The Horrific Life of Male Chicks

In the last 50 years, there has been a huge transition away from small family farms to large industrial complexes, where chickens are treated as mere meat- and egg-producing machines. And the majority of chickens now live indoors, in tiny wire cages or overly cramped sheds.
In a recent article, Al Jazeera highlights the horrific lives of male chickens bred and killed on today’s factory farms.
“Males of the egg-laying breeds are of little value, as only a few roosters are required for reproduction. A day after they’re hatched, chicks are sexed (their gender determined), with the unfortunate males heading straight to the grinder for use as animal feed.”
In the United States, this equates to several hundred million chicks killed every year.
While the article suggests that improvements in technology could limit the number of male births, it remains that the best thing we can do to protect chickens right now is simply to not eat them or their eggs.
Ed Note: Awww, breaks my heart, poor little guys! I rescued a feral baby rooster in early December, who stranded himself outside my bedroom window. His name is Falcon and he’s been a real joy to raise, and he’s also caused me to stop eating chicken entirely – ok, I still eat eggs (and so does he!).
An alternative to store bought, factory farmed eggs is buying eggs from local farmers, try searching craigslist for someone in your area selling eggs. Better yet, try raising a couple hens if your city ordinances permit have chickens in your area. They’re actually pretty cool creatures to have around, I absolutely love the feral chickens here on Kauai. Interesting creatures that also symbolize magic in many indigenous cultures.

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Feb 18, 2015

 (Reuters) – The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said on Wednesday.

Some 940 stranded sea lions, mostly pups, have been treated by marine mammal centers in California so far this year, according to Justin Viezbicke, West Coast Stranding Coordinator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That is well above the 240 strandings typically seen through April, and scientists suspect the emaciated pups are prematurely leaving Southern California sea lion rookeries to seek food on their own after their mothers failed to return swiftly from hunting trips to nurse.

“These little pups, so desperate and so thin, are leaving the rookeries long before they’re capable of hunting effectively,” said Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, which has treated 220 stranded animals. “It’s alarming because we haven’t seen this number of stranded pups this early in 40 years.”

The strandings are unusual because the pups, born last June, aren’t supposed to be completely weaned until May.

Satellite data show sea lion mothers are foraging in traditional hunting grounds, but likely spending longer periods away, said Sharon Melin, a biologist with NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle.

Fish populations are likely being disrupted by a layer of ocean water, some 100 meters (330 feet) deep, that is 2 to 5 degrees warmer than usual this time of year along the Pacific Coast from Baja to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, said NOAA climatologist Nate Mantua.

The change was caused by a weather pattern involving weak northern and strong southern winds that are creating warmer-than-normal conditions.

It’s unclear how many stranded animals will die among the 300,000-strong sea lion population. In 2013, some 70 percent of nursing pups perished in what NOAA declared

Rescued sea lion pups at the Marine Mammal Care Center ( MMCC/Photo

an “unusual mortality event” linked to strandings.

Melin said pups checked on San Miquel Island this month were 44 percent below average weight at seven months old, marking the lowest growth rate since scientists began recording such measurements in the 1990s.

Most of the stranded pups have been recovered in Southern California, but the pups also swim or are carried further north, and may eventually turn up in Washington state and Oregon, according to Johnson.

“We’re braced for more,” Johnson said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)

Ed. note: Typical propaganda from Rueters aimed at keeping the masses asleep, unaware that the oceans are in a state of collapse from Fukushima radiation, over fishing, garbage, toxins, mercury etc. The fact is sea lion stranding’s are getting worse every year and the public is being lied to, once again.

Lest we forget, Reuters is owned by the Rothschilds.

Mystery of the sick and starving sea lion pups: Hundreds rescued from California coast

Note: What’s never mentioned to the public in the official reports, is that planet Earth is going thru a mass extinction event which began in the early 1900’s  when scientists first began recording mass die-offs – before the toxins of the industrial revolution contaminated the environment. We are at the end of an age and about to pass through the Omega point, to begin anew at the Alpha point and the beginning of a new aeon. There is something much bigger unfolding in the unseen realms, something we must hold faith in.

Which isn’t easy when witnessing are beloved friends in the nature kingdom suffering to such a degree. As a lifelong lover and defender of nature, each time I see a mass die-off or entire populations struggling with starvation, it’s ALWAYS very difficult and disturbing to see.

But, deep down I KNOW in my heart of hearts, that behind the veils of illusion a Higher Order is unfolding. In her long history, our Mother Earth has been through several mass extinction events, and each time She transformed the planet into higher realms of diversity and even more complex life forms. I sense that many animal spirits are crossing over to inhabit the New Earth and that all is unfolding with Divine Purpose. It’s important to have faith and trust in the process unfolding before us.

For myself, as a caretaker for our avian sisters and brothers on our aina, on a daily basis I see birds starving in what remains of their old habitats. Which are now covered with roads, malls, airports, shopping centers, gas stations, and houses with well manicured lawns which have eliminated all the seed stock that once fed our fine feathered friends. And, the pesticides and herbicides not only killed, but poisoned their remaining food supply.  So in addition to being more diseased than ever before by a toxic environment, the birds are STARVING to death too.

When I throw seeds for the birds and table scraps for the feral chickens, it always breaks my heart to see their desperation in making their way to the food. We are supposed to be stewards of our home planet, but unfortunately, humanity has done a miserable job at caretaking for the nature kingdom. We’ve been too busy or distracted over the last few decades to pay attention and we trusted the corporate government to be responsible in regulating industrial waste. And this “Let nature take care of itself” mentality coming from city dwellers has been entirely destructive in nature.

Now, that mentality has run it’s course and humans have destroyed the web of life which supported every living species in a delicate balance, as a result of our collective complacency, we are finally witnessing mass extinction and starvation events.  How all of this will resolve itself and what that will look like, is beyond my perception. So I hold faith that we are all Co-Creating a new paradigm that will also bring in the frequency and skills necessary to heal our beautiful planet, so it’s inhabitants may thrive.

Thank God for the star kids, they are truly the Ones who will manifest miraculous healing for our Mother Earth….Blessings, {~A~}


Researchers have been left baffled as hundreds of sick and starving sea lion pups continue to wash up on California beaches in what is proving to be a particularly deadly winter for the pinnipeds.

In January, rescuers netted more than 250 frail pups from San Diego to San Francisco Bay, mostly seven-month-olds that should have been nursing with their mothers in the Channel Islands or Mexico.

