AWI Quarterly

Report: Japan is Top Importer of Endangered Species

 

According to Kyodo News Service, February 8, 2000, "Japan in 1996 was the world's top importer of endangered tortoises and birds whose trading is restricted by an international convention, a survey by a Japanese group monitoring wildlife trafficking showed Tuesday.

"Japan also ranked second as an importer of live primates and orchid-type plants listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

            "…According to the survey, Japan bought 29,051 tortoises from abroad, absorbing some 55% of the species traded worldwide, and purchased 136,179 wild and bred birds, or 43% of all birds trafficked globally.

            "…A total of 5,374 live primates such as cynomolgus monkeys and common squirrel monkeys were brought to Japan, the world's second largest amount for trade. Japan was also the second largest importer of furs of animals belonging to the cat family…"

From Antigua and Barbuda to Venezuela, Another "Free" Trade Agreement

By Adam M. Roberts

Thanks to the multinational commercial take over of the global economy, Americans not versed in the lingo of international trade and foreign investment have been forced to learn a new vocabulary with terms such as "Government Procurement," "Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards" and "Technical Barriers to Trade." We've also witnessed a new civil society uprising in the streets of Seattle, Washington, DC and Quebec, against faceless trade bureaucrats who, engaging in their machinations behind closed doors, develop policies that can change the way we farm, what we eat and how we protect endangered species.

The newest force in this global takeover of democratic free will is the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). FTAA is modeled on the chilling North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which ultimately yielded the World Trade Organization (WTO). Having failed to implement the pro-corporation Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), FTAA negotiators just extracted insidious provisions from NAFTA and WTO to create the largest free trade zone in the world-affecting 800 million people in thirty-four nations.

Negotiations on FTAA began in 1994 and are scheduled for completion by 2005. President Bush remarked, "A recent summit in Quebec symbolized the new reality in our hemisphere." Unfortunately, the "new reality" is dismal-in fact, the Quebec meeting of dignitaries was held behind concrete and chain link fence barriers, preventing protestors from making their views known. Part of the inherent problem in assessing the impacts of FTAA text is that it has not been made widely available for public review, but lessons learned from NAFTA allow for general assessments about FTAA's potential impact.

FTAA should make it more difficult to protect family farmers and fight transnational corporate agribusinesses. FTAA's negotiating group on Agriculture's mission is to improve market access for agricultural products and "prevent protectionist trade practices and facilitate trade in the hemisphere." FTAA will allow corporations to sue governments for lost profit based on national regulations or laws. So if Smithfield Foods tries to force pork products onto consumers of an FTAA member nation as it has attempted in Poland, and the government resists, Smithfield can sue that government, whether it's in Bolivia or Suriname, for lost profit. So could Weyerhauser sue if prevented from clear cutting a forest, or a company affected by a labor strike. This framework would increasingly cause the gutting of environmental laws and labor rights considered too expensive to protect in a world organized for maximum extraction of corporate profit.

Maude Barlow, a Director on the Board of the International Forum on Globalization, said, "Under the new global food system, agriculture, in which farmers grow food for people and communities, has been transformed into a system of agribusiness, in which transnational food corporations produce food for profit and food safety standards and the rights of farmers are of little or no concern."

Barlow continues, "The FTAA draft, as it now stands, contains no safeguards for the environment." It will be harder to protect threatened and endangered wildlife. While under GATT foreign nations challenged our strong laws prohibiting importation of dolphin deadly tuna, under FTAA, not only can Latin and South American governments challenge our conservation laws, but foreign fishing fleet owners, tuna canneries and other corporations potentially could sue the US as well!

President Bush is urging Congress to grant him fast track negotiating power, now dubbed "trade promotion authority," which sounds misleadingly benign. This prevents Congress from altering the text of trade agreements negotiated by the White House. According to Reuters, Bush warned that protecting the environment and labor standards "must not be an excuse for self-defeating protectionism." FTAA will not protect the environment and animal protection laws adequately, similar to its global predecessors. The sad global reality is to push for corporate free trade agreements instead of democratic fair trade agreements.


