The Animal Guide for Curious Humans

Maureen Armstrong

Concerned about the impact we humans are having on them? Then charge up those AirPods - or Bluetooth headset - and get ready for The Animal Guide for Curious Humans. Creator and host Maureen Armstrong brings animal lovers, wildlife experts and decision makers together to discuss the habits and behaviours of animals—including us—and ways we can live together harmoniously in light of ever-increasing population, resource and climate pressures. The Animal Guide for Curious Humans will educate you, entertain you, and get you thinking globally so you can act locally. Discover more about Maureen and the show on the The Animal Guide’s About page. Discover more at TheAnimalGuide.com. And be sure to tune in, like, subscribe and share; our animal friends are counting on us!

Saving Mountain Gorillas
Jun 16 2022
Saving Mountain Gorillas
If you had to guess, how many mountain gorillas do you think remain in the wild today? For context, there are 7.9 billion humans in the world.  How many mountain gorillas do you think there are?  The answer: just 1,063.  Until recently, there were a critically endangered species.  Thanks in large part to today’s guest and her organization, the population of mountain gorillas is growing.Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is the founder and CEO of Conservation through Public Health (CTPH), an award winning NGO that protects endangered gorillas and other wildlife.  CTPH is particularly active with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda.  Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London and studied a masters degree in specialized veterinary medicine from North Carolina State University.  She has won several awards as has CTPH.  We will provide a detailed biography in the show notes so please check those out at www.theanimalguide.com . Dr. Gladys and CTPH apply a one health approach to their work focussing on the interplay between humans, animals and the environment to improve conditions for all.  She tells us about some of the important programs CTPH operates around Bwindi National Park to help community members and the gorillas live harmoniously.  Thriving and healthy communities are extremely important to support and protect the mountain gorilla population. Links:Dr. Gladys Kalema-ZikusokaTwitter: @DoctorGladysFacebook: @DrGladysKalemaZikusoka Instagram: @gladyskalemazikusokaWikipedia: With Gorillas” by Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka publishes October 2022: Through Public HealthTwitter: @CTPHugandaFacebook: @CTPH.orgInstagram: @ctph_ugandaYoutube: Conservation CoffeeTwitter: @GCCoffee1Facebook: @GorillaConservationCoffeeInstagram: @gorillaconservation_coffeeYoutube:
Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road? To Cool Off!
Jun 2 2022
Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road? To Cool Off!
It is estimated that around 65 billion broiler chickens are consumed by humans every year.  Yet, how much do we really know about them?  Today’s guest is doing fascinating and important research in animal behaviour, particularly chickens.  Dr. Oluwaseun Sera Iyasere is a specialist in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Animal Physiology, at the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria (FUNAAB).  She teaches courses in several subjects including Comparative Animal Behavior, Environmental Physiology, and Animal Welfare.  She has more than 45 published journal articles to her credit including several relating to heat stress on chickens.  She will share with us several interesting studies regarding chicken behaviour so we can understand these important animals a little better.   Social media:LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/oluwaseunserah-iyasereTwitter: @os_iyas Select Publications:1.      Iyasere, O.S., Edwards, S.A., Bateson, M., Mitchell, M and Guy, J.H. (2017).  Validation of an intramuscularly-implanted microchip and a surface infrared thermometer to estimate core body temperature in broiler chickens exposed to heat stress. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 133:1-8.2.      Iyasere, O.S., Beard, A.P., Guy, J.H. and Bateson, M. (2017). Elevated levels of stress hormone, corticosterone, cause ‘pessimistic’ judgment bias in broiler chickens. Scientific Reports, 7 (1):1-12        Iyasere, O.S., Oyeniran, V.J., Oyawale, O., Adeniyi, D. and Uyanga, V.A. (2018). Social facilitation between commercial broilers and Nigerian indigenous chicks and its effect on their welfare. Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica, 51(4): 139-146.  4.      Iyasere, O.S., Ajayi, O.D., Alade, S.O. Akinbode, V.O. (2019). Behaviour, physiology and body mass of Nigerian indigenous hens during brooding. Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica, 52(2):43-47. DOI:       Iyasere, O.S., Durosaro, S.O., Oke, O.E., Omotosho, T.F., Salako, M.A., Oyeniran, V.J., Oyetunji, D.E and Daramola, J.O. (2020). Behavioural responses of two breeds of domestic chicks to feed and alarm call playback. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 233: 105153
Letting Wild Cats be Wild
May 19 2022
Letting Wild Cats be Wild
