Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.
Studies show baboons, pigeons have higher cognitive levels than previously thought - Science Daily (2/16/09)
"’What we're really trying to understand is the extent to which cognition is general throughout the animal kingdom. The evidence that we collect constantly surprises us, suggesting that we're not alone in many of these cognitive abilities,’ Wasserman said. ‘Why we would believe that humans alone have such capabilities is a peculiar and unfortunate arrogance. That's one reason why I enjoy studying animals; the smarter we discover them to be, the more humble we should be.’"
Study shows traffic pollution causes genetic changes which increase asthma risk - BBC (2/15/09)
"’Our data support the concept that environmental exposures can interact with genes during key developmental periods to trigger disease onset later in life, and that tissues are being reprogrammed to become abnormal later,’ said Dr Shuk-mei Ho, study leader and director of the Center for Environmental Genetics at the University of Cincinnati.”
Thanks, Lime.com, for the heads up.
Animal advocates call on eBay to stop auctioning “trophy hunts” – Oregonian (2/14/09)
”Wildlife activists are pressuring the online auction site eBay to stop allowing auctions of big game ‘trophy hunts’ of grizzly bears, wolves, cougars and other predators.”
“Food Colonialism”: wealthy countries’ demand for food harming developing countries – Worldpress (2/13/09)
"These governments are coming under an immense amount of pressure to continue, more or less, giving up their own fish stock and starving their own people, so that in Europe we don't have to confront our fishing lobbies which are very powerful political lobbies, or run out of fish because we've so exploited our own stocks that they're collapsing left, right and center. … We're snatching food out of the mouth of the poor in order not to deal with our own consumption."
Thanks, Global Sociology Blog, for the heads up.
“Just doing my job”: Milgram experiment redux – AlterNet (2/12/09)
”Indeed, what these factors demonstrate is not how easily people will harm another person, but how quickly people will cede their own authority to another person when they feel isolated, pressured and powerless. The more controlled an environment, the more vulnerable a person is.”
Group works for positive global change by educating Afghani girls – News Blaze (2/10/09)
”By building one school at a time, the Circle of Women aims to make education available to every girl who wants one, with the belief that this is the best way to support positive, global change. ‘Circle of Women feels that it has the opportunity and privilege of position to empower women in countries where gender equality is not an established right,’ says Megan Dempsey, founding member.”
Eat fewer animal products, help reduce impact of climate crisis - New Scientist (2/10/09)
”Cutting back on beefburgers and bacon could wipe $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change. That's the dramatic conclusion of a study that totted up the economic costs of modern meat-heavy diets. The researchers involved say that reducing our intake of beef and pork would lead to the creation of a huge new carbon sink, as vegetation would thrive on unused farmland.”
Global warming sending birds farther north – Common Dreams (2/10/09)
”Bird ranges can expand and shift for many reasons, among them urban sprawl, deforestation and the supplemental diet provided by backyard feeders. But researchers say the only explanation for why so many birds over such a broad area are wintering in more northern locales is global warming.”
Prisoners learning compassion, responsibility from animals – BBC (2/9/09)
”Warden Cline says being tough with these animals simply does not work. ‘Some guys have a lifetime history of abusing people but if you play that game in the animal kingdom, you are going to pay the price pretty quick. We want our men to learn to do things with a patient, controlled, self-disciplined approach that doesn't allow for violence or outbursts of their own emotions. Hopefully when they leave prison, these are tools they'll use with other people.’"
Starbucks wastes 6 million gallons of water daily – ABC News (2/6/09)
”As part of a company policy aimed at preventing germ buildup in its taps, Starbucks stores are directed to keep water running constantly into a sink, called a dipper well, to clean utensils and wash away food residue, The Sun reported. As a result of running water all day, every day at each of the company's 10,000 worldwide coffee emporiums, Starbucks wastes water in an amount The Sun estimated to be ‘enough daily water for the entire 2 million strong population of drought-hit Namibia in Africa or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes.’”