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Scientists react adorably to the world’s first video footage of a living giant squid

Scientists react adorably to the world’s first video footage of a living giant squid

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.

One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

endangered-gorillasHuffington 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 saves lions and cows

Richard Turere saves lions and cows

richard-turere-tedRichard 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

Yu Chan swims again: A sea turtle with prosthetic flippers

Yu Chan swims again: A sea turtle with prosthetic flippers

yu-sea-turtle-prosthetic-finsThe researchers who made these prosthetic fins for Yu Chan are working on another, even more comfortable version (this is her 27th pair). I feel bad for her that she’s apparently lost her freedom, but it looks like the folks that are working for her are trying to get her to a place where she would be more able to survive on her own outside of captivity – so maybe that’s still in the cards. Anyway, this is an amazing video. Beautiful swimming, Yu!

As an aside, live animal exhibits at aquariums and zoos are usually profit-driven. If you want to go to places like the one shown in this video, please make sure they’re rescue- or sanctuary-based. For instance, at the “aqualife park” where Yu is living, there are dolphin and otter shows. Why are they not allowed to just do whatever they want, instead of performing for crowds of humans? Why are they not free, swimming in the ocean, instead of living in captivity, in tanks? What happens when they get old and are no longer attractive “exhibits”? Is their captivity for their benefit or for human benefit? If it’s primarily for our benefit, how can we morally justify continuing this practice?

Via Jezebel

Photograph from Suma Aqualife Park via Reuters

Should we ban tests on animals?

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
– Charles R. Magel

Binghamton Speech and Debate Team is hosting an online debate on April 14, 2013, regarding the idea of the U.S. Government banning all testing that requires the use of animals. The team is now sponsored by PETA and is looking for more sponsors. I’m so happy to see PETA putting their considerable skills and resources into supporting things like this. Click here to get info on the debate.

Why not test on animals? More