Written by PETA
Regular readers already know that we at the PETA Files think that pigs are appealing even when they're squealing. But it's thanks to the work of professor Stanley Curtis, who passed away on Sunday, that we know that no matter how beguiling pigs may be, you shouldn't let them hustle you into playing Super Street Fighter IV with them. During his time at the University of Illinois, professor Curtis discovered that pigs can play and excel at joystick-controlled video games.
He observed that "there is much more going on in terms of thinking and observing by these pigs than we would ever have guessed." Pigs did better at video games than some primates (and, yes, based on my gaming scores, I fall into that group).
So cook up some "fakin' bacon" in professor Curtis' memory and then see how far you can get in the New Super Chick Sisters game without help from our porcine pals!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Nine-spined stickleback, genius of the sea, allow me to introduce the rocket scientist of the air: the pigeon.
Scientists have discovered that pigeons are better than humans at solving statistical problems such as the Monty Hall Problem (named after the original host of the game show Let's Make a Deal). In the problem, a person, or in this case a bird, is given three doors to choose from. One of the doors has a prize behind it, and the other two do not. After the player makes a guess, one of the remaining doors that does not contain the prize is opened and the player is given the option of staying with the initial guess or switching to the other unopened door. Studies show that humans typically fail to collect any supporting data and stick with their original guess ("classical probability"), while pigeons double their chances of winning by switching choices. It turns out that these smart birds learn to make predictions by tracking outcomes and narrowing the possibilities ("empirical probability").
I consider this to be yet another example of why I'd be honored, not insulted, if anyone ever called me a "birdbrain."
Written by Karin Bennett
Bugs are fascinating, and if anyone tries to tell you different, have them check out this article, which offers proof that many insects are tiny geniuses who are capable of counting, categorizing objects, and recognizing human faces. Recent studies show that even though their brains are oh-so-teeny-tiny, ants, bees, and other braniac bugs are brilliant creatures. There is overwhelming evidence that brain size has no effect on intelligence and that in many cases a bigger brain is not a smarter brain.
One study shows that honeybees, whose behavioral abilities rival that of some vertebrates, can determine whether or not shapes are symmetrical, can classify objects according to sameness and difference, and will stop flying after passing a predetermined number of landmarks.
I bet if you tried you could think of a few humans who struggle with those three tasks. I've been known to have a little trouble with that last one, myself.
So the next time you see one of these clever critters, keep in mind their ingenious minds, and let them live their complex, profound lives. We've got just the thing to help you.
Written by Logan Scherer
On July 4, we celebrated Independence Day for greyhounds in New Hampshire when the state's two racetracks closed. Well, get ready to toast "New Life's Eve" for many racing greyhounds: Wisconsin's only dog-killing racing track, Dairyland Greyhound Park, will hold its last race on December 31.
Life in the fast lane is hard and cruel for racing greyhounds, who spend long hours in cramped kennels and sometimes suffer broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks. Once their racing days are over, many dogs are abandoned, starved, shot, or sold to laboratories. After such hard living, it's no wonder that dogs who are rescued from racetracks have a tendency to turn into couch potatoes.
One more down, eight more to go …
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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.