Although this is the third year of mass die-offs of pups, the 2015 figures are the worst so far. They have even prompted the National Marine Fisheries Service to declare a rare ‘unusual mortality event’.

The reason behind the increasing die-offs is unknown. Many scientists believe warmer-than-average waters are forcing mother sea lions to venture farther out for food, leaving their offspring behind.

Others say the fish the seals eat may be feeding farther from the islands than in the past, leading to the same problem. And some theorize the pups may be suffering from an unidentified disease.

Speaking of the sick pups, Erica Donnelly-Greenan, who manages the Sausalito-based Marine Mammal Center’s rescue station, said: ‘They just look very emaciated, very underweight.’

She added: ‘You can see the bones under their skin. You can get a visual of their ribs.’

Dozens of wayward pups have been found at the center, situated along Monterey Bay. The nonprofit responded to 120 pups in the first five or six weeks of 2015, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

It is currently treating the pups – many of which washed ashore weighing just 15 or 16 pounds compared to a healthy 40 pounds – with antibiotics. The sickest are being force-fed with tubes.

‘Our numbers are twice what they were in 2013,’ said David Bard, operations director of the San Pedro center. ‘In 2013, we saw an unprecedented number of rescues, it was a record then.’

Meanwhile, more than 50 malnourished sea lion pups have been placed in a holding pen at Sea World San Diego since the beginning of the year after being rescued on beaches along the city’s coast.

‘When they came in, they couldn’t raise their heads, so to see them start grooming and barking, that means they’re feeling much better, much more themselves,’ Sea World vet Dr. Hendrik Rollens said. ‘They are ready to go back to the wild.’

Because young sea lions typically do not wean off their mothers until they are 10 or 11 months old, they could struggle for survival if left by their mothers while they search farther afield for food.

‘The pups are desperate and starving, so they just jump in the water and swim and get pulled to the coastline,’ said Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary medicine for the Marine Mammal Center.

Speaking to SFGate, she added: ‘This is the third year that we’ve seen these mass die-offs, but this is the worst so far. If this continues, there will be some long-term effects on the sea lion population.’

Justin Viezbicke, stranding network coordinator for NOAA Fisheries, said the population of sea lions might have reached its capacity in the animals’ environment, sparking the mass die-offs.

‘These animals are a puzzle piece for us,’ Mr Viezbicke said. ‘They provide insight into what’s going on in the environment… These things could come back and affect humans.’

Despite the current situation, sea lions in California have been relatively healthy in recent decades, with the population at 300,000 today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

In 1972, Marine Mammal Protection Act helped boost the pinnipeds’ numbers by banning hunters from killing the animals for their hide and blubber. NOAA is investigating the mass die-offs.


I got a kick out of Mary Greely’s narrative on this story, here’s a reading with an “attiTude” I can agree with.

Killing wolves will come back to haunt farmers and ranchers

Killing wolves to save livestock will lead to greater killing of livestock, guest columnist Amaroq Weiss writes, pointing to a new scientific study.

FOR decades, whenever wolves preyed on livestock, the routine response among many ranchers and wildlife managers across the West has been brutally simple: kill the wolves.

More dead wolves equal fewer dead cows and sheep, the reasoning went.

And in many cases the reasoning is likely dead wrong, according to research published recently by a leading Washington state wolf scientist.

Confounding widely held beliefs, the new study indicates lethal responses to livestock predation by wolves often lead to an increase in attacks, or depredations.

It’s a message that may not be heard in Washington, where state wildlife managers responded to livestock depredations by eradicating the Wedge pack in 2012 and killing the alpha female of the Huckleberry pack last summer. Recently, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it will swiftly move to lethal tactics if the Huckleberry pack kills any livestock next spring and, in statements to conservation groups, has said it is considering “pre-emptive” killing of wolves. Both of these policies flout the state wolf plan, which emphasizes conflict-deterrence as opposed to simply killing wolves.

Killing of wolves by the state compounds illegal wolf-killing by those few who take things into their own hands.

Reports last month that the alpha female of the trouble-free Teanaway pack was fatally shot come on the heels of a Whitman County farmer chasing a wolf for miles before killing it, and Stevens County commissioners exhorting county residents to kill wolves. Earlier this year, a wolf from the Smackout pack was found illegally killed in Stevens County and another wolf was discovered gunned down in Ferry County.

The groundbreaking research by Washington State University wolf scientist Rob Wielgus, published in the Dec. 3 issue of the scientific journal PLOS One, suggests killing wolves can have unexpected results, dissolving previously well-behaved packs and leaving small groups or lone wolves more inclined to kill livestock.

Wielgus said many states are aggressively managing wolves based on the largely untested perception that lethal control reduces depredations. His findings reflect research by other scientists showing increased black bear and cougar mortality results in more depredations.

Examining annual reports from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over 25 years, Wielgus’ analysis found that each wolf killed increased the chance of livestock depredation the following year by 5 percent. Not until the mortality rate of wolves exceeds 25 percent would livestock depredations decrease.

His study opens the door to further study and debate about whether we’re doing enough to recover wolves. A recent study I co-authored analyzing the additional good wolf habitat across the United States found that more than 25,000 square miles of suitable habitat remains unoccupied in Washington — more than five times the area currently occupied.

In all, the study identified more than 350,000 square miles of additional habitat for gray wolves in 19 states, offering the potential to nearly double the wolf population in the Lower 48 states to around 10,000 by expanding recovery into suitable areas of the West Coast, Northeast, southern Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon area where the first gray wolf in the region in more than 70 years was just confirmed.

But, as we consider expanding wolf recovery to levels that leading scientists deem more sustainable, we must first expand our approach to wolf management.

And, as our knowledge of how human activities impact wildlife continues to evolve, Washington’s wolf-management policies must evolve toward serving not just hunters and ranchers opposed to wolves but the interests of a broader range of taxpaying constituents, who demand that wildlife be managed not as a problem but as a treasured public trust.

Amaroq Weiss is a biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity where her work focuses on recovering wolves across the Northwest, Rockies and California.

Moscow’s wild dogs ride subways to city centers in search of food

Each morning, like clockwork, they board the subway, off to begin their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.</p>
<p>But these aren't just any daily commuters. These are stray dogs who live in the outskirts of Moscow Russia and commute on the underground trains to and from the city centre in search of food scraps.</p>
<p>Then after a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.</p>
<p>Experts studying the dogs, who usually choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train, say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop – after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.</p>
<p>Scientists believe this phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.</p>
<p>Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway – to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”</p>
<p>Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.”</p>
<p>The dogs have also amazingly learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.</p>
<p>With children the dogs “play cute” by putting their heads on youngsters’ knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy – and scraps.</p>
<p>Dr Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.”</p>
<p>SOURCE : <a href=’s-wild-dogs-ride-subways-to-city-center-in-search-of-food/" width="444" height="302" />

Each morning, like clockwork, they board the subway, off to begin their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

But these aren’t just any daily commuters. These are stray dogs who live in the outskirts of Moscow Russia and commute on the underground trains to and from the city centre in search of food scraps.

