Posts filed under ‘Animals (Other Than Us)’
Uh oh. It looks like Fox and Limbaugh and all the rabid wingers who go out of their way to make even the slightest blip having to do with Barack Obama an impeachable offense have something new to sink their teeth into today:
Sunny Obama, the second Portuguese water dog the Obamas adopted in August, was part of a minor incident in which she caused a 2-year-old White House guest Ashtyn Gardner to fall over.
Sunny jumped up on the toddler during the 2013 White House Holiday Press Preview, in which First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the White House’s holiday decorations with families of military service members. Ashtyn was there with her father, John Gardner, a member of the Navy who later said that Ashtyn was fine.
Both Sunny and Bo, the Obama’s other Portuguese water dog, remained in the room afterward and there were no other incidents. Sunny apologized right after the incident by licking Ashtyn’s face.
How long will it be before this becomes, “Obama’s dog mauls sweet, little, innocent 2-year-old girl?”
I want to say this is tongue-in-cheek but hey, I wouldn’t put it past them.
Check out this press release from the Humane Society of the United States:
Independent laboratory testing confirms accessories being sold on Kohls.com and promoted as “faux-fur” are actually made with real rabbit fur. The Humane Society of the United States is issuing a consumer warning about the falsely advertised products on Cyber Monday – one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
HSUS investigators purchased several different styles of Nicole Lee Fabiola brand handbags, which were prominently advertised as having “faux-fur” trimming, from Kohls.com in October and November. However, upon examination, the handbags were found to be trimmed with animal fur, and laboratory testing determined the fur to be from a rabbit.
Selling animal fur as “faux fur” on a handbag is a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in commerce and carries a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.
Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager for the Fur-Free Campaign of The HSUS, said: “Consumers should be aware that animal fur is still being sold as ‘faux’ by major retailers – in this case Kohl’s. We’re calling on Kohl’s to adopt a fur-free policy and more robust quality control program, and urging consumers to learn how to tell animal fur from fake fur so they can shop with confidence.”
More than 75 million animals, including rabbits, raccoon dogs, mink, bobcats, foxes and even domestic dogs and cats, are killed annually to make unnecessary fur products.
So is real fur cheaper than faux fur? I mean, why would Kohls use real fur instead of faux fur if it wasn’t?
My grandmother had what I guess would be called a scarf or a shoulder wrap made out of a dead fox. The head was still attached and the clasp operated by opening and closing the dead fox’s mouth. I’ll never forget it. I was 9, 10 and 11-years-old back then and the sight of that scarf horrified me. The poor thing had little orange and brown glass eyes. Having the head attached kind of brings home how the garment is made, if you know what I mean. If we’re going to slaughter 75 million animals (!) to use as fur “products,” maybe we should leave the heads on and see if people still think wearing real fur is cool.
This poor mom needs a break:
(H/t Tracey B.)
Hey, I’m like the next person in that I’m spoiled to the Internets and short articles and quick this and fast that so when I come across a longish article I kind of wince. But I’m fascinated by the whole issue of antibiotics and how bacteria are evolving such that they’re antibiotic-resistant. This morning I came across a fascinating article about that that was fascinating and worth the time from beginning to end: Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future — After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely?
The breadth of the problem has escaped me until now. For example, treating burns would “have a very, very difficult task keeping people alive” and maybe we should forget about transplantation. People who get transplants are loaded up on antibiotics prior to surgery and if a transplant surgery is pretty much guaranteed to kill them, because antibiotics become ineffective, who in the world would be willing to perform the operation?
And get this mind-blowing quote:
Bacteria can produce another generation in as little as twenty minutes; with tens of thousands of generations a year working out survival strategies, the organisms would soon overwhelm the potent new drugs.
Imagine getting a simple paper cut and dying from it. Or having something as common as a ruptured appendix (which I had in 2005):
Doctors routinely perform procedures that carry an extraordinary infection risk unless antibiotics are used. Chief among them: any treatment that requires the construction of portals into the bloodstream and gives bacteria a direct route to the heart or brain. That rules out intensive-care medicine, with its ventilators, catheters, and ports—but also something as prosaic as kidney dialysis, which mechanically filters the blood.
