Animals' Best Friend

A referendum will be held his weekend in Switzerland to decide if government attorneys should be deployed to represent animals in court cases that involve animal rights.

A referendum will be held his weekend in Switzerland to decide if government attorneys should be deployed to represent animals in court cases that involve animal rights. "Mr Goetschel is one of a kind in Switzerland. The passionate animal rights advocate fulfils the role of a state-funded public prosecutor for abused pets and farm animals in his home canton of Zurich. He represents an average of 150 to 200 abused animals a year. But if a national referendum goes his way this weekend, there will soon be scores of lawyers like him all over Switzerland fighting in courts up and down the land for the rights of animals. In contrast to the negative publicity the country has received over attitudes to foreigners and Muslims, the Alpine nation may soon win renown as the most animal-friendly country on earth. Opinion polls have indicated that 70 per cent of the Swiss population support the scheme. It is already illegal to keep lone goldfish, guinea pigs, canaries and budgerigars in Switzerland because they could become lonely and suffer as a result. Dog owners have to take training courses and from 2013 it will be against the law to keep horses tied up in their stalls. The poll has been set in motion by the campaign group, Swiss Animal Protection, which gathered the necessary 100,000 signatures to force the nationwide vote. It argues that despite big increases in reported animal abuse, the cases often fail to make it to court because they are not taken seriously enough by the local authorities."

Why Henry David Thoreau was drawn to yoga

The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.

Image: Public Domain / Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
  • The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
  • He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
  • Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
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How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
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  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
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Photo: Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
    • A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
    • Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
    • Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
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