Kimmela Blog Posts Index
“I Am NOT an Animal” – a Kimmela White Paper
We explore the psychological dynamics of our treatment of nonhuman animals in the context of our deep fear of death.
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Webinar: Dolphin Assisted Therapy, Autism, and Pseudoscience
Is there any evidence that this dolphin lucrative swim program is an effective treatment for autism and other conditions?
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The Blood Harvest of Horseshoe Crabs is a Moral Fiasco
The blood of these animals is being used in biomedical research in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
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Kimmela Center Launches Scholar Advocacy Webinar Series
Students in the natural sciences are often told they should not engage in animal advocacy. In this series of webinars, we challenge this notion.
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Webinar: Scholar Advocacy in Neuroscience and Psychology
Scholar-advocacy is a professional path that promotes the connection between scholarship and animal advocacy. There is no inherent conflict between the two.
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The Psychology of Blaming Others During the Time of COVID-19
Why we blame wet markets in Asia, instead of ourselves, for the spread of COVID-19.
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Other Animals Are Not Humans’ Sacrificial Fall Guys
The root cause of the COVID-19 pandemic is humans’ consumption of animals – in this case bats and possibly pangolins.
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Coming Soon: a Generation of Scholar Advocates for Animals
Only a few years ago, this young student could have become a scientist OR an advocate, but NOT both.
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What I Learned from Clint the Chimpanzee
Clint was the first chimpanzee to have his genome sequenced. But he taught me a lot more about our own species than about his.
Do Emotional Support Animals Need Emotional Support?
Should an exotic animal be in an airport or a living room? Are there more humane ways for people to reduce anxiety?
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2018: What We Did
The Someone Project – our work with Farm Sanctuary; Scholar Advocacy at Superpod 6; Presentations about Dolphins; and much more.
Scholar-Advocacy Shines at Superpod 6
Nine young scholar-advocates took the stage to present their original work for marine mammals and the oceans.
Scholar-Advocacy Returns to Superpod
Nine young scholar-advocates will take the stage at Superpod 6 with unique presentations on whales and dolphins.
Service and Support Dogs: Welfarism versus Rights
Do we have a right to keep dogs and other animals in service for physical and emotional support?
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2017: What We Did
A ground-breaking symposium that explored the psychology behind our fraught relationship with nonhuman animals.
Even Cows Get the Blues
What does it tell us when a young bull escapes from a slaughterhouse and runs for his life through city streets?
Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down 2017
A great opportunity to talk about pigs using mirrors; roosters using deception, and cows jumping for joy.
“Enormously Complex” Orca Brains Lead to Great Stress in Captivity
Why orcas experience greater stress in marine parks and aquariums than any other species. What we’re learning about their brains.
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Human/Nonhuman Chimeras: Saving Our Bodies, Losing Our Souls
The goal is to generate pigs and cows who would become, essentially, living containers for human organs.
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It’s the Year of the Rooster in More Ways than One!
Chickens are just as cognitively, emotionally and socially complex as many other birds and mammals.
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"I Am NOT an Animal!" Symposium
What lies at the core of the fraught relationship we humans have with our fellow animals?
Human-Nonhuman Chimeras: Do We Really Want to Go There?
Proposed changes by the NIH will result in pigs becoming living growth chambers for human organs.
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Superpod 5: Scholar-Advocacy at Its Best
Outstanding talks by young people applying their education and skills to marine mammal protection.
Paper Concludes Pigs Are Behaviorally, Cognitively, Emotionally Complex Individuals
Pigs are not very different from the dogs and cats we share our homes with. Nor indeed from ourselves.
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Announcement and Call for Presentations
An opportunity for students and young professionals working on marine mammal protection.
Sanctuaries for Captive Cetaceans
It is impossible for orcas and other marine mammals to thrive in concrete tanks at entertainment parks.
An Open Letter to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
We emphatically reject your mischaracterization of seaside sanctuaries as “sea cages”.
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SeaWorld’s Announcement: A Good Start, but …
Coastal sanctuaries are the only practical and ethical solution to the dilemma faced by SeaWorld.
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As Tilikum Ails, Questions for SeaWorld
Tilikum, the orca at the center of the Blackfish documentary, is close to death.
A Mob by Any Other Name
The dying infant dolphin was taken out of the water by beachgoers and passed around as a prop for selfies.
The REAL Puppy-Monkey-Baby
A soft drink commercial that features a strange chimeric creature called the PuppyMonkeyBaby.
Sea Sanctuaries for Cetaceans: A Growing Reality
Key issues relevant to developing and maintaining a coastal sanctuary for captive whales and dolphins.
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There’s Nothing "Natural" About SeaWorld’s New Plan
The latest announcement from SeaWorld was largely smoke and mirrors.
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How Smart Are Dolphins? A TED-Ed Video
Working with TED to produce an animated lesson on dolphin intelligence.
Why We Can’t Stand It when Other Animals Treat Us like Animals
The imposition of the death penalty on a member of another species for just being a member of that species.
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On Gifted Children
Young people driven by an insight about our connectedness with the other animals that allows them to see things most others do not.
New Imaging Technique Reveals Dolphin Brain Pathways
Two dolphins who died a decade ago are giving us new information about how dolphin brains process sounds.
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Pigs Are Smart – and Machiavellian
Pigs share many of the characteristics we admire in dogs, chimpanzees, dolphins and humans.
Infant Beluga Death Is No Mystery
The second infant from the same parents to die at the Georgia Aquarium in three years.