Then after a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs, who usually choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train, say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop – after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.

Scientists believe this phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.

Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway – to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”

Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.”

The dogs have also amazingly learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.

With children the dogs “play cute” by putting their heads on youngsters’ knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy – and scraps.

Dr Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.”

SOURCE :’s-wild-dogs-ride-subways-to-city-center-in-search-of-food/

Why Chipotle Has Seriously Shaken Up the Fast Food Industry

The fast food chain recently made a move regarding the sourcing of sustainably-raised pork.
Chipotle is trying to live within their motto “Food with Integrity.” According to their website, they buy from “farmers whose pigs are raised outside or in deeply bedded pens, are never given antibiotics and are fed a vegetarian diet. It’s the way animals were raised before huge factory farms changed the industry. We believe pigs that are cared for in this way enjoy happier, healthier lives and produce the best pork we’ve ever tasted.”

Yeah, I know that the “deeply bedded pens” is a troubling phrase. It means that the animals can be kept inside, but not on metal floors with no bedding. That “slatted floor” system is usual in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The mama pigs are kept in pens—gestation crates—for their pregnancy where they barely have room to move from a standing position to lying down. From the top, the mamas look like hot dog buns in a package, almost attached side to side. Then they are supposed to move to a birthing crate—called a farrowing crate. The movement, after three months of immobility, involves a lot of abuse from handlers, according to Ten Genoways’ new book The Chain: Farm, Factory and the Fate of our Food. In fact, if you get that book, you might want to skip the part where the mamas (called sows) have to move from one crate to another.

The Chipotle move is a strong idea for a food sector usually known for unhealthy recipes, exploited workers and cheap ingredients.

Rumors had been flying around the sustainable ag community for about a year that Chipotle wasn’t living up to its mission, but I don’t eat fast food, so I didn’t pay much attention. And, now that the word is out, I haven’t been able to find out exactly how the boycott, which is truly revolutionary, came about. Chipotle has been tightlipped about which growers, exactly, broke the rules.

So where did the discovery begin? Did consumers appear at outlets with signs to protest? Or did the action come from stockholders, threatening to sell and drive the price of stock into the cellar? Or did a conscientious manager figure out that Chipotle should put their policies into action?

Whatever the reason, the announcement gave Chipotle stock a nice little pop after years of steady growth. And other fast food chains should take note. They say it’s too hard to find good meats, but that’s changing fast.

Here in Missouri, consumers are really catching on and our farmers are also! One of the factoids I picked up at a recent conference was that in our state there has been a huge increase in the amount of meat butchered locally for the local market. Three years ago, there were 9 slaughterhouses with state inspection. Today there are 39 … an increase of more than 400%.

It’s easy these days to find locally-raised meats in good restaurants and grocery stores. Fast food chains should take note.

At that same conference were a whole lot of row-croppers, the big guys with the huge combines and lots of debt, who want to get into something new. Biotech crops are not working as advertised, especially when it comes to failures in weed control. The resistant weeds are truly becoming a problem to ordinary corn-belt farmers. This year, they may adopt crops with different resistance—2,4D and dicamba have been approved. But row-croppers can see that 2,4D and dicamba, besides being dangerous, will quickly have resistance issues.

Also, commodity crop prices are unstable and the farmers have realized they don’t have diversity of markets. They’re stuck with the ups and downs, can’t set their own prices like we little guys can, selling directly to consumers that want what we raise.

I’ve had row-croppers tell me they want to sell food instead of fuel. They WANT the connection with consumers. The majority of our neighbors are afraid to speak out but they pull me aside and thank me for what we’re doing. I have always gone to all the ladies’ club meetings, so I see the wives a lot. Very sad they won’t speak out.

All this might be difficult for small farms like mine, as the big guys flex their muscles. They have the potential of raising lots and lots of local foods, consolidating the market so that little farms can’t compete. And the big guys have the muscle to change the rules so that standards like the organic standards are changed to confuse consumers.

It all remains to be seen, but the Chipotle move shows that consumers can benefit if restaurants and grocers decide to develop a conscience.

Humane pig farming

The natural healing frequencies within the Universal Consciousness


I. The effects of Infra-sound



In this article, I will introduce the healing frequencies in Infra-sound first which are important to know so that they could be used in any applications of the Zero point Energy for healing purposes. Above all, it is natural that these frequencies appear in harmony with Nature. Any frequency in harmony with Nature, is necessarily a healing frequency, as it is in resonance from microcosm to macrocosm within the Universal Consciousness Grid. As the latter is following the pattern of the flower of life to manifest itself, it is also natural that the first fundamental healing frequency of 8 Hz is linked to the fundamental geometric pattern the double tetrahedron, the Merkaba.


As the universal consciousness is distributing energy in a holographic fractal way building an infinity of double tetrahedron connected each other with no energetic gap, the result is that the other healing frequencies are necessarily the harmonics of 8 Hz.

In nature, the first example of the use of 8 Hz for therapy healing purposes is the dolphins. Why are they using this frequency, and not another ? Because they know perfectly that this frequency is the fundamental one resonating with the Universal Consciousness and it has a deep healing impact on the ethereal level. The frequency of 8 Hz has the ability to synchronize the hemispheres of the brain, and then it promotes balance, the principle of Yin/Yang that the Universal Consciousness is manifesting itself within the Infinite Energetic Grid. Another fact, as we have seen in the previous articles, the value of 8 Hz is the resonance of Earth’s electromagnetic cavity, referring to the Resonance’s Schumann. This energetic peak at this value shows the existence of a certain resonance on any energetic level within the Grid, whether physical, mental, ethereal, or spiritual.

