Possible electromagnetic effects on abnormal animal behavior before earthquakes.
The former statistical properties summarized by Rikitake (1998) on unusual animal behavior before an earthquake (EQ) have first been presented by using two parameters (epicentral distance (D) of an anomaly and its precursor (or lead) time (T)). Three plots are utilized to characterize the unusual animal behavior; (i) EQ magnitude (M) versus D, (ii) log T versus M, and (iii) occurrence histogram of log T. These plots are compared with the corresponding plots for different seismo-electromagnetic effects (radio emissions in different frequency ranges, seismo-atmospheric and -ionospheric perturbations) extensively obtained during the last 15–20 years. From the results of comparisons in terms of three plots, it is likely that lower frequency (ULF (ultra-low-frequency, f ≤ 1 Hz) and ELF (extremely-low-frequency, f ≤ a few hundreds Hz)) electromagnetic emissions exhibit a very similar temporal evolution with that of abnormal animal behavior. It is also suggested that a quantity of field intensity multiplied by the persistent time (or duration) of noise would play the primary role in abnormal animal behavior before an EQ.
This paper reviews current findings in the human aggression and antisocial behaviour literature and those in the animal abuse literature with the aim of highlighting the overlap in conceptualisation. The major aim of this review is to highlight that the co-occurrence between animal abuse behaviours and aggression and violence toward humans can be logically understood through examination of the research evidence for antisocial and aggressive behaviour. From examination through this framework, it is not at all surprising that the two co-occur. Indeed, it would be surprising if they did not. Animal abuse is one expression of antisocial behaviour. What is also known from the extensive antisocial behaviour literature is that antisocial behaviours co-occur such that the presence of one form of antisocial behaviour is highly predictive of the presence of other antisocial behaviours. From such a framework, it becomes evident that animal abuse should be considered an important indicator of antisocial behaviour and violence as are other aggressive and antisocial behaviours. The implications of such a stance are that law enforcement, health and other professionals should not minimize the presence of animal abuse in their law enforcement, prevention, and treatment decisions.
Without animals this planet would be a very different place, indeed many of the remaining life forms could not exist. As animals ourselves we are linked to a vast network of moving, living, reproducing organisms that form an essential part of the various ecosystems that are themselves competing for survival. By virtue of our large cognitive capacity and complex societal living structures, we manage and influence many of these ecosystems, in the most extreme way by keeping animals captive for our own benefit. [...]
Although there is a long-established tradition of concern for the welfare of animals, it was not until the mid 1800's that governments sought to enact legislation to protect animals from cruelty. In the 1950's, questions concerning animal welfare re-emerged and in the ensuing years have been an on-going focus of government activities. These developments occurred against a backdrop of significant social change but there are important differences in what now underpins and informs these considerations. In the formulation and implementation of public policies, governments look for a course of action that represents and protects the interests of the community; the process may be challenging with competing interests but the final determination seeks a middle ground that best meets the needs and interests of the community as a whole. When policy development concerns our relationship with other animals, the complexity of this relationship presents particular challenges not only to the formulation of policies but also to the evaluation of outcomes. Notably, the depth of feelings and diversity of views in our community reflect the complex social, cultural and personal dimensions of this relationship. The use of animals for scientific purposes remains one of the most contentious animal welfare issues primarily because when animals are used for these purposes, accepted animal welfare benchmarks cannot always be met. Based on the Australian experience, this paper will discuss the influences in and on-going challenges to the development and implementation of public policy when animals are used for these purposes.
Few animals provoke as wide a range of emotions as wolves. Some see wolves as icons of a lost wilderness; others see them as intruders. As the battle continues between wolf proponents and opponents, finding solutions that resolve conflicts while supporting the integrity of nature is challenging. In this essay we argue that we need to make room for wolves and other native carnivores who are re-colonizing areas from which they were extirpated. Strategies that foster coexistence are necessary and wildlife agencies must consider all stakeholders and invest adequate resources to inform the public about how to mitigate conflicts between people/domestic animals, and predators. Values and ethics must be woven into wildlife policy and management and we must be willing to ask difficult ethical questions and learn from past mistakes.
As humans increasingly acknowledge the effects that they are having on the planet, there is a realisation implicit in these effects that human interrelationships with nature are actually arbitrated and expedited exploitatively. Understanding how the different discourses and histories through which the interrelationships with nature are mediated and actually told and then retold is fundamental to appreciating how humans may relate with nature less exploitatively and in ways that are more inclusionary, particularly with nonhuman animals. Humans perceive nature and individual nonhuman animals in various ways. This paper provides an investigation of how humans have socially constructed nature and their place as either within or outside of it. Such constructions are elaborated conceptually and through narrative. More pertinently, this paper examines how nature and nonhuman animals are perceived and placed within those narratives that humans construct from reality. It is stressed here that such constructions have, and may continue, to lead to a worsening of the effects that humans have on the planet if there is no acceptance or recognition that certain realities exist beyond the exploitative bounds of any human-inspired concept or narrative. This paper therefore provides the groundwork for the foundations of an ethic that is both socially and ecologically inclusive and is based on a soft realist approach.
