Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dr. Emily's Incomplete List if Unproductive Animal Welfare Discussions (and Stock Answers)

1) What exactly "is" Animal Welfare?
It's like art or--if your prefer--pornography.  People know it when they see it.  Having more precise definitions in more precise settings is fine, but don't expect the social issue to conform to your chosen definition.  Reality creates semantics, not the other way around.  And in most cases we can get along just fine addressing issues without paragraph long quizzling "defintions', the creation of which is often used as a substitute for real action.

2) Why focus on animals when so many people in the world are suffering?
I'll focus on what I want to focus on, and you can focus on what you want to focus on.  But, frankly, a compassionate and just society tends to extend consideration and protection to all, to the best of its ability and resources.  I am just one of those resources. So are you.

3) But I see that you [eat meat, leave your dog at home while you go to work, insert something else questionable here], so how dare you tell me what to do?
I try and tell people about the consequences of their choices and actions, what they do is then up to them.  Like them I am not perfect, I am sometimes even hypocritical.  Feel free to call me on it, but try and keep it somewhat on topic and be sure to do the same to yourself.  Then we might both learn something and make some better choices in the future.  Nobody is perfect, which is why everybody has room for improvement.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So there I am, wandering around the exhibit hall watching people shamelessly snag freebies, and what do I see... me! I think the blue scrubs really bring out the color of my eyes. The eagle-eyed amongst you might see that this is the very picture I used the profile from in my business card design.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who Scoops the Poop?

A recent study by Deborah Wells investigated who is more likely to pick up after their dog.  Basically they followed dog walkers and noted their sex and leash use, and when the dog pooped they recorded whether the owner picked it up.  Then they intercepted the same people leaving the park and asked their age and income level. It seems that those most likely to scoop the poop were wealthier females with leashed dogs.  Make of that what you will.  What might have been interesting is if they has asked the same people if they picked up after their dog or not and saw what factors best predicted lying about it....

  • Wells, D.L. (2006). Factors influencing owners' reactions to their dogs fouling. Environment and Behavior, 38, 707-714.