David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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Animal Rights

Due Conservation: The Humanity of Non-Human Rights

by David King on September 17, 2014

baby elephant

This past summer I taught a course on personality psychology. At the end of the final lecture, I shared a thought that went something like this:

It doesn’t matter to me if you like animals. There are many people out there who do not like children, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to abuse children, or to torture them, or to use them for some purpose. What I hope I have occasionally demonstrated in this course is that like people, animals are also individuals. They too have personalities, and by extension, they have some sort of inalienable rights that at least approximate the human concept of personhood.

You see, I have gained a bit of a reputation in my courses to present animal models of human concepts where possible. Not only are they useful teaching tools, but the feedback from … Keep Reading Here

principles of an ecological morality

In this essay, I outline six principles of human morality within an ecological context. From nature, a code of values and ethics may be extracted and applied to human systems so as to benefit both human and non-human constituents. The first principle, diversity, may be seen as a foundation for the remaining five. In diversity we find renewed strength and productivity across domains, acknowledging variety and discrepancy as opportunities for growth and insight. The second principle, interdependence, speaks to our mutual reliance on one another and on all life. By nature of such connectedness, we inherit an innate agency, such that all actions or lack thereof lead to meaningful consequences within the system, impacting other constituents. No matter the level of analysis, all systems exist in a state of perpetual flux. Such constancy of change is … Keep Reading Here

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

by David King on November 5, 2012

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So today, I’m keeping the words to a minimum.

Images can move us, but we mustn’t avoid images that make us feel uncomfortable.  We live in a complex world, full of both good and bad; positive and negative; gain and loss. And while nature necessitates balance, such a concept has been misconstrued by our species. We are forever doomed to tilt. In our relentless quest for progress, we continuously find ourselves falling backward, ever the error-prone stewards – hardly stewards at all, hardly human by our own standards.

Living is easy with eyes closed (so the Beatles song says), but I don’t want easy. I won’t have anything to do with it. Eyes wide open, all the way…

Look at these images. Let them anger you. Let them sadden … Keep Reading Here

The Horseshoe Crab: A Case for Conservation

by David King on August 29, 2012

horseshoe-crab

When I was kid and travelled to Florida every winter, I inevitably collected a number of shells and other remains of marine life (including hermit crab shells, starfish, silver dollars, dried seahorses, and a small shark in a bottle, among others). I collected a lot of strange things when I was younger, rocks and stamps included (see: nerd).

One of the items I was particularly fond of was the exoskeleton of a horseshoe crab. I actually had a few exoskeletons of varying sizes. I was intrigued by them. There’s a reason they call these arthropods living fossils – in addition to having gone unchanged for an impressive 450 million years, they resemble something out of Jurassic Park. And their wisdom isn’t just in their age – there’s something about their appearance that speaks of deep history.

And while this … Keep Reading Here

The Prioritization of Canis lupus familiaris

by David King on May 7, 2012

A few months ago, I came across an article about Republican Candidate Mitt Romney’s “animal abuse” scandal. Apparently, he had put his dog in a kennel and strapped the kennel to the roof of his car. This had animal lovers up in arms.

My response was one of confusion: Really?

Here’s the deal – I’m a huge animal lover, and always have been. But there’s a growing problem in Western culture (and developed nations more broadly) – people are just downright obsessed with dogs.

Here’s my perspective on life – all life. I believe that consciousness is indeed a miraculous product of the evolution of the universe. For now, let’s put aside quantum physics and the notion that consciousness flows through everything, and just focus on what biologists refer to broadly as ‘life.’ This stuff, life, is pretty amazing, and … Keep Reading Here