If you support animal rights, sign the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins:
Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons;
Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures;
Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests an entitlement to life by cetaceans;
We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.
We conclude that:
- Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
- No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
- All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
- No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
- Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
- Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
- The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
- Cetaceans are entitled to an international order in which these rights, freedoms and norms can be fully realized.
- No State, corporation, human group or individual should engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms and norms.
- Nothing in this Declaration shall prevent a State from enacting stricter provisions for the protection of cetacean rights.
Agreed, 22nd May 2010, Helsinki, Finland
Do you support this declaration? Click here to add your name.
This morning I started to read Bee Deaths From Colony Collapse Disorder On The Rise As Researchers Point To Pesticides on Huffington Post, and then I realized I’d rather find out how I can help, instead of just feeling bad about the problem. Here are some suggestions I found on the interwebs.
- Stop buying GMO, non-organic food, and support organic agriculture instead. Buy used and/or organic clothing.
- Learn about where your food and clothing comes from and how much pesticide went into its production.
- Stop using pesticides in your own lawn and garden.
- Sign petitions banning pesticides, and support the use of organic alternatives.
- Encourage your local government to do more to help bees.
- Attract bees by planting clover, flowering trees, and herbs that bees like. Provide a water source so they can take a drink when they visit.
- Let your veggies go to seed after harvest, to help fatten up your bee neighbors for the long winter.
- Educate yourself about bees so you can be more sure of how you relate to them and what you might like to do to help them.
- Pass on your knowledge about bees. Your voice is powerful, and the bees can’t speak for themselves! Make sure that kids understand that bees are an important part of their ecosystem.
- Provide bee habitat, but make sure you’re keeping bees and humans safe from hurting each other by marking bees’ homes.
The only one I saw folks mention elsewhere that I didn’t put here was “become a beekeeper / support your local beekeeper.” I don’t feel that it would be my place to confine and manipulate others and take things they make, or to encourage others to do that. It takes the average worker bee her entire life to produce just one twelfth of one teaspoon of honey. They make it for their colony, not for us.
If you do choose to use bee products, please make sure they’re locally produced and that you feel good about the way the bees are living, from birth to death. Since your decision impacts the lives of other beings, you may want to educate yourself about some of the ethical problems with beekeeping, honey, and beeswax. Thank you!
Sorry to share something so sad, but it’s also quite beautiful. This video captures a moment when a sight-seeing boat from Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point, California crossed paths with what seemed to be a funeral procession: A grieving mother dolphin, slowly carrying her dead child’s body on her dorsal fin, surrounded by other dolphins.
In the video, Tony Green, one of the passengers, says,
The last thing I expected to see today was a funeral procession. And it was pretty profound for me to think about … emotions that those animals feel. And how much, really, more alike we are…
I’m so glad this video exists. If you ever doubt that animals have feelings or consciousness, remember this funeral procession. If you ever worry that humans are heartless, remember the natural empathy and grief felt by the unseen human observers in this video.
Captain Dave Anderson says, “In my nearly twenty years on the water whale watching I have never seen this behavior,” but my guess is that this is nothing new. We just have to look and learn. Just for starters, When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is full of amazing stories as well as useful perspective into why we humans hear so little about anecdotal evidence of animal cognition.
Via Huffington Post.
Infographic showing the number of humans killed by sharks, worldwide, in a year (just 12), vs. the number of sharks that humans kill every hour (11,417), by Joe Chernov and Robin Richards. Click here for more info about these numbers and where this graphic came from.
Click to see the big version, which is pretty shocking.
If you feel for the sharks, please, share this graphic, take action against shark finning and overfishing, and if you haven’t yet, go vegan!
Go to minute 5, and watch for a whole minute. Thanks to io9 for pointing out the adorably gleeful scientist responses to this momentous occasion: Humanity’s first video footage of a living giant squid.
From ajakwerth on YouTube:
Douglas is an orphaned Wombat who was taken care of at a school camp (where we have been WWOOFing) near Tallangatta in Victoria, Australia. This video is 3 years old so he was just a little baby there! He was meant to be released into the wild someday but since it’s been a long while ago I lost touch with the family who runs the camp…
Huffington Post reports that the wildlife camera trap network from TEAM has captured its one millionth animal photo. TEAM, or Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring Network works to provide comprehensive, real-time data about our world’s remaining forests.
Click here to see more images from daily life in the forest.
If you too care about our world’s forests and their residents, please, help stop deforestation. Go vegan, reduce/reuse/recycle/repair, and try to reduce your negative impact on the environment. You might not save the forest all by yourself, but you’ll know you tried to help. As Albert Einstein said,
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Click here for action suggestions from Greenpeace.
Richard Turere, a 13-year-old Maasai from Kenya, invented a solar-powered solution to lions killing cows, and humans killing lions: A device that mimics the look of a person walking with a flashlight, to scare lions away from cow sheds, preventing humans from lethal retaliation against the endangered predators.
Vegans may be interested in educating themselves about the Maasai, who present some very interesting questions regarding animal exploitation. They are able to live in desert and scrublands that are otherwise uninhabitable, and are extremely self-sufficient. And yet their way of life could not continue without the exploitation of cows. A debate between a fundamentalist abolitionist vegan and a Maasai person would be very interesting!
Via NPR; photo by James Duncan Davidson