The planet Earth is also a spiritual being, like the Human Beings with the Human Brains’s Alpha States and Theta States, having different state of consciousness, feelings and emotions. The Earth has different peaks of frequency showing the presence of harmonics 14, 20, 26, 32 Hz. Although all these values are not a harmonic of 8 Hz, they could be considered as healing frequencies as well. Indeed, the information of a certain energetic peak at these values explains a resonance with the Zero Point Energy of the Planet, itself connected with the Universal Consciousness. Today, the Zero Point Energy of Earth, the pure energetic core has a frequency around 12 Hz and is still increasing. Once, the Zero Point Energy of the planet was 8 Hz, and since 1980, it has been increasing, and even faster since 1997. It does indicate that the Earth is going through a shift in consciousness, a quantum leap led by the universal consciousness.  This frequency is not far from the second harmonic of 14 Hz, indicating a quantum leap for the planet.

Another fact, an experiment has been done by an infrasonic testing system using a low frequency microphone to test the release of the emitted qi at Qigong and non-Qigong masters from the palms of their hands, and the top frequency of the infrasonic waves from the tested qigong and non-qigong masters ranged from 8 to 12.5 Hz. ¹

The qi would be the energy emerging from the zero point energy of the universal consciousness whom the natural vibration is infrasonic wave at this low frequency. The Qigong Master, Healer Master, is able to tune in the universal consciousness and to melt into Oneness with the frequency of 8 Hz. As we have seen in the previous article, the field of Infra-sound presents the fundamental frequency of 8 Hz linked to the fundamental geometric pattern of sacred geometry, the double star tetrahedron. At this frequency, the energetic resonance between the being and the universal consciousness happens.

                  We could tell the dolphins are some Master naturally born healers. Listen the dolphins, they are themselves Master Healers, a healing Therapy for any being in Consciousness.

 ¹ Measurement and analysis of the infrasonic waves from emitted qi

Author: Niu Xin//Liu Guolong//Yu Zhiming

Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong

Date published: 1988

Website :

Salah, Glastonbury, UK

Dedicated to those without a voice…

Soul Tear for our sentient brothers and sisters in the Animal Kingdom who suffer by the ignorance of humans. Recently I’ve been dealing with this mindset from people under my own roof, and at times it’s been almost enough to make my head explode. It’s been a real challenge maintaining a sacred neutral perspective toward those who would injure my my pets, or neglect animals which live on their land.

Also, the abuses in factory farming are beyond shameful and IMHO the most overlooked issue by a majority of environmentalists. There are measures we can each take to shift the paradigm away from animal cruelty by talking to the head butchers at the local supermarket about concerns and your plans to boycott factory farmed meat products. Here’s another angle, buy from local farmers when possible. Get to know them and share your concerns, they probably have good ties with meat processing facility’s

Also, help feed a local wildlife population. Humans have encroached and built roads, buildings and homes on land that used to feed birds and other wildlife. Well manicured lawns, pesticides and herbicides have all decimated food sources for many animals who literally live their lives starving and malnourished. I keep a bag of bird see in my trunk and try to feed birds along the way, whenever possible. Here on Kauai there are people feed the feral cats, and those who feed the fish. Just doing our part as caretakers for the animal kingdom. Blessings, {~A~}

Stop export of Zimbabwe’s baby elephants ~ IFAW International Fund for Animal Welfare

baby elephant

According to news reports, 34 baby elephants, some as young as two years old, have been taken from their families for export into a life of captivity.

News reports are sketchy, it may be that this capture and export is entirely legal, but the government can still stop it.

Elephants have deep family bonds — this loss will be devastating to the elephants left behind and the captured young have a poor chance of survival.

Urge Zimbabwe’s Ministers for Environment and Tourism to stop the export and return these elephants to the wild.

The Zimbabwe government has the power to choose a more humane fate for these helpless elephants.

We have prepared a template email for you to send. If you prefer, you can personalize this copy to make it more effective. Please ensure that you are polite at all times.

S. Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate

Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism


Honourable Minister Kasukuwere and Honourable Minister Mzembi,

I am writing to urge you to use everything in your power to stop the
export of elephants from Zimbabwe.

Disturbing news reports indicate that 34 baby elephants from Zimbabwe
have been captured for export into captivity in other countries.

Elephants have deep family bonds, so the removal of so many young from
their families will be devastating to both the captured elephants and
their families left behind.

Survival chances for elephants taken into to captivity are very poor.
Many will likely die. Some news reports state that one has already died.

We know enough about elephants to know that is cruel and unnecessary in
this modern era to seize wild elephants, especially babies, for a
lifetime of captivity.

You have within your power to choose a kinder fate for these young

Elephants are part of Zimbabwe’s national heritage. Please use your
power to protect your elephants and do not allow their export.

Address 2
United States
Sign up for IFAW Action Alerts

How Much is a Jar of Honey Worth?

We are on a mission to save the bees! Join us!<br />
Learn more in these articles:<br />
1. Study strengthens link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonie: :<a href=
2. Bees more crucial to modern agriculture than fertilizer:
3. "Beepocolypse":
4. The other bees:
5. Seed treatments and neonics: #savethebees #agriculture #bees #food #gardening #saveourpollinators" width="444" height="444" />

We are on a mission to save the bees! Join us!
Learn more in these articles:
1. Study strengthens link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonie: :…/study-strengthens-link-neonicot…
2. Bees more crucial to modern agriculture than fertilizer:…/bees-crucial-modern-agriculture…
3. “Beepocolypse”:
4. The other bees:
5. Seed treatments and neonics:…/new-report-widely-used-neonicot… ‪#‎savethebees‬ ‪#‎agriculture‬ ‪#‎bees‬ ‪#‎food‬ ‪#‎gardening‬ ‪#‎saveourpollinators‬

Note: Posted on FB by Linda G Tolmie

Please act immediately to stop thousands of dogs from being tortured and butchered for their meat.

Every aspect of the dog meat trade in Southeast Asia is horrifically cruel.

You can save thousands of dogs from unspeakable pain by adding your name to Soi Dog’s global petition. It calls on Thailand’s leaders to crack down hard on the criminals who profit from the agony of animals.

The trade’s terrified victims, many of them family pets, are crushed into cages and suffer horribly on the prolonged journey to slaughter.

They are transported to primitive abattoirs that should be called torture chambers.

There, these poor animals are not just killed. Instead, they are often systematically and brutally beaten, skinned alive or boiled alive.

These horrors are inflicted because of the barbaric belief that when they are in pain, their bodies release adrenaline that softens their meat.

Terror, torture, then a painful death. This is quite possibly the worst form of cruelty humans could inflict on innocent animals.

You can put a stop to this. Add your name to the petition now. SEE VIDEO, SIGN PETITION


New Life Gives Hope to Africa’s Elephants

Posted: 15/01/2015

Across Africa, one elephant is killed every 15 minutes by ivory poachers making each new birth something of a celebration, and giving hope to putting a stop to the steep population decline that threatens the species.

