I am honored to be involved with THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE. This unique project gives voice to those individuals – the cows, pigs and hens in factory farms, the dolphins in marine circuses, the rabbits, monkeys and chimpanzees abused in research laboratories, and all the other nonhuman persons whose suffering is the very foundation of our human society. As humans we like to think we are exceptional beings who have a right to use other animals for our benefit. We point to our science, our medicine, our cuisine, and our cultural institutions as evidence that we are superior to the other animals. But just as the United States was built upon the backs of African slaves, we owe much of our purported sophistication to the other animals, whose exploitation and abuse have made our human societies possible. We have to ask ourselves as humans, are we accomplished in our own right or are we just exceptional at setting aside morality for our own sake.
The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy
Lori Marino is founder and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy (www.kimmela.org), a non-profit organization that focuses upon applying science and academic scholarship to animal advocacy. She is also Science Director for the Nonhuman Rights Project (www.nonhumanrightsproject.org). Lori is a neuroscientist and behavioral biologist internationally known for her work on the evolution of brain and intelligence in dolphins, whales and primates. She has published close to ninety empirical and theoretical papers on dolphin and whale neuroanatomy, brain evolution, and self-awareness, as well as human-nonhuman animal relationships, dolphin assisted therapy, the educational claims of the zoo and aquarium industry, and the effects of captivity on highly intelligent social mammals, such as cetaceans, primates and elephants. In 2001 she and Diana Reiss co-authored a groundbreaking study offering the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins, after which she decided against further research with captive animals. She has testified before Congress on the lack of evidence for educational benefits from zoos and aquarium displays, serves as an expert witness for many legal efforts on behalf of animals and is co-author of the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans (http://www.cetaceanrights.org/). She is currently on the faculty of Emory University.