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Part 2. Against Speciesism: Why All Individuals Are Unique and Special

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Why All Individuals Are Unique and Special

ANIMALS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. Biologists try to organize and make sense of this variety by classifying animals as members of different phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, species, and subspecies. In this way, scientists create our “family tree,” which shows how the various types of animals are related and where they diverge. Often scientists use words like “simple” and “complex,” or “higher” and “lower,” to characterize different species based on particular traits, such as the complexity of the nervous system or the size of the brain relative to the size of the body. Within biological classification systems, these words are useful. However, they are also often translated into qualitative judgments: “higher” becomes “better” or “more valuable”; “lower” becomes “lesser” or “easily discarded.” In the essays in this part, I argue that this usage is misleading, incorrect, and inappropriate. It is “speciesism,” which serves little purpose except to justify the killing or bad treatment of certain classes of animals that humans find either useful or inconvenient. We should not use species membership to make decisions about how an animal can be treated, or more pointedly, what level of mistreatment is permissible. Rather, we should approach each animal as an individual with unique characteristics and an inherent value equal to all other beings. Individual animals do what they need to do to be card-carrying members of their respective species. Within their species, this has the most value, and no individual is “better” or “more valuable” than the rest. Just as all species count, all individuals count, and all beings are unique and special in their own ways.

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7. Understanding Homeopathy for Your Dog

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

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omeopathic remedies can heal many of your dogs health problems quickly, without invasive methods or drug side effects.You can use homeopathy to treat your dog for a wide variety of common ailments. For more complicated problems, its best to seek out an experienced homeopathic practitioner. Many homeopaths treat both people and animals, and many holistic veterinarians use at least some homeopathy.

THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF HOMEOPATHY

Homeopathy is a type of medicine developed in the 1800s by a German scientist named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. He is particularly known for creating an extensive Materia Medica (materials of medicine), a list of homeopathic remedies and the symptoms they could cause or cure. In the late 1800s, veterinary homeopathy was established by Baron von Boenninghausen, and by the early 1900s homeopathic remedies formulated specifically for animals had become available.

Homeopathic remedies may be of animal, mineral, or plant origin and they are prescribed for every conceivable type of illness, including mental and emotional conditions.

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10. Breed-Specific Health Problems

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

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he process of adopting a dog starts with deciding whether you want a mixed-breed dog or a purebred dog. Mixed-breed dogs, also known as mutts, mongrels, and Heinz 57s, are just as the names implya mixture of breeds. Mixed-breed dogs have a significantly larger genetic background than purebred dogs, so they are not as prone to health problems as purebred dogs. Purebred dogs are man-made dogs whose genetic background is limited by the breed and the specific line within the breed that is created by the breeder. Purebreds can easily become inbred, which exaggerates both positive traits and weaknesses, for example a predisposition to illness.

Mixed-breed dogs, although generally healthier than purebred dogs, have high incidences of the most common health problems. If you have a mixed-breed dog and can connect her to a specific breed, or breeds, such as a German-shepherd mix or a Labrador-retriever and golden-retriever mix, familiarize yourself with the health problems for the breed(s) your dog is related to.

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5: Trade in Some Key Animal Products: Dairy, Wool and Fur

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Some Key Animal

Products: Dairy, Wool and Fur

5

5.1  Introduction

The primary purpose of keeping agricultural animals has been for the production of meat. However, two key commodities, milk and wool, were highly instrumental in the development of the farming of animals because they did not require the animal to be destroyed. Both were involved in the original domestication of sheep and cattle and have remained of major significance to this day. A third commodity, fur, developed because of the need for people to keep warm, and the use of animal skins for this purpose dates back to before domestication, when hunters in cooler climes had no alternatives to keep warm other than the use of animal skins. In contrast to milk and wool, which can be obtained without animal slaughter, the terminal consequences of obtaining an animal’s skin and, nowadays, limited need to use fur to keep warm because of the many alternatives available, has given users of fur the image of decadence and cruelty as a result of the trapping and farming methods used.

