Why would anyone buy products from China?
Note To My Critics:
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Why would anyone buy products from China?
Friday, August 27, 2010
Newborn Calves Abused
The Humane Society of the United States praised the Vermont attorney general for charging two former slaughter plant operators with felony and misdemeanor criminal animal cruelty in connection to The HSUS' investigation of a dairy calf slaughter plant last October.
According to Vermont's attorney general, Christopher Gaudette has been charged with one count of felony aggravated cruelty and two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Frank Perretta has been charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and arrest warrants have been issued for both defendants.
"The abuse of the animals at Bushway was appalling, and justice had to be done," stated Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "We are grateful to Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell for filing charges against the individuals responsible for this unconscionable abuse."
The charges stem from The HSUS' undercover investigation that revealed dairy calves only a few days old — many with their umbilical cords still hanging from their bodies — unable to stand or walk on their own. The footage documented that newborn calves too weak to stand were kicked, slapped and repeatedly shocked with electric prods and subjected to other mistreatment. Christopher Gaudette was caught pouring water on one calf to increase the intensity of the shocking device.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture suspended operations at the plant last October.
- When dairy cows give birth to male calves, the calves are often sold to veal factory farms where they are unable to turn around or stretch their limbs, or they are slaughtered for "bob veal" within a week of being born.
- About 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered in the United States annually, approximately 15 percent of whom are bob veal calves.
- Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine and Michigan have passed laws phasing out the use of restrictive veal crate confinement systems, but still allow transport and slaughter of calves at any age.
Posted by Patty Ann at 8:30 PM
Friday, August 20, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
In Littleton, Colorado, Buster the Chihuahua mix went out early on a Saturday morning for his regular bathroom break. While outside taking care of his business, the Chihuahua was brutally attacked by a coyote in his owner’s backyard. Luckily for Buster, the neighbor’s Pit Bulls were also out doing their morning ritual at the same time, and they chased the coyote as it ran off with Buster.
pitbulls and chihuahuasDuring the course of the chase the coyote released Buster, dropping him in a field. The heroism of the Pit Bulls doesn’t stop here though. Not only did they force the coyote away from the property and cause him to release Buster, they stood guard over him, waiting for help to arrive.
Buster is being treated for a collapsed lung and chest injuries. With antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications and a lot of rest he should be good as new in no time – thanks to his Pittie buddies next door!
As far as I am concerned there are two take away lessons from this story:
1) Never, EVER leave your dog outside unattended in an area known for coyote attacks. The more we encroach on wildlife areas, the more we are going to see wildlife in our backyards. Attacks like this can happen anywhere, and you need to keep an eye on your dog ESPECIALLY if you live in an area prone to attacks.
2) Pit Bulls are amazingly smart, courageous and loyal creatures that simply do not deserve ANY of the negative press they receive. The story of these dogs will hopefully begin to improve their tarnished image in the eyes of many people who choose to simply believe the horror stories the mainstream media feeds them. Pit Bulls aren’t born to kill, they are trained to kill by ignorant people with no respect for living creatures. The dogs that saved Buster show the true spirit that encompasses a breed of dog that was once termed a “nanny dog” because of their care, calm demeanor and loving nature toward children.
Posted by Patty Ann at 10:01 PM
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Pedigree dogs are suffering from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding, an investigation has found. A BBC documentary says they are suffering acute problems because looks are emphasised over health when breeding dogs for shows. The programme shows spaniels with brains too big for their skulls and boxers suffering from epilepsy. The Kennel Club says it works tirelessly to improve the health of pedigree dogs.....
Documentary - BBC - Pedigree Dogs Exposed
bordercollie19 | MySpace Video
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Thursday, Aug. 05, 2010
By Jeffrey Kluger
Not long ago, I spent the morning having coffee with Kanzi. Kanzi is a fellow of few words — 384 of them by formal count, though he probably knows dozens more. He has a very clear, very expressive and very loud voice, but it's not especially good for forming words, which is the way of things when you're a bonobo.