On today’s episode, we are taking a look at wild cats who have found themselves in human hands.  Lions, tigers, lynx, servals, and other species of wild cats can be targets for profiteers running roadside petting zoos or who are filling a demand for exotic pets.  These extraordinary creatures might be bred for their cubs to create a photo opportunity at an unregulated zoo or they may be taken into homes with the expectation they can be domesticated.  Neither of these environments allow them to live life as they are intended and many are neglected and abused.  Some of the lucky ones find their way to a qualified sanctuary where they can live in conditions that allow them to more natural behaviour. Today’s guest is Tammy Thies, founder and executive director of The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota. She has a fascinating story of moving from a career in advertising to running The Wildcat Sanctuary, a 40-acre home for over 100 captive wildcats.  Animals are not bought, sold, bred or traded by the sanctuary.  Each resident is given every opportunity to behave naturally in a wonderful, free-roaming environment and they receive the best vet care at the on-site animal hospital. The Wildcat Sanctuary also provides educational outreach seminars and helps lobby for legislative change to ban ownership of dangerous exotic animals as pets. Tammy shares with us the stories of some of the sanctuary’s residents, what life at the sanctuary is like, and offers suggestions for helping end the capture and exploitation of wildcats.  To find out more about The Wildcat Sanctuary and how you can help support them in the great work they are doing, please visit their website and check out their social media for video footage of some of their residents.Social Media links: Facebook: @wildcatsanctuaryTiktok: @wildcatsanctuaryRecommendations of books, publications: www.sanctuaryfederation.orgwww.bigcatalliance.org
Animals in the News
May 6 2022
Animals in the News
Today’s episode is a brief one to touch base on some current news items and to tell you about some of the great episodes we have coming up.   We start with the recent heartbreaking story from Dallas, Texas where a little two year old boy was mauled by a coyote while on the front porch of his home.  My thoughts and prayers go out to this little boy and his family.  Several news stories have reported that neighbours in the area had been seen feeding the coyote and even petting it.  In episodes 6 and 7 of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans we spoke with wildlife conflict mitigation specialist Meg Toom.  She provided several helpful tips for dealing with wildlife in urban settings and explained why feeding wildlife and allowing them to become habituated to humans can be so dangerous.   Coyotes are naturally elusive animals and generally avoid contact with humans.  If the stories of feeding and interacting are accurate, this animal may have lost much of its natural wariness to humans that would have kept it away from the neighbourhood.  And the outcome is a true tragedy.  As Meg discussed, if you see wildlife in your community, please don’t try to get near them or encourage their continued presence through feeding or allowing access to food sources.  Encourage them to move on through, for their sake and yours. We also wanted to acknowledge some of the incredible stories of efforts to assist animals in Ukraine.  Like the story of zoo staff at the Mykolaiv Zoo in southern Ukraine who have refused to leave putting the animals in their care ahead of their own safety.  You may have also heard the wonderful heartwarming story of two African lions, Simba and Mir who were rescued from a zoo in Eastern Ukraine, taken across the border to Romania and who have now found a permanent home in a sanctuary in South Africa.  These are just two of the amazing stories coming out of Ukraine of human effort to protect and save non-human animals in the midst of this devastating attack.  Unfortunately, there are also many tragedies occuring.  Like the 15 year old boy who, while volunteering to help evacuate buffalo from an ecopark in Kharkiv came under fire and was killed.  And the many animals who have been killed either by bombing or in some cases, because they have been used as target practice by Russian forces.  If you can spare some change, please consider donating to one of the animal welfare organizations helping the animals and people of Ukraine.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) are two organizations that are active in assisting.  No doubt any amount you are able to donate would be much appreciated. On a lighter note, we have several incredible episodes to share in the coming weeks.  We will be discussing mountain gorillas in the wild and some of the extraordinary people involved in protecting them.  We will also talk about wild cats – both large and small and speak to the founder of The Wildcat Sanctuary about providing refuge for these extraordinary creatures.  Other episodes will cover wild horses, monkeys and even chickens.  As we transition to a new production team, we would like to give a final thanks to Podmotion.co for their assistance in helping get the podcast started and for all their production support these past several months.  Welcome to Magill Foote who is providing production assistance.