But with 99% of births occurring at night and herds protective of their new young, it’s not until the little bundles of joy are spotted, often days later, that celebrations can begin.

That made baby elephant Emma’s birth just before Christmas 2014 even more incredible, taking place in broad daylight at our David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Reintegration Centre among her mother’s former human family. New mum, elephant Emily, was the star of a CBS ’60 minutes’ episode, which followed her journey from orphaned elephant through to her reintegration back into the wild. In incredibly rare footage, we captured the birth and moment the tiny baby, who we have since named Emma, took her very first wobbly steps.

In the past three years, poachers have killed 100,000 elephants for their tusks to make carvings and trinkets, reducing the population to just 350,000 individuals. Baby Emma, who represents renewed hope for the species, the world’s largest land mammal, is the second daughter for Emily and a little sister for Emily’s first wild-born calf, Eve, who was also born in December in 2008.

Emily, who was so cruelly robbed of her elephant family when just a baby herself, was orphaned in early infancy when she fell down a disused pit latrine in Kenya in 1993. After being rescued by our teams, she remained in the care of our Elephant Orphanage whilst milk dependent, before being transferred to our Tsavo East Voi Reintegration Centre to embark on her journey back to her birth right – a natural life amongst the wild elephant community of the area. Over the years, she has become a very able matriarch and we’ve been proud to not just save her life, but raise her to have her own family.


In fact, we have seen many wild born babies to ex-orphans including baby Mwende born to Mulika, infant Yetu to ex-orphan Yatta and it looks like 2015 might be a bumper year for baby elephants with ex-orphans Sweet Sally, Yatta, Edie, Icholta, Kinna and Mweya expecting soon too!

Elephants have the longest known gestation period of any mammal, up to 680 days, but it’s a long pregnancy worth waiting for. In 2011 we welcomed Mwende, Mulika’s first wild born baby. Mulika, an orphan from Meru National Park, was rescued from a waterhole in 2001 and arrived at our Elephant Nursery in Nairobi National Park at just 7 months old. Gradually she was reintegrated back into the resident wild elephant community of Tsavo and its thanks to this second chance that Mulika was able to welcome tiny Mwende into her loving family.


In 2012 our human-elephant family also welcomed Yatta’s first wild born calf, Yetu. Found alone at just one month old, having lost her mother to poachers, our Keepers’ dedicated care helped Yatta overcome this trauma and she was later moved to our Reintegration Centre to begin her journey back to the wild. Several years later, 12 year old Yatta welcomed Yetu, her own wild addition.


But it doesn’t stop there! Ex-orphan Lissa has now welcomed three healthy wild babies, Lara, Lali and Lugard, elephant Edie gave birth to baby Ella and ex-orphan Mpenzi gave birth to Mpia in 2012. Each wild addition is a symbol of hope and a cause for celebration. For our Keepers and the rest of our team each heart-warming introduction makes the years of caring for each orphan so very worthwhile.

For the newest mum, Emily, our Keepers have been closely monitoring her and her calf and report that Emma is doing well, with Emily’s herd of ex orphans remaining close by with their most treasured little package. The next few months will be a busy time for the herd, with nannies helping to care for Emma who will gain an incredible 30lbs a week, drinking some 12 litres a day.


Alongside our work to care for orphaned elephants, we are determined to protect Kenya’s wild herds and ex-orphaned elephants that have returned to the wild, like Emily, as well as wild herds. Our nine Anti-Poaching Teams, Aerial Surveillance and four Mobile Vet Units are ready to mobilise against any threat to protect young calves like Emma, who represent renewed hope for the species.

More animal abuse in Wisconsin? Horses need your help!

Mahalo for caring enough about our sisters and brothers in the animal kingdom to share and take action! Much love, Annette
Global Conservation Group

Jan 7, 2015 — Two horses are tied up outside in negative 40 degree wind chills. They have NOTHING but a locked trailer to protect them from the elements and local authorities refuse to help. Please take action with us.

Please take a moment to SIGN PETITION HERE: Petition: Article:

Two horses are tied up outside with negative 40
Two horses are tied up outside with negative 40
Two horses are tied up outside with negative 40 degree wind chills. They have nothing but a locked trailer to protect them from the elements. Join us in calling on the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department to take action:…

Eggs Not Always What They’re Cracked Up to Be

Great find Linda T, mahalo!

December 26th, 2014

MPR News
by Anders Kelto

Source: Nick Wheeler

You’re in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you’re staring at a wall of egg cartons. They’re plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.

This is what I’ve been doing ever since I moved back to the U.S. five months ago after four years abroad. Then I finally cracked. It was time to figure out what all this egg jargon actually means.

Here is the result. Consider it a glossary for the wannabe informed egg buyer.

Farm Fresh

What You Might Think It Means: Your friendly local farmer rises at dawn to harvest a dozen (still warm) eggs and puts them into this egg carton, which is rushed to your local store.

What It Actually Means: “It literally means nothing,” says Paul Shapiro, vice president of the Humane Society of the U.S. and an expert on commercial egg production. He says the term is probably meant to conjure up a favorable image in the consumer’s mind, but it has no substance whatsoever.

All Natural

What You Might Think It Means: Chickens eating a “natural” diet and doing what chickens, you know, naturally do.

What It Actually Means: Once again, this phrase has no real meaning. Shapiro says it’s an ironic term, too, “because [conventional chickens] are raised in the least natural conditions imaginable.”

OK, let’s pause for a minute. How exactly are most eggs in the U.S. produced?

According to the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply, a group that includes commercial egg producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several universities, 95 percent of eggs in the U.S. come from chickens raised in something called battery cages. These cages house anywhere from four to 12 birds, giving each bird roughly 67 square inches of floor space (that’s about the size of an iPad).

Come Jan. 1, though, eggs sold in California will have to come from chickens enjoying at least 116 square inches of space.

The cages are stacked in long rows, inside massive barns that usually house tens of thousands of birds. They’re typically fed a mixture of corn and feed made from animal byproducts. You can see a video of one such facility here.

Commercial egg producers note that this method of production is safe and economical. It’s what keeps egg prices down.

But many animal welfare advocates believe these battery cage facilities are inhumane. “The birds never go outside, are unable to spread their wings, and are essentially immobilized for their entire lives,” says Shapiro.