Drawing by Kirk Anderson©

Join the Fight to End Abuse of Laying Hens

 

Millions of laying hens are subjected to three shameful cruelties: forced molting, debeaking and battery cages. At last, the industry is listening to the sharp criticism of its routine practices. Now is the time to write to the head of the United Egg Producers with a strong protest against this unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted on the innocent and helpless birds.

1.)  Forced molting is induced by denying all food and in some cases water, to the caged hens. For 5-14 days all sustenance is withheld. The industry does this to induce a molt. The hen loses her feathers, and when finally given food and water again, the survivors lay bigger eggs.

2.)  Debeaking requires the hen's beak to be cut through so she can't peck the other hens jammed into a cramped battery cage in which four or five hens are forced to exist. Scientific studies have shown that the cut beak causes permanent pain to the hens.

3.)  Battery cages are so small that none of the victimized hens can even spread their wings. Their claws sometimes grow around the wires of the cage floor, causing more pain and distress. Hens have a strong urge to dust bathe, to run about and eat natural foods, and to build and lay their eggs in a nest where the chicks can hatch—but every pleasure is denied them, all for the sake of commercial gain.

The United Egg Producers (UEP) is at last realizing that it is being seriously criticized. United Poultry Concerns' Karen Davis and Veterinarians for Animal Rights' Ned Buyukmihci and Teri Barnato have led the fight. Both Karen and Ned have doctorate degrees, and their words carry weight with publications as diverse as The Washington Post and Feedstuffs, the big agribusiness trade journal. On May 1st, Feedstuffs told its readers that UEP "recently named an advisory committee to reconsider the guidelines in view of new scientific and social trends."

On April 30th, Marc Kaufman's article "Cracks in the Egg Industry" appeared on the front page of The Washington Post. He quoted the author of a bill in the California Assembly to outlaw forced molting, Ted Lempert, who said, "I was first shocked by the practice because of the horrible cruelty, but the health issues really demand attention." Kaufman's article states, "Federal statistics show salmonella in eggs was associated with 28,644 illnesses and 79 deaths from 1985 to 1998. Several studies concluded that there was also a link between the stress of forced molting of hens and salmonella in them and their eggs."

UEP has decided, after receiving thousands of critical letters, that it needed to appoint an animal welfare advisory committee to revise UEP's current guidelines.


ACTION Please write to the president of the United Egg Producers and tell him you don't want to eat eggs that come from hens who have been de-beaked and are in cramped battery cages.  Tell him you are appalled that hens are starved for 5 to 14 days in an effort to increase their production.  You might mention that you are shocked to learn that hens are starved and deprived of water to save a mere 4 cents on a dozen eggs.  Please tell him that you will never eat eggs again unless they come from happy hens on humanely operated farms.

He may be addressed:

Mr. Albert E. Pope, President, UEP
1303 Hightower Trail, #200
Atlanta, Georgia 30350
telephone: (770) 587-5871,
fax: (770) 587-0041
email: alpope@mindspring.com 
website: http://www.unitedegg.org/ 


Top Photo, Rescued battery hens view the natural world for the first time.

Bottom Photo, The same hens a few weeks later.

What's at stake in Poland? This is what is at stake:

 

Poland is the last oasis of traditional organic farming in Europe. Tens of millions of acres of enormously productive farmland are tilled without chemicals. Poland contains the last large, free flowing, unpolluted rivers in Europe, the Bug and the Narew. It has magnificent mountains, wetlands and forests, more parkland and protected area than the four largest EU nations combined and by far the most abundant wildlife remaining in Europe. Poland is the only potential EU member with large areas of unspoiled land.

