Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday

What is kapparot?

The 13th-century scholar Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet considered kapparot a “heathen superstition”.

Kapparot or kaparos, meaning “atonements,” is a custom in which a chicken or money may be used.  Kapparot using chickens is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The ritual begins with selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 being recited.  Then a rooster (for a man) or a hen (for a woman) is held above the person’s head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: “This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.” The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor for food. Continue reading “Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday”

How dogs identify friend and foe by Ed Boks

According to a study reported in the journal Current Biology, dogs pick up emotional cues from other dogs by watching the direction of their wagging tail.

In a series of lab experiments, dogs became anxious when they saw an image of a dog wagging its tail to its left side. But when they saw a dog wagging its tail to its right side, they remained relaxed.   Continue reading “How dogs identify friend and foe by Ed Boks”

Do Cats Need Us? by Ed Boks

It appears Rudyard Kipling may have been correct when he suggested cats walk by themselves and don’t need us to feel secure.

A study released by the University of Lincoln concluded that cats, unlike dogs, do not need humans to feel safe, preferring to look after themselves.

Earlier research had suggested cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way dogs do, but the results of this study found they are much more independent than canine companions – and what we had interpreted as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration. Continue reading “Do Cats Need Us? by Ed Boks”

Know when the human/dog bond can bite you in the face by Ed Boks

A study conducted jointly from Monash University in Australia and Pedigree Petfoods found that the bond between a human and a dog may actually cause their heartbeats to sync with one another.

The researchers connected three pairs of dogs and their owners to heart rate monitors. After separating the dogs from their owners for a period of time they brought the pairs together again and observed their heartbeats. They found that within a minute both heartbeats dropped significantly and “even appeared to mirror each other.” Continue reading “Know when the human/dog bond can bite you in the face by Ed Boks”

Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks

Is your pet lonely?

The New York Times recently ran a piece by Jessica Pierce asking the provocative question “Is your pet lonely and bored?” Today there are as many pets in the United States as there are people; and in most homes pets are family — and not just dogs and cats, but rabbits, rats, bearded dragons and snakes.

According to many veterinarians and psychologists this phenomenon is evidence of a deepening “human-animal bond.” Scientists studying animal cognition and emotion are continually peeling back the mysteries of animal minds, revealing an incredible and often surprising richness in the thoughts and feelings of other creatures. Continue reading “Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks”

THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN

The Truth About Black Cats

It’s that time of year when animal shelters have to combat a lot of misinformation regarding black cats. Some shelters stop adopting black cats in October for fear they will be tortured. However, in the history of humane work, no one has ever documented any relationship between adopting black cats, and cats being killed or injured. The belief that adopting black cats will result in ill consequences can be traced to three sources:

1) Ignorance:

Some suggest “witches” adopt black cats for use in ritualistic sacrifices. Actually, witches do not harm their “familiars,” who are supposed to be their eyes and ears in the spirit world. To harm a familiar would be to blind and deafen oneself. Continue reading “THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN”

Polls Show Younger Travelers Shun Attractions That Exploit Animals by Ed Boks

Young travelers shun attractions that exploit animals

September 27th is World Tourism Day.  That makes this a good day to consider the impact this trillion-dollar industry has on wildlife.

A recent poll suggests young travelers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact tourism has on animals.  This awareness is influencing their travel choices for the better. Continue reading “Polls Show Younger Travelers Shun Attractions That Exploit Animals by Ed Boks”

Consider the snail by Ed Boks

Consider the snail

In my last blog I discussed what we can learn from the ant regarding the benefits of collaboration and cooperation in the development of society.

Today I want to examine what we can learn from the snail regarding the detriments of social isolation.

In a recent article in the Independent, Sarah Dalesman explains that while stress negatively impacts the cognitive ability of numerous species, including their ability to learn and remember, the problems arising from stress are personal, and blanket statements regarding species may be misguided.  Like humans, Dalesman explains that “not all individuals of a particular species are equally good at cognitive tasks to begin with, and they respond to the effects of stress in different ways.” Continue reading “Consider the snail by Ed Boks”

Consider the ant by Ed Boks

Ancient wisdom tells us to “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Conventional wisdom tells us that two heads are better than one.  Yet, on an individual level two heads will often butt — and we are told that when resources are scarce, competition is better than collaboration.

In a recent study published by Nature, a biologist looked to the ant to help understand how cooperation may have played an important role in the development of civil societies. Continue reading “Consider the ant by Ed Boks”

Time for a national conversation about pit bulls by Ed Boks

Merritt and Beth Clifton

Is it time national animal welfare organizations rethink their position on pit bulls?

This is the recommendation of Beth Clifton, a former Miami Beach police officer, animal control officer, elementary school teacher, veterinary technician and wife of Animals 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton.

Animals 24-7 recently published Beth Clifton’s open letter to Matthew Bershadker, president of the ASPCA; Julie Castle, president of Best Friends Animal Society; and Kitty Block, president of HSUS.  Continue reading “Time for a national conversation about pit bulls by Ed Boks”