Is it possible that traditional conservation science is 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, the killing of anything that gets in the way?
I recently posted the pictures to the right on Facebook with a personal observation that “compassion doesn’t have to be taught; but it can be unlearned.”
It wasn’t long before I was challenged by a friend who countered that “actually, compassion is part of EQ and as such is a learned behavior.”
This prompted me to do a little research. Continue reading “Are We Naturally Compassionate? by Ed Boks”
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”
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”
Imagine a world where snakes are respected and appreciated instead of feared and hated.
I recently became aware of an organization that I am so excited about that I want to immediately share my find with you. Advocates for Snake Preservation, ASP, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way people view and treat snakes.Continue reading “Advocates for Snake Preservation by Ed Boks”
Every year, ANIMALS 24-7 conducts a national dog-breed survey. The results of the 2018 survey were just released. As interesting as the data collected by the survey are, I was particularly struck by a rather provocative proposition posed by Merritt Clifton, the editor/reporter of ANIMALS 24-7 and this survey.
Before exploring the thought provoking proposal, let’s set the stage:
The survey found that as of mid-June 2018, nearly 15% of all the dogs available for sale or adoption in the U.S. were pit bulls. With that kind of market presence, one might conclude pit bulls are pretty popular in the U.S. However, Mr. Clifton has another explanation. Continue reading “When it comes to pit bulls, how stupid are we? by Ed Boks”
NPR’s All Things Considered recently published an article, Coyotes In The Crosshairs describing how over the past century killing coyotes has become a competitive game that today is celebrated in the World Championship Coyote Calling Contest.
The article details how the blood-thirst for coyotes originated with “the arrival of European-American settlers in the early 1800s. Coyotes and wolves took the opportunity to expand their diet to livestock. And for decades, the federal government actively encouraged the extermination of predators. That policy pushed wolves to the brink of extinction, but the wily coyote managed to thrive and spread pretty much everywhere. To this day, the government hires hunters to manage coyote populations and protect livestock in many states. And around 70 years ago, ranchers started to host coyote-hunting competitions.” Continue reading “Why killing coyotes never works by Ed Boks”
I’ve been devoting a considerable amount of time to understanding a rapidly growing international and cross-disciplinary movement called Compassionate Conservation.
This movement promotes the protection of wild animals as individuals within conservation practice and policy – using four guiding principles: 1) First, Do No Harm; 2) Individuals Matter; 3) Value All Wildlife (which I took the liberty of expanding to Value All Life; and 4) Peaceful Coexistence.
While watching the (recommended) documentary, “Predator/Prey – The Fight for Isle Royale Wolves” it occurred to me a fifth element might help better define Compassionate Conservation as a discipline, and not just a philosophy. That element is “Stewardship”. Continue reading “Traditional and Compassionate Conservation: a study in terror and mercy by Ed Boks”
In a recent blog I asked if traditional conservation science is a pathological disorder. I provided some anecdotal evidence that seems to suggest this discipline is driven by an obsessive belief that the environment can be, indeed must be, restored to an idyllic, Eden-like state at any cost – including, and perhaps even preferring, the killing of anything that gets in its way.
The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies picked up on my question in an article in their YaleEnvironment360 titled, Do Conservation Strategies Need to Be More Compassionate? Continue reading “Can Compassion be our Compass? by Ed Boks”
Skinner’s view was not much of an advance from Descartes’ (1650) philosophy which stated animals cannot reason, do not feel pain and although they are living organic creatures, they are simply automata, like mechanical robots. Continue reading “Compassionate Conservation: a “woke” discipline by Ed Boks”