All posts by Lori Marino

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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Dolphin and Whale Sanctuaries: Still Just a Field of Dreams

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

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Recognizing Intelligence – Wherever It May Be

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

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