The 2012 Fellowship Begins!
This week, the 2012 ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Fellowship launched.
It is our sixth annual fellowship, and our second at our new home,
Wesleyan Animal Studies, located in the College of the Environment at
Wesleyan University. The fellowship is host...
Walking the Dog (Part 3): Making dogs in our own image
Tosca, our now 7 or 8 year old (age at adoption not known)
rat-terrier/beagle mix companion has
visited us on this page on two earlier occasions (Walking the Dog; 
Walking the Dog: Part 2: A new
leash on life) and here prompts yet another blog...
Audrey the Star
Please forgive me the indulgent nature of today's blog.
This morning I said goodbye to Audrey. She didn't say goodbye to me,
though, because she was already dead.
Today, and for a very long time to come, I will mourn her death.
People who know me ...
So What is it about Presidential Candidates and Animals?
This year we'll be living and breathing the presidential election, so
I thought I'd start off 2012 by jumping on that bandwagon.
We've already seen at least one example of that perennial (or I
should say quadrennial) activity: hunting animals ...
Sad, but unsurprising, news today.
It was announced today that a spotted leopard was euthanized at the
Columbus Zoo today. The leopard was one of 56 wild animals that Terry
Thompson, a Zanesville man, was keeping at his home, and which he
Redefining "Animal Lovers"
Americans are often described as great "animal lovers," and many of
the Valentines being exchanged this week will feature kittens, puppies
and other images of furry fondness as an example of how we associate
them with affection.
But what does being ...
Ginger, Sep. 1, 2001 to Feb. 5, 2012
This morning I'm experiencing that special grief, sadness and
emptiness that many of you know and have lived through. Our cat,
Ginger, died last night about 11:30. My husband and I were with her.
We expected her to pass during the night, as she lay o...
Zoos Going Forward
Like many other issues involving animals, the ethical and policy
considerations involved in keeping animals in zoos increase in
complexity and ambiguity upon closer examination. Recently, through my
involvement on the Advisory Committee of the De...
47,000 Dead: Does Anyone Care?
Just this week, 47,000 creatures lost their lives and almost no one
A according to doctors who have witnessed starvation and dehydration
among children in Africa, it results in dizziness, weakness, cramping,
nausea, and dry heaves. It is a...
The Yin and Yang of Using Legislation to Promote Animal Welfare
Several weeks ago, I spoke at an animal law conference. I talked about
the cycle between animal abuse and other violent behavior, which had
been bolstered by studies over the past few decades that established
"the Link." I also talked about a number ...
No Valor in Victimization
What does it say about a society's collective conscience when people
can find valor in victimization?
That's what I wondered after seeing some media reports laud a
bullfighter in Spain who was severely gored (in the face no less) last
October but re...
"E" is for Elephant, "E" is for Extinction
"Essentially, you're seeing a culture under siege," began Gay
Bradshaw. She is executive director of The Kerulos Center , and a
psychologist and ecologist who is an expert on PTSD in elephants.
Speaking in a recent interview  broadcast on NPR's...
Finding Justice in the Ashes
Every day, every week, the Animals and Society Institute monitors
individual animal cruelty cases for our Rapid Response program. We
screen news reports to determine which incidents might be most
appropriate for AniCare mental health assessment and t...
Taking a Look on the Bright Side
George Orwell, in Animal Farm, wrote:
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not
give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he
cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the
In the Company of Animals
I'm in New York City this weekend, and it gave me the opportunity to
visit "In the Company of
Animals: Art, Literature, and Music at the Morgan." The Morgan Library
">This exhibition examines the ways in which the artists, writers, and
Animal Research: Beyond usefulness
Animal People (April 2012) includes an article by Kim Bartlett
entitled, Proposal for an Accord between Animal Advocates and the
Biomedical Research Community (Proposal;
http://www.animalpeoplenews.org ). A number of responses to the
The Fellows Present!
The ASI-WAS 2012 Human-Animal Studies Fellowship has begun! The
fellowship began on May 29, but really kicked off on Monday, June 4,
when we opened up the two-day opening workshop, during which the
fellows presented their projects and received comme...
Chick-fil-A: Bad on Every Front
Chick-fil-A has been in the news lately after the company's president,
Dan Cathy, gave his and his company's views on gay people's right to
marry. He said, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation
when we shake our fist at him and say, '...
Terms of (Animal) Endearment
I had two meaningful animal encounters while visiting the South
Carolina coast last week, both of which offered mini-lessons in
The first occurred while I was kayaking through a tidal marsh on a
small guided tour. As gull...
How Much Is One Life Worth?
One of the differences between animal rights and animal rescue is that
animal rights philosophy and activities tend to focus on large numbers
of animals, while animal rescue focuses on individual animals.
Obviously, for those who care about animal w...
Like prison whores deprived of sun
and field, chained since childhood
to a metal bed, they keen.
Slash with jagged nails whom they can reach,
grope to groom their tufted heads,
and chafe in phantom bathe against the walls.
Below quota, the layi...
