Hello there, and welcome to July’s episode of Digging Up Positivity. This month we will cover some amazing members of our community, lovely videos, and our featurette is a wonderful artist from Berlin known for her outstanding artwork for individuals and companies alike.
A recent study conducted at Harvard University (scientific paper) to examine working visual memory found that an African grey parrot was able to outperform 6-8-year-old human children. That might not be so amazing on its own — research has already shown various bird species to perform on par with human children — if it weren't for the third group in the comparison. The parrot also performed equally or better than a group of 18-30-year-old undergraduate students in 12/14 trials.
Another arrest has been made on a member of the animal abuse ring brought to light in September. According to Cubanos en Defensa de los Animales (CEDA, or Cubans in Defense of Animals), Rubén Marrero Pernas, using the fandom pseudonyms "Woof" and "Warg" (amongst others) was arrested on November 24, after details of his involvement in the group had been shared on social media. CiberCuba has more details surrounding the story.
The wolf is by far the most popular fursona species but, as a recent opinion piece in Deutsche Welle pointed out, they are not universally loved. In Germany, like many places in Europe, wolves were driven to extinction and it was only in 2000, after approximately 150 years, that wild wolves were born in Germany once again. Many people, particularly farmers, are worried about wolf attacks on their livestock – echoing our previous reporting of wolves in France– while others are concerned about the risk to humans. But this conflict is about more than wolves; the conversations about wolves are intertwined with much larger issues.
Discussions around wolves show both the fear of the wild and the human desire to eliminate all danger while seeing themselves not only as superior to other animals but, to use the Biblical terminology, granted dominion over them. This is seen in sentiments that even question the right of other animals, such as wolves, to exist in "our" world.
"Wolves do not fit into our civilization any longer," she said, adding that her fear of wolves means she no longer enjoys walking in the countryside.
Over time, more and more evidence has accumulated that, due these attitudes, we are responsible for a widespread decline in animal populations and species that leave us with a dangerously low level of biodiversity. This is termed the sixth extinction.
In late September, the furry world was rocked by a leak of telegram chat-logs that revealed an organization of those that practiced extreme forms of animal abuse in the real world. On October 25th, 2018, police in Oregon have made the first arrest of a member of this zoosadist ring, Levi “SnakeThing” Simmons. They have been initially charged with sexual assault of an animal, animal abuse in the first degree, and animal neglect in the first degree.
Levi, who went by several pseudonyms in the furry community including 'Nelizar', became infamous soon after this leak. The logs were released to the public by a fellow zoophile who felt their peers had gone too far in their crueler abusive behavior towards animals. While SnakeThing was quickly overshadowed by a more famous individual caught within the ring, furry Youtuber Kero the Wolf, most of the evidence tied to Levi. This was because the leak was centered around his account that the whistle-blower had gained access to and downloaded the data from. It was Levi's own logs that was eventually shared with the internet.
Update 11/1: Furvengers noted on Tuesday 10/30, that Mr. Simmons was released from prison due to apparent statue of limitations on charges and evidence presented at this time. State charges have been revoked.
Robert Downey Jr. took the still unusual step of announcing the cast of his upcoming movie, The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle via his personal Twitter account. Downey Jr. will play the titular character, Doctor Dolittle, a children's book character created by Hugh Lofting who has the ability to talk with the animals. The character has been played in previous film adaptations by Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy.
What animal stereotype in media do you (take most offense to, think should continue, find confusing)?Posted by CassidyTheCivet on Mon 9 May 2016 - 18:05
Whee! We’re bringing you announcements from Cartoon Brew of lots of international animated theatrical features that will probably never come to the U.S. This time it’s a French movie, variously Evolution Man, or, How I Ate My Father or Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape, that is being released theatrically in Britain this month.
Is it anthropomorphic? Surely, if you consider pre-homo sapiens primates to be animals. Otherwise? Hard to say from this trailer (which is one of two), but there are at least lots of animals presented in a manner that furry fans should enjoy.
Image copyright Bob Carr of Getty Images
Also, colt American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown, becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and, finally today, the Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978. American Pharoah is only the twelfth horse to win all three races since Sir Barton became the first in 1919.
Tiki Paws have made a name for themselves crafting tropical-themed clothing, toys, and other accessories for dogs. Yes, really — we’ve covered them before. Well now the line has expanded! Tiki Paws have grown to include Geeky Paws — a new line of Halloween costumes for dogs, based around any number of fannish themes. Just the thing for when you’re out trick-or-treating and want a little friendly protection along. Check out their web site to see all the latest.
TeeTurtle.com are an outfit (pun intended) that specialize in t-shirt designs featuring animals and familiar cartoon characters of a particularly “chibi” variety. “Teeturtle was founded in 2012 by designer RamyB to scratch your insatiable itch for cute, funny, popculture-y shirts. Since then, we have made it our goal to provide the best possible experience for you… Here at TeeTurtle, our shirts are our pride and joy. That’s why we use only the softest shirts on the market. We know that you will fall in love as soon as you slip into one of our ultra comfy tees. Plus, with killer designs from both our in house artists and some of the best guest designers on the internet, what more could you want?” They said it.
More news from Cartoon Brew: The first major-studio release of a faith-based animated feature film. “Academy Award-nominated director Tim Reckart (Head Over Heels) will make his feature directorial debut with faith-based feature The Lamb, Sony Pictures Animation revealed today in a late-Easter Weekend announcement. First announced in September 2014, The Lamb will be a fully CG-animated pic based on the Christian nativity story, telling the ‘inspirational story of a young lamb who will change the world’ with an all-animal cast.” Lest you forget, the last time there was a faith-based anthropomorphic animated film (independently released) it was Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. Stay tuned for more information on a release date for The Lamb.
It’s hard to describe The Woodland Welfare Manifesto any better than Slave Labor Graphics do: “Woodland Welfare Manifesto is the story of Burnt Bear, Crazy Rabbit, and Perverted Monkey — three proletarian animals who struggle against the corrupt capitalist system that oppresses their forest with an iron fist of injustice! Will this trio of friends triumph when working-class livelihoods are threatened, or will Crazy Rabbit’s anarchist methods threaten to make them all enemies of the state?” There you have it. Well, except to say that this full-color short graphic novel (written by Justin Sane and illustrated by John Hageman) is coming soon in trade paperback from SLG. Check out the more detailed review over at Fanboy Comics.