All posts by Lori Marino

Infant Beluga Death Is No Mystery

By Lori Marino

Last Friday, June 5th, an infant beluga whale born to Maris and Beethoven at the Georgia Aquarium took her last breath. The whale was 26 days old, and the second infant from the same parents to die at the aquarium in three years. The first one, her sister, died less than a week after she was born.

The senior veterinarian and the care staff at the Georgia Aquarium all seem baffled by the early death of yet another infant beluga. According to the aquarium, the infant

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De-Extinction from the Animal’s Perspective

De-extinction will not be possible without violating any reasonable standards of humane and respectful treatment of our fellow animals. Haven’t elephants withstood enough brutality and exploitation from our species, with poaching, circuses and zoos, and dying of exhaustion literally under the weight of being ridden by tourists?

Where are the arguments on behalf of the sentient beings who will bear the full brunt of these efforts as if they were inanimate scientific curiosities?

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Historic Win for Nonhuman Rights Project

In an unprecedented decision, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the Supreme Court of the State of New York has signed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzee plaintiffs of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), Hercules and Leo.

These are the first two nonhuman beings to be considered legal persons under the common law.

Hercules and Leo, who have been used in research for years, are currently held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and are “owned” by The

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Active SETI – WE are the big bad aliens!

Since the 1960s some of the world’s best scientists have been searching for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence using large radio telescopes. This program is known as SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. And while this planet has been leaking its own radio signals into space since the 1940s and actively listening for signals, we now have the capability to do more than listen and leak. We can send intentional and powerful radio signals into space. This kind of effort, called Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) or Active

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The Psychology of Animal Exploitation

I recently attended two major animal protection meetings. First was the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Captive Wildlife Conference in Burbank, CA, where prominent scientists, veterinarians and advocates came together to discuss the ongoing effort to end the exploitation of captive and wild animals.

The second was the Animal Grantmakers Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ, where topics spanned the spectrum from homeless dogs and cats to marine mammal captivity.

At both meetings, I was struck by the stark contrast between the improving situation for homeless dogs and

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Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld

In a September 4, 2014, guest column titled “SeaWorld Responds” published in Florida Today, SeaWorld veterinarian Dr. Chris Dold said:

“[I] can unequivocally state that our whales, along with every other animal in our parks, are thriving, both mentally and physically.”

But how do you define “thriving”? According to Thomas White, who teaches ethics at Loyola Marymount University:

“Full, healthy growth and development of the traits, skills and dispositions that allow a being to have a satisfying and successful life as a member of that species.”

Thriving has

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