Ethics aside, this is by far the most common method of egg production. So unless a label tells you otherwise, you can assume this is what you’re buying — even if it’s labeled “Farm Fresh” or “All Natural.”


What You Might Think It Means: Chickens happily wandering around a big red barn, pecking at corn kernels on a hay-covered floor — like the feeding farm I used to visit with my grandma.

What It Actually Means: Exactly what it sounds like: The hens don’t live in cages. But they don’t live in bucolic red barns, either. They usually live in aviaries: massive industrial barns that house thousands of birds. Each bird has, on average, 1 square foot of space.

Shapiro and other animal welfare advocates believe cage-free birds are better off than their caged counterparts. “They’re not exactly living on Old McDonald’s farm, but they’re able to walk around, perch, lay their eggs in a nest and spread their wings — all important natural behaviors,” he says.

But the science around the health of cage-free birds is less clear. Janice Swanson, an animal scientist at Michigan State University, has been leading a three-yearstudy of egg production techniques.

She says cage-free birds have more feathers and stronger bones and exhibit more natural behaviors. But crowded aviaries also come with risks: reduced air quality, and twice the likelihood of dying. Over the course of their three-year study, less than 5 percent of birds in cages died, compared with more than 11 percent of cage-free birds. One of the most common causes of death was pecking by other chickens.

No Hormones

What You Might Think It Means: These birds were spared injections of nasty hormones that might cause them to sprout hair in unusual places and render them unhealthful for us to eat.

What It Actually Means: This term is rather misleading, because it’s illegal to give hormones to poultry, and no large-scale farms in the U.S. do so. It’s like putting a label on a cereal box that says, “No toxic waste.”

No Antibiotics

What You Might Think It Means: These birds don’t need antibiotics because they are healthy and clean.

What It Actually Means: Once again, this is a somewhat misleading term, because antibiotics are rarely used in the egg industry, says Shapiro. Chickens that are raised for their meat, on the other hand, do commonly get antibiotics to fend off disease and increase animal growth.


What You Might Think It Means: Hens playfully strolling and tumbling down green hills, home on the range.

What It Actually Means: Free-range means cage-free plus “access to the outdoors.” But as Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute notes, this “access” typically means a few small doors that lead to a screened-in porch with cement, dirt or a modicum of grass. And often, Kastel says, industrial fans that suck ammonia out of the building create “hurricane winds” through the small doorways, “and the birds don’t really want to walk through that.”

Kastel claims that the vast majority of free-range birds in commercial egg facilities never actually go outside. So in most cases, he says, free-range means the same thing as cage-free. Unlike in poultry production, there’s no government oversight of the term “free range” when it comes to eggs, so companies can more or less interpret it as they see fit.

Vegetarian Diet

What You Might Think It Means: Chickens enjoying a salad bar of grass, herbs, Brussels sprouts and kale — you know, their natural diet.

What It Actually Means: This is perhaps the most confusing claim because chickens are not vegetarian. They’re omnivores that, in the wild, get most of their protein from worms, grasshoppers and other insects. Hens that are fed a “vegetarian diet” are probably eating corn fortified with amino acids.


What You Might Think It Means: The hens are fed a more healthful diet, which leads to eggs rich in omega-3 acids, which make me smarter.

What It Actually Means: The hens are probably given a bit of flaxseed mixed in with their corn feed, possibly leading to higher levels of omega-3s in their eggs.


What You Might Think It Means: Chickens with hemp bracelets and yoga pants change the sign on their coop from “Chicken Coop” to “Chicken Co-op,” then begin composting.

What It Actually Means: “Organic” actually means something very specific, and egg producers who use it are subject to USDA regulation. Organic eggs must come from chickens that are free-range (cage-free plus access to the outdoors), fed organic feed (no synthetic pesticides) and receive no hormones or antibiotics.

But as was the case with “free-range” eggs, Kastel says “organic” eggs are usually coming from birds that live in crowded, industrial aviaries. His organization has created an egg scorecard that rates organic egg farms on a much wider variety of factors.


What You Might Think It Means: Chickens dashing between the legs of friendly cows and sheep on a sprawling pasture of peace and harmony.

What It Actually Means: In terms of replicating chickens’ natural environment and way of life, pasture-raised is pretty much the gold standard. Pasture-raised birds spend most of their life outdoors, with a fair amount of space plus access to a barn. Many are able to eat a diet of worms, insects and grass, along with corn feed (which may or may not be organic).

That said, Kastel says there is a wide range of “pasture-raised” farms. Some have spacious fields; others are a bit crowded (some farms list the square footage per bird on their carton). Some farms rotate their birds through different pastures to ensure a rich, varied diet; others keep the birds on the same plot of land. Some have trees and bushes, which he says chickens prefer; others are flat, wide-open fields.

Certified Humane/Animal Welfare Approved

What You Might Think It Means: The animals on these farms are treated humanely.

What It Actually Means: What constitutes “humane” treatment is subjective — and a topic of much debate. But the third-party auditing organizations Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved and American Humane Certified assess egg farms according to a robust set of animal welfare guidelines.

So, where can I buy eggs with these labels?

Cage-free: Most supermarkets. Growing consumer demand has led to wider availability in recent years.

Free-range, organic and pasture-raised: Many grocery stores, local food co-ops, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.

SeaWorld’s worst nightmare: Lawmaker proposes ban on orcas in captivity

Update: There’s been a momentous development in the campaign to stop SeaWorld from exploiting orcas — San Francisco has taken an historic step in protecting these beautiful creatures from SeaWorld’s cruelty.

The City Council passed a resolution recognizing that orcas have the right “to be free of captivity, and to remain unrestricted in their natural environment.”

Amazing isn’t it? San Francisco has definitely thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of California to stop treating orcas like unthinking machines.

Earlier this year, the California State legislature deferred the Blackfish bill — a law that would ban SeaWorld from torturing orcas. The bill may be considered next year, and in the meantime we have to drum up support to show legislators there’s demand for change. 1.3 million SumOfUs members like you have already spoken out against SeaWorld, but to end orca cruelty in California we need to make sure everyone signs the petition. 

Can you tell the State of California to pass the Orca Welfare and Safety Act? Sign on to stop SeaWorld from keeping whales captive for profit. 


SeaWorld got busted by a US government agency for violating the Animal Abuse Act – and we may have a rare chance to end its animal cruelty for good.

SeaWorld keeps orca whales in tiny, cage-like tanks — and the USDA citation reveals conditions at the park are dangerous to the animals’ health. SeaWorld is still defending its barbaric practices, but pressure is building on the company.