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Part 9. Who We Eat Is a Moral Question

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

HUMANS PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to the food they choose to eat. I call this a “moral question” because the animals who wind up in our mouth are sentient beings who quite often suffered enormously on the way to our stomach — either on factory farms and in slaughterhouses where they see, hear, and smell others get slaughtered, or when they’re writhing on the deck of a boat or a dock after they’ve been pulled from their watery homes. Animals aren’t objects. When I give lectures and very gently remind people that they’re eating formerly sentient beings, it often gets very quiet because we’re so accustomed to asking “What’s for dinner?” not “Who’s for dinner?” After these discussions I’ve had people tell me they’ll never eat animals again. I fully realize that our meal plans raise many difficult questions that we wish would just go away, but they won’t, and each of us needs to be responsible for the choices we make. It’s easy to show in a compassionate and gentle way how a vegetarian or vegan diet can work for just about everybody.

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1. Feeding Your Dog for Naturally Great Health

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

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ou are what you eat. Its a common saying that few people take seriously, and yet good nutrition is the foundation for good health. If your dog doesnt have a soft, shiny, clean coat, eyes that are bright, clear, and alert, clean teeth, pink gums, and a lean, muscular body, then she is not in good health.The good news is that you can restore and maintain your dogs health through proper nutrition.

Most commercial dog food is low in nutrients and high in additives and preservatives. Dog-food companies are not required to make human-grade dog food, meaning it is not fit for human consumption; and yet, with a few exceptions your dogs body functions much the same as yours and has similar nutritional requirements for optimal health.

A dog isnt conditioned to complain about her aches and pains as we are, and she will instinctively hide physical problems, because in any pack of animals the predators look for the weakest members. That is why it is important to do a quick, head-to-tail health check of your dog each month. Start with the head and look for clean teeth, dark pink gums, bright clear eyes, and clean ears.Work your way back, looking for any signs of weight gain or loss, a soft, shiny, clean, mat-free coat and a clean underbelly free of fleas and flea dirt. As youre going over your dogs coat, take note of how it smells. Unless she has recently rolled in something potent, it should not have any odor.That doggy smell is a sure sign of ill health. Last, and the least desirable, check your dogs rear end to be sure it is clean, with no sign of worms.

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5. The Importance of a Strong Immune System

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

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upport of the immune system is one of the most important roles that proper nutrition plays in your dogs health. The immune system protects your dog from illness and supports the repair of her body when it is injured. Our environment is always teeming with microscopic organisms that have the potential to infect your dog with any number of minor to life-threatening diseases. How your dogs immune system responds to these organisms determines her health.

Have you noticed that when a cold or flu is going around, some people always get it and others never get sick? Those who stay well have an active, healthy immune system to protect them. Those who get sick from infectious diseases have an immune system that is in less than optimal condition.

The immune system is a complex network within the body that produces millions of cells each day. Each cells mission is to seek out and destroy foreign invaders called antigens. An antigen, which is short for antibody generating, is a foreign invader in the body, such as a bacteria, fungus, parasite, pollen, or virus. Elimination of antigens is accomplished primarily by white blood cells that use the lymphatic and blood vessels to move through the body. One drop of blood contains 5,000 to 10,000 white blood cells, and two-thirds of them are part of the immune system.

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8: Trade in Horses, Cats and Dogs

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Horses, Cats and

Dogs

8

8.1  Introduction

Horses, cats and dogs share a common usage as companion animals but they can also variously be used as racing animals (horses and dogs), for meat production

(horses mostly, sometimes dogs and very occasionally cats), milk production (horses) and fur production (cats and dogs). Because these animals supply specialist markets, not mainstream like cattle and chickens, trade is often local. The trade is often not regulated as well as the livestock trade, frequently covert and sometimes illegal.

8.2  Horses

Horse trading has a long history, with evidence of activity in central Asia around

1000 bce (Wagner et al., 2011). The close relation between owner and horse makes the transaction very reliant on the owner’s report of the characteristics of the horse. The potential for deceit in this activity has given the term ‘horse trading’ special meaning in relation to business deals.