Next to go: surgery, especially on sites that harbor large populations of bacteria such as the intestines and the urinary tract. Those bacteria are benign in their regular homes in the body, but introduce them into the blood, as surgery can, and infections are practically guaranteed. And then implantable devices, because bacteria can form sticky films of infection on the devices’ surfaces that can be broken down only by antibiotics.
I highly recommend the article. We’ve got to deal with this. If you’re a parent, start making noise for the sake of your kids or grandkids.
Again, here’s the link.
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (November 21, 2013)–The public is outraged more indigenous wild horses will be rounded up and permanently removed from public land to grab water and frack the land. Protect Mustangs is calling for protests to stand up for the American mustang and a tourism boycott targeted at Wyoming who promotes ”Roam Free” in their marketing yet ignores the wild horse. 700 Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds will be rounded up from the public-private land known as the “Checkerboard” starting this week. The majority will live in captivity, be at-risk for going to slaughter and forever lose their freedom to roam.
“Fracking for oil and gas is polluting the environment and wiping out America’s wild horses,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s time for clean energy that can coexist with wildlife.”
Amen, amen, amen to that.
A zonkey! A combination of two of my favorite animals, donkey and zebra.
The dolphin’s little dance really does seem like an expression of “Hey, thanks!”
A baby dolphin was rescued on Friday (15) after getting stuck in a plastic bag near the Fort Itaipu, in Praia Grande , on the coast of São Paulo. The mammal was found by fishermen passing by.
The little dolphin was spotted struggling to get rid of a foreign object.
fishermen approached the animal and managed to pull it with a net. After bringing the mammal into the boat, they noticed that he was wrapped in a plastic bag and quickly got rid of it.
Upon being returned to the sea, however, a surprise! – the dolphin quickly jumped out of the water, as in a gesture of thanks to the fishermen.
Oh, and hey world, let’s ban plastic bags.
Geezus. As if animals aren’t already at a huge disadvantage what with high-powered rifles and scopes:
Colorado wildlife officials are taking a close look at setting limits for hunters using drones to help spot potential game, saying it gives hunters an unfair advantage.
Gee, ya think? That’s got to be the understatement of the week.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is set to begin discussion on the question Thursday in Lamar.
Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says the technology makes it easier to hunt and that ethical guidelines about drones are needed.
“There is a ton of technology available to people that would make it very, very easy for people to hunt. We try to hold the line to make sure that hunting is done in an ethical manner,” Hampton said.
This 2009 advertisement for Robinson’s de Natural juice is just darling:
H/t Beth A.
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This reminds me of a dear Irish Setter we had years ago named O’Douglas. O’Douglas was trained to stop at crosswalks. My husband was a carpenter at the time and he took “Doug” to a jobsite one day, only to notice after a few hours that he was gone.
The hubby headed toward home and when he came to the first crosswalk, there was Doug, waiting for someone to tell him it was okay to cross.
Fingers crossed that this line of thinking continues. It’s bad enough that we slaughter hundreds of thousands of cows and millions of chickens every year. Let’s not add horses to that brutal, inhumane tally.
Any dog lover will tell you that the answer to that question is yes but for those who need scientific proof, here’s a bone:
Love them doggies!
Last night I had the good luck to turn to CNN and come across something that actually interested me and that I wanted to watch. It was a documentary about Seaworld’s horrendous mistreatment of their captive Orca whales. Yes, it was tough but I watched the whole heartrending thing. I knew what Seaworld did to Orcas was bad but I didn’t realize just how bad; how immoral. What they’re doing goes against all the laws of the universe. (Oh, and they treat their human employees like crap too but at least they can walk away if they want.)
Anyway, Blackfish airs again tonight. I missed the first 20 minutes or so I’m going to watch that and maybe the whole thing again. I recommend it.
Here’s the trailer:
A Texas hunting group has announced it will auction off a permit to kill an endangered black rhinoceros – with proceeds going to the cause of saving the black rhinoceros.
It’s a plan that even the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has admitted seems ‘counterintuitive’ and has raised ire among wildlife organizations.