A Californian Congressmen introduced a law to make it illegal to keep orcas in captivity earlier this year. This could change everything — but SeaWorld is already mounting a vicious campaign to defeat this Congressman’s brave move. We need to tell the State of California that the public won’t accept SeaWorld’s cruel treatment of orcas any longer.

California: Enact the Orca Welfare and Safety Act to stop SeaWorld’s orca cruelty now.

SeaWorld’s actions are no surprise to anyone who has watched Blackfish, the documentary exposé showing how SeaWorld forces these intelligent animals to perform tricks for the sake of entertainment and profits. But the Orca Welfare and Safety Act could change all that. The Act makes it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.”

SeaWorld would have you believe that the captivity of whales is about education, but we know better — it’s about profits. Through the years many groups, including SeaWorld’s own trainers and staff, have called for an end to this cruel practice. 

But with recent scrutiny, the company is under more pressure than ever. After CNN aired the groundbreaking Blackfish documentary, the world now knows that Seaworld still keeps orcas like Tillkum in captivity, taken from the wild at two years old. This is dangerous not just for Tillkum’s own health, but for his trainers — the mental effects of being locked in a 20-by-30 foot dark metal container has seen him implicated in the deaths of three people.

This latest bust by the USDA for violating the Animal Abuse Act is just sign that SeaWorld needs to stop this. Attendance is dwindling at SeaWorld as the world wises up about the cruelty of the business of capturing animals for entertainment. Parents and kids are understanding that forcing intelligent, sensitive animals to live in cages is a cruel, unethical practice. If this law passes, we can stop this practice in California for good.

Sign on to stop SeaWorld from keeping whales captive for profit. 



More Information:

Watch the video: 1995 VHS Footage Captures Shocking Orca Incident At SeaWorld, The Dodo, 30 October 2014

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, Resolution supporting the free and safe passage of whales and dolphins in San Francisco’s coastal waters, San Francisco Bay, and its estuaries, 21 October 2014

SeaWorld Cited by USDA for Violating Animal Welfare Act, The Dodo, 25 February 2014

Calif. bill proposed to stop orca shows, Politico, 7 March 2014

Landmark CA Ruling Recognizes Orcas Have Right to Freedom, Ecorazzi, 23 October 2014

“Take Back Your Power” Solutions to Smart Meters, WiFi and EMF RADIATION ~ Full Documentary **MUST SEE**

If you don’t know how smart meters are a fire risk, responsible for increased power bills, spying/surveillance, personal data tracking, causing severe RF radiation issues in residents and other serious issues, this compelling documentary may be of personal interest to yourself, friends and family.

Remember, tyranny only takes hold when good people stay silent, by remaining in a state willful ignorance and refusing to take action to benefit the common good. PLEASE SHARE with everyone you know!

Global Alliance for the “Rights of Nature and Tribunal” Story

The story of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the Ethics More at…

Learn about the origins of the Rights of Nature movement as Ecuador becomes the first country to include Rights of Nature in its Constitution and communities across the United States adopt Rights of Nature and assert their community rights. Travel to Cochabamba, Bolivia for the creation and proclamation of the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth. Experience the 2014 Global Rights of Nature Summit and the launch of the first Permanent Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal.

Thank you to Siegmund Thies and Norie Huddle for producing this video in both English and Spanish! Siegmund and Norie have been documenting the history of Rights of Nature in Ecuador and the Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia, April 2010. Norie and her husband Richard brought forth the first Rights of Nature case in Ecuador and won on behalf of the Vilcabamba River.

Bison: Re-Born to be Re-Wild

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture is worth many thousands of bison. This photo from the 1870s shows a man proudly standing in front of a mountain of tens of thousands of bison skulls - an iconic American species that was systematically slaughtered by the millions as European Americans settled the west. </p><br />
<p>The US Army actively endorsed the wholesale slaughter of these animals for two main reasons: to remove any competition with cattle, and to starve Native American tribes who greatly depended on the bison for food. Without the bison, the resisting tribes of the Great Plains would either be forced to leave or die of starvation.</p><br />
<p>More than a century after this dark period in our history, the bison is making a comeback. After living on the brink of extinction, this American icon is slowly but steadily returning to the Great Plains - one baby bison at a time. You can watch a video of how Native American communities and conservation groups like Earthjustice are fighting to bring back the bison on our website: <a href= </p>
<p>Click "SHARE" and "LIKE" if you are moved by the story of this great American species and celebrate its return to the Great Plains! Feel free to leave your thoughts about the bison below." width="444" height="290" />

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture is worth many thousands of bison. This photo from the 1870s shows a man proudly standing in front of a mountain of tens of thousands of bison skulls – an iconic American species that was systematically slaughtered by the millions as European Americans settled the west.

The US Army actively endorsed the wholesale slaughter of these animals for two main reasons: to remove any competition with cattle, and to starve Native American tribes who greatly depended on the bison for food. Without the bison, the resisting tribes of the Great Plains would either be forced to leave or die of starvation.

More than a century after this dark period in our history, the bison is making a comeback. After living on the brink of extinction, this American icon is slowly but steadily returning to the Great Plains – one baby bison at a time. You can watch a video of how Native American communities and conservation groups like Earthjustice are fighting to bring back the bison on our website:

8 Things You Should Never Feed to Dogs and Cats

Veterinarians are finding that many of our most delicious foods, even healthy ones, can be deadly to animals.

Photo Credit: Glynis Sweeny

Who knew that a few sticks of sugar-free gum could kill your dog?

Evidently many people don’t, but the veterinarians who spoke to AlterNet tell us they’re seeing more animals coming in with hypoglycemia after eating as little as a stick. And even if the animal’s blood sugar returns to normal, there’s quite a bit of concern that liver damage, and possibly death, may follow.

“It’s not just dogs, it’s cats as well,” says Maureen Saunders, owner/director of the Spring Valley Animal Hospital and Cat Care Clinic of the Nyacks. “And it’s important to get the word out there, so people know to watch for this.”

Many of us tend to think that dogs and cats can eat what humans eat. We often don’t think twice about giving them a bite of our cookie or worry too much when they scavenge for food. But dogs and cats don’t metabolize foods the same way we do, and many of the foods we eat without problems can hurt, and even kill them. Here are eight of the most harmful foods to keep away from your pets.

1. Xylitol. One of the more ubiquitous sweeteners in sugar-free products, xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in the fibers of many fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. It’s typically extracted from hardwoods and corn cobs for commercial use and found in sugarless gum, toothpaste and many low-calorie baked goods.

