male lion with great mane

Looking at Cecil the Lion

Unless you’ve been living in a hole the past week or two, odds are you have heard about the Minnesota dentist that killed Cecil the Lion, a popular favorite who was being tracked and studied in a nature preserve in Zimbabwe. The media, as it occasionally does, has strongly latched onto this story and the reactions have been passionate and far reaching. The story has been picked up by perhaps every major news outlet in the US (for example, on CNN , the New York Times , and Fox News. Jimmy Kimmel made a passionate speech about it on his late night show that has currently received over seven million views on YouTube. What is it that has incited such rage, and is that rage justified?

Eclectis parrot known as Lil E

Going to the Birds

I recently came across this article from the National Audubon Society about a parrot rescue group in Southern California who is rehabilitating and re-releasing injured parrots. The hitch in this plan? There are no parrots that are native to Southern California. All of the birds being released were non-native species that should never have been there in the first place.

A Smooth Fronted Caiman (Paleosuchus triganatus) looking regal

My Revamped Focus and Site

There have been a lot of changes over the past few days here at Animals In Our Lives. As you can see by looking over my old blog posts, I never posted as regularly as I should have, and that is largely because I was never entirely happy with the direction and methods I decided on for spreading the message that I was trying to spread. What is this message? In short, that every animal should be valued, every animal deserves our respect, and we should be willing to take action to better the lives of all animals, both captive and wild.

Boa constrictor

Constrictor Ban? My Letter to FWS

In the coming months, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether or not to include five more species of constrictors to the Lacey Act. This coming week, July 24 to be exact, the open period for public comment will be closing, so I decided submit a comment. If you don’t know what the Lacey Act is, it is, to put it simply, the law that makes it illegal to transport certain animals plants across state lines. This includes moving them from one state to another or importing them from out of the country. There are two main goals of the Lacey Act. The first is to limit or prevent the trade of endangered and rare animals, and the second (which it is more often used for) is to prevent the introduction and spread of “injurious” animals, which it defines as non-native species that would cause personal, economic, or environmental harm to an area should they become established

Don't worry, I make a connection...

What Happened to Responsibility?

If you have read the other posts I’ve uploaded so far, you will know that I try to go out of my way to be extraordinarily fair. I search out different sides to every topic I write about so that I can discuss the pros and cons in order to arrive at a well-educated conclusion. I try to avoid making emotional reactions and try to keep my own personal biases in check. I want to avoid being inflammatory and confrontational as it puts people on the defensive and blocks any progress from being made.

This post is not quite going to be like that. This time, I’m pointing fingers and not holding back my feelings or opinions. Animals are one of the greatest joys in my life. I love having pets and keeping animals of all kinds. I love learning about and seeing animals, whether in the wild, in preserves, in zoos, or on television. I think animals should be understood and cared about. But people are ruining things. Because they’re being stupid. So this time, I’m breaking my own rules about keeping things even-tempered.

Keeping Reptiles, Not Even Once

HSUS – Not Your Local Animal Shelter

One of the most misunderstood animal rights organizations is the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS is also an organization that is very difficult to get a fair and objective assessment of. It is incredibly easy to find a number of websites that oppose the HSUS and attack it vehemently. It is also easy to find a number of websites defending the HSUS and attacking its detractors. Unfortunately, with as unapologetically biased as both sides of the argument are, you have to realize and accept that you won’t get a complete picture of the organization from either side, and there are few who try to examine it without getting swept into one extreme or the other

World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day

No discussion about animal conservation would be complete without addressing the challenges facing wild populations of animals. I’m not going to get into that too much right now (this post is simply an announcement, but I promise I will get to it!),but the future of many species is threatened by illegal poaching and habitat loss. […]

Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)

Raising “Impossible” Marine Species

When it comes to keeping non-domesticated animals (in this particular case, marine fish), one concern that must be addressed is ensuring sustainable and ecologically friendly methods of acquiring the animals. There is no single correct answer as to how to go about this, but one major factor has to be a focus on captive breeding in order to alleviate pressure on wild populations

Not Marius, but you get the idea...

The Curious Case of Marius the Giraffe

It is very likely that by now you have heard the story that has been going around the internet of Marius the Giraffe. And if you have heard the story, it is most likely that it was written in such a way as to suggest that the entire sequence of events, from the very beginning to the very end, was one travesty after another and that every decision made by the zoo staff was proof of their cruelty and inhumanity. The story you most likely heard was that a zoo in Copenhagen decided it didn’t have room for a male giraffe named Marius so it shot the giraffe, butchered it, and fed it to lions, all in public and in front of kids

PeTA

The Problem with PETA

When deciding what I wanted my first real post to be (I’m not counting my introductory welcome post as it doesn’t get into any topic too deeply), there were a number of possibilities and a number of topics that I wanted to address. Some of them are somewhat timely topics, like that of Marius the Giraffe, that I feel need to be written soon as they are happening right now (or in the very recent past) and there is still new commentary coming out. Some of them are wider reaching topics that will help develop a background understanding of the problems as I see them, such as an overview of the Animal Rights movement. Ultimately, I decided to address the organization that induced me into actually starting this blog