Ben Carter, the DSC’s executive director, says Namibia has an annual quota to kill five black rhinos and has ‘selected’ the club to auction one of them.
Since the mid-1970s, the population has been reduced by about 90 per cent.
How about: Just say no!
It’s like the old saying, If you love something, set it free. Then, when it has a bit of a head start, open fire,’ Carter said.
Man, that Carter guy is a laugh a minute.
If this doesn’t epitomize what I think of Texans, I don’t know what does.
This article, from the Australian newspaper, The Herald, is about Ivan Macfadyen’s trek from Melbourne to Osaka, ten years go and then again this past spring:
IT was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.
Not the absence of sound, exactly.
The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fibreglass hull.
And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris.
What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat.
The birds were missing because the fish were missing.
Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he’d had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line.
“There was not one of the 28 days on that portion of the trip when we didn’t catch a good-sized fish to cook up and eat with some rice,” Macfadyen recalled.
But this time, on that whole long leg of sea journey, the total catch was two.
No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.
But in March and April this year, only silence and desolation surrounded his boat, Funnel Web, as it sped across the surface of a haunted ocean.
North of the equator, up above New Guinea, the ocean-racers saw a big fishing boat working a reef in the distance.
“All day it was there, trawling back and forth. It was a big ship, like a mother-ship,” he said.
And all night it worked too, under bright floodlights. And in the morning Macfadyen was awoken by his crewman calling out, urgently, that the ship had launched a speedboat.
“And they gave us five big sugar-bags full of fish,” he said.
“They were good, big fish, of all kinds. Some were fresh, but others had obviously been in the sun for a while.
“We told them there was no way we could possibly use all those fish. There were just two of us, with no real place to store or keep them. They just shrugged and told us to tip them overboard. That’s what they would have done with them anyway, they said.
Macfadyen felt sick to his heart. That was one fishing boat among countless more working unseen beyond the horizon, many of them doing exactly the same thing.
No wonder the sea was dead. No wonder his baited lines caught nothing. There was nothing to catch.
If that sounds depressing, it only got worse.
After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.
“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
“In a lot of places we couldn’t start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That’s an unheard of situation, out in the ocean.
Plastic was ubiquitous. Bottles, bags and every kind of throwaway domestic item you can imagine, from broken chairs to dustpans, toys and utensils.
And something else. The boat’s vivid yellow paint job, never faded by sun or sea in years gone past, reacted with something in the water off Japan, losing its sheen in a strange and unprecedented way.
Tough as it is, I recommend reading the whole article. It isn’t all that long and it’s good to get a first-person account — with a first-person, ten-year perspective — as opposed to reading about “what scientists predict…”
Far as I know, what Macfadyen experienced is what scientists are predicting will happen 30, 40 years from now, not RIGHT NOW.
The farm and pharmaceutical lobbies have blocked all meaningful efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in raising livestock in America, a practice that contributes to a major public health risk, a study released Tuesday found.The report says Congress has killed every effort to legislate a ban on feeding farm animals antibiotics that are important in human medicine. Not only that, but regulation of livestock feeding practices has grown weaker under the Obama administration, the study says.
“Our worst fears were confirmed,’’ said Bob Martin, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which issued the report. The Food and Drug Administration’s statistics, he said, show that fully 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to food animals.
FDA guidelines in the pipeline, Martin said, would require the industry to stop using antibiotics specifically to bulk up cows and other food animals but would continue to allow their use for “disease-control.” What constitutes disease-control is so loosely defined, however, that there would be “no change” in the use of antibiotics, Martin said.
“In a couple of areas, the Obama administration started off with good intentions. But when industry pushed back, even weaker rules were issued,” he said. “We saw undue influence everywhere we turned.”
This article illustrates the incredible power of lobbyists. Surely just about everyone in congress, if they’d stop and think for a sec, understands that pumping feed animals full of antibiotics is a very bad idea. I mean, even doctors at the esteemed John Hopkins for God’s sake are telling them that but do they listen? No, because they’re more terrified of the lobbyists than medical experts or even of us, the voters.