But Kanzi is talkative all the same. He keeps a sort of glossary close at hand — three laminated sheets filled with hundreds of colorful symbols that represent all the words he's been taught or picked up on his own. He can build thoughts and sentences, even conjugate, all by pointing. (See a portfolio of smart animals.)
Kanzi knows the value of breaking the ice. So he points to the coffee icon on his glossary and then points to me. He then sweeps his arm wider, taking in primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, an investigator at the Great Ape Trust —the research center in Des Moines, Iowa, that Kanzi calls home — and lab supervisor Tyler Romine. Romine fetches four coffees, takes one to Kanzi in his enclosure on the other side of a Plexiglas window, and then rejoins us. Kanzi sips and, since our voices are picked up by microphones, he listens as we talk. (Comment on this story.)
"He's been stubborn this morning," Savage-Rumbaugh tells me, "and we couldn't get him to come out to the yard. So we had to negotiate a piece of honeydew melon in exchange." Honeydew is not yet on Kanzi's word list; instead, he points to the glyphs for green, yellow and watermelon. (See photos of the animals of Kenya: up close and personal.)
Kanzi is by no means the first ape to have been taught language. But the Trust takes a novel approach, raising apes from birth with spoken and symbolic language as a constant feature of their days. Just as human mothers take babies on walks and chatter to them about what they see even though the child does yet not understand, so too do the scientists at the Trust narrate the lives of their bonobos. With such total immersion, the apes are learning to communicate better, faster and with greater complexity. (See photos of the amazing moms of the animal kingdom.)
Humans have a fraught relationship with beasts. They are our companions and our laborers. We love them and cage them, admire them and abuse them. And, of course, we cook and eat them. Our dodge has always been that animals are ours to do with as we please simply because they don't suffer the way we do. They don't think, not in any meaningful way. (Watch a video on how animals learn language.)
But one by one, the berms we've built between ourselves and the beasts are being washed away. Humans are the only animals that use tools, we used to say. But what about the birds and apes that we now know do as well? And as for humans as the only beasts with language? Kanzi himself could tell you that's not true.
All of that is forcing us to look at animals in a new way. It's not enough to study an animal's brain; we need to know its mind.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It's not news that pigs are among the most intelligent, sensitive creatures on earth. Well, unless you're the type of scientist who still needs experiments to learn that mice feel pain and suffer. But Science Daily reported that new research from Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development shows "that pigs are capable of complex emotions which are directly influenced by their living conditions."
Dr. Catherine Douglas and her team set up a Pavlov's dog type of experiment where they taught a group of pigs to associate certain sounds with certain outcomes. A note on a glockenspiel meant a treat and a dog training clicker meant the unpleasant rustling of a plastic bag. Then, half the animals were put in a pig-friendly environment with toys, straw and room to roam and play. The other half were given less space, no straw and only a single boring toy to share. Regardless of what the pigs had previously learned about sound associations, when a new sound was played, the pigs living the good life responded with curiosity and excitement, expecting a treat, and the group who didn't have it so good acted fearful, expecting it to be another plastic-bag-rustling unpleasant experience.
"It's a response we see all the time in humans where how we are feeling affects our judgment of ambiguous events," said Dr. Douglas. "This 'glass half empty versus glass half full' interpretation of life reflects our complex emotional states, and our study shows that we can get the same information from pigs."
Perhaps my favorite part of this report is that Dr. Douglas referred to the reactions of the pigs as "optimistic" and "pessimistic." Those are terms usually reserved for humans, so to hear a researcher apply them to non-human animals means that at least one study has gotten past the myth that animal reactions are just shallow, physiological responses.
Dr. Douglas hopes her study can help improve the welfare of pigs and other farm animals. Factory farmers often defend their use of gestation crates — confinement systems where a sow cannot walk, turn around or move while her piglets nurse — by saying that sows kept in larger groups will become aggressive toward each other. These farmers need to consider that their pigs aren't living a glass-half-full kind of life; the conditions on these farms would put anyone in a miserable mood. And thanks to this study, they don't just have to take animal activists' word for it.
Now that researchers have proven what we've known all along about pigs, maybe it will help more people realize that there's not much difference between the pigs who are raised for food, the dogs who are our companions, and us. Pigs deserve to have their glasses more than half full.