Listen: David Wha, Baltimore, United States discussed on Coast to Coast AM
"He has a wonderful name Brian hair, and he working with and parallel with others have discovered that the canine intelligence might be superior to any other animal were dealing with so much. So that you compare them to the bonobo, and that's high praise David wha-. What have we learned about on intelligence most recently? Well, yeah. After after decades of of scientists sort of poo pooing, the idea of studying dogs, Brian. Hey. Keren actually another researcher in Budapest name anima closely independently make this remarkable observation. Yeah. If if you I if we had a series of cops on the floor, and they were upside down, and maybe one of them had a treat or a ball. If we were to point that cop, the pickup it had to treat in it. One year old children instinctively would know where we mean, they would go dot com, and they would grab it turned out chimpanzees Kim do that. They don't know. We mean more point, but dogs do actually turns out cats do as well, so cats and dogs pass this test of what's been referred to as sort of a theory of mind has the idea that when we pointed something we're trying to show another individual to go look at that. And again, it seems like a simple thing. But it's something chimpanzees for whatever. Reason can't Intuit, but dogs and cats can intelligence we're still learning about canine intelligence is that true for feline as well. You know, we're doing brain science good heavens of science magazine. That's where I depend upon you to tell me what we're doing. Are. We still learning where how they respond to us. What parts of their brain how quickly? Well, it was a sort of frustrating for me. I think for me as a cat odor. I really wanted to get into studies of cat intelligence as well. Because there's really been explosion of dog research ever since Brian here discovery about fifteen years ago. Nearly a dozen lives around the world studying the dog mind, but there's nobody really studying McAlpine, which probably isn't a surprise. Anybody who owns a cat at the idea being that dog sort of liked to participate in these types of experiments and cats sort of freak out when you bring them into a laboratory. So I have been done show that cats are capable of the same things that dogs are, but there's just not nearly as much work. But John as you alluded to you. We're getting into an age where we've got things like MRI machine. Other ways of of testing what these animals are thinking. So, you know, in the coming decades, I think we'll learn a lot more about both animals we go now to animal rights central. This is the Jerusalem itself. It's Portland where David correctly identifies signs called delete, delete. But not the canine feline, and we're introduced thanks to David to Joyce Tisch ler. Who is she? And what is the animal? League defense fund. So George Tessler is the founder of the legal defense fund. She helped found that in nineteen seventy nine and the L D F is actually based in co Taty, California Portland is the site of losing law school, which also has a very large animal law contingent there, but basically Joyce Joyce thinking early on was she had been trained in law. And there was no such things animal law to time. But she had a lot of interesting animals, especially cats and dogs, and she started to think about the idea of rights for these animals and rights aren't necessarily the right to drive a car, the right to vote the rights to things like basic medical care, and perhaps the right to be free from cruelty, and maybe even potentially right to inherit money. So she gathered together with some like minded, folks. And founded this organization called the animal legal defense fund, which today is the largest animal law group in the country. I think they claim about one hundred thousand members and wide the chapters at almost every US law school and they've. Really been behind a lot of really some fascinating court decisions and and legislation over the past couple of decades that have helped grant more rights and protections. Not only two cats and dogs, but other animals as well in nineteen seventy seven I believe MS Tisch ler published a paper that you can all look up. David notes it in his book rights for non human animals guardianship model for dogs and cats that's forty years ago. Now nearly and so the evolution since then is what we're now going to focus on the question about animal league defense fund, and these court cases that looks to have been evolving slowly overlays last forty years. There doesn't look to be one driver. But there does look to be an important historical parallel. And that's about the abolition movement, the anti slavery societies of the early nineteenth century late eighteenth century evolving into the clash the civil war. How so David how does that inform all of this? Evolution. Yeah. Well, this is a very controversial idea, and you know, as a journalist, I don't necessarily endorse or not endorse it, but these the, you know, when these animal rights activist and the animal an animal law movement really started thinking about how do we create more rights to animals, they look back at at American history because you cats and dogs and all other animals right now are actually considered property, and the is the law, and they were thinking, well, how do we get these animals out of the property status? How do we turn them into something more like maybe not like people, but maybe more like children, or at least give them make them not property more and city look back to a time when when when blacks were considered property, and what what changes it