Why we need to stop killing animals for fashion
Apr 14 2022
Why we need to stop killing animals for fashion
Why is anyone still wearing fur despite the decades of protests against this practice?Unless you live in a remote community in which fur is used in the context of living responsibly off the land and as part of your culture, you don't need it for warmth. If you're wearing fur, the reason is vanity. In this episode of The Animal Guide For Curious Humans, host Maureen Amrstrong talks to Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Furbearers, a Canadian charity that is seeking to end the commercial fur trade. The Furbearers believe that we shouldn’t be killing animals for the fashion trade. Its mission is to protect fur bearing animals through advocacy, education, and research.Lesley shares important information about fur farming and trapping practice and discusses the animals who are targeted for their fur. She shares a lot of surprising information about the trade, including some of the really terrible practices used by fur farms and how government subsidies are still being used to prop up this declining industry.A furbearer is a classification of animal whose pelt has commercial value. There are around 21 animals in this category, including mink, foxes, beaver, otters, bears, bobcats, lynx, coyote, squirrels and even skunks! This episode explores:The difference between fur farms and trapping for furs.How animals are gassed and electrocuted to preserve the quality of the pelts. The huge environmental impact of fur farming.The weakness of the arguments used to maintain the fur trade industry.The work the Furbearers is doing to protect animals that are cruelly treated in the fur trade. In addition to her work with the Fur Bearers, Lesley is the co-founder of the Society for Humane Science and president and board chair for the Alberni Community and Women's Service Society (ACAWS). She is a certified Humane Education Specialist through the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE).  She graduated with honours from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Public Relations, Marketing Communications and Non-Profit Management and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University. Lesley lives with her partner on Vancouver Island on the traditional territories of the Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations.We would love to have your thoughts and feedback on this episode. Please contact us directly at The Animal Guide, or send us a message via social media. Episode links and resources:The FurbearersTwitterInstagramFacebook Show links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagramRecommendations of books, publications:  The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife: Failures of Principle and Policy Mcgill-queen's Rural, Wildland, and Resource Studies) Hardcover – April 10, 2018, by Max Foran.
How to shop cruelty-free
Mar 30 2022
How to shop cruelty-free
More and more consumers are animal lovers, and their love of animals extends to what they buy. So more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on whether products are tested on animals. Many manufacturers have embraced cruelty free as part of their corporate culture. Others just print phrases like “Against animal testing” on their products. But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the product was developed without any testing on animals? Or without any testing that would now be viewed as cruel?In this episode of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans host Maureen Armstrong talks to Kim Paschen, manager of the Leaping Bunny Program, a well-established cruelty-free certification program for cosmetics, personal care and household products that guarantees products to be free of animal testing at all stages of product development. The program is operated by the Coalition for Consumer Information On Cosmetics in the US and Canada and by Cruelty Free International for products manufactured elsewhere.Kim manages the day-to-day operations of the program to ensure its integrity in addition to working with certified companies on a wide variety of promotions.Consumers face challenges when identifying cruelty-free productsSince there is no universally recognized definition of ‘Not tested on animals’ or ‘Cruelty-free’, shopping cruelty free can be challenging.  In some instances, manufacturers add labels or wording to their products to try to mislead consumers into thinking they are cruelty-free.Fortunately, the Leaping Bunny certification program is available to companies who want their customers to know for sure their products are cruelty free.  When you see the Leaping Bunny logo on a product, you can be confident that neither the product itself nor any of its ingredients has been tested on animals. Today, more than 2200 companies are certified under the program.Kim talks about the program, the standards it uses and the organisations behind this world renowned certification program.  Episode Links and resources:www.leapingbunny.org facebook.com/leapingbunny  Instagram.com/leapingbunnyprogram  Show links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Why we need legal personhood for animals
