Friday, August 9, 2013

Walking Dead Star Norman Reedus Steps Up to Help Stop Animal Testing

Norman Reedus is the latest celebrity ambassador for Cruelty Free International – the global organization dedicated to ending cosmetics testing on animals. 

Read more on my Huffington Post Blog, and enjoy this photo of Norman with Lola the cat. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

New Policy Paper on Parrots as "Pets"

Animals and Socieity Institute have just realeased the newest edition of its policy paper series: PARROT BREEDING AND KEEPING: THE IMPACT OF CAPTURE AND CAPTIVITY. Written by myself and G.A.Bradshaw of the Kerulos Center.

The paper builds on my previous paper published in 2006 in the Journal of Animal Welfare "The Welfare and Suitablilty of Parrots as Companion Animals: A Review" and Gay's pioneering work in trans-species psychology and similar policy papers in the ASI collection including another paper authored by Gay and Theodora Capaldo of NEAVS,"The Bioethics of Great Ape Well-Being." which is fitting given the parrots have been compared to primates in terms of their intelligence and social needs.

Here is an excerpt from the executive summary:

Wildlife capture and captive breeding are increasingly controversial. Growing recognition of animal sentience has raised concerns about the ethics of captivity: if nonhuman animals share mental and emotional capacities comparable to humans, then, argument follows, comparable ethical and legal standards are compelled. Captive breeding is also questionable for practical reasons. Stereotypy, depression, infanticide, and physical maladies found routinely in captive-bred wildlife are not normal, but symptomatic of traumatic environmental conditions. The fact that maladaptive traits transmit across generations means that the captive breeding is a problematic practice. This has serious implications for the “pet” trade and wildlife reintroduction programs that use captive breeding as a viable solution for repopulating dwindling wild populations. As a result of changing views on the pragmatics and ethics of captivity and standing science, regulations and laws concerning wildlife trade have come under scrutiny. Through a review of the literature, we assessed effects of capture, captivity, and breeding on parrot welfare. We asked and researched the question: Does science support the practice of captivity for Psittaciformes species?

Copies can be obtained from ASI or you can E-mail me for an electronic copy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Change the way you think about charities

If you work for a non-profit or you give to charity (or both) this recent "TED Talk" will change the way you think about the spending habits of charities (assuming you've thought about it...and you should!). As Dan Pallotta explains, the way we think about giving and charity maybe undermining the causes we love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ingredients for a great nonprofit website

What makes a website go from good to great? There is a lot of advice (or recipes) available but there are 5 main ingredients your website must have:

1) Credibility - information must be current, accurate, edited, and valuable.

2) Clarity  -  clearly communicate your organization's mission and have a clear call to action. Be clear about who you are and how others can be part of your vision.

3) History - briefly but concisely  explain where your organization came from, why it came into being and where it is going. This enhances the first two ingredients - credibility  and clarity.

4) Simplicity - allow users to easily find information they are looking for. There is no use in having tons of information on your site if users can't find it. This is especially true of the "donate" section of the website. Make it easy for people to give and to understand how their donation will be used.

5) Engaging elements - Looks do matter. Websites need to have images, colors and a layout that makes them interesting and easy to look at. This doesn't mean you can't have sad or graphic images just use them wisely and creatively. Know your audience, tell a story, present the issue, what you are doing about it, and how they can help. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

Check out these other tips and inspiring examples.

What Makes a Website "Good?"

Non Profit Websites: 10 Keys to Success 

19 Best Non-Profit Websites (And Why They're Awesome)

31 Beautiful Nonprofit Websites