September 2011

The Case Against Deer

I used to love deer. Of course, I grew up in The City, where there aren't any deer. It wasn't until I moved to a rural area - to where there are deer - that I realized the true scope of the situation. Although beautiful, with their graceful legs and liquid eyes, what a menace these things can be - to themselves and others. Deer are to rural areas what pigeons and rats are to cities: an annoyance at best.
1. Proliferation
The fundamental problem with deer is that they are one of the few animals which actually benefit from humanity's onward expansion. Deer flourish in areas of scrubby woodland interspersed with wide expanses of grass. Coincidentally, that is pretty much exactly what the landscape looks like when we're done with it.

Celebrities Call for an End to Shark Fishing in China


I remember seeing mounted shark fins in the windows of Chinatown back when I was a wee one. I was vaguely aware that the Chinese ate sharks, but then again, every American kid balks in horror when their friends tell them about all the animals eaten in China--dogs, cats, snakes, gerbils, what have you, be it true or false. But you could order shark fin soup in restaurants, so that much was real. We didn't think much of it--eating very big fish couldn't be much different than eating any other kind of fish, and after all, sharks were both awesome and terrifying and so eating them was a feat to behold.

Researchers Pinpoint Neurological Animal Response


There are entire swaths of the internet dedicated to how freaking adorable baby animals are. I'm pretty sure our biologically hard-coded "baby response" that makes us react to big-eyed, soft things with inordinate glee has been reprogrammed to focus on kittens and otters. It's probably not a good sign for the future of the species when actual, human babies make me go "meh" while an image of a Pomeranian/husky mix makes me want to jump through the internet and snuggle the ever-loving crap out of it. I probably will not have kids, but nothing is going to stop me from having a dog. 

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Try something else! The general explanation of stupidity is just doing something over and over again while expecting different results, right? Well, when it comes to our pets, we just have to try not to be stupid.

For example, my oldest cat, Fuego, is ten years old. We adopted him from the Humane Society when he was six. The previous family who owned him said that he scratched up the carpet too much, and that was why they got rid of him! “Humph,” I recall scoffing, “They probably just didn’t give him a scratching post!”