This is the prize that has drawn the agribusiness giants, backed by international bankers, to Polish soil. The first efforts of Big Ag to seize control have been largely thwarted. Earlier this spring, after having washed through the Sejm on a tide of foreign lobbying money, an effort to destroy the Polish Animal Welfare Act was smashed in the Senat by the intervention of the great Polish film director, Andrzej Wajda and other directors and performers. I called it the second "Miracle of the Vistula."

The biggest, the only really durable, obstacle to US style agribusiness in Poland is the stubborn resistance of Poland's peasantry. If their resistance is broken, big money will prevail. The stakes are huge. The struggle is only beginning.

-Tom Garrett

Mexican Ecological Group Blockades Logging Road to Save Forest

Under the headline "Jailed Mexican Wins Environmental Prize" Sam Dillon wrote a report of Rodolfo Montiel's heroic struggle to save the forest near his village north of Acapulco (The New York Times, April 5, 2000). The transnational Idaho logging company, Boise Cascade, and all the government officials to whom Montiel wrote, were unmoved by his reports that laws were being broken, rivers drying up, and thousands of fish dying.

"Our defense of the forest is a struggle for our way of life," he wrote, "The earth without trees becomes a desert, because the soul of the water lives in the cool of the forest."

Montiel's formal education ended after first grade, but his lyrical plea for the trees was wisely followed up in spring 1998 by his peasant group's blockade of logging roads to stop the timber trucks. According to Dillon's article, "Gunmen have since killed several members of Mr. Montiel's rural ecological organization and last May soldiers seized and tortured Mr. Montiel, he said, accusing him of drug and weapons crimes.

"The charges were riddled with contradictions, but were enough to send him to a penitentiary pending a felony trial. One of the human rights lawyers defending him has been kidnapped, twice."

Now the Goldman Foundation has awarded him its prestigious $125,000 environmental prize and Amnesty International declared him to be a prisoner of conscience.


ACTION Write to the President of Mexico protesting the mistreatment and imprisonment of Rodolfo Montiel.

Address your letters to

President Ernesto Zedillo,
c/o Embassy of Mexico,
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington, D.C. 20006

Kennedy Presents Schweitzer Medal to Lepper

On Monday, June 11th, 2001, in front of a packed Mansfield Room of the United States Capitol, the Albert Schweitzer Medal was awarded to Andrzej Lepper. Lepper, who has vowed to stop "concentration camps for animals" from taking root in Poland, is the charismatic President of Samoobrona ("Self-defense" in Polish), a major Polish rural union. "The motto that I have adopted and that is adopted by the rest of Samoobrona," Lepper highlighted, "says that if a person is not capable of loving animals and nature they will never be capable of loving another human being."

Early in 1999, Samoobrona forced the Polish government to curb a flood of agricultural imports from the European Union by blockading roads across Poland. In September 1999, after visiting areas in North Carolina infested by industrial hog factories, Lepper launched a campaign, supported by AWI, to prevent Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork production company, from realizing its goal of building a network of hog factories in Poland. By June 2000, Smithfield CEO Joe Luter was forced to admit to the Washington Post that his plan to establish US "industrial-style" pig farming has no immediate future in Poland.

"Farm animals," Lepper once told the University of Michigan Law Society, "like any other living beings, possess natural instincts that need to be expressed. It is essential, therefore, to do everything in our power to allow animals raised on our farms an opportunity to live their lives in the most natural conditions possible, to treat them with respect, dignity and empathy. The right to dignity, in the case of farm animals, is the right to live without suffering and without being isolated from their natural environment."

In his remarks to the gathering (translated by Agnes Van Volkenburgh, who represents Poland on AWI's International Committee), Lepper criticized the globalists who "pursue money at all costs without paying attention to the health of people, without paying attention to the health and welfare of animals, without paying attention to nature." Lepper, the indefatigable Polish farm leader, warned Smithfield Foods Vice President, General Counsel and Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Richard Poulson, that in his efforts to expand into and invade Poland he "will always feel the breath of Samoobrona on his neck and if that is not enough he will have to feel the fist of Polish farmers." He concluded: "This medal is a huge honor not only for me, but for the entire Polish movement that's involved in this battle for the welfare of animals, the humane treatment of animals, for our environment, and for the safe future of our planet."