Think about it for a second: The United States congress may singlehandedly be making antibiotics ineffective worldwide because it’s succumbing to bribes by corporate lobbyists, putting 7 billion people at risk.
How do these guys sleep at night?
This has apparently been out on the Internets for a couple of years but hey, better late than never. So funny:
Heartrending (to say the least) 2008 article by Nicholas D. Kristof about his childhood memories of farm animals:
I’m a farm boy who grew up here in the hills outside Yamhill, Ore., raising sheep for my F.F.A. and 4-H projects. At various times, my family also raised modest numbers of pigs, cattle, goats, chickens and geese, although they were never tightly confined.
Our cattle, sheep, chickens and goats certainly had individual personalities, but not such interesting ones that it bothered me that they might end up in a stew. Pigs were more troubling because of their unforgettable characters and obvious intelligence. To this day, when tucking into a pork chop, I always feel as if it is my intellectual equal.
Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met. We raised Chinese white geese, a common breed, and they have distinctive personalities. They mate for life and adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.
While one of our geese was sitting on her eggs, her gander would go out foraging for food — and if he found some delicacy, he would rush back to give it to his mate. Sometimes I would offer males a dish of corn to fatten them up — but it was impossible, for they would take it all home to their true loves.
Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.
The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached. Then I would grab one and carry it away as it screeched and struggled in my arms.
Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.
It’s been said a million times but I’ll say it again: We must give more thought to how we treat the animals we eat.
Accuse me of anthropomorphism if you want but I’m sure this dog is having fun.
The ripple effect of climate change is going to be devastating. It already is. Very sad news here:
For such large creatures, moose are a relatively hidden species. They are hard to count. They live where humans do not like to go, along the boggy fringes of northern lakes and rivers where the sound of summer mosquitoes fills the air. They thrive in cold weather, and their well-being depends on sharp, cold autumns and late springs, which protect them from their most important predator: not the wolf, but the winter tick.
Moose are dying off across North America for a number of reasons, most of which can be linked to a warming climate and an eroding winter. Long, warm autumns and early, wet springs benefit winter ticks, which can cluster on moose in unbelievable numbers, causing anemia, loss of appetite, hair loss from rubbing — weakening the animals at the onset of winter, just when they need their strength most.
In British Columbia, they have lost protective cover thanks to the die-back of white pine forests caused by an epidemic of pine bark beetles. The epidemic, largely attributed to climate change, has also robbed grizzly bears of the seeds they depend on for winter food.
The collapse in moose numbers — one Minnesota population has fallen from 4,000 animals to fewer than 100 — is something scientists can track but otherwise can do nothing about.
Sometimes — like right now — I’m so ashamed of we humans.
The UK version of the American Kennel Club — The Kennel Club — just announced the winners of its Dog Photographer of the Year photo contest, which received over 8,000 entries. The photo below, by Simon Reynolds, was the First Runner Up in the “Puppies” division and I looove it. Look at the expression on the dogs’ faces, especially the puppy. Priceless.
See the rest of the winning photos here. (Heck, I wish they’d post all of them online.)
Again we hear of animals doing things that seem to defy the realm of possibilities:
Researchers who tracked a group of migrating birds have discovered that they flew for 200 days non-stop between Africa and Europe.
Scientists say that the 1,240-mile flight carried out by three Alpine Swifts is the longest recorded flight made by any bird.
Although experts have speculated that a related species, the common swift, remains airborne for much of the year, the latest research is the first to provide data over such a long period.
I like quizzes so I took the one over at Food and Water Watch asking, “What Are They Feeding Your Food?”
I “scored” a 68%.
What shocked me most was I was right in my guesstimation that 80% of the antibiotics administered in the United States are fed to the animals we eat. Thus, they’re fed to us.
So disturbing and maddening given articles like this, End of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Could be Possible, that we’ve been reading for years.
I’m so glad Washington isn’t messing around with stupid stuff and that they’re ON IT!
Tony Goldberg had been back from Uganda for only about a day when he felt a distressingly familiar itch in his nose. A veterinary epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he had just spent a few weeks in Kibale National Park studying chimpanzees and how the diseases they carry might make the jump to humans. Now, he realized, he might have brought one of their parasites home with him.