While xylitol has no known toxicity in humans, just a few sticks of sugar-free gum scavenged by a 20-pound dog can cause its insulin levels to spike and send it into hypoglycemia. Ingesting higher amounts of xylitol can create serious liver problems including acute hepatic necrosis, leading to death. Cats are also susceptible to xylitol poisoning.

Sometimes vomiting occurs soon after ingestion, followed by hypoglycemia within the next hour. At this point, the animal may act lethargic and lose coordination as a result of lowered sugar levels. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few short days.

If caught within the first few hours and taken to a veterinary clinic, many pets can be nursed back to health by inducing vomiting and perhaps the administration of dextrose.

2. Chocolate. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, is said to have many health benefits for humans, from lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease to reversing age-related memory loss. However, one chocolate bar can be deadly to a dog or a cat.

Chocolate, along with coffee and some soda drinks, contains compounds known as methylxanthines. When pets ingest foods with these compounds, they may display signs of hyperactivity, discomfort or excessive thirst. Often, these symptoms give way to abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and even death. Baking chocolate and dark chocolates, which contain more of these compounds, are far more dangerous than milk chocolate or white chocolate.

3. Avocados. Guacamole is a staple dip in many households, and we might think it’s harmless to let our pet lick the bowl when we’re done. But the avocado fruit contains persin, a fungicidal toxin. While it is harmless to humans (with the exception of those with avocado allergies), when consumed by dogs and cats it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Birds, and rodents such as hamsters and guinea pigs are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing, and fluid accumulation around the heart. Larger amounts of ingested avocado can create similar symptoms in cats and dogs and even cause death.

4. Macadamia nuts. Dog owners should be especially mindful not to feed cookies, especially store-bought ones you might not know the ingredients of, to their pets. Beyond typical macadamia nut cookies, other flavors of commercial cookies and even some brownies and cakes contain macadamia powder or oil as an ingredient.

Veterinarians are still not quite sure why, but macadamia nuts are known to cause vomiting, ataxia, tremors and hypothermia in dogs, though they don’t seem to have the same effect on cats and other domestic animals. Dr. Saunders says the results can be life-threatening and that elderly dogs may be more at risk.

Dogs typically develop these signs between 12 and 48 hours after ingestion. Vets recommend that asymptomatic dogs should be treated with activated charcoal, while those who become ill should immediately be taken to a vet clinic where treatment may include fluids, analgesics and antipyretics.

5. Grapes and raisins. The veterinary community has recently put out the word that grapes are highly toxic to dogs and cats.

“We didn’t know about this until a few years ago, but eating grapes and raisins can lead to acute kidney failure in pets,” says Dr. Saunders. “Unfortunately, we’re still not sure why some animals can tolerate them and others cannot.”

The ASPCA believes that pets who already have the one of a variety of health conditions may have more dramatic reactions to grape ingestion.

6. Yeast dough. The yeast in uncooked bread dough can rise in a pet’s digestive system and cause high amounts of gas to accumulate. This can cause an animal’s stomach or intestines to rupture, possibly leading to a painful death.

While the ASCPA says that the risk is much lower for pets when the dough has been cooked and fully risen, it can also cause problems. The organization recommends that bread-based treats should be no more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake.

7. Onions and garlic. “For cats, this is a major issue,” says Dr. Saunders, who says she’s seen several serious cases of onion poisoning. “People might think it’s okay if they’re cooking stew to give some to their pets, but that’s actually a real problem for them.”

It’s not just cats—a dog’s health can also be put at risk by onion ingestion. In both animals, the compunds thiosulfate and allyl propyl disulfide found in onions work to oxidize an oxygen-transporting protein called hemoglobin in the blood, making it less capable of carrying oxygen throughout the body.

All members of the allium family, which includes garlic, shallots and scallions, contain these compounds, which can wreak havoc on a pet’s red blood cells, if eaten in large enough amounts. Garlic tends to be much more toxic than the common onion. Also, garlic and onion powders, typical ingredients in many soups, baby food and meat sauces, can be quiet killers.

The veterinarians we spoke to say that symptoms typically don’t show up immediately, but eventually the animal becomes lethargic and there can be some physical changes, such as pale gums and dark-colored urine. In the most severe cases of onion poisoning, a blood transfusion might be needed to save the animal’s life.

8. Marijuana edibles. Legal for either recreational or medical use in several states, marijuana is often sold in more potent forms, including edibles that taste much like some foods we would typically eat.

Tina Wismer, of the Animal Poison Control Center told NBC News that animals don’t react to the tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis the same way humans do. “Without treatment, they can go into comas and die,” she says, noting that edibles may be even more lethal if they also contain chocolate or raisins.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care found that marijuana ingestion of baked goods that contain medical-grade THC butter can kill a dog. The researchers looked into 125 cases of dogs ingesting marijuana between 2005 and 2010 and found that it resulted in two deaths. Both dogs asphyxiated on their own vomit.

Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, veterinarians in the state say they’ve seen some dogs die from ingestion. Ashley Harmon, a veterinarian at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation, told a local newspaper that one dog died after eating a pound of pot brownies while another ate a pound of pot butter.

Pet owners who use marijuana edibles in their homes must exercise caution and keep these items securely packaged and out of reach of dogs and cats.

Other Home Toxins

Dr. Saunders says that while pet poisoning from foods is a serious problem, there are many other common home items our pets shouldn’t come in contact with.

“One of the biggest problems I see is people trying to help their pet with medicines to treat them. They often do that by giving them Tylenol, but they end up giving them inappropriate doses,” says Saunders. “This is especially a problem I see with older dogs. Pepto Bismol is given to dogs, but the aspirin in it is a major issue with cats.”

Dr. Saunders says that people should pay particular attention to where they store antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol. Its sweet smell and taste are attractive to pets as well as wildlife. Antifreeze is deadly when consumed.

Even certain flowers can cause a problem in the home. “Some types of lilies are a real issue with cats,” she says.

If your pet suddenly becomes ill and you know or suspect it has eaten any foods in this article, Dr. Saunders suggests you immediately contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Also, find out where the emergency veterinary clinic is in your area and keep its address and phone number clearly posted on your fridge in case of emergencies.

Cliff Weathers is a senior editor at AlterNet, covering environmental and consumer issues. He is a former deputy editor at Consumer Reports. His work has also appeared in Salon, Car and Driver, Playboy, Raw Story and Detroit Monthly among other publications. Follow him on Twitter @cliffweathers and on Facebook.


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