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Water Keeper Alliance and a professor at Pace University Law School, presented the award. Water Keeper Alliance has 67 keepers around the country who seek to protect and restore waterways, including those ravaged by pollution from animal factories. Water Keeper Alliance is leading a broad legal assault against hog factories, which Kennedy has characterized as "extraordinarily cruel" and lamented what he termed the corporate hog farm's "pollution based prosperity." During the ceremony, Kennedy recalled a conversation he had with Lepper after the Polish leader toured corporate hog farms along the Neuse River in North Carolina. Kennedy remembered the poignant and provocative reaction that Lepper had, in which he was reminded of "the large state farms that were created during the communist years in Poland that were also notorious for their pollution and their capacity for treating not only the human beings who worked on the land but also the animals themselves as units of production, ignoring the consequences to the community and the environment and public health in their drive to produce short term cash."

Kennedy asserted: "I think the thing that Animal Welfare Institute has recognized better than anybody else is that the fate of animals is also our fate….We can't get away with this kind of cruelty to the creatures with whom we share this planet without having some dire karmic consequences to ourselves." Kennedy praised Lepper's heroism and courage for "standing up to these bullies" who try to move industrial hog production all over the world, and for Lepper's efforts to protect "our environment, human dignity, the dignity of these animals and of future generations." Kennedy congratulated him "for the successful battle that [he has] waged against this criminal, bullying, outlaw industry."

It was Tom Garrett, a rancher from Wyoming, who had the brilliant idea of inviting Andrzej Lepper and a delegation of Polish activists on a tour of North Carolina and Virginia to observe hog factory farming, then across the country to visit humane pig farms in the Midwest. Tom has been an advisor to the Animal Welfare Institute for many years on a variety of subjects from global wildlife Treaties to steel jaw leghold traps. Tom referred to the acute battle against corporate hog farms and the collaborative international war Samoobrona and AWI waged against them: "Through Diane Halverson's videos and Andrzej Lepper's political right cross, we stopped Smithfield cold in its grandiose scheme to take over Polish pig production with a big network of factory hog farms."

Diane Halverson, AWI's farm animal advisor, has devoted herself to preventing the suffering of millions of pigs condemned to life imprisonment in metal and concrete crates in hog factories. She wrote AWI's Humane Standards for independent family farmers who raise pigs on pasture or in straw bedded barns. Diane noted during her remarks that institutional cruelty such as that in corporate hog farms is often overlooked, but quoted Albert Schweitzer who said, "Whenever an animal is somehow forced into the service of men, every one of us must be concerned for any suffering it bears on that account."

The Animal Welfare Institute, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the protection of animals with the Albert Schweitzer Medal. This tribute, inaugurated in 1953, has been awarded to deserving individuals ranging from those of modest position who have significantly bettered the welfare of animals on a hands-on basis, to towering public figures who have engendered important changes that have improved the lot of hundreds of thousands of animals. Past recipients include Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Rachel Carson, Senator Bob Dole and Jane Goodall.

"The ethic of Reverence for Life prompts us to keep each other alert to what troubles us and to speak and act dauntlessly together in discharging the responsibility that we feel. It keeps us watching together for opportunities to bring some sort of help to animals in recompense for the great misery that men inflict upon them, and thus for a moment we escape from the incomprehensible horror of existence."

-Dr. Albert Schweitzer


Captions: 

Top:  Robert F. Kennedy Jr., presenting Schweitzer award to Andrzej Lepper. 

