Is traditional conservation science a pathological disorder? by Ed Boks

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Is traditional conservation science a pathological disorder driven by an obsessive, distorted belief that the environment can be, indeed must be, restored to some idyllic, imaginary state of being at any cost including, and perhaps preferring,  killing anything that gets in the way?

Sound over the top?

The question occurred to me while reading Marc Bekoff’s May 17th article in Psychology Today titled, “Killing Animals Is ‘Weirdly Addictive’ Says New Zealander: New Zealand’s brutal war on wildlife relies on kids and adults to meet its goals

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pathology as something abnormal, or the deviation from the normal, so as to give rise to social ills.  Using this definition, is it not fair to ask if traditional conservation is pathological?  Does traditional conservation give rise to social ills? Continue reading “Is traditional conservation science a pathological disorder? by Ed Boks”

Is compassion ever misplaced? by Ed Boks

Peter Fleming

A recent (May 23, 2018) Invasive Species Council blog takes aim at the “rapidly growing international and cross-disciplinary movement” called Compassionate Conservation” – a movement that promotes “the protection of wild animals as individuals within conservation practice and policy”.

The blog is titled “Compassionate conservation or misplaced compassion”.  The author is Peter Fleming, an ecologist who works on the biology, ecology and management of invasive predators and their prey.  He is also Adjunct Professor of Ecosystem Management, University of New England and Principal Research Scientist with New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

Having spent “a career trying to undo the damage caused by invasive introduced animals to the Australasian environmental and agricultural values”, Fleming’s concerns deserve serious consideration. Continue reading “Is compassion ever misplaced? by Ed Boks”

Is the Theory of Everything Compassionate Conservation? by Ed Boks

Physicists search for a Theory of Everything

For decades, physicists have suggested a “Eureka” moment is just around the corner.  A moment when scientists will produce a Theory of Everything – a simple, unifying equation that explains all the mysteries of our universe.

It is with that same sense of “Eureka” awe that I believe I have stumbled upon an equally stupendous theory – an “environmental” Theory of Everything, if you will – a simple, unifying theory that makes sense of all the dynamic mysteries of our planet, from flora and fauna biology, ecosystems, native and invasive species, to feral cats – and even the role humans play in this drama. Continue reading “Is the Theory of Everything Compassionate Conservation? by Ed Boks”

Compassionate Conservation: an idea whose time has come by Ed Boks

Don’t curse the heat; plant a tree!

I recently posted a blog (please read it before continuing) concerning an exciting new concept called Compassionate Conservation.  It is exciting to me because of the way it connects all the dots relating to animal welfare, the environment, and human health.

Unlike traditional conversation, Compassionate Conservation does not eschew man’s role and impact (positive or negative) on the environment, but rather recognizes it for what it is as a predicate for applying the best animal welfare practices with conservation biology in a way that protects individual animals and their habitats.

Did you catch that?  Compassionate Conservation recognizes populations of animals as distinct individuals.  Conventional conservation has tended to think of animal populations as homogenous, abstract entities called herds, flocks, pods, schools, swarms, prides, troops or colonies. Continue reading “Compassionate Conservation: an idea whose time has come by Ed Boks”

Compassionate Conservation; its a thing by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Garden of Eden
Compassionate conservation refutes Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young contention that “we got to get ourselves back to the garden”

A recent article in Animals 24/7 titled, Aussie prof challenges “invasion biologists” on their own turf by Merritt Clifton opened a new paradigm for how I view the world.  The article explains a new (at least to me) approach to effective biodiversity protection called “compassionate conservation”.

At the forefront of this new “philosophy” is Arian D. Wallach.  Wallach studied and taught at both the University of Adelaide, Australia, and the University of Haifa, Israel and currently chairs the Centre for Compassionate Conservation in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.

Compassionate Conservation challenges the conventional wisdom of exterminating “invasive species”. Continue reading “Compassionate Conservation; its a thing by Ed Boks”

The purpose of Mothers’ Day by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Mothers' Day
Julia Ward Howe: activist, writer, poet and author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic initiated Mothers’ Day as an anti-war effort

Mothers’ day was originally a day for women to change a prevailing paradigm: The idea of a official celebration of Mothers’ day in the US was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872.  An activist, writer and poet Julia rose to fame with her famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic“.

Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2nd be annually celebrated as Mothers’ Day and that it should be dedicated to peace.  She wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war in her famous Mothers’ Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870:

Continue reading “The purpose of Mothers’ Day by Ed Boks”

May 4th is International Respect for Chickens Day! by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Chickens
May 4th is International Respect for Chickens Day

Did you know May 4th is International Respect for Chickens Day!  Created by United Poultry Concerns (UPC), an activist group and sanctuary for chickens and other birds used for food,  Respect for Chickens Day is the perfect time to educate others about these much under-appreciated birds.

Unbeknownst to many, chickens are clever, social birds. They have self-awareness and the capacity to feel and suffer. And like other animals, they are exploited in many ways: Continue reading “May 4th is International Respect for Chickens Day! by Ed Boks”