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Earthlings

Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse

As we look out on silent, empty, streets, watching while statistics of the sick and the dead skyrocket out of control, and the sickening chill of fear clutches at our hearts for our loved ones whom we are powerless to protect, the question that hangs in the air is, ‘Why?’

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Thinking of Ducks

Ducks. As a child I used to love visiting duckponds. These memories linger, visions of a lost childhood when I thought the world was a place of beauty and wonder. Oblivious to the barbarity of my species, I had no clue what was really in store for the majority of ducks, and the world became a blacker and more sinister place for my knowing.

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Fishes, Sentience, And The Law

Despite recent increases in the interest towards bird and mammal protection, less attention is paid to the suffering experienced by fishes in the fishing industry. But without a morally relevant difference between aquatic and land animals, the same moral obligations should apply to fishes and other aquatic animals, too.

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Room to Roam: How Animals Benefit From Wildlife Corridors

Development, resource extraction and roadbuilding have fragmented landscapes and reduced wild spaces making it harder for animals to find food, search for a mate and adapt to a changing climate. Ecologists and conservationists have been working for decades to create wildlife corridors — areas of natural habitat that can reconnect fragmented habitats.

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So What’s Wrong with Wool?

Despite the fact that farming sheep is at least as harmful to the environment as farming cows, many sheep raised for wool are treated very cruelly. This video reveals the very disturbing treatment of sheep on an Australian wool farm, which is unfortunately considered “treatment as usual” across Australia and much of the world.

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What Animals Are Thinking and Feeling, and Why It Should Matter | Carl Safina | TEDxMidAtlantic

Carl Safina takes us inside the lives and minds of animals around the world, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion. And yet, we are wiping out the very animals we should celebrate; we are the flood coming for Noah’s Ark. Carl leaves us with a difficult question: Do we have what it takes to let life on earth survive?

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Cruel Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Season Underway

Fishermen in the coastal town of Taiji, Japan have begun their controversial annual dolphin hunt. These hunts run from September to April, and involve the corralling of dolphins at sea by small boats and driving them into the confines of a cove where they are slaughtered for meat or kept alive for lucrative sale to marine parks and aquaria across the globe.

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What Guarding Rare Rhinos Says About Saving the Planet

The northern white rhinos have been brought to the edge of oblivion by relentless poaching and the widespread loss of suitable habitats. Rhinos in general are being killed off by the thousands each year for their horns. For the guards protecting the animals, the responsibility has a devotional quality to it that photographer Justin Mott captured in a series called “No Man’s Land,” being displayed at the Anastasia Photo gallery in New York.

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Faunalytics Index – August 2019

Each month, our Faunalytics Index provides a round-up of data, statistics, and facts gleaned from the most recent research we’ve covered in our library. Our aim is to give you a quick overview of some of the most eye-catching and informative bits of data that could help you be more effective in your advocacy for animals.

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Spain’s Cruel Bullfights Have No Place in the 21st Century

The annual running of the bulls at Pamplona has just come to a close in Spain. Tradition and tourism are not excuses for animal cruelty. Increasingly, consumers are also beginning to shy away from travel experiences that involve animal cruelty. It’s time for Spain’s politicians – and its travel industry — to wake up to modern sensibilities on this issue, listen to Spanish citizens and help foster respect for all sentient animals by ending cruel blood fiestas and bullfights once and for all.

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Cigarette Butts in Soil Hamper Plant Growth, Study Suggests

Discarded cigarette butts can hamper plant growth, new research suggests. The study, led by Anglia Ruskin University, found the presence of butts in soil reduced the germination success and shoot length of clover by 27% and 28% respectively. For grass, germination success reduced by 10% and shoot length by 13%. An estimated 4.5 trillion butts are littered globally each year making them the planet’s most pervasive form of plastic pollution, the study said.

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‘Unprecedented’ Decline of Plants and Animals as Global ‘Red List’ Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

The Red List, published Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), revealed that one third of all species the group has assessed are now under threat due to overfishing, pollution, illegal logging and trafficking, threats to water sources and habitats due to the climate crisis, and other factors, including many human activities.

