EppsNet Archive: Animals

Two Great Fears

We now know that the human animal is characterized by two great fears that other animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death. — Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Animals, Not People

My fellow Americans — I heard or read the Trump sound bite — “These are not people. These are animals.” — several times this week, always with no context to clarify who or what the pronoun “these” refers to. I plan to use that line next time I visit the National Zoo. It’s going to be hilarious. Listeners and readers were invited to apply the broadest possible interpretation, i.e., Trump said immigrants are animals. He was reviled by people who relied on the short, skewed attention span of the American public to avoid facing the regrettable fact that they use the same “dehumanizing” language themselves. This doesn’t work as well as it did before Twitter became an online memory bank for better or worse. For example, here is CNN “journalist” Ana Navarro: Once it became widely known that Trump was referring specifically to MS-13 gang members, Nancy Pelosi and other… Read more →

My Worries Are Few

I have the ability to face up to the disturbing facts of life, except pain, sickness, death, poverty, rejection, loneliness, guilt, shame, confusion, doubt, imperfection, meaninglessness, futility and evil. Also fear of being laughed at and cruelty to animals. Read more →

Good News, Bad News

Bad News: Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and are sicker in-between. Good News: I found this video of a rescued raccoon who thinks she’s a dog: Read more →

R.I.P. Tiger

A tragic end to a once-promising golf career . . . Read more →

Field Hours

It has come to my attention that Northwood High kids can get “field hours” for Environmental Science by visiting zoos and watching movies at the Spectrum. How lame is that? Shouldn’t they have to rescue a seagull or something? Read more →

Hawk Cam

I’m mesmerized by the Hawk Cam. It’s amazing to me that hawks and other critters have all this knowledge programmed into them . . . when, where and how to build a nest, laying the eggs, sitting on them for a month, raising the hatchlings. Red-tailed hawks are monogamous, so the male stops by several times a day. Sometimes he brings a delicious rat. The nest is on the 12th floor ledge of a library at NYU. More info at the New York Times City Room blog. Read more →

R.I.P. Knut

It breaks my spirit to see a magnificent animal die in pain in front of all those people. Folks, if you want to see a polar bear, go to the Arctic Circle. Animals aren’t happy in zoos. I know you’re thinking, “But Lightning, you live in captivity and you’re happy.” Even as a house pet, I have more freedom than a zoo animal. My owner takes me on frequent trips to the dog park, where I’m able to exercise my innate dominance of the canine kingdom. I couldn’t live in an enclosure because I wouldn’t be able to be who I am. — Lightning Read more →

A Marmot Eating a Cracker

Filmed in some part of the world where crackers are called “biscuits.” Read more →

Dogs Are Smart

Dogs are now so dependent upon people that they fail certain basic intelligence tests that wolves and wild dogs ace, according to new research. The findings provide evidence that humans, through domestication of canines, have caused dogs to lose their non-social problem-solving skills. The loss in skills appears to be “hardwired” genetically into dogs, helping to explain why homeless dogs struggle to survive. — Dogs dumbed down by domestication – msnbc.com That is not right to say “dumbed down.” Try teaching a wolf to shake or roll over, bright boy. Dogs and wolves are smart in different ways. Wolves are smarter about survival skills but dogs are a LOT smarter about living with people because that’s what we do. We’re very tuned in to human behavior and language and ambitions. We are also a lot better than a wolf at unconditional love, which I know is not what we’re talking… Read more →

If It’s Them or Me, It’s Me

Authorities say a motorist has driven off a cliff, plunging about 200 feet down a steep canyon near Calabasas, after swerving to avoid an animal on the road. — Driver Avoids Animal, Careens Off Calabasas Cliff – cbs2.com Ouch — was he a PETA member? I like animals. I ran over a squirrel once and I felt terrible about it but the little critter just dashed right out in front of my car. However — in the event of having to make a split-second decision between clobbering an animal and driving off a cliff, well, the animal is going to get it. On a side note, kudos to the headline writer for the alliteration: “Careens Off Calabasas Cliff.” Who says a liberal arts education isn’t good for anything? Read more →

My New Favorite Writer is Named Camille Paglia

Hi Everybody! It’s me, Lightning! I wanted to tell you that my new favorite writer is named Camille Paglia! A lot of people say that dogs and other animals can’t think because thought requires language and animals don’t know any language. Well, here is what Camille Paglia says about that: I disagree that language is or should be our primary medium for understanding the world. . . . Words are very important in human development, but they can never adequately explain the awesome mysteries of the universe. Dante dramatized this when Virgil, the Roman poet who is his guide through hell and purgatory, cannot accompany him to paradise. Virgil stands for reason and language, but sacred vision requires a leap into another dimension. . . . Exactly! I wish she said what kind of dog Dante is — maybe a pug! Expanded perception is closer to how animals are instinctively… Read more →

Is That a Primate in Your Pocket? Etc.

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