took to get them out of the property status. And they've tried to apply some of those same lessons to animals now. Again, you know, many people rightfully so find a strategy offensive in finding comparisons offensive. But you know, this group and other groups are just this is they're looking for roadmap and they see a roadmap in in in. The in the in the civil rights movement and in the movement as well, we'll go to putting this all into practical use by people around the country. Go first a Baltimore David knows multi very well. In fact, he knows it well enough so that he's taught me to say ball more. And this is about a wonderful event. That happens I guess once a month. It's a parade of pit bulls. It's organized to introduce the idea that pit bulls are not the problem individual dogs are and pit bulls have been discriminated against I guess in the newspapers for more than twenty years now, but Baltimore's pushing back how so what is the significance of this for animal rights, and how have they used it? Well, two pit bulls. I've really been denigrated in the press for for a few decades now, and they're actually not the first dog. This has happened to there were ever since about that the late eighteen hundreds dare been. There's always been a group of dogs has been denigrated for us to be the bloodhound Sarah was bloodhounds. It was it was collies for a time. It was rottweilers and dobermans. And today it's pit bulls. And it always seems to be that when when one dog achieves this sort of questionable status that the dog gets adopted by a lot of people that probably shouldn't be having pets day to abuse their pets and this news or nefarious status increases. So some people have done not just in Baltimore brother cities, the problem with Baltimore, Maryland, Maryland, high court a couple years ago had a decision which labeled pit bulls inherently dangerous which meant if you owned a pit bull. You're very likely to get kicked out of your your apartment because your landlord didn't want the liability. And so there was a group called more dog which has staged a monthly pit bulls on parade. They call it where they walked around the inner harbor of Baltimore people come up to the pet them. And see that these dogs don't really deserve there. They're also take them to schools to teach the exact they take them to schools there. There your kids that have reading disabilities or even autism. You bring the dogs and bring the pit bulls in the kids all of a sudden start reading they start interacting more with their classmates. So this group this particular group is really not about animal rights. It's more just about sort of contradicting some notions. That there there's a particular breed of the animal. That's particularly they they have challenged though court legal decisions legislative decisions to persecute one particular dog. They've challenged that successfully. Because when you do a DNA test as some of these dogs they're mostly not pit bulls. That's right. That's right. There's there's other pitfall advocates that have that has challenged. These findings were where somebody says, oh, I can spot. A pit bull will turn out the DNA tests. Don't don't always show that. It's a pit bull that have maybe complete other animal, and again need to show that all this is your arbitrary. It's very they call it some people call it. Doggy discrimination. The fact that you would single out a breed not in a particular individual in amrried not for what it's done for for what it might do. Or for what the public has sort of labeled as we. We're building rights now on negating discrimination. Our this is more obvious David's on his way to Lackland air force base where there's an important training for military dogs any meets Rambo. What did you learn from Rambo? Well, Rambo is a military working dog that actually lost his leg in training, and the US trains more military working dogs in any other country on earth. In fact, air force base churns out has turned out. We have about twenty five hundred dogs in the US military today and a lot of been on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan getting shot and killed. They've been coming down with PTSD. I just like humans soldiers are so love you dogs are really putting their lives on the line for their humans and further. Country. And that me moves the military to try to find a way to treat them when they're wounded, and there is a hospital, which David calls the place where you send all your military. A wounded military dogs in Lackland there are decorations that are given they're not official and their stories. Dividend fact. Sergeant Roger him rot his wonderful dog saves his life. She's gone. I believe any this is in Vietnam where she absorbed the blast and he survived. It. It occurred to me immediately. When you wrote that David there must be a wonderful story about dogs of Vietnam that we haven't had yet eighty four thousand missions two thousand tunnels and bunkers ten thousand lives described. This would be staggering story. Yeah. It actually there's a great book called a war dogs. I think it's called dogs working by Michael bacteria. He sort of chronicles the history of dogs military combat spent some time at Vietnam is is is sort of a is sort of a good. But also tragic situation for dogs there. We had a lot of dogs Vietnam. They were they were sticking out the enemy. They were. I mean soldiers avoid booby traps. But the military as a did as it does still does today considered. It's dogs equipment, which meant it concerned them, no different from food from boots or a gun. And so when. Our operations were over in Vietnam. The military left all."