Scientific studies agree: Companion animals contribute to our emotional well-being and physical health. In turn, we do our best to keep them happy and healthy, and to help them experience a long and full life. Eventually, though, the march of time can bring on infirmity, and an ebbing in quality of their life for our beloved friends. When that time comes, it is more important than ever to do what we can to ease their burden and not prolong suffering.
Few farm animals in this country live out in the open—instead living in vast barns in close confinement. When such facilities catch on fire, the animals are often trapped. From 2013 to 2017, more than 2.7 million farm animals died in the United States as a result of 326 barn fires. The most common culprit is a faulty heating device.
Wild horses in Utah. Wild horses are protected under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which says in its preamble that they are “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” Ranchers and state officials who seek unfettered access to western rangelands, however, see them not as integral but rather an impediment. As a result, wild horse numbers are kept artificially low. The Bureau of Land Management is now considering risky ovariectomies of wild mares, despite the availability of effective, far less invasive immunocontraceptives.
A hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) cruises the reef off Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands. Habitat loss and degradation, entanglement in fishing gear, ingestion of marine debris, slaughter for meat, and the tortoiseshell trade have taken a heavy toll on this critically endangered animal.