Top 10 links of the week! A breezy ride through veganism!  »

[your animal viral video of the week! I don’t understand what’s going on. Where is this? Is this like a private dolphin?]

I can tell you guys have big things to worry about but if you have time to care about the seal hunt, you should keep an eye on the Humane Society’s “Live from the Ice” reporting.

Yo, did you know there’s a debate about whether or not it’s ethical for vegans and vegetarians to eat mock meat? Me neither! This Dish is Veg has a post about it, read it and tell me what you think.

Some 20-year-old killed a cat to perfect her outfit for a Lady Gaga show. I don’t want to talk about it.

Treehugger has good news about the gorilla population in the Congo! Gorillas are just amazing. Like, you can’t not be amazed when you look at them. Plus, they’re nearly vegan (I hear sometimes they eat bugs)! They don’t eat cows and they still manage to be all strong and diesel.

If you didn’t get enough Laura this week, check out The Week in Vegan. She mentions Shakira, who rules. I’m sold. Read it and comment!

News gets cute this week: “Research shows that man’s best friend categorizes people as generous or mean by keeping tabs on how they treat others.” That’s how everyone’s dog knows YOU’RE the softy! Read all about it at the Daily Mail.

Michael Vick continues to be a douche.

Read Ricky Gervais’ letter calling for the director of NIH to help 14 chimpanzees that have been sent to a research facility in Texas. Ricky Gervais is just the man. I don’t know what he could do to make me like him more but I think it would involve free vegan cinnamon rolls. Or roller-skates.

Wolves can’t catch a break. Groups are in the process of trying to de-list wolves as an endangered species in the Great Lakes area. The New York Times has the story. I’m getting fucking sick of this. It’s like, you almost wipe out a species and then after hard work, the species begins to flourish and then you want to kill them again. WTF?

Friends of Animals has a brief update on the wolf de-listing rider in the budget proposal. It’s on it’s way to the prez! Fucking awesome!


More fun with nature vs. nurture: Chimps and stick “dolls!”  »

[Photograph by Michael Poliza, National Geographic/Getty Images]

National Geographic has a nice article about little chimps in Uganda and their stick dolls! First they were like, “chimps play with dolls!” but really they are sticks so I didn’t want to get you too excited like they got me excited, EXCEPT that it seems little girl chimps in captivity will choose to play with “feminine” toys like dolls while the boy chimps choose trucks and “masculine” toys. Fascinating!

I love me some monkeys and I know we’re not supposed to anthropomorphize them but omjesus, so adorable! Check it out:

Young females of the Kanyawara chimpanzee community in Kibale National Park, Uganda, use sticks as rudimentary dolls and care for them like the group’s mother chimps tend to their real offspring. The behavior, which was very rarely observed in males, has been witnessed more than a hundred times over 14 years of study….

"Carriers regularly take sticks into the nests they rest in during the day, something that isn’t done with other objects. Individuals are [also] known to play with their sticks while in their nests."

Adorbs! What they are trying to find out, considering the nature/nurture implications, is whether our toy selection is at all gender-based. Scientists saw this division in toy selection in captive chimps but seeing it in wild chimps tells us even more. Scientist point out that in the wild, chimps would not have seen their parents playing with toys like the sticks so this makes a case for a natural desire in males and females to play with different toys. Fascinating!

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