Bottom:  Farm animals, such as these endangered Polish spotted pigs of Zlotniki, "like any other living beings, possess natural instincts that need to be expressed" said Polish farm union leader Andrzej Lepper. On June 11, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. presented Mr. Lepper with AWI's Albert Schweitzer Medal. (Jen Rinick/AWI)


$10,000 Reward for Stolen Labrador Retriever

 

My name is Dewayne Eubanks. I am no animal rights activist—I am a neurosurgeon, an avid hunter, conservationist, dog lover, horseman and all-around country boy. I was brought up to believe in caring for the animals that we own and I love my 4 year old black Lab, Rebel, second only to my kids. He was stolen from my home on December 18, 1999. I have solid information that he was taken by (or for) a nearby "buncher" who sells dogs to research facilities.

Rebel is a 70 pound male, has a tattoo on inner thigh (but it is extremely hard to see), and a Home Again Microchip implanted. He had cut his left rear leg (inside "knee") about two weeks before being stolen and had two staples in place when he was taken.

He was taken from my home on County Road 464 in Jonesboro, AR. The thieves are believed to have been in an older car, dilapidated, and probably 2 men. They were seen in an old, grayish midsize car working this area again a few days later.

I would appreciate it if you could keep your eyes open for my friend. I will pay $3,000 dollars for his safe return, no questions asked. I will pay $7,000 more for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the thieves and others involved in the conspiracy.

As a neurosurgeon, I support animal research for worthwhile purposes when the data cannot be acquired any other way and when the animals are properly procured and properly cared for— but NOT WHEN THEY ARE OUR PETS THAT HAVE BEEN STOLEN.

Thank You, K. Dewayne Eubanks, M.D.

— Excerpted from a letter posted on the internet

Consumers Can Save the Chilean Sea Bass

In the Winter 2001 issue of the AWI Quarterly, we noted the conservation horror surrounding the fishing for Patagonian toothfish, sold commercially as "Chilean sea bass." The campaign is paying off. Whole Foods and Wild Oats markets have already stopped selling Chilean sea bass.

Illegal fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean is hazardous not only for the fish themselves, but for other wildlife in and around the waters. According to The Antarctica Project, "It is common practice in the illegal fishery to dynamite the [Sperm and Killer] whales when they are discovered in the area where the fishing takes place" and "...hundreds of thousands of endangered albatrosses and petrels dive for the [fish] bait and become hooked and drowned."

You can help this embattled fish species and the other magnificent imperiled species that share the toothfish's ocean home by urging your supermarket not to carry Chilean sea bass.


Caption:  Wandering Albatross drowned on pirates' illegal longline. (G. Robertson)

The Smile of a Dolphin

The Smile of a Dolphin
Remarkable Accounts of Animal Emotions
Edited by Marc Bekoff
Discovery Books, New York, October 2000
224 pages; 120 illustrations; $35 ISBN 1-563-31925-X

Highly recommended

 

Marc Bekoff, a professor of Organismic biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is a prolific author and editor. In Smile of a Dolphin, he has struck a groundbreaking collaboration with Discovery Books, which has provided his book with the most magnificent illustrations of an enormous variety of animal emotions-actually 120 in number. He has categorized these under the headings of Love, followed by Fear, Aggression and Anger, then Joy and Grief and, finally, Fellow Feelings-a strikingly similar series of categories to that of Charles Darwin's 1871 bestseller, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

In 1967, the Animal Welfare Institute issued a 54-page publication entitled Animal Expressions: A Photographic Footnote to Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Photographs were arranged under six categories: Affection; Joy; Contentment; Pain, Anger, Anxiety and Depression; Astonishment; and Terror.

Now Discovery Books has developed animal photography so splendid that a wholly new light has been shed on Darwin's powerful insight into the continuum of emotions felt and expressed by the human and great numbers of other species. But Darwin gets a bad review in Stephen Jay Gould's Foreword, which stresses the "Darwinian observers" and "Darwinian motor" and-worst of all-"Darwin's or anyone else's restricted human philosophy." Despite this hostile sendoff, Bekoff's Introduction gives Darwin's thinking full credence as do his section introductions, and the body of the book contains fascinating contributions.