How can we make sense of the fact that we live in a world where good people co-exist in silence about widespread animal suffering. How is it that sites of suffering such as laboratories, factory farms, abattoirs and animal transportation are all around us and yet we 'do not, in a certain sense, know about them' . This 'not knowing' is one of the most difficult barriers for animal activists who must constantly develop new strategies in an attempt to catch public attention and translate it into action. Recent contributions from the 'sociology of denial' have elucidated many of the mechanisms involved in 'not knowing' in relation to human atrocities and genocide. In this context, 'denial' refers to the maintenance of social worlds in which an undesirable situation is unrecognized, ignored or made to seem normal . These include different types of denial: personal, official and cultural, as well as the process of normalization whereby suffering becomes invisible through routinization, tolerance, accommodation, collusion and cover up. Denial and normalization reflect both personal and collective states where suffering is not acknowledged . In this paper, I will examine insights from the sociology of denial and apply them to human denial and normalization of animal suffering. This will include an examination of denial which is both individual and social and the implications of these insights for theory and practice in the human/animal relationship.
The twentieth century has witnessed a bewildering array of ethical revolutions, from civil rights to environmentalism to feminism. Often ignored is the rise of massive societal concern across the world regarding animal treatment. Regulation of animal research exists in virtually all western countries, and reform of “factory farming” is regnant in Europe and rapidly emerging in the United States. Opponents of concern for animals often dismiss the phenomenon as rooted in emotion and extremist lack of appreciation of how unrestricted animal use has improved human life. Such a view totally ignores the rational ethical basis for elevating legal protection for animals, as explained in this essay.
Businesses and professions must stay in accord with social ethics, or risk losing their autonomy. A major social ethical issue that has emerged in the past four decades is the treatment of animals in various areas of human use. Society's moral concern has outgrown the traditional ethic of animal cruelty that began in biblical times and is encoded in the laws of all civilized societies. There are five major reasons for this new social concern, most importantly, the replacement of husbandry-based agriculture with industrial agriculture. This loss of husbandry to industry has threatened the traditional fair contract between humans and animals, and resulted in significant amounts of animal suffering arising on four different fronts. Because such suffering is not occasioned by cruelty, a new ethic for animals was required to express social concerns. Since ethics proceed from preexisting ethics rather than ex nihilo, society has looked to its ethic for humans, appropriately modified, to find moral categories applicable to animals. This concept of legally encoded rights for animals has emerged as a plausible vehicle for reform.
Michel Foucault's work traces shifting techniques in the governance of humans, from the production of 'docile bodies' subjected to the knowledge formations of the human sciences (disciplinary power), to the facilitation of self-governing agents directed towards specified forms of self-knowledge by quasi-therapeutic authorities (pastoral power). While mindful of the important differences between the governance of human subjects and the oppression of nonhuman animals, exemplified in nonhuman animals' legal status as property, this paper explores parallel shifts from disciplinary to pastoral regimes of human-'farmed' animal relations. Recent innovations in 'animal-centred' welfare science represent a trend away from the 'disciplinary' techniques of confinement and torture associated with 'factory farms' and towards quasi-therapeutic ways of claiming to know 'farmed' animals, in which the animals themselves are co-opted into the processes by which knowledge about them is generated. The new pastoral turn in 'animal-centred' welfare finds popular expression in 'happy meat' discourses that invite 'consumers' to adopt a position of vicarious carer for the 'farmed' animals who they eat. The paper concludes that while 'animal-centred' welfare reform and 'happy meat' discourses promise a possibility of a somewhat less degraded life for some 'farmed' animals, they do so by perpetuating exploitation and oppression and entrenching speciesist privilege by making it less vulnerable to critical scrutiny.
It is a core task of collecting institutions like museums to take examples of animals and preserve them as specimens in collections. In the twenty-first century, museums are equally the places where research is conducted and education is promoted in the service of conservation of animals in an era of the decline of biodiversity. In this paper, the balance of co-operation between collecting of animals by museums and the promotion and scientific pursuit of conservation of fauna in those museums is considered. As a “challenge” to museum science, it is considered in the context of Australia's oldest museum, and its policy and practice in the current century.
