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frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

October: A neuroeconomics professor named Gregory Burns has trained domestic dogs to hold still for brain scans. These found that dog brain activity resembles that of a human child. In a New York Times opinion article, "Dogs are people, too," Burns argued that we should legally categorize dogs as persons, not property.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

August (published; study received in 2011). Thailand: Dr. Michael Gumert, of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, led a study that found that when human developments disrupt the habitats of tool-using animals, it can make it hard for the animals to keep that tradition. Some monkeys (macaques) in Thailand use stones to break open shells, but humans are making it too hard for the macaques to get to the beaches. The macaques aren't dying out, but they're using tools much less.

Sources


Michael D. Gumerta, Yuzuru Hamadaa, and Suchinda Malaivijitnond. "Human activity negatively affects stone tool-using Burmese long-tailed macaques Macaca fascicularis aurea in Laem Son National Park, Thailand." Oryx (2013) DOI: 10.1017/S0030605312000130 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8963202

Matt McGrath, "Illegal palm oil developments force monkeys to down tools." 2013-08-16. BBC (online news). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23711013

Alasdair Wilkins, "We are now accidentally making monkeys dumber." 2013-08-18. io9 (online magazine). http://io9.com/we-are-now-accidentally-making-monkeys-dumber-1164020843
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: Some of the links talk about how wild dolphins are abused in captivity.

This is a follow-up on an earlier post in Otherkin News, "Personhood and rights for dolphins in India." The event in question was reported in increasingly confusing ways by many newspapers and blogs. After a while, an io9 article cleared up the confusion: "No, India did not just grant dolphins the status of humans." India passed some laws to protect dolphins, but didn't legally categorize dolphins as non-human persons. There are some animal rights organizations fighting to put certain smart animals (including apes) in that legal category for real.

Source


George Dvorsky, "No, India did not just grant dolphins the status of humans." 2013-08-15. io9. http://io9.com/no-india-did-not-just-grant-dolphins-the-status-of-hum-1149482273
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: For this article, none.

Book cover.
2013: Jay Johnston, senior lecturer of the Department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney, published a chapter about otherkin in a book. The book, Animal Death, is an academic non-fiction book about animal rights and the relations between humans and animals. The chapter is titled "On having a furry soul: Transpecies identity and ontological indeterminacy in Otherkin subcultures."

Johnston cites one source on otherkin for this chapter. It's Lupa’s book from 2007, A Field Guide to Otherkin. (Note that as of last April, Lupa no longer identifies as a therianthrope, and took the Field Guide out of print to get away from the subject.) Johnston focuses on people who identify as animals (therianthropes) (Johnston, p. 295). Because Johnston’s source is the Field Guide, Johnston repeats Lupa's system of categorizing therianthropes as a type of otherkin. (Judging by my research, this categorization is technically correct or at least satisfactory in some uses, but otherwise socially and historically incorrect.)

Johnston "questions the usefulness of distinguishing between 'animal' and 'human' for individuals who understand themselves as simultaneously both" (Johnston, p. xix). Johnston examines excerpts from the Field Guide regarding therianthropy in context with ideas from the philosopher Derrida.

Portions of Johnston’s article are visible via Google Books.



Sources


Jay Johnston, "On having a furry soul: Transpecies identity and ontological indeterminacy in Otherkin subcultures." In Jay Johnston and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, eds., Animal Death (Sydney: Sydney University Press), p. 293-306.

Lupa, "Letting go of therianthropy for good." 2013-04-02. Therioshamanism. http://therioshamanism.com/2013/04/02/letting-go-of-therianthropy-for-good/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: abuse of animals (dolphins and whales), which isn’t described in graphic detail in this post, but the links go into graphic detail.

May: In India, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has banned the exhibition of dolphins, whales, and other cetacean animals in captivity for entertainment. Dolphin parks are unethical and harmful to the cetaceans, and so will will be shut down throughout India. India is the fourth nation to ban the use of captive cetaceans for entertainment. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests now categorized cetaceans as “non-human persons.” They argue that cetaceans are highly intelligent, and therefore should not be treated as property, and should have more legal protections and rights than other animals. The category of “non-human persons” has intriguing potential in revising how humans relate to animals.


Sources


Vijay Singh, “Dolphins cannot be kept in captivity, says eco ministry.” 2013-05-23. The Times of India. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-05-23/flora-fauna/39474611_1_captivity-moef-eco-ministry

Saroja Coelho, “Dolphins gain unprecedented protection in India.” 2013-05-24. DW (Deutsche Welle). http://www.dw.de/dolphins-gain-unprecedented-protection-in-india/a-16834519

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