Mar 17 2022
Why we need legal personhood for animals
What are animals exactly?  Are they just things?  Are they property?  Can they be persons even though they aren’t people?   We share background on an important legal case on the question of whether an elephant is, in legal terms, a person for the purpose of accessing certain legal rights.  This case raises so many important issues regarding the human/non-human animal relationship, the intelligence of elephants in particular, animal ethics, and pathways we need to explore to protect animals in a civilized society.  The elephant is named Happy.  Born in 1971 in Thailand, she was kidnapped as an infant from her herd.  She along with six other elephant calves were purchased by a drive-through zoo in California. They were named for the seven dwarves from Snow White.  Over the next few years, some died, some were sent to be circus performers, and two, Happy and Grumpy, went to the Bronx Zoo in 1977.  Grumpy died in 2000.  Since 2006, Happy has been confined to an enclosure alone.  Much been learned about wildlife and elephants since Happy first arrived at the Bronx Zoo. The zoo and its parent organization, the Wildlife Conservation Society, have advanced their thinking since that time.  To its credit, the zoo made a decision many years ago not to further acquire elephants.  So, the situation Happy is in won’t be repeated; at least not at the Bronx Zoo.  But what about Happy and the next years of her life?In October, 2018 the Nonhuman Rights Project, an American not-for-profit organization, filed what is known as a writ of habeas corpus on Happy’s behalf.  They want Happy recognized as a legal person with a fundamental right to bodily liberty.  They want her released to an elephant sanctuary where she could move around and socialize with other elephants.  The zoo has opposed the legal action arguing that elephants are not legal persons who can exercise a right of habeas corpus.  The case raises important questions about our understanding and treatment of animals, particularly intelligent species like elephants.  We share some of the extraordinary skills and behaviours elephants exhibit and tell how 20 African elephants sensed the death of Lawrence Anthony, a beloved conservationist they had encountered at a reserve in South Africa and how they travelled several miles to his home to pay their respects.  How can the needs of such complex creatures be met if they are confined to a small zoo enclosure?  Isn’t it time we recognize these extraordinary beings as having an inherent right to quality of life?What do you think? Share your feedback on one of my social media channels with the hashtag #timeforanimalpersonhood and I'll share some of your responses in the next episode.Episode Links and resources:The Nonhuman Rights Program: HappyThe Bronx ZooElephant VoicesElephants mourn death of Lawrence AnthonyLawrence Anthony, The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African WildShow links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Overexploited fish and seafood need protection. Here’s what you can do
Mar 1 2022
Overexploited fish and seafood need protection. Here’s what you can do
In this episode of The Animal Guide we explore the systems used to put aquatic life on our plates, and how we can improve the lives of aquatic animals.Our guest is Catalina Lopez from the Aquatic Life Institute.  She is the Director of the Aquatic Animal Alliance (AAA), a coalition of organizations working around the globe to reduce the suffering of aquatic animals used for food.A vet from Columbia who now lives in Mexico, Catalina has worked in the farmed animal protection movement for almost five years, previously leading the Corporate Engagement team at Mercy For Animals Latin America on their work in cage-free campaigns. More than 100 companies committed to going cage-free in Mexico during that time.Catalina shares with host Maureen Armstrong the animal welfare standards created by the AAA that they are actively encouraging countries and companies around the world to adopt. This includes the AAA’s key aquatic welfare recommendations.Exploitation of aquatic life has more than doubled in 40 yearsAquatic life is in dire need of protection! Catalina explains that globally, the share of fish populations that are overexploited (i.e. they are caught faster than they can reproduce to sustain their population levels) has more than doubled since the 1980s. This means the current levels of wild fish catch are unsustainable. As a result, aquaculture, which is the practice of fish and seafood farming, increased to make up for the decrease in that supply.To put this in perspective, from the 1960s to 2015, fish farming has increased 50 fold to around 100 million tons per year. And in terms of number of animals, this is around 73 to 180 