Do we have a right to keep dogs and other animals in service for physical and emotional support? It’s a question that came to the fore in my mind at a conference at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at University of Denver.
My attention was particularly taken by the number of service dogs who were present.
I left the conference wondering whether many of the psychological tasks the dogs were charged with were either unnecessary at best, or actively hindering the emotional development of both dog and handler at worst.
Here are some of the highlights you made possible this year through your tax-deductible donations.
Our latest papers explore the cognitive, emotional and social capacities of chickens and cows.
At conferences and colleges from Barcelona to British Columbia, we have been bringing the message of the plight of captive dolphins and whales to wide-ranging audiences.
We are doing an expanded version of the scholar-advocacy program for students and young professionals at Superpod 6 in 2018.
We are working with the Canadian Senate to ban the display of dolphins and whales in captivity.
And at a ground-breaking symposium we explored the psychology behind our fraught relationship with our fellow animals.
At Farm Sanctuary’s annual Hoe Down, I shared some of our findings on the Someone Project.
For example, pigs can use mirrors to find hidden food; roosters use deception to gain favor with their favorite hens; and cows jump for joy and have other positive emotional reactions when they realize they’ve completed a task successfully.
A new paper details the creation of a human/pig chimera.
The goal of the research program is to generate pigs and cows who would become, essentially, living containers for human organs.
The possibilities have many researchers giddy with excitement. But they also raise serious ethical dilemmas regarding the moral status of these part-human animals.
Steven Hawking argues that transporting the human population to other planets will save us from the problems we’ve caused here on Earth.
Not only is this notion wildly unrealistic as a panacea for our problems; it is dangerous.
Our upcoming symposium explores the idea that at the core of the fraught relationship we humans have with our fellow animals is the deeply-rooted psychological need to tell ourselves that “I Am NOT an Animal!”