When Blindness Trumps Kindness
A dog named Lennox was killed for no good reason in Northern Ireland
 on July 11. But it wasn't for lack of efforts to save him: his
plight made international news and drew tens of thousands of
supporters from around the world. Facebook and other ...
43 Goats, 24 Horses and a Dog Named Annie
ASI's AniCare and Rapid Response programs have been developed as a
result of empirical evidence that establishes a cycle between animal
abuse and other violent behavior. As a result, I spend a lot of time
thinking -- and talking to others -- about an...
Good Riddance, Snapperfest
I have a thing for turtles. Not a
plaster-your-house-with-turtle-knickknacks type of thing, but a
genuine innate affection for turtles and tortoises of all sizes. I am
particularly fond of box turtles and am zealous about rescuing them
from traffic (...
A Killing Season
Although fall normally is a favorite season of mine, this year it's
brought stories of cruelty to animals which mars enjoyment of the
colorful leaves, apple cider and crisp days. Here is a sad sampling:
Pilot Whale Massacre in Faroe Islands
I just got back from a two-week vacation. My husband, our four dogs,
our parrot, and three of our rabbits packed up our little trailer and
took off to visit state and national parks in Colorado, Utah, Idaho
and Wyoming. We visited Rocky Mountain Nat...
Crime and Consequence
Efforts to stop the cattle industry from abusing animals seem to
stumble and fall just like the debilitated cows recently filmed at a
Hanford, California, slaughterhouse. The undercover video  taken at
the Central Valley Meat Co. was heartbreaking...
Second Look: A Grandfather's Wisdom
Note: From time to time we will be republishing Diary entries from the
past when they are particularly relevant. John Thompson's Diary entry
was first posted on this site in April 2011. It is timely now when
several states are considering hunting wol...
Laying Animals to Rest
The AP just reported on an interesting item: a pet cemetery has been
added to the National Register of Historic Places. Founded in 1896,
The Hartsdale Pet Cemetery and Crematory in Hartsdale, New York, is
the first pet cemetery in the United States....
Animals As Healers
When Bernie retired from a middle management position he felt like he
had lost his identity. It was difficult for him to speak with
strangers. Eventually he just stayed in his apartment and had
groceries delivered. Then Jane entered his life.
Second Segment in Speakers Series: a Successful Synergy
Take a look around the room in which you are reading this post, and
what do you notice? In my case, it's the computer screen, my (alas,
perennially) untidy desk, a few pictures on the wall as well as
knick-knacks, books and binders in and on top of t...
Falling from the Sky: Confronting Pigeon Shoots (Again)
In the annals of animal protection, Labor Day became known not for the
end of summer but for the violent end of hundreds of birds in
Pennsylvania. The infamous annual pigeon shoot in the small town of
Hegins became a symbol of gratuitous violence tow...
Poisoning the Planet
Gloria Steinem observed, "Rich people plan for three generations; poor
people plan for Saturday night." The implication is that failing to
see beyond short-term results keeps people, nations, and all dwellers
on this planet, impoverished and in jeopa...
By the time most of you read this post, the election will be over.
We'll know who will be president for the next four years, and whether
the majority party in the US Senate or House has changed. Voters will
have decided who their representatives ...
An Alien's Kiss
In the realm of wildlife conservation, the term "charismatic
megafauna" refers to the types of animals we often see on those
fundraising return-address labels we all get in the mail: pandas,
gorillas, whales, and of course the famous lions and tigers...
Poland and Animals
From an American vantage point, Poland is Copernicus, Madame Curie,
Chopin, Pope John Paul II, the devastation of Nazi destruction and
occupation followed by Soviet hegemony, the Solidarity Movement, and
the new Poland of the European Union.
An ASI Reunion in Michigan
I just got back from MPAW, the Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare
annual conference. I was invited to speak to an audience of Michigan
animal welfare professionals about caring for rabbits in a shelter
environment, in my role as President of Hou...
Many Native Americans consider the wolf to be a magical animal. It is
part of the creation story for some tribes. Their respect for the wolf
is shown in the various symbols, totems and amulets which include this
animal's image. Wolves appear in folkl...
This special ASI Diary was written by our colleague Suzanne
McAllister, a psychologist who has worked with us on AniCare/Rapid
Response issues, and who will join our Board of Directors in January
In October I attended a screening of "Lolita: ...
A Visit to SeaWorld
My second stop in Florida recently (after seeing Lolita at the Miami
Seaquarium; see previous post) was at SeaWorld in Orlando.
I was especially interested to see Tilikum, the male orca who killed a
trainer  named Dawn Brancheau there in 2010. T...
Hunting for Answers
The joy and hope of the 2012 holiday season was shattered by the
vicious shooting of 20 young children and six school workers in
Newtown, Connecticut. It was an outburst of violence so unthinkable
and so heinous that many of us found ourselves only g...
Looking Back Looking Forward
On the eve of the New Year, I take this opportunity to offer a
broader look at where we are on the animal issue -- globally,
organizationally, and, excuse the indulgence, personally.
Relative to the second Bush administrations, Obama has made ...