Director of Sonar (wearesonar.org), working to recognize dolphin and whale's rights to their own lives.
Laura co-founded and is director of Sonar, a dolphin and whale protection organization that represents a new wave in cetacean activism. Sonar conducts research that challenges scientific “objectivity”, advocates for cetacean legal rights and is changing the ways they are represented in the media.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Laura moved to San Francisco where she is currently based. She has met "friendly" dolphins in Europe and the Bahamas, witnessed the notorious dolphin killing cove in Japan and has presented her work at universities and institutions in the UK and throughout the US.
A team of researchers recently unveiled a new experiment that uses touchscreens and apps in order to investigate dolphin intelligence. While this might sound like a boon to the realm of animal cognition, it raises some important questions about the ways that research is done and reveals how certain archaic attitudes within the scientific community persist, to the detriment of both science and other-than-human beings.
Oceans Day wants to "change perspectives" and encourages people to think about "what [the ocean] has to offer all of us" as human beings. This blatantly anthropocentric messaging shouldn't be surprising, given that SeaWorld and other corporate users of the oceans are sponsors of Oceans Day.
To help us accomplish this evolution, we ought to look to those who helped ignite the environmental movement in the first place -- the whales. Their troubled past shows us how we have erred, and their continued friendly overtures towards our kind offers valuable insights into how we might shape the future differently.
Some say that the selfie is the epitome of individual narcissism. The rise in selfie popularity seems to align with the trajectory of Western anthropocentrism, as both climb to a fevered pitch. Gone are the days when people were content to take photos where the landscape or other animals were the central features; now, humans are often centered in these shots, as though the scenes would be meaningless without a human face. The world increasingly exists as a mere backdrop for the comings and goings of Westernized humanity.