Collecting of animals from their habitats for preservation by museums and related bodies is a core operation of such institutions. Conservation of biodiversity in the current era is a priority in the scientific agendas of museums of natural heritage in Australia and the world. Intuitively, to take animals from the wild, while engaged in scientific or other practices that are supposed to promote their ongoing survival, may appear be incompatible. The Australian Museum presents an interesting ground to consider zoological collecting by museums in the twenty-first century. Anderson and Reeves in 1994 argued that a milieu existed that undervalued native species, and that the role of natural history museums, up to as late as the mid-twentieth century, was only to make a record the faunal diversity of Australia, which would inevitably be extinct. Despite the latter, conservation of Australia's faunal diversity is a key aspect of research programmes in Australia's institutions of natural heritage in the current era. This paper analyses collecting of animals, a core task for institutions of natural heritage, and how this interacts with a professed “conservation ethic” in a twenty-first century Australian setting.
I'm honored to be the guest editor of this volume of Animals. The essays included here are in the spirit of this new and forward-looking journal http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/1/1/1/pdf. They stem from a precedent setting gathering of scholars from all over the world representing many different disciplines at a meeting called ‘Minding Animals’, held in Newcastle, Australia in July 2009 (http://www.mindinganimals.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=210&Itemid=236). All of the delegates who journeyed from varying distances, sometimes huge, to be part of this unique gathering, shared a deep interest in learning more about who nonhuman animals (hereafter, animals) are from colleagues studying them from various perspectives, representing disciplines including biology, psychology, anthropology, and the social sciences and humanities. Not surprisingly, the meeting was characterized by great enthusiasm, lots of discussion often bordering on the frenetic since people would soon be dispersing to their homelands and not be readily accessible, and a commitment to continue learning more about animals in society.
History teaches us that the act of naming can have various consequences for that which is named. Thus, applying labels as well as both specific and generic names to non-human animals can have consequences for our relationships to them, as various examples show. The issues of whether and how we should name other animals should therefore be given careful consideration.
The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as uncomplicated as we may usually think and names have consequences for the way we think about animals (human and non-human), peoples, species, places, things etc. Through a blend of history, philosophy and representational theory—and using examples from, among other things, the Bible, Martin Luther, colonialism/imperialism and contemporary ways of keeping and regarding non-human animals—this paper attempts to trace the importance of (both specific and generic) naming to our relationships with the non-human. It explores this topic from the naming of the animals in Genesis to the names given and used by scientists, keepers of companion animals, media etc. in our societies today, and asks the question of what the consequences of naming non-human animals are for us, for the beings named and for the power relations between our species and the non-human species and individuals we name.
Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009-2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.
I argue that cultural representations of donkeys arise from the contradictory philosophies that underpin western society. Donkeys have invariable been used symbolically in a negative way in early western literature which has affected our ongoing attitudes towards them: used as allegories for human nature, their own remains largely hidden. Tracing literary representations of donkeys reveals not only their conflicting origins but also how they developed over time. Understanding how these representations have affected our treatment of donkeys may lead to a better appreciation of the actual animals.
How we represent animals both reflects our attitudes towards them and affects our treatment of them. The donkey has lived alongside humans, bearing their burdens since the time of their domestication over 10,000 years ago. Despite this, they have invariably enjoyed a low status in human cultures, received little appreciation and been treated harshly. We view some animals as being more worthy than others and represent them accordingly: donkeys have been ridiculed and derided. Literary representations of donkeys from the fables of Ancient Greece to contemporary iconic texts are explored to follow the donkey through the human imaginary. These representations derive from two main, conflicting sources, Greek literature and the Bible. Examining these cultural representations may lead towards a greater understanding of the way they affect the actual animal and lead to a greater understanding of that animal and, ultimately, to better treatment of them.
Unusual behaviour of domestic cattle before earthquakes has been
reported for centuries, and often relates to cattle becoming excited,
vocal, aggressive or attempting to break free of tethers and restraints.
Cattle have also been reported to move to higher or lower ground before
earthquakes. Here, we report unusual movements of domestic cows 2 days
prior to the Marche-Umbria (M=6) earthquake in 1997. Cows moved down
from their usual summer pastures in the hills and were seen in the
streets of a nearby town, a highly unusual occurrence. We discuss this
in the context of positive holes and air ionisation as proposed by
Freund's unified theory of earthquake precursors.
