The Practices of Compassion and Cruelty

Blacktailed Jackrabbit

“I don’t understand these people trying to help animals when there’s so much human suffering in the world. Shouldn’t they be helping humans instead?”

I was asked this question at dinner the other day. One of the characters in my novel, The Last Island, is an animal rights activist. The questioner thought that her passion, like that of many other animal activists, was misplaced. I answered the question as best I could at the time, but after some thought I realized that my response was inadequate. I’ve since come to a new conclusion. Continue reading

Blackfish: Weighing in on the Killer Whale Controversy at SeaWorld.

Where They Belong

Who are we really saving?

Blackfish is a provocative documentary that tells the story of a killer whale that has killed several people at SeaWorld.  There’s been an impassioned response to this film by many people, who are now demanding that all killer whales in captivity be freed.  The visceral nature of this response is not just because of what is happening to killer whales in captivity and what they are as a species but also, and perhaps more importantly, because it goes to the heart of who we are. Continue reading