There was only one way to be sure. Goldberg quickly gathered the necessary supplies—a pair of forceps, a flashlight, and a mirror—and steeled his resolve. Using the mirror to steer his hand, he poked the instrument into his irritated nostril, latched onto a suspicious lump, and quickly yanked it out, careful not to snag any nose hairs in the process. There it was: an adolescent tick. At that point, Goldberg knew, it had likely been living in his nostril for several days.
This was not Goldberg’s first nostril tick, and it’s unlikely to be his last. (On the whole, he says, the experience is “not pleasant but not as bad as you might think.”) He’s seen lots of chimpanzees with nostril ticks during his time in the field, so he’s not surprised a few of the parasites have taken advantage of his presence to burrow into the nose of a closely related primate. This particular tick, however, presented a unique opportunity. Because he found it when he was already back in his lab, Goldberg says, “I was in a position to preserve it for DNA analysis. It was just lucky that the timing was right.”
The nostril tick belonged to the genus Amblyomma, species of which are known to carry diseases that can infect mammals ranging from cows to people. But for now, that’s all Goldberg knows. “Its genetic sequence didn’t match anything in any known databases. So it could be a known species of tick that hasn’t been genetically characterized yet, or a completely new species,” he says.
Go to the link at “More…” above and check out a picture of the thing. While ticks are ingeniously designed, they’re so ugly! Ugh. They make me shudder.
Wow. I hadn’t heard about the NRA-sponsored NBC show “Under Wild Skies” until today. It features NRA proponents shuttled into “wild” hunting grounds so they and shoot innocent animals in the face from just feet away.
Wanna see an elephant get blown away? Go here.
The show makes it all about gun:
“Positively lethal. Great to handle. Beautiful gun. And the 577 was made to shoot ivory.”
“Made to shoot ivory?” Behind that “ivory” is a sentient being with a life and a family.
This goes in my Outrage Overload category.
Oh, and just hours ago NBC canceled the show. But what were they thinking when they debuted it? Hey, I know. They were PAID BY THE F’ING NRA.
Geezus America. You’re losing your mind!!!!!
Pretty darn fascinating:
In humans, whispering has evolved as a counteractive strategy against eavesdropping. Some evidence for whisper-like behavior exists in a few other species, but has not been reported in non-human primates. We discovered the first evidence of whisper-like behavior in a non-human primate, the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus), in the course of investigating their use of human-directed mobbing calls. We exposed a family of captive cotton-top tamarins to a supervisor who previously elicited a strong mobbing response. Simultaneous audio–video recordings documented the animals’ behavioral and vocal responses in the supervisor’s presence and absence. Rather than exhibiting a mobbing response and producing loud human-directed mobbing calls, the tamarins exhibited other anti-predator behaviors and produced low amplitude vocalizations that initially eluded our detection. A post-hoc analysis of the data was conducted to test a new hypothesis—the tamarins were reducing the amplitude of their vocalizations in the context of exposure to a potential threat. Consistent with whisper-like behavior, the amplitude of the tamarins’ vocalizations was significantly reduced only in the presence of the supervisor.
Three innocent black bears have been shot and killed in my town in the last month. They were looking for food, preparing for their winter hibernation.
We live on their land. We leave edible trash on our curbs and in our alleys. Easy pickin’s. Momma bears teach their kids about those easy pickin’s and so it goes, generation after generation.
Please people. Don’t do this. It isn’t funny:
This guy deserved what he got. I am totally on the bear’s side here.
John O. Matson Jr., from Charlestown, Rhode Island, was listed in fair condition at an Anchorage hospital on Wednesday after suffering head and leg injuries and undergoing head surgery.
The 46-year-old hunter was attackedby the bear on Monday during a guided hunt near Beaver Mountain, about 40 miles southwest of the interior town of McGrath [Alaska].
This is adorable. Clearly these two animals are communicating with each other and enjoying each other’s company. (Volume warning. The traffic in the foreground is pretty loud.)
This is Al watching the hubby grate some cheese this afternoon:
We didn’t give him any but it was really hard not to.
Puppies weigh in: Right? Wrong?