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Part 8. The Lives of Captive Creatures: Why Are They Even There?

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Why Are They Even There?

BILLIONS OF ANIMALS are kept in various captive situations, ranging from laboratories to zoos and aquariums, from circuses and rodeos to our own homes. We keep animals for a variety of reasons: in the name of science, in the name of entertainment, in the name of food (see part 9), or because they’re our companions. However, the lives of captive animals are often compromised. They may suffer from confinement, the lack of exercise, from being kept alone without friends, and from being mistreated (or deliberately “broken,” as happens in circuses, so they do what’s needed to entertain us). Here I’m primarily concerned with wild and domestic animals who are kept for purposes of entertaining humans. Today, there is increasing scrutiny of zoos and their purpose. Particularly in light of the uneven levels of animal care, the untimely deaths of zoo animals, and even the occasional death of their human caretakers, we must ask what zoos are really good for. I hope that this sample of essays shows that captive animals deserve much better treatment than they receive and that this should lead us to question why we hold them captive in the first place.

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3. Minerals for Your Dog

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub


inerals are inorganic elements that are essential for the growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Amazingly, these elements that are vital to life comprise only 4 percent of your dogs total body weight. Minerals are found in food, soil, and water. Plants absorb minerals through their roots from the soil and water, and animals get their minerals from eating plants, other animals, and drinking water, just as your dog will. The best nutritional sources of minerals are fresh organic fruits and vegetables, free-range organic meat and fresh spring water. If organic free-range food is not available, or not affordable, you will need to supplement your dogs diet with minerals.

With the exception of organic farming, food is depleted of minerals, or even worse, it contains the wrong balance of minerals. Dirt in its purest form is loaded with minerals, but todays soil is so overused and loaded with toxins that it has been depleted of most of its nutrients. Since most farmers plant crop after crop in the same soil without replenishing the minerals, any plants grown in this mineral-deficient soil will be unhealthy, which causes the farmers to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides that further deplete the soil of any nutrients. If, instead, farmers were to till in lots of organic compost and let it sit for a year, they would have a rich soil packed with minerals.

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Part 1. Animals and Us: Reflections on Our Challenging, Frustrating, Confusing, and Deep Interrelationships with Other Animals

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Reflections on Our Challenging, Frustrating, Confusing, and Deep Interrelationships with Other Animals

FROM TIME TO TIME, people ask me and the editors at Psychology Today why I write for them. I was astounded when these queries first came in, but I came to realize that it’s often not clear how the lives and emotions of animals relate to human psychology. In fact, our interactions with animals tell us a good deal about how we perceive ourselves, we who are also animals. Our interactions with animals run deep, and in very direct and pragmatic ways, these interactions affect both ourselves and the animals involved. Simply put, when we harm other animals, we hurt ourselves, and when we protect and nurture other animals, we heal ourselves. Whether we deny or recognize animal emotions and intelligence, this has real-world consequences for everyone. This is why I prefer using the word “interrelationships” rather than “relationships,” and why I prefer phrases like “other animals” and “nonhuman animals” rather than “animals,” as if humans were somehow separate from or not animals. In these ways I try to emphasize that all animal species share a continuum of being, which includes the way we feel and what we think.

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Part 6. The Emotional Lives of Animals: The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

ANIMALS HAVE rich and deep emotional lives. We’ve known this for a long time, and solid scientific research is supporting our intuitions. The different species of animals that fall into the emotional area, the circle of sentience, is constantly expanding, and we’re learning more and more about the incredible diversity of emotions they experience, ranging from joy and happiness to empathy and compassion to grief and despair. Emotions serve as social glue and are the reasons we’re so attracted to other animals. It’s also why they are drawn to us. Our own emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. How lucky we are to have inherited our own passionate lives from these awe-inspiring beings.

One surprising member of the expanding circle of sentience is the honeybee, who, it turns out, isn’t always a happy worker, collecting pollen and making honey with legendary industriousness. Bees can become just as depressed on the job as people. Bees also use their right antenna to tell friend from foe. Please read on.

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4: Trade in Meat

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Meat


4.1  Introduction

Humans are not anatomically or physiologically designed to eat raw meat. The absence of elongated canine teeth makes tearing through raw meat difficult and the relatively high pH in our stomachs renders us susceptible to food poisoning if the flesh is at all contaminated. For our ancestors the infrequency of successful hunts would have made contamination of stored meat likely. However, their ability to master fire provided a method of processing meat to make it more easily consumed and less likely to be contaminated. Hence for as long as prehistoric records are available, meat consumption has been a part of the human diet. Our ancestors’ advanced ability to communicate facilitated complex hunting methods, luring animals into traps for example. Cave paintings suggest that there were ritual gatherings before the hunt, perhaps even with music and hallucinogenic drugs, which bonded the males together to improve their performance in the hunt.

Hunting for meat provided an alternative to the long process of gathering nutrients from plant life, which varied with climate and season and often required a nomadic lifestyle to follow the geographic availability of suitable plants. The nutrient demands for hunting, gathering and nomadism were considerable, and meat was able to provide the highly digestible food needed. Nevertheless, the risks involved and uncertainty in finding food meant that life was short, typically 25–40 years. With the coming of agriculture, and the development of improved plants, principally cereals, with higher seed yields, a settled way of life became possible and it was no longer necessary to hunt animals for meat. However, in colder parts of the world, particularly the northern parts of the northern hemisphere, meat consumption remained necessary because it could provide the nutrients needed, and in these regions crop growth was limited. Over the last 1000 years people from these regions came to colonize most of the rest of the world and the colonizers took their meat-eating habits with them. For example, the British colonies covered one-third of the world at the beginning of the 20th century,

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