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What Are Eggs For?

Apart from the fact that many birds are protected by law, why would it never occur to us to help ourselves to the eggs of a blue tit or a crow, a chaffinch or a jay, or any of the birds whose antics give us so much pleasure in our gardens or on our window sills? Well it’s obvious, isn’t it? These birds need their eggs. It would be unforgivable to take their eggs. We all know that and we’d never dream of it. So what’s different about hens?

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Should Zoos Exist?

The idea that keeping animals in captivity is morally acceptable has long been questioned by those who argue that zoos infringe upon animals’ freedom. In recent years, an increase in research on the ethics of captivity has helped to dispel the misconception that critics of zoos are simply anthropomorphizing the animals they say they’re trying to help.

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Good News From Iceland: No Whaling This Season

Good news in our work means animals thrive and we therefore celebrate it. That’s how it was for me this morning when I woke up to the report that there will be no whaling in Iceland this summer. Something my colleagues at Humane Society International and I have fought since Iceland resumed whaling in 2003.

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Ireland Will Ban Fur Farms, Saving Thousands of Minks!

Minks are the most common animals to be farmed for fur. Unfortunately, they are subjected to terrifying lives of misery. But fortunately, people are realizing that such cruelty cannot go on. The Czech Republic banned fur farms, Los Angeles banned fur, and big fashion houses like Coach and Chanel have also gone fur free! Other places that have put fur bans into place include San Francisco, India, Sao Paolo, and more. Now, Ireland is joining the list!

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Why Isn’t Honey Vegan?

As you journey into adopting a vegan lifestyle or continue your plant-based lifestyle, you may have come across another vegan that has chosen to not eat honey. This may have made you think, “Isn’t honey OK for humans to eat, as it is not hurting a bee?” Well, we have some facts about bees, their honey, and the important role they play on our earth.

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Exhausted Polar Bear Wanders Into Siberian City

A starving polar bear has strayed hundreds of kilometers from its natural Arctic habitat and wandered, exhausted, into the major Russian industrial city of Norilsk in northern Siberia. Climate change has been damaging polar bears’ sea-ice habitats and forced them to scavenge more for food on land, bringing them into contact with people and inhabited areas.

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Artifishal: New Film Asks, Have We Reached the End of Wild?

That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store’s fish counter won’t look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia. Artifishal looks specifically at how fish hatcheries and fish farms threaten wild salmon populations, which in turn has ecosystem-wide effects — all because of our desire to eat these culturally significant species.

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In the Fight Against Climate Change, Humans and Wildlife Are Allies

Climate change is accelerating at a breakneck pace, already affecting about half of all threatened mammal species and a quarter of threatened birds. And according to a study published in Science last year, if nothing is done to curb our carbon emissions, nearly 50 percent of the planet’s insects, which make up the foundation of food webs all over the globe, could disappear by the end of the century.

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Extinction Emergency – We Need Action Right Now to Save New Zealand Dolphins

Human activities are pushing some marine species towards extinction, including some of the smallest dolphins in the world. Collectively known as New Zealand dolphins, Hector’s and Māui dolphins live only around the coast of New Zealand and they are dying in fishing nets at a rate that will see them extinct if we don’t change our behaviour around them and remove the destructive fishing nets from their home.

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The Reality of Zoos Is Even Worse Than You Think

At best, the zoo is a fun day for humans who will laugh and point and stare at captive animals who did nothing to deserve their confinement. At worst, it’s a prison that indoctrinates future generations with the shameful belief that animals should be subjugated, abused, and killed simply because we can. Much like the circus freak show, it’s an antiquated, cruel relic that should be banished to the annals of history.

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This Month in Climate Science: Warming-driven Economic Inequality, Disappearing Alps and Plummeting Penguin Populations

Every month, climate scientists make new discoveries that advance our understanding of climate change’s causes and impacts. The research gives a clearer picture of the threats we already face and explores what’s to come if we don’t reduce emissions at a quicker pace. A snapshot of the month’s significant scientific literature, compiled from some of the leading peer-reviewed journals.

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