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Part 3. Media and the (Mis)representation of Animals

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

IN THIS PART’S FIVE ESSAYS, I look at the ways animals are represented, or more often misrepresented, in the media. While we don’t expect cartoon entertainments like The Lion King or Finding Nemo to represent real animals — and it’s alarming and upsetting when movies like The Grey (2011) demonize wild animals for profit — we do expect newspapers, magazines, documentaries, and other seemingly objective sources to tell us the truth. Unfortunately, with liberal license and often out of ignorance, the media is notorious for representing other animals in a false and misleading light. As they do with so many topics, the media sensationalizes extremes and reinforces untrue and even harmful stereotypes about animals. It’s essential that animals be represented correctly because what people read influences how they perceive and ultimately how they treat other animals. Among the reasons why I write essays for Psychology Today about the lives of other animals is to portray them the way they are, not as who we want or imagine them to be.

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2: Trade Policies for Animal Products

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade Policies for Animal

Products

2

2.1  Development of Trade Policy

Trade is a natural activity for a species that is very social, highly communicative and mobile around the planet. Humans evolved as an opportunistic species, seeking out new environments to occupy. When the majority of the habitable areas of the planet had been colonized, several thousand years ago, humans naturally turned to trade to cement relations with people in occupied lands for mutual benefit. Through trade they could obtain goods that they could not produce or obtain at home, and in return they offered goods they were able to produce or could produce more easily, or economically, than those in the lands they visited.

Trade also developed relations between peoples of different cultures, allowing fringe benefits to be had through the cultural exchange that ensued. Inevitably, it required a degree of trust between the traders, concerning delayed payment for example, or the benign intent of visitors. In some cases trade was a smokescreen for an attempt to take over a region, and thus great caution was required on the part of the hosts for a visiting party.

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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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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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7: Disease Transmission and Biodiversity Loss Through the Trade in Farm Animals

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Disease Transmission and

Biodiversity Loss Through the

Trade in Farm Animals

7

7.1  Introduction

As well as the risks to the environment and to human health from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) discussed in Chapter 4, there are significant risks to humans and other animals from transmission of infectious diseases, as well as major risk to biodiversity of farm animals as a result of trade.

About 60% of pathogens that cause human disease are of animal origin, and the proportion of emerging infectious diseases that are of animal origin is even higher, 75% (OIE, 2013). Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, Nipah virus, West Nile virus, Rift valley fever, brucellosis and echinococcosis are just a few examples of zoonoses that have had severe impacts on human health.

At the 81st General Session of the Assembly of World Organisation for Animal

Health (OIE) delegates in Paris in 2013, Princess Haya of Jordan, Goodwill

Ambassador to the OIE, said in her opening address:

As a population, we need to be able to harness the products of the land and sea, but we need to be able to trade these products too. In doing so, we must ensure that we are protected from the ravages of disease in both the human and animal populations.

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