Dr. Vint Virga, veterinarian and animal behaviorist

by | Aug 20, 2014

Dr. Vint Virga—veterinarian, animal behaviorist and author of “The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human”—explains how the anti-zoo view he held earlier in his career evolved into seeing zoos in a more positive light. Vent-VirgaHe also assesses whether there’s been a parallel shift in the public perception of zoos, believing that it’s become a polarizing topic, with people either hating or loving them, and no one really holding a middle ground position. Virga discusses his consulting work at zoos helping animals overcome behavioral problems, feeling that all51Tx-aRdIAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ animals—regardless of the caliber of the facility or exhibit—deserve whatever help he can offer, in something of a veterinary equivalent to the Hippocratic oath. Harking back to his days when he was a veterinarian at an emergency clinic, he recounts the story of treating Pongo, a flat-coated retriever hit by a truck and seemingly unlikely to survive, but through Virga’s touch and companionship, the dog rallied. This was a revelatory moment in Virga’s career path, spinning him toward transforming into an animal behaviorist. On a not unrelated note, he acknowledges that he’s a seeker, and that he has been since childhood. (www.vintvirga.com)

ALSO: We had a brief conversation with Marilyn Weaver, executive director of The League of Humane Voters, Florida chapter (LOHV-FL), with an eye toward Florida’s then-pending primary election day, Aug. 26. We discussed the mission of the LOHV-FL, the importance of voting for animal-friendly legislators in any election and at the at least equal importance of doing so in primaries, and examine the animal welfare voting records of a few politicians, including those endorsed—and not endorsed—by the LOHV-FL. (http://lohv-fl.org)

COMEDY CORNER: Ron White’s “Killer Whale”   (http://tatersalad.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Lake Street Dive’s “Rabid Animal,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”


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