De-Extinction from the Animal’s Perspective
De-extinction will not be possible without violating reasonable standards of humane and respectful treatment of our fellow animals.
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Update on Hercules and Leo Order to Show Cause
One of a trio of cases to free chimpanzeesthrough an “Article 70–Habeas Corpus” proceeding.
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Historic Win for Nonhuman Rights Project
In an unprecedented decision, Judge Barbara Jaffe signed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees
Brainiacs of the Sea and the Land
3rd-5th graders doing hands-on science and learning about dolphins in the context of their high intelligence.
Active SETI – WE are the big bad aliens!
No wonder we’re afraid of our chicken wings coming home to roost.
Brainiacs of the Sea
Family, friends, and freedom are as important to dolphins as they are to us humans.
The Psychology of Animal Exploitation
Reminders of our mortality create a strong psychological need to dominate, exploit and abuse other animals.
Why the Animal Protection Movement Has Failed
In every sphere of animal protection except pets, the situation is getting worse, not better.
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Orcas Are Not Thriving at SeaWorld
The science tells us unequivocally that orcas cannot thrive, or even survive for very long, at places like SeaWorld.
Dolphin and Whale Sanctuaries: Still Just a Field of Dreams
Unlike for land-based animals, there are no dolphin or whale sanctuaries anywhere in the world.
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Recognizing Intelligence – Wherever It May Be
A recent colloquium to discuss nonhuman communication research and the evolution of intelligence.
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Climate Change: The Cow in the Room
When it comes to climate change, the elephant in the room is the cow.
Next Steps for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act
Passage of this bill would require the phasing out of captive breeding of orcas.
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How I Became an Elephant
Two determined women have had some impressive successes protecting elephants.
The Giraffe on Your Plate
Thousands of “surplus” animals in zoos are killed every year – either at the zoo or at “canned hunt” facilities where they are hunted as trophies.
The Scala Naturae: Alive and Well in Modern Times
While we’ve rejected every other inaccurate model of the world, like the flat Earth, we continue to embrace the Scala Naturae.
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SeaWorld’s Act for Dolphins
SeaWorld wants to put as much distance as possible between itself and the infamous dolphin massacre at Taiji.
Animal Rights and Wrongs
SeaWorld wants to put as much distance as possible between itself and the infamous dolphin massacre at Taiji.
The Caring Chicken – Being a Mother Hen
There are lots of very good reasons why mother hens are known as caring parents.
In Major Medical Journal, Kimmela Discusses Dolphin-Assisted Therapy
There is no basis for most of the claims made by the lucrative industry that has grown up around dolphin-assisted therapy.
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NOAA Says No to the Georgia Aquarium
The U.S. government says no to Georgia Aquarium importing 18 beluga whales from Russia.
Some Special Folks from the Someone Project
A joint project with Farm Sanctuary to increase awareness about the complex minds of farmed animals.
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India Bans Dolphinariums
Kimmela collaborated in providing the scientific evidence that convinced the government
Best Way to Murder a Dolphin
They are advocating not for the end of the massacre, but for a more “humane” way of conducting it.
Four Reasons Why We Should Oppose ‘De-Extinction’
De-extinction will not be possible without violating any reasonable standard of humane treatment.
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Kimmela Farms the Science to Help Change Attitudes about Farm Animals
It would be no more acceptable to factory farm pigs, chickens and cows than to treat our pets that way.
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The Fallacy of Noah’s Ark Propaganda
How zoos and aquariums use conservation issues to re-brand themselves as modern-day Noah’s Arks.
Yerkes Grudging in Its Response to Phase-Out of Chimpanzee Research
The environment for chimpanzees at Yerkes is not conducive to their welfare or quality of life.
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Kimmela Salutes Scholar Advocates
Applying scholarship, science and expertise to real-world animal advocacy problems
Science Empowers Blackfish – New Film About Orca Captivity
The documentary Blackfish takes a revealing look at the marine mammal captivity industry.
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India’s Animal Welfare Board Advises ‘No’ on Dolphinariums
Captive cetacean attractions actually mis-educate the public about wildlife and the marine environment.
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2013 – The Year of the Nonhuman Person
Nonhuman animals need to be recognized as having rights that are specific to their species.
Compassionate Conservation Needs to Be Based on Rights
Compassionate conservation focuses on a critical component in conservation: regard for the individual animal.
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Meat-Eating is Not Sustainable at Any Level
Gree Mountain College’s lessons in sustainable farming are teaching students exactly the wrong thing.
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Dolphin Welfare vs. Dolphin Rights at the American Cetacean Society Conference
Is it ever appropriate to keep whales and dolphins in captivity?
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Kimmela Delivers the Science to the Nonhuman Rights Project
These animals have the cognitive characteristics that qualify them for common law personhood.
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The Georgia Aquarium Plunders the Oceans in the Name of Conservation
The Georgia Aquarium wants to import 18 captured belugas from Russia and put them on display at various aquariums.
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Report on the NOAA Beluga Import Public Hearing
Advocates for the belugas presented evidence that the wild-captures and transfers are inhumane.
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The Georgia Aquarium Plays the Education Card … Again
There is no evidence that public displays of dolphins and whales are educational in any sense of the word.
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Georgia Aquarium Seeks Permit to Import Wild-Caught Belugas
Kimmela is providing local animal rights groups with relevant peer-reviewed papers on beluga whales.
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There is no inherent conflict between being a scientist and an advocate – just an imaginary one we’ve created.