Written by Michelle Kretzer
We owe it to our animal companions to learn a little "dogese" or "catish," so here are the meanings of some of the most common animal behaviors:
Now that you're fluent in your animals' language, read up on how to be a great guardian.
Written by PETA
We already know that elephants in the wild lead rich emotional lives, but recent findings about elephant brainpower and a "secret" language of low-frequency sounds have me wondering what these clever animals gossip about in the wild, and I'm going to have nightmares tonight about what the elephants who are beaten by Ringling are trying to tell us.
Among the researchers' conclusions is that while baby elephants will shriek to signal distress, adult elephants shriek only from pain. If you've seen PETA's undercover footage and the photographs from a former Ringling trainer, you know there are a lot of shrieking elephants at Ringling: Mothers and babies shriek as they are dragged away from each other with chains and ropes, babies shriek during violent "training" sessions, and trainers induce plenty of agonized shrieks as they dig their metal-tipped bullhooks into the elephants' sensitive skin.
As one researcher in Kenya said about the elephants he studied, "They've proved to have abilities which have only been found elsewhere in the great apes and humans." If you don't think humans belong chained and beaten in the circus, please don't support circuses that use elephants. Maybe this is how elephants say "thank you."
Written by Heather Drennan
Grammar Nazis—(cough) PETA editors (cough)—listen up: It turns out that you might have more in common with monkeys than with your fellow humans.
New research suggests that nonhuman animals are capable of communicating not only among their own kind but also with members of other species. Klaus Zuberbühler, a psychologist at University of St. Andrews in Scotland, spent hundreds of hours listening to the calls of Campbell's monkeys and other species, gradually decoding their language, which is so grammatically sophisticated that it uses suffixes to change the meaning of calls based on the kinds of animals posing a threat. These intricate calls, which are used to pass on complex information about predators and their whereabouts, could be understood by other species of monkeys and even by birds such as hornbills.
We're constantly learning more about the countless ways in which animals of all kinds are brilliant, selfless, and complex. Meanwhile, with all our texts, tweets, and e-mails, we sometimes can't even talk to other humans—let alone other members of other species (um, TISNF, BBIAB, FUBAR—WTF?).
Written by Logan Scherer
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.