According to the World Horse Organization (WHO, 2015), there are now approximately 58 million horses worldwide, with 16% in the USA, 13% in China,

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10: The Future of Animal Trade

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

The Future of Animal Trade

10

10.1  Introduction

The past has seen some dramatic changes in world trade in animals. This chapter considers what will shape the future of the animal trade and what changes in the trade are likely. Continuation of current trends does not seem to be an option. Worldwide meat and milk production have been growing, as outlined in

Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. Even taking into account increasing population, meat availability per capita has been increasing steadily over the last 50 years to approximately double what it was at the beginning of the 1960s; milk availability per capita has increased by about 20% over the last 10 years (Fig. 10.1). The increasing livestock production requires prodigious quantities of feed grain and there is still potential for meat consumption to increase in many developing regions of the world, e.g. sub-Saharan Africa. The steadily increasing trajectory for meat availability per capita has been consistent over the last 50 years (Fig. 10.1), and it will therefore take extreme measures if this is to be changed.

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Part 8. The Lives of Captive Creatures: Why Are They Even There?

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

Why Are They Even There?

BILLIONS OF ANIMALS are kept in various captive situations, ranging from laboratories to zoos and aquariums, from circuses and rodeos to our own homes. We keep animals for a variety of reasons: in the name of science, in the name of entertainment, in the name of food (see part 9), or because they’re our companions. However, the lives of captive animals are often compromised. They may suffer from confinement, the lack of exercise, from being kept alone without friends, and from being mistreated (or deliberately “broken,” as happens in circuses, so they do what’s needed to entertain us). Here I’m primarily concerned with wild and domestic animals who are kept for purposes of entertaining humans. Today, there is increasing scrutiny of zoos and their purpose. Particularly in light of the uneven levels of animal care, the untimely deaths of zoo animals, and even the occasional death of their human caretakers, we must ask what zoos are really good for. I hope that this sample of essays shows that captive animals deserve much better treatment than they receive and that this should lead us to question why we hold them captive in the first place.

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Part 6. The Emotional Lives of Animals: The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

The Ever-Expanding Circle of Sentience Includes Depressed Bees and Empathic Chickens

ANIMALS HAVE rich and deep emotional lives. We’ve known this for a long time, and solid scientific research is supporting our intuitions. The different species of animals that fall into the emotional area, the circle of sentience, is constantly expanding, and we’re learning more and more about the incredible diversity of emotions they experience, ranging from joy and happiness to empathy and compassion to grief and despair. Emotions serve as social glue and are the reasons we’re so attracted to other animals. It’s also why they are drawn to us. Our own emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. How lucky we are to have inherited our own passionate lives from these awe-inspiring beings.

One surprising member of the expanding circle of sentience is the honeybee, who, it turns out, isn’t always a happy worker, collecting pollen and making honey with legendary industriousness. Bees can become just as depressed on the job as people. Bees also use their right antenna to tell friend from foe. Please read on.

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6. A Flea-Free Household

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

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ight now, you probably feel less affection for the flea than you do the mosquito.You think of fleas as blood-sucking creatures that were put on this earth to torment you and your dog. A flea is a parasite, so in a way you are right. Parasites are organisms that survive on another organism without contributing anything. I felt tortured and tormented by fleas until one wonderful hot summer came and went without one flea bath, daily vacuuming, or trip to the vet.We had a flea-free summer. Not once did my dog look at me with those sad, please-help-me eyes, after biting and scratching for ten minutes.

My miracle cure was garlic. Knowing the great health benefits of garlic, I had recently started giving my dog garlic with every meal and found that it is a highly effective way to have a healthier, flea-free dog.

