Posts by Lori Marino

Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in The Blog | 9 comments

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 everything to...

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Dolphin and Whale Sanctuaries: Still Just a Field of Dreams

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in The Blog | 6 comments

I just returned from the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Captive Wildlife Conference in Burbank, CA, where prominent scientists, veterinarians and advocates converged to discuss the ongoing effort to end the exploitation of captive wildlife. The first day was dedicated to presentations on elephant welfare in zoos and circuses and the critically important role sanctuaries continue to play in getting captive elephants out of exploitive and abusive situations and into a more naturalistic and caring setting. There are only a handful of legitimate elephant sanctuaries around the globe...

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Recognizing Intelligence – Wherever It May Be

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Kimmela News | 1 comment

Kimmela Center Director Lori Marino participated in a recent colloquium of scientists to discuss nonhuman communication research and the evolution of intelligence. The meeting, which was held at The SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, on October 20-21, included discussion of new methods of exploring nonhuman animal complex communication systems on Earth that may provide insight into and tools for exploring potential future assessments of life on other planets. Participants also presented a summary of the workshop at a public forum at the Institute. You can find the videotape of...

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Climate Change: The Cow in the Room

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in The Blog | 1 comment

We are in the midst of a public awakening, of a sort, about climate change, with hundreds of thousands of protestors taking to the streets this past Sunday, and TV hosts interviewing celebrity guests as the United Nations prepared to hold its annual summit on the topic. But few people have been talking about the elephant in the room – or, more appropriately, the cow. People typically point to the global transportation industry as the largest culprit in climate change. But factory farming is an even larger contributor. Today, about 70 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and...

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Next Steps for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Kimmela News | 1 comment

On April 8th, at the California legislature, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act went before the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. Passage of the bill would require the phasing out of captive breeding of orcas and their continued use for entertainment purposes. After hearing testimony from scientists and advocates for the orcas, including from Dr. Naomi Rose of the Animal Welfare Institute and Dr. Deborah Giles of University of California, Davis, and then from SeaWorld officials and lobbyists, the committee requested an interim study and undertook to revisit the bill in 2015. The Kimmela...

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