David Macdonald, the Oxford University expert on foxes, describes the gentle teachings of an old vixen to a single cub who learns how to capture earthworms, a staple of fox diet. Macdonald says, "Infrared binoculars revolutionized my study of Red Foxes." He called these glasses "the hot eye."

"On a moonless night, I stalked across a favored worming pasture with the hot eye. After many minutes of silent footsteps, I reached a ridge, raised the binoculars and peered over. There I saw Toothypeg standing not thirty meters from me, accompanied by her leggy cub. Toothypeg, so called because only one worn canine tooth remained in her antique muzzle, was my oldest radio-collared fox, then approaching her ninth birthday...Several days later, I saw Toothypeg and her cub again. Experience still weighed in the old vixen's favor; she caught four worms each minute to her cub's one. But by the time our paths crossed again a month later, he'd graduated with distinction and was catching as proficiently as his mother. It's an observation I've never repeated, but it was sufficient to convince me that worm-catching for foxes is culture passed on from mother to cub."

Deborah and Roger Fouts of the Great Ape project and the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, Central Washington University, wrote a powerful summary based on their 30 years' study of chimpanzees. "...we've come to believe that we share all our emotions with them. Such differences that exist are merely of degree."

The description of the five chimpanzees', Washoe, Moja, Tatu, Loulis and Dar, joy when their ideal new quarters were finally built is inspiring: "As Washoe stared out of the window onto her sunlit garden, she began to scream with delight usually saved for Christmas morning. She hugged Loulis and ran toward the glass doors and signed OUT, OUT. Our plan had been to give the chimpanzees two weeks to acclimate to their new home, but they spent those first days begging to go OUT. So on the third day, after breakfast, we told them, TODAY YOU GO OUT. Washoe leaped up and parked herself by the hydraulic door that leads to the outside upper deck. She waited there for more than an hour, with Loulis right behind her. He seemed a little nervous and needed his mother's reassurance.

"Finally, the door slid up, Loulis swaggered, then seemed to think better of it and sat back down. Washoe waited for him patiently, but Dar squeezed by and exploded out the door and down the stairs to the ground. He raced across the grass field with an ecstatic movement that looked like quadrupedal skipping. He headed directly for the far terrace, climbed to the top of the thirty-two-foot-high fence, and gazed out over Ellensburg. Then he turned toward us and let out a loud pant-hoot of happiness. Washoe was the next one out. She stood upright and surveyed the terraces, the garden, and the familiar human faces at the observation window below. Stretching out her leg, she touched her toes to the first step and then pulled them back. Then she noticed Debbi was standing near the fence. Washoe walked over with a spring in her step, reached through the fence, and kissed Debbi through the wire. This was clearly her way of saying thank you, and Debbi was moved to tears by Washoe's thoughtful gratitude."

BioMusic: The Music of Nature and the Nature of Music

Scientists discuss the Songs of Birds and Whales and Insects

Dr. Patricia Gray, Artistic Director of National Musical Arts, led the 14-year-long planning of the program, which took place February 19-21, 2000. It began with a public symposium at The National Zoo, which filled the Whittell Auditorium, followed by a second symposium at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and then a concert at the National Academy of Sciences. The final event was a workshop for all the presenters and education experts in the fields of science and music for the purpose of developing education materials, specifically a CD-ROM and an interactive website, aimed initially at middle-school children.

National Musical Arts (NMA), the resident ensemble of the National Academy of Sciences, created and nurtured The BioMusic Program which was spawned from NMA's involvement in a Biodiversity conference co-hosted by The National Academy of Sciences and The Smithsonian Institution in 1986. From that momentous inception, The BioMusic Program grew to become a unique conduit between the sciences and arts, as it seeks to examine music in all species—human and non-human—and to explore and understand its powerful role in all living things.