Fleas are tiny, brown, wingless insects that thrive on blood and can jump 100 times their height to get to the source of the blood. Pet owners collectively spend millions of dollars every year on an endless quest to rid their furry friends of this minuscule menace.These tiny insects not only cause endless aggravation, they can cause your dog to become seriously ill. Dogs that are allergic to flea saliva experience severe itching and welts from each flea bite.The allergic reaction is triggered by a chemical in the fleas saliva that prevents the dogs blood from clotting until the flea has finished its meal. If left untreated, the dog will chew her skin raw, creating open sores and the possibility of infection.The dogs skin isnt the only thing affected.The immune system becomes weaker and over-sensitized with every bite, leaving the dog vulnerable to additional chronic health problems. On the outside, the dog is biting and scratching, and on the inside the immune system is working overtime to fight the allergic reaction and heal the sores caused by the itching and biting.

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1: The History of Animal Trade

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

The History of Animal Trade

1

1.1  Introduction

Our ancestors existed as hunter gatherers, and before that as anthropoid apes. The hunter gatherers had varied diets, which gave them security as a population against climatic extremes that favoured certain plant and animal types (Milton, 2000). The costs and risks of procuring meat and animal products were high and many were primarily gatherers. However, meat, once it was obtained, was a concentrated source of energy and protein, the most important nutrients that they required for survival. Not only did hunter gatherers in different parts of the world have quite varied diets, depending on availability, they were also free to migrate to utilize different fauna and flora sources, depending on the season and weather patterns.

Settled agriculture, adopted over a period of just a few thousand years beginning about 10,000 years ago, offered the opportunity for higher yields from plants and animals that were farmed in small areas. However, the static nature of this activity and the enhanced resource requirements of this form of food production, in the form of a regular water supply and a nutrient-rich soil, increased exposure to climatic and seasonal extremes. The inevitable variation in productivity could only be absorbed into a successful existence if humans cooperated with neighbouring groups, so that food surpluses in one region were transported to others where the need was greater. Thus our cognitive skills in organizing this trade, coupled with our highly social behaviour, combined to make plant and animal raising a viable alternative to hunter gathering when societies cooperated by trading in surplus goods.

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8. Prevention and Treatment of Life-Threatening Dog Diseases

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

T

hese days dogs rarely die from old age, they die prematurely from cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, liver disease, and gastric bloat and torsion. As the lifespan of people has been climbing over the years, the expected lifespan for dogs has been decreasing. While advanced medical technology and better nutrition have made major contributions to peoples increased lifespan, advances in veterinary medicine have not been accompanied by better nutrition for dogs. A few months ago, I was in an animal hospital that was selling a dry dog food with peanut hulls as one of the ingredients. Clearly conventional veterinarians cant be depended on to educate us about the nutritional needs of our dogs, so we need to educate ourselves and bring that knowledge back to our veterinarians.

One way to start educating yourself about how to significantly delay the onset of illnesses that can shorten your dogs life is to follow my nutritional guidelines. They will help you keep your dog at optimal health in all phases of life and life situations.

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4. Special Nutritional Needs

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

D

ogs, like people, have changing nutritional needs in the varying stages of their lives.Younger dogs have a lot of energy and require foods that promote their growth, pregnant dogs need proper nutrition to create new life, and older dogs are sedentary and need easily absorbed nutrients. If your dog becomes ill, her body will need the proper nutrients to heal. In this chapter you will learn how to make adjustments to your dogs diet to meet her special nutritional needs.

PUPPIES

Puppies are irresistible to even the grumpiest of people.They make the sick forget their pain and the elderly feel young. These fun-loving balls of fur need a puppyhood filled with the same pure joy and happiness that they give us. A key to your puppys happiness, health, and longevity is to build a strong body and a strong immune system with high-quality food and a stress-free environment. (You will learn more about the immune system in Chapter 5, The Importance of a Strong Immune System.)

Your puppys immune system will get its foundation for health from its mother in the first twenty-four hours after birth. Just as with humans, these critical hours are the only time the mother produces a special milk called colostrum. Colostrum gets the immune system off to a strong start by providing antibodies and other immune-supporting nutrients that will guard against disease as the immune system matures.

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