Two events share top prize as game changers for the year just ending:
The Nonhuman Rights Project’s lawsuits have started a whole new conversation about how we relate to other animals.
And Blackfish, the movie that explores why killer whales go berserk and kill their trainers, has upended how millions of people think of animals being used as entertainment at SeaWorld and other circuses.
The super-trendy sponge club … Surprise! Humans are not the only conscious animals … the great Italian beagle rescue … the worst congressman … the cat who found his way home … seal flu … the coming alternative to vivisection … and lots more.
Stunning verdict in elephant case … SeaWorld video released … Brits argue over kitten experiment … best book on climate change … Rick Warren’s weird remark … how to have faith when the world is going to hell … what’s happening to the ice in Greenland … what’s under the ice in Antarctica … and lots more.
In his new book, What a Plant Knows, Daniel Chamovitz, director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University, says they can see, smell and feel – not in the same way as animals, obviously, but certainly their own way.
Oliver was captured in Africa as a two-year-old in the 1960s and sold to animal trainers in the U.S. For the next few years he was exploited for the fact that he had a flatter face than most chimpanzees and tended to walk upright like a human. Perhaps, his owners suggested, he was a hybrid or a “missing link.”
Do chimpanzees, orangutans and other nonhuman great apes have distinct personalities like us? It’s been a longstanding debate within the scientific community, and those who seek to exploit these animals have long argued that “personality” is a distinctly human attribute, not shared by any other species.