The BioMusic Symposium presenters included: Dr. Roger Payne, President, Ocean Alliance and member of AWI's Scientific Committee; Dr. Bernie Krause, Wild Sanctuary, Inc.; Dr. Mark Jude Tramo, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Director, Institute for Music and Brain Science; Dr. Jelle Atema, Director, Boston University - Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA; Dr. Luis Baptista, Chair and Curator, Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences; and Dr. Carol Krumhansl, Professor of Psychology, Cornell University.

Roger Payne's presentation was titled "Whale Songs and Musicality," and stated in part that "The composing of music is a communal bond and a defining element for whales. Each season, the Humpback whales' songs are structured in phrases of balanced lengths which are presented in a specific order, are memorized by all of the group in the area, repeated exactly by all, and are retained after six months of the beginning point for the new season's compositions."

Bernard Krause, an award winning musician, has lived an adventurous life travelling throughout remote regions of the world to record specific sound environments. Using sophisticated audio technology, he theorizes that regions of the world are uniquely "tuned" by the musical sounds of its inhabitants and are readily identified by these musical sounds. He has named this phenomenon a "Biophony," a word created from "symphony" and "biology."

The concert performed by National Musical Arts (NMA) at The National Academy of Sciences featured works based on The BioMusic Symposium presentations. NMA performed Mozart's "Musical Joke" because recent research by Dr. Luis Baptista and Dr. Meredith West (Indiana University) and presented at the AAAS symposium demonstrated that Mozart's musical relationship with his pet starling was so powerful that this famous chamber music work was actually composed as a requiem to the bird and features exact musical quotations from the pet starling. George Crumb's "Vox Balaenae" for electrified flute, electrified cello, and electrified piano concluded the concert. Crumb was so moved after hearing the recording, "The Songs of the Humpback Whale," that he worked with Roger Payne to create this chamber music classic. Recorded by hydrophones in the ocean depths, this famous recording captured the whales' own vocalizations and songs and became a best seller for months. This recording was also distributed by the National Geographic to all subscribers.

The Rhetorical Perspective for all of the BioMusic events addresses: "What is music? How are musical sounds used to communicate within and between species? Is music-making a biological function? Do musical sounds within the natural world reveal a profound bond between all living things?" It is these and related interfaces between art and science, humans and other species that The BioMusic Program cultivates.

The interest in the symposium at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was overwhelming as demonstrated by the standing room only crowds which spilled into the adjoining halls.

The media's response was equally enthusiastic and wide ranging. Television and radio coverage included the CBC, Chilean Public Television, Dutch National Radio and Television, NPR, and the BBC. Internet coverage included, among many others, ABCOnline, Discovery Channel.com, and EarthEar.org. Feature articles appeared in newspapers in Russia, Germany, and Poland. Science News made BioMusic its cover story for its April 15th edition and two "Perspective" articles will appear soon in Science Magazine. On May 6th, The New York Times published a most interesting follow-up interview titled "Conversation with Luis F. Baptista" by Claudia Dreifus. Baptista, one of the world's leading experts on bird song, dialect, and language, was asked "What are the parallels between human and bird music?" Baptista replied: "I know of birds who have voices with tonal qualities that sound like real instruments. The strawberry finch has beautiful single notes that come down the scale and sound just like a flute. There is another bird, the diamond firetail from Australia, whose voice sounds like some kind of woodwind, an oboe perhaps. Then, in Costa Rica, I've encountered a wonderful night bird, and it sings four notes coming down the scale, and the quality of its voice is just like bassoon.

"Then, if you look at pitch, scholars have found that certain birds use the same musical scales as human cultures. One scholar has found that the hermit thrush actually sings in the pentatonic scale used in Far Eastern music. One of the most incredible cases is the canyon wren, who sings in the chromatic scale, and his song reminds me of the introduction and finale of Chopin's Revolutionary Etude."

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