billion farmed fish and around 400 billion shrimp. Notably, vessels that are registered to wealthy countries are responsible for more than 70 percent of industrial fishing.The Blue Loss ReportThe episode also explores the issue known as the “blue loss,” which is the term used to describe how many aquatic animals are unaccounted for in the human food chain each year. Aquaculture is often touted as the solution to overfishing, yet the Blue Loss Report from the AAA has found that up to half of all animals caught at sea are fed to carnivorous fish on farms, especially salmon and tuna. This poses serious questions about aquaculture’s animal welfare paradigm.Catalina details what needs to be done to improve aquatic animal welfare, including the psychological welfare of aquatic life.  She points out that because aquatic animals are discussed as commodities, humans forget that they are live animals with certain needs and certain behaviors that we need to understand.Episode Links and resources:TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedInBenefits of Aqua Animal Welfare for SustainabilityShow links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
DOGS! And the value of a great trainer
Feb 15 2022
DOGS! And the value of a great trainer
In the newest episode of The Animal Guide podcast show, we discuss one of the world’s most popular pets - dogs. Our guest is dog trainer Helen Prinold from the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers.  Helen has a Masters degree in Animal Behaviour, is CPDT-KA certified (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed), a CDBC (Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant), and a Certified Fear Free Animal Trainer.  In our conversation with Helen we focus on puppy and dog training and the value of retaining a well-qualified dog trainer who is skilled at using humane science-based techniques to help educate and train dogs and their human family members. We also talk about some of the important foundations for all dogs; that they are healthy, well-exercised, well-fed and in a positive environment.  Helen, who is the Immediate Past Chair of the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT), explains that CAPDT has made it a priority to apply humane strategies when working with dogs.  The Association’s members comply with a strong code of ethics that includes humane techniques recognized by the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC).  CAPDT and sister organizations in other countries are working towards better regulation for the industry to ensure those working with dogs are well qualified using humane and science-based practices.  As Helen says, “I've been running my own business for over 15, 20 years now and I compete against somebody who can just put up a shingle tomorrow after training their own dog to sit”.  A little more about Helen.  She is the owner, lead trainer, and behaviour consultant for Dog Friendship Inc. – a dog training business in Guelph, Ontario.  She also presents the internationally recognized dog bite prevention program Doggone Safe, and also "Be a Tree" for school-aged children and is a pet First Aid instructor.  She is also a champion carriage driver, loves horses, and has worked extensively with behaviourally challenged dogs, rescue dogs and service dogs.  She currently has a YorkiePoo who is changing Helen’s mind about how effective small dogs are at dog sports.Episode Links and resources:CAPDT website:  www.capdt.ca Facebook: Code of Ethics:  Other associations of professional dog trainers: United States - www.apdt.com United Kingdom -  Australia - Zealand -  Show links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Animal welfare in China
Jan 31 2022
Animal welfare in China
Obtaining an accurate picture of animal welfare in China requires understanding of history, culture and politics in this large and complex country.  In this episode, Dr. Peter Li, a distinguished scholar and China animal policy expert, shares insights on animal welfare in China including wet markets and the role they played in the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic.  Dr. Li is Associate Professor of East Asian Politics, Animal Law and Policy at the University of Houston (Downtown) and a consultant (China Policy Specialist) for Humane Society International (HSI).  He is the author of Animal Welfare in China: Politics, Culture and Crisis.In this episode Dr. Li explains current animal welfare concerns in China through the socio-political dynamics of the past 70 years and how they differ from historical cultural norms.  In addition to discussing the use of wildlife for traditional medicine and other purposes, he explores companion animals and farm animals in China, and the ways in which the communist government has impacted many of the country's cultural practices regarding animals and animal welfare. Here you can see a select number of Dr Li's his op-ed pieces: and his peer-reviewed journal articles (  Dr. Li’s latest publication on China’s animal welfare crisis, animal policymaking and legal development at a time of great social and economic transformation. Episode Links and resources:Dr. Peter Li on LinkedInGlobal Animal Law AssociationTwitterBook: Animal Welfare in China: Politics, Culture and Crisis.Show links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Managing encounters with wolves and other wildlife
