Be a Bird is a stunner. A renowned author-illustrator of bird field guides, Sibley is a top bird expert. When he did research for this new volume, though, he became convinced of something he had not previously anticipated: Birds routinely make complex decisions and experience emotions. “And if that was news to me after a lifetime of watching … Continue reading Ever Wonder ‘What It’s Like To Be A Bird’? David Allen Sibley Has Some Answers

Why factory farms are a “perfect storm” for disease pandemics

We’ve known this virus was coming. We just didn’t do anything about it. by Derek Beres  As far back as 2007, researchers warned about a novel coronavirus emerging from SARS. Long before that, experts knew that factory farms create the conditions for pandemics. Pandemics will be part of our lives as long as we continue our current methods of meat production. In 2007, a team of researchers at The University of Hong Kong published a review warning of potential dangers of SARS-related coronaviruses emerging in the near future. Four years after the SARS outbreak of 2003 the team poured over a sampling … Continue reading Why factory farms are a “perfect storm” for disease pandemics

Dogs Have Anxiety Too — Here Are Ways to Help

Even a pampered pet can have anxiety. By Melissa Locker  Your pampered pet shouldn’t have a care in the world. You wait on them hand and foot, feed them, bathe them, take them on long sniff-filled walks, play with them, and let them sleep the day away on their bed or even yours. Despite their seemingly coddled existence, some dogs do suffer from anxiety. There are dogs who have moments of anxiety due to fireworks or thunderstorms. Some dogs are so attached to their human friends that they suffer from separation anxiety. When their favorite person leaves them alone, the pups go into a panic mode. Other dogs, particularly … Continue reading Dogs Have Anxiety Too — Here Are Ways to Help

Rats are us

They are sentient beings with rich emotional lives, yet we subject them to experimental cruelty without conscience. Why? 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.  Susana Monsó is a post-doctoral fellow at the Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal Studies of the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna.Listen here Edited by Sam Dresser In the late 1990s, Jaak Panksepp, the father of affective neuroscience, discovered … Continue reading Rats are us

Animal behavior experts discover why your pet freaks out when you leave—and it’s not about you

BY ARIANNE COHEN Nearly all dogs freak out in one way or another when owners leave, typically barking or scratching or destroying or otherwise going bananas. For decades, owners have been responding all wrong. Researchers studied 2,757 dogs from over 100 breeds, filling in 243-question surveys for each. They found that our perception of “separation anxiety” is myopically focused on, uh, owners, and not actually what fuels problematic pooch behavior. “Labeling a dog who is destructive, urinating or defecating indoors, or vocalizing when left alone as separation anxiety is not very helpful,” says coauthor Daniel Mills, a professor veterinary behavioral medicine at the U.K.’s University … Continue reading Animal behavior experts discover why your pet freaks out when you leave—and it’s not about you