Wildlife objectification and cruelty are everyday aspects of Australian society that eschew values of human kindness, empathy, and an understanding of the uniqueness and importance of non-human life in the natural world. Fostered by institutional failure, greed and selfishness, and the worst aspects of human disregard, the objectification of animals has its roots in longstanding Western anthropocentric philosophical perspectives, post colonialism, and a global uptake of neoliberal capitalism. Conservation, animal rights and welfare movements have been unable to stem the ever-growing abuse of wildlife, while 'greenwash' language such as 'resource use', 'management', 'pests', 'over-abundance', 'conservation hunting' and 'ecology' coat this violence with a respectable public veneer. We propose an engaged learning approach to address the burgeoning culture of wildlife cruelty and objectification that comprises three elements: a relational ethic based on intrinsic understanding of the way wildlife and humans might view each other [1-3]; geography of place and space , where there are implications for how we ascribe contextual meaning and practice in human-animal relations; and, following , engaged learning designed around our ethical relations with others, beyond the biophysical and novel and towards the reflective metaphysical. We propose the 'ecoversity' , as a scholarly and practical tool for focusing on the intersection of these three elements as an ethical place-based learning approach to wildlife relationism. We believe it provides a mechanism to help bridge the gap between human and non-human animals, conservation and welfare, science and understanding, and between objectification and relationism as a means of addressing entrenched cruelty to wildlife.
This study, based on ten years of ethnographic and archival research, explores the complexity of the mustang in the United States. Images are explored to show how one unique animal is manipulated to advance political, social and economic agendas using a theoretical framework that combines elements of praxis and globalization theory.
Translocal spaces are created out of the process of globalization whereby interventions such as electronic media and migration radically change social relations and breakdown the isomorphism of space, place, and culture . This approach is useful in examining the controversy surrounding the mustang. This paper explores how different social constructions influence the management of mustangs as they move between the local and national level. At each cultural level, political, economic, and environmental issues converge encouraging the emphasis of some cultural constructions over others. These socially constructed images give insight into what the mustang means to a post-industrial culture and it may simultaneously contribute to the animal's eventual demise.
Wet litter is the most important cause of footpad dermatitis in poultry, this in turn being a highly relevant animal-related welfare indicator. This field study was subdivided into two experiments. In Experiment 1, the standard diet was supplemented by 0.2% enriched charcoal, being a non-specific absorber and therefore might be promising in reducing faecal moisture. In Experiment 2, the experimental group received a reduced crude protein diet during weeks 6–13, combined with a 0.2% enriched charcoal supplementation. The trials were each conducted with two batches on three farms under on-farm conditions. The animals were observed at 6, 10, 14 and 18 weeks of age to collect data on body weight and different health parameters. The mortality and litter samples were analysed after slaughtering. In Experiment 1, performance and health were not affected despite higher dry matter content of the litter. In Experiment 2, the weight of birds receiving the protein-reduced diet was decreased significantly throughout the experiment. However, the slaughter weight did not differ. The mortality was reduced by 0.5% in the experimental group. Therefore, it was concluded that 0.2% of enriched charcoal is not a valuable feed-additive regarding animal health, while temporary protein reduction might have positive effects.
Synthetic colloid fluids containing hydroxyethyl starch (HES) have been associated with impairment of coagulation in dogs. It is unknown if HES causes coagulation impairment in dogs with naturally occurring critical illness. This study used banked plasma samples from a blinded, randomized clinical trial comparing HES and balanced isotonic crystalloid for bolus fluid therapy in 39 critically ill dogs. Blood was collected prior to fluid administration and 6, 12, and 24 h thereafter. Coagulation biomarkers measured at each time point included prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and the activities of coagulation factors V, VII, VIII, IX, and X, von Willebrand factor antigen, antithrombin, and protein C. Given the links between coagulation and inflammation, cytokine concentrations were also measured, including interleukins 6, 8, 10, and 18, keratinocyte-derived chemokine, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Data were analyzed with linear mixed effects models. No significant treatment-by-time interactions were found for any biomarker, indicating that the pattern of change over time was not modified by treatment. Examining the main effect of time showed significant changes in several coagulation biomarkers and keratinocyte-derived chemokines. This study could not detect evidence of coagulation impairment with HES.
In veterinary medicine, investigations relating the effects of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on renal function report contrasting results. This study aimed to assess the changes in the selected biomarkers of kidney injury in dogs after the administration of HES 130/0.4 as a constant rate infusion (CRI) for 24 h. Ten adult client-owned dogs with hypoalbuminemia (albumin < 2 g/dL) and ongoing fluid losses were included. Enrolled dogs received intravenous fluid therapy with crystalloids and a CRI of HES 130/0.4 at a dose of 2 mL/kg/h for 24 h. Serum creatinine (sCr), fractional excretion (FE) of electrolytes, urinary protein to creatinine ratio (UPC), urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UAC), SDS-page, and urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) were measured at the baseline before HES infusion, and after 24 h (T24) and 48 h (T48) from the baseline. No statistically significant difference was found between the baseline value vs. T24 and the baseline vs. T48 for sCr, UAC, UPC, FE of sodium, chloride and calcium, and uNGAL. A significant increase in FEK (p = 0.04) was noticed between the baseline and T48. In this study sample of hypoalbuminemic dogs, HES 130/0.4 at the dose and rate of infusion applied did not cause any significant changes in the investigated biomarkers of kidney injury.
