Animal Behavior Expert: Choose Vegetarian

dreamstime9.jpgIn November, leading animal behaviorist and former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. asked Psychology Today readers to ditch the traditional turkey dinner in favor of a cruelty-free Thanksgiving. Now, Dr. Bekoff has penned another powerful appeal urging Americans to treat all farmed animals with respect and compassion by going vegetarian.

"Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals raised for food are sentient beings who have rich emotional lives," Dr. Bekoff explains in his new article in the Atlantic. "[Farmed animals] can feel everything from sheer joy to deep grief. They can also suffer enduring pain and misery," he adds.

Scientific evidence teaches us that cows and chickens are intelligent, social, and emotional beings who care about their lives. As Dr. Bekoff notes, cows form close bonds with their loved ones and often experience "eureka" moments when opening a difficult gate or solving another challenge. Chickens - arguably the most abused creatures on Earth - have been found to empathize with other birds who are in pain.

In the words of Dr. Bekoff, "It's easy to add more compassion to the world and to expand our compassion footprint." Each time we sit down for a meal, we're presented with an opportunity to choose kindness over cruelty. Please visit to learn more.