In the News: Green Love, Apes' Rights

By "Tern" Alexa Schirtzinger--My morning news diet usually consists of NPR, the BBC, and a little New York Times. There's usually some dire event in Zimbabwe or Gaza or, of late, the U.S. economy. This morning, though, I was surprised to hear that people of my ilk are having trouble finding love:

"Here's a new checklist for you," said NPR's Morning Edition host Renee Montagne. "Recycle, yeah. Drive a Prius, check. Love life? Not so great. Some environmentalists are having a tough time finding true love." 

Aww! Those poor, unlovable environmentalists, as it turns out, are attending "green speed-dating events" in California to meet similarly eco-minded mates. Click here for the story.

In other news, a small step for man is a giant one for primates. According to The New York Times, the environment committee of Spain's parliament voted to give great apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos) limited rights, forbidding that they be tortured, arbitrarily imprisoned (think circuses), or killed, unless in self-defense. It's not law yet, but it's expected to be soon.

Wonderful, right? It's about time we treated apes as equals...Or is it? As a friend pointed out, we may be opening the proverbial can of worms. Where's the line? Aren't dolphins really smart, too? And pigs? (No more bacon!) "Soon you'll be fined for killing a cockroach," the friend said. For now, though, any movement toward more humane animal treatment is, in my humble opinion, a great thing.

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