An experiment was performed to study the effects of a low inclusion level of Chlorella vulgaris (CV) biomass in broiler diets on performance, immune response related to inflammatory status, and the intestinal histomorphology. The study was performed with 120 Ross 308 male broiler chickens from 0–35 days of age. The broilers were housed in 12 floor pens (1.5 m2) bedded with wood shavings. The broilers received a three phase diet program, either with 0.8% CV biomass (CV) or without CV (CON). Each diet program was replicated in six pens. The final body weight increased (p = 0.053), and the feed conversion ratio (FCR), corrected for body weight, was reduced (p = 0.02) in birds fed CV compared to birds fed CON. In addition, decreased haptoglobins (p = 0.02) and interleukin-13 (p < 0.01) responses were observed during the grower phase of birds fed CV compared to the birds fed CON. A strong correlation (r = 0.82, p < 0.01) was observed between haptoglobin response and FCR. Histomorphology parameters of the jejunum were not different between the groups. It was concluded that the inclusion of 0.8% CV biomass in broiler diets is effective in influencing immune responses related to inflammatory status and promoting broiler growth.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of partial and total replacement of protein from genetically modified soybean meal (GM-SBM) with protein from 00-rapeseed meal (00-RSM), alone or in combination with protein from low-tannin faba bean (Vicia faba L.) seeds (FB) or low-alkaloid yellow lupine (Lupinus luteus L.) seeds (YL) in grower-finisher diets on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen retention and utilization, selected blood biochemical parameters, fattening performance of pigs and carcass quality traits. Two digestibility-balance trials and one feeding trial were performed during two-phase fattening on male hybrid Danbred growing-finishing pigs were divided into four groups. The pigs were fed grower diets where 50% of GM-SBM protein (diet S-c) was replaced with 00-RSM protein (diet R), 00-RSM and FB protein (diet R + FB) or 00-RSM and YL protein (diet R + YL), and finisher diets where 100% of GM-SBM protein (diet S-c) was totally replaced with 00-RSM protein (diet R), and with 00-RSM and FB protein (diet R + FB) or YL protein (diet R + YL) in 50%. It was found that partial (50% in grower diets) and total (100% in finisher diets) replacement of GM-SBM protein with 00-RSM protein combined with FB or YL protein had no adverse effect on nutrient and energy digestibility, N balance, serum of blood carbohydrate and protein metabolism or the biochemical parameters of liver and kidney function. Protein from 00-RSM (6%) and FB seeds (10%/12%) contributed to high daily gains and high feed conversion efficiency. Protein from 00-RSM (6%) and YL seeds (6%/7%) in grower-finisher diets led to a further improvement in fattening performance. The analyzed vegetable protein sources had no negative influence on carcass quality. The results of the present study indicate that 00-RSM protein combined with protein from low-tannin FB or low-alkaloid YL seeds can be valuable high-protein feed ingredients alternative to GM-SBM in pig nutrition.
In 2005 a small group of academics gathered at the University of Western Australia for a modest yet highly significant interdisciplinary conference focused on scholarship in the emerging field of human-animal studies. A critical mass of academics from the University of Tasmania attended that first conference and pledged to host a second human-animal studies conference two years later. True to their word a second human-animal studies conference was held in Hobart, Australia, in 2007. The organisers called the second conference “Considering Animals” and the book under review here is a compilation of papers presented at that conference. [...]
Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Knopf 2012) is an easy to read and entertaining book co-written by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD and Kathryn Bowers. Natterson-Horowitz is a practicing cardiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, who also has training in psychiatry. Kathryn Bowers is a professional writer who teaches writing at UCLA. The book addresses traits shared by nonhuman animals (hereafter referred to simply as animals) and humans that have medical relevance. The authors are to be commended for discussing matters that should be obvious in the 21st century, but sadly still are not universally accepted. Humans share our lineage with animals and this has implications for the origin of traits. Clearly, animals have emotions, preferences, and suffer from diseases that are similar on some levels to the ones humans suffer from. The Cartesian view of animals has been debunked and the authors give many examples supporting a more scientifically advanced view of animals.