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”

Coping with the loss of your pet by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and pet loss
“God’s finger touched him, and he slept.” –
Lord Tennyson

Grief over the loss of a pet is normal and you shouldn’t be surprised if you feel devastated by your loss. Some people won’t understand your pain.  Don’t let others dictate your feelings because your feelings are valid. Remember, you are not alone; thousands of pet owners have gone through these same feelings. Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides sorrow, you may also experience guilt, denial, anger and depression.

Guilt comes from the “if only I had been more careful” syndrome. It is pointless to burden yourself with guilt because it only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief. Continue reading “Coping with the loss of your pet by Ed Boks”

TNR is good public health policy by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and TNR
Managed feral cat colonies provide toxin free rodent and disease abatement.

During my tenure as executive director of Maricopa County’s Animal Care & Control (1998/2003), I prevailed upon the County Board of Supervisors, with the support of Public Health Director, Dr. Jonathan Weisbuch, to proclaim Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) the County’s official methodology for humanely reducing feral cat populations.

In addition to reducing the killing in local animal shelters, another benefit to implementing TNR in our cities is that managed feral cat colonies serve as a toxin free rodent abatement program.  TNR ends the need for poison to control rodent populations and I think we can all agree that this better for our environment, our wildlife and our pets. Continue reading “TNR is good public health policy by Ed Boks”

Formula to end feral cat killing by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and feral cats
The formula to end the killing of feral cats works

It is commonly understood that any serious initiative to end shelter killing has to focus on ending the “supply side” of the surplus animal equation.  The only way to do that is to preemptively spay/neuter those animals most likely to “supply” (give birth to) animals most likely to die in animal shelters.We

The three categories of animals dying in the largest numbers in most shelters throughout the United States are feral cats, pit bulls/pit bull mixes, and Chihuahuas.

There are effective solutions for ending the killing of these populations; and those solutions begin and end with targeted spay/neuter programs.  In a previous blog I addressed the need for targeted spay/neuter programs for pit bulls.  In this blog, I focus on how to end the killing of feral and stray cats.    Continue reading “Formula to end feral cat killing by Ed Boks”

Did you save a life today? by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Tuscany
Tuscany, transitioned from a foster (recovering from being hit by a car) to a hospice foster (after she was diagnosed with cancer) to being adopted by a loving family.

How often do you get to say, “I saved a life today?” When you volunteer with the your local animal shelter that assertion can be a daily affirmation. That is especially true when you volunteer as a foster caregiver.  Every animal fostered back to health or to an adoptable status is a life saved. The ability of a local animal shelter to care for all the animals rescued depends on reliable foster volunteers willing and able to help. The more foster volunteers, the more lives saved.

Foster volunteers are typically caring people who do everything from bottle-feeding orphaned neonate babies around the clock to socializing little ones to ensure they are able to interact with both humans and animals to caring for an older animal recovery from an injury or surgery.  Foster volunteers provide care, safety and love. Continue reading “Did you save a life today? by Ed Boks”

Does your dog suffer from ADHD? by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and dog
Hyperactivity is sometimes mistaken for normal breed characteristics

Do you sometimes wonder if your dog suffers from ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactive disorder)?  Although this term is often bandied about, hyperactivity is actually very rare in canines.

According to Clinician’s Brief, a publication of the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), “hyperactivity” is defined as “over-activity, attention deficits, impulsivity, high testing physiologic parameters with a paradoxical calming response to amphetamines.” Continue reading “Does your dog suffer from ADHD? by Ed Boks”