Jan 19 2022
Managing encounters with wolves and other wildlife
In episode 007 of The Animal Guide, we continue our conversation with Meg Toom. Be sure to listen to episode 006, Encounters With Wildlife, to hear host Maureen Armstrong and Meg discuss managing wildlife and human conflict, and in particular the human impact on bear habitats. They also discussed cougars and coyotes. Meg is principal of Serratus Wildlife Services in British Columbia, Canada, and specializes in human-wildlife conflict mitigation. Wolf culling in British ColumbiaIn this episode, Meg and Maureen talk about wolves, and a little bit about foxes and bobcats. Wolves have been a controversial topic of conversation in British Columbia, Canada, in the last few years.  The province has instituted a wolf culling program in recent years, ostensibly to protect the caribou population from predation.  It hires contractors to shoot and kill wolves from aircraft. This has led to large numbers of kills and, at times, entire packs being wiped out. The culling is the subject of legal action at this point in time (January, 2022) and we will be following its progress in the coming months and years.Takaya, the lone wolfBritish Columbia allows recreational hunting of wolves. This episode includes the story of Takaya, a lone wolf who lived near Vancouver Island and was shot and killed by a recreational hunter in 2020. You can find out more about Takaya and his bond with wildlife photographer Cheryl Alexander in this The Nature of Things documentary called Takaya, Lone Wolf.Meg shares thoughts on how to address urban-wildlife conflict prevention that are applicable no matter which part of the world you live in. Wolves are wary of humansMeg points out that while wolves are naturally wary of humans, they will enter an unsecured property if there are animals including pets and farm livestock.  Indeed, wolves have been known to stalk dog walkers. Important safety measures include fencing  off one’s property securely;  being extra careful and vigilant when taking pets out if you live in or visit a location with a wolf population; and not leaving pet food out.  Of course, deliberately feeding wolves should not be done.  If  a wolf is encountered,  the practices recommended by Meg for encounters with bears will work: making lots of noise, and,  if necessary,  using bear spray..As in the last episode, Meg encourages listeners to be prepared by educating themselves about wildlife by finding out  what’s being done by various levels of government where you live (or visit) and  if possible, volunteering with a reputable animal protection organization. Meg gives some suggestions for avoiding conflict with wildlife that can be applied to any species anywhere in the world.  This forms the basis of Maureen’s blog.Episode links and resources:Meg Toom on LinkedInTakaya, Lone Wolf, by Cheryl AlexanderReturn of the Wolf. Conflict & Coexistence and The Cougar. Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous, by Paula Wild Show links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Encounters with wildlife
Jan 5 2022
Encounters with wildlife
No matter where we are in the world, we share the planet with wildlife. You may only see squirrels or birds when you take the dog out or head to the office, but these creatures are still classed as wildlife. Some listeners will regularly encounter raccoons, coyotes, bears, snakes, monkeys, jackals, possums, and more. In this episode of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans, host Maureen Armstrong talks with Meg Toom, principal of Serratus Wildlife Services in British Columbia, Canada.  Meg specializes in human-wildlife conflict mitigation. She works with communities and governments to develop strategies to reduce negative human-wildlife encounters. This can involve education and outreach programs as well as the creation of policies and bylaws that help keep both humans and animals safe. Meg is also an avid outdoors person.Meg’s passion for this work grew out of tragedy when, in 2004, 27 bears were killed as part of a bear conflict management program in the community in which she lived. Right then, she decided to become part of a volunteer program to build awareness around animal care and wildlife, a step that led her to work full-time in this field.  Preventing wildlife-human conflictEducation is the key to preventing wildlife-human conflict. Humans attract wildlife into urban areas, but typically, it’s wildlife that pay with their lives. Urban sprawl and our interest in recreating in nature mean encounters with wildlife are on the rise.  How can we make those encounters positive interactions rather than harmful conflicts?  