Menu
Our Planet
The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
Military three-step as birds drill for food through the late winter snow
Beachcombers to hunt out 'mermaid's purses' to help protect sharks
French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Unfortunately, we are all too used to news of drive-by shootings in America. But last week, one incident drew particular attention because the victim was an elephant.

Elvis Presley's hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, was the scene of another performer's injury when an elephant traveling with the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus was shot. PETA has offered a reward for the perpetrators' apprehension, and the police are investigating.

Once the perpetrators of this crime are apprehended, they should be held accountable on the same terms that we would apply if they had shot a human being. When an animal performer injures a human being, we are quick to blame and punish that animal. We don't give animal performers equal recognition as victims of violence.

Thomas Edison electrocuted the elephant Topsy in 1903 because she had squashed three handlers, one of whom had tried to feed her a lit cigarette. Edison electrocuted other animals as well, but filmed Topsy's execution for promotional purposes, to demonstrate the superior power of the electric current he had developed. Even in death, Topsy performed in an advertisement. Although this incident took place a century ago, similar rushes to judgment and calls for an animal's death accompanied the spectacular mauling in 2003 of Roy Horn by tiger Montecore during his Las Vegas performance. Shows such as Fox's "When Animals Attack!" had aired in the years before the incident.

In cases where animal performers commit violence, we are quick to attribute agency to them, but when animal performers are victims, we dismiss them. That needs to change because our own humanity is at stake in how we treat animals. For too long, the discussion about humans and animals has revolved around essential differences. We have tried to define what makes a human a human and what makes an animal an animal. We have tried to determine the "nature" of each, without recognizing their shared culture.

Descartes cut open his wife's living poodle to prove that animals were soulless machines. His celebrated insight, "I think, therefore I am," came at a terrible cost to animals: the flip side of his dictum was that animals think not, therefore they are not of any consequence. Descartes' attitudes are still with us.

Animal welfare groups and animal rights activists have long opposed those attitudes. The utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham argued in 1789 that we were asking the wrong questions about animals: "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?" Bentham's query gave rise to the contemporary animal movement inaugurated by Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" and represented by PETA. They have argued that animals do suffer, and that their suffering matters.

People who cut open poodles and people who want to protect them against such suffering are very different in their actions, but they both base their actions on animals' nature, making animals' ability or inability to suffer the measure for what they see as being right or wrong. Definitions of human-animal difference or of animals' "nature" insufficiently address the reason these specific violent incidents occur in the first place: circus elephants remind us that human beings and animals participate in the same culture. When it comes to incidents like these, we need to stop focusing on natural differences, and shift our attention to human-animal relationships.

Elephants are not native to Tupelo, Mississippi, nor is their natural habitat the big top. The elephant injured in the shooting was a performer. As all actors on late-night television are quick to remind us, performing is hard work. The animal's shooting is not only a crime, but also a workplace injury. Once we recognize that the elephant is a performer and a worker, we will need to consider the rights his labor bestows on him, and the obligations it places on us. We will also come to recognize that, in the contexts of labor and performance, human beings and animals are not separate from each other.

Donna Haraway has taken up this issue in her recent work. Drawing on the example of sheep dog, she has argued that training creates a bond between dogs and people that reshapes both. She has coined the term "companion species" to explain that our focus on evolutionary difference is misplaced: we are in this together. Human and non-human animals forge bonds through their shared work, and profoundly transform each other.

Clearly, such a transformation has occurred in the case of a trained circus elephant. As victims of violence, such animals should have equal rights. Those rights need not be based on judgments that we make about human and animal nature. The comparison between human beings' and animals' nature has far too long hindered us from recognizing that our relationship to one another shapes who we are, and imposes obligations on us.

We are quick to rush to judgments when animals attack, but slow to see animals as victims of the attacks they suffer. Relationships bring obligations with them. It is time we follow through on our obligations to companion animals. Our humanity depends on it.
Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean
Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses
Kenya's Maasai keep lions at bay with solar power and ingenuity
Week-old baby died after being bitten by jack russell, inquest hears
Avian flu: Chinese pigeon fanciers vaccinate tens of thousands of birds
Art Deco among the ducks
The silent socialisers of the insect world
Firefighters tackle blaze at Scottish zoo
Scottish zoo fire leaves animals and reptiles dead
Upon the Yare three grebe pairs were all in display
Chinese vessel on Philippine coral reef caught with illegal pangolin meat
Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return
Edinburgh zoo pandas 'ready to mate'
Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Today the brimstones are out, careering up and down the rides
English farmers to be reimbursed for sheep killed in snowstorms
Rhino heads seized in gang raid on Ireland's national museum
On this bright morning, the redwing are looking particularly smart
The Chinese sanctuary with pandas at play
Australia's koala crisis
Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Scientists attack government climbdown on marine protection
French fisherman survives crocodile attack in Australia
Oxford college under attack over plans to display live shark at ball
Wood anemones bewitched by the wind
Shark's off at Oxford black-tie ball
Menu
Appetite for caviar could see paddlefish suffer sturgeon's fate
One day last week something other than water came out of the fountain
China loves pork too much
New to Nature No 100: Eleodes wheeleri
Bollywood actors charged in poaching case
Salisbury travel tips: great bustard birdwatching on the plain
Farewell to Nick Boing, Wales's very own superstar sheep
South African minister backs legalisation of rhino horn trade
Cold spring kills thousands of newborn lambs
Rolling snowballs the size of tumbledriers down the hill
Ranger corruption 'impeding global fight against poaching'
The grey seal's bewhiskered face bore an expression of pure contentment
A new, ethical way to buy fish from the fisherman
Dangerous dogs policy in the wake of the terrible death of Jade Anderson
Red squirrels are intensely curious creatures, and extraordinarily pretty
Freezing weather brings fresh perils for British wildlife
Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
Eating fish: it's complicated
Do you think the Grand National is cruel?
Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
Farmers call for help over mounting sheep deaths
Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN
South African game reserve poisons rhino's horns to prevent poaching
Cats leave their mark on centuries of books
Visit Statistics
http://google.com/

http://bing.com/

https://gepatit-info.top/

https://serdechnic.com/

https://buy-meds24.com/

https://dverirespekt.ru/

https://www.sribno.net/

https://undergroundcityphoto.com/

https://detskiezabolevaniya.com/

http://grafaman.ru/

http://innoslicon.com/html/product/index.htm

https://yginekologa.com/

https://yes-com.com/

https://www.baikaleminer.com/

https://bitmaein.com/shop

https://www.artdeko.info/

https://aerodizain.com/

http://xn--d1abj0abs9d.in.ua/

http://lider82.ru/

http://sta-grand.ru/

http://snabs.kz/

https://sky-mine.ru/

https://rybalka-opt.ru/

http://snegozaderzhatel.ru/

https://xn--e1aaajzchnkg.ru.com/

http://hit-kino.ru/

http://www.regionshop.biz/

https://xn--80aaafbn2bc2ahdfrfkln6l.xn--p1ai/

https://pp-budpostach.com.ua/

https://vykup-avto-krasnodar.ru/

https://gcup.ru/

https://mega-polis.biz.ua/

http://vanrise.com.ua/

http://infra-e.ru/

https://veterinariya.com/

https://ponosanet.com/

https://cariestop.com/

https://proartrit.com/

https://elonm.ru/

https://nakozhe.com/

https://spinanebolit.com/

http://zameskino.ru/

http://kinoprinc.ru/

http://pospektr.ru/

http://buypillsonline24h.com/

http://komputers-best.ru/

https://komp-pomosch.ru/