We are moving towards treating animals with compassion. Not fast enough, but in the right direction. In the last e-newsletter, I wrote about a conference at the University of Cambridge held in July on the nature of human and animal consciousness where neuroscientists from different fields were moved to make a formal declaration, based on their findings, that animals, birds and other creatures such as octopuses have the neurological underpinnings necessary for consciousness. I had said this is a big deal. A friend wrote back asking “You mean we are still trying to prove this? Will people who don’t already realize this ever have enough proof? I find it amazing that animal consciousness...

Close up of a bison calf's face

-- by Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. -- There was a national sadness at the euthanizing of a baby bison in Yellowstone last May. It was taken away from its herd by well-meaning but ill-informed tourists, and the rangers made the decision to kill it when it couldn’t be introduced back. It was causing difficulties running up to cars looking for help. We all become a bit traumatized by news like this. There have been radically different responses to this highly emotional event. An environmental educator wrote in response to what she perceived as cruel attacks on the tourists through social media. She talks about the basically loving, concerned impulse of the tourists, however misguided, and how it...

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