In this episode we explore certain species of wildlife common in North America, the types of interactions that occur, and how to avoid conflict with them.  Particular emphasis is placed on black and grizzly bears What about wolves?In our next episode, Maureen continues the conversation with Meg to explore wolves - a particularly important subject for our listeners in Western Canada and the American Northwest - before moving on to discuss a framework for wildlife conflict prevention that can be applied wherever you live in the world and no matter what species of wildlife you are likely to encounter.  Please join us for it.Episode Links and resources:Meg Toom on LinkedInHow to use bear spray (7-minute video worth watching)WildSafeBCBC Ministry of Environment Wildlife ConflictWild Smart, AlbertaOntario Bear WiseLiving with Bears. A Practical Guide to Bear Country, by Linda MastersonBear Attacks. Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen HerreroReturn of the Wolf. Conflict & Coexistence and The Cougar. Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous, by Paula WildShow links:Host Maureen Armstrong on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram
Farm Animals
Nov 24 2021
Farm Animals
Join host Maureen Armstrong as she talks with Steve McIvor, CEO of London, UK-based World Animal Protection, an international organization that has been working for over 50 years to end animal cruelty by addressing the root causes.A major—if not the major—cause of animal suffering is one that most of us are aware of but, perhaps, tend to ignore: factory farming.The way humans have raised animals for food hasn’t always been as cruel as it is today, but an increasing human population has created extraordinary demands. From the facilities in which animals are raised and slaughtered, to the physical characteristics of animals themselves, that chicken sandwich, glass of milk, or cheeseburger in your hand is the product of an international, interdependent system that generally treats sentient beings as inanimate commodities.  It is also a key driver of climate change.But, as Steve reveals, it’s not all doom and gloom. Thankfully, via social media and channels like this podcast, awareness of animal cruelty in farming is increasing, and changes to regulations and technology mean that we can do better for billions of animals around the globe.It’s a conversation that will increase your awareness, enable you to make positive changes, and leave you feeling hopeful about the future.Don’t miss it!Highlights01:30 Introduction, Steve and World Animal Protection.04:34 Overview of the farmed animal industry and how things have changed.10:00 Forgetting what (or whom) we’re eating.22:40 A driver of climate change.30:00 Plant-based alternatives and cultivated meat.38:30 Things the consumer can do to help.Episode Links:World Animal ProtectionWorld Animal Protection on Instagram @SteveMcIvorCEOSteve’s LinkedIn
Your Dog Has Opinions
Nov 15 2021
Your Dog Has Opinions
Be sure to join host Maureen Armstrong for the inaugural episode of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans.The Animal Guide for Curious Humans brings animal lovers, wildlife experts and decision makers together to discuss the habits and behaviours of animals—including us—and ways we can live together harmoniously in light of ever-increasing population, resource and climate pressures. In this episode, Maureen talks with Professor Kristin Andrews, a Toronto-based animal researcher and author, who teaches philosophy at York University and is a College member of the Royal Society of Canada.  Kristin’s book The Animal Mind is a fascinating journey into animal cognition as revealed by researchers studying a wide range of species around the globe.Like most animal lovers, Kristin’s interest in animals began with house pets and watching programs like “Flipper" on TV, but it wasn’t long before she was in Hawaii studying real dolphins, and from there she has travelled all over the world getting to know a variety of species, writing about her findings, and working with colleagues from different disciplines.  She is a preeminent scholar in the field of animal cognition and has written extensively on the subject.You may be familiar with studies on animal communication and tool use, but how about culture and social norms, morality and ethics, personality and emotions? Viewing animals through a philosophical lens reveals some of the shortcomings of animal studies to date, and the many opportunities that exist for us to better understand animals, improve our relationships with them and co-exist more harmoniously. It’s a discussion that will have you questioning your own assumptions about animals, and thinking in new ways about who they are and what they’re trying to tell us.Kristin is author of the books How To Study Animal Minds and The Animal Mind.Don’t miss it!Episode Links:Kristin’s website @KristinAndrewzKristin's books on the Routledge site.Show LinksThe Animal Guide for Curious Humans