EVERYTHING VEGAN

July 31, 2014 7:29 pm
malformalady:

Shark fins are put out to dry on a road in Hong Kong on July 30. China is one of the world’s biggest markets for shark fins, where the ‘delicacy’ is commonly served as a soup during wedding banquets and corporate parties. But conservationists say booming demand for fins has put pressure on the world’s shark populations, prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade.
Photo credit: Dale de la Rey/Getty

malformalady:

Shark fins are put out to dry on a road in Hong Kong on July 30. China is one of the world’s biggest markets for shark fins, where the ‘delicacy’ is commonly served as a soup during wedding banquets and corporate parties. But conservationists say booming demand for fins has put pressure on the world’s shark populations, prompting calls for measures to restrict their trade.

Photo credit: Dale de la Rey/Getty

 
7:28 pm
 
7:16 pm 7:14 pm
llbwwb:

Basking (via 500px / image by -Mél-)
 
7:11 pm 7:10 pm
fairy-wren:

(via 500px / Dream flying by df h) *European Kingfisher

fairy-wren:

(via 500px / Dream flying by df h)
*European Kingfisher

 
5:47 pm
 
5:40 pm
sapphire1707:

Hold On by lauriehernandez

sapphire1707:

Hold On by lauriehernandez

(via animals-everywhere)

 
5:39 pm

imgonnamakeachange:

if you abandon old dogs that have loved you for their entire life just because they are old and sick, there is a special place in hell reserved for you.

(via theveganabolitionist)

 
5:39 pm
 
11:22 am 11:00 am
"Feeling attention starved? 
Desperate for a chance to get your big break? 
Want to get 98% of the population to pat you on the back and call your decision to join the meat-eating population again “brave”?
 Trying gaining fame and fortune as an ex-vegan in roughly five easy steps with our handy guide.” 
*Picture on the right: green smoothie with a bacon strip.*

"Feeling attention starved?

Desperate for a chance to get your big break?

Want to get 98% of the population to pat you on the back and call your decision to join the meat-eating population again “brave”?

Trying gaining fame and fortune as an ex-vegan in roughly five easy steps with our handy guide.”

*Picture on the right: green smoothie with a bacon strip.*

(Source: facebook.com)

 
10:11 am
goodmemory:

Perros Perdidos Rajasthan, India
Graciela Iturbide 

goodmemory:

Perros Perdidos Rajasthan, India

Graciela Iturbide 

 
July 30, 2014 1:01 pm
It’s not just extinction: meet defaunation
"Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation.

Fauna is the total collection of animals—both in terms of species diversity and abundance—in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including extinction, extirpation, or population declines.


Though for emotional or aesthetic reasons we may lament the loss of large charismatic species, such as tigers, rhinos, and pandas, we now know that loss of animals, from the largest elephant to the smallest beetle, will also fundamentally alter the form and function of the ecosystems upon which we all depend,” writes Sacha Vignieri, an Associate Editor with Science in an introduction on the issue.  Starting with the bigger—more well-known—species, vertebrate populations on average have declined by over a quarter in the last forty years, according to a review paper in the issue. Such numbers are borne out by a lot of anecdotal reporting of the “empty forest” syndrome, where scientists are noticing more-and-more seemingly intact forests and other habitats that have been stripped of their medium to large vertebrates.  Meanwhile at least 322 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, a trend in human-caused extinctions that likely began during the Pleistocene. Many additional vertebrates remain unrecorded for decades and could be extinct.

But “fauna” also extends to invertebrates, which really comprise the vast bulk of the world’s animals. Most of these animals—which includes everything from insects to mollusks and jellyfish to spiders—have been far less studied than the world’s vertebrates and so much less is known about how imperiled they are and their population trends. Still, the data that we do have is not good. A global review of 452 invertebrates find that these populations have fallen by 45 percent over the last 40 years. The best data is in the Lepidoptera family—moths and butterflies—which shows a drop in abundance of about 35 percent.”

Read more

It’s not just extinction: meet defaunation

"Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation.
Fauna is the total collection of animals—both in terms of species diversity and abundance—in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including extinction, extirpation, or population declines.
Though for emotional or aesthetic reasons we may lament the loss of large charismatic species, such as tigers, rhinos, and pandas, we now know that loss of animals, from the largest elephant to the smallest beetle, will also fundamentally alter the form and function of the ecosystems upon which we all depend,” writes Sacha Vignieri, an Associate Editor with Science in an introduction on the issue.

Starting with the bigger—more well-known—species, vertebrate populations on average have declined by over a quarter in the last forty years, according to a review paper in the issue. Such numbers are borne out by a lot of anecdotal reporting of the “empty forest” syndrome, where scientists are noticing more-and-more seemingly intact forests and other habitats that have been stripped of their medium to large vertebrates.

Meanwhile at least 322 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, a trend in human-caused extinctions that likely began during the Pleistocene. Many additional vertebrates remain unrecorded for decades and could be extinct.

But “fauna” also extends to invertebrates, which really comprise the vast bulk of the world’s animals. Most of these animals—which includes everything from insects to mollusks and jellyfish to spiders—have been far less studied than the world’s vertebrates and so much less is known about how imperiled they are and their population trends. Still, the data that we do have is not good.

A global review of 452 invertebrates find that these populations have fallen by 45 percent over the last 40 years. The best data is in the Lepidoptera family—moths and butterflies—which shows a drop in abundance of about 35 percent.”

Read more
 
12:48 pm
Even the Gorillas and Bears in Our Zoos Are Hooked on Prozac
Excerpted from Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves by Laurel Braitman. Copyright ©2014 by Laurel Braitman. 
The Gorilla Who Got Thorazine in His Coca-Cola
One of the first nonhumans to be given psychopharmaceuticals as a patient (and not as a test subject) was a western lowland gorilla named Willie B., who was famous in Atlanta, Georgia. He was captured in Congo as an infant in the 1960s and sent to Zoo Atlanta, where he lived for 39 years, 27 of them alone in an indoor cage with a tire swing and a television.
According to Mel Richardson, who was working as a veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta at the time, Willie broke a glass window in his enclosure in the winter of 1970–71 and had to be transferred to a much smaller cage for six months while the glass was replaced with heavy metal bars.
“He weighed around 400 pounds, and the cage was way too small for him,” said Mel. “If he stood up and stretched each arm all the way out he could almost touch both sides of the cage at once.”
The vet staff put Thorazine in the Coca-Cola Willie drank in the morning. He responded to the drug as many institutionalized humans do: He shuffled back and forth across his cage with dulled eyes.

Dolphins, whales, sea lions, walruses, and other marine creatures in parks like SeaWorld have also been given psychotropic drugs for what their vets see as depression, anxiety, compulsive regurgitation, flank sucking, or other distressing behaviors. 
Two marine mammal veterinarians who have spent decades on staff or consulting for American animal-display facilities and the military’s marine mammal program told me that antidepressants and antipsychotics are commonly used but that “no one was going to talk to [me] about it.” Even they wouldn’t speak about the subject on the record.
The Polar Bear on Prozac
But we do know about Gus, one of the polar bears in the Central Park Zoo, who started compulsively swimming figure eights in his pool for up to 12 hours a day, every day, for months. When the zoo paid a behaviorist $25,000 to help him, something of a Gus moment took hold of the city. The bear was on the cover of Newsday, Letterman cracked jokes about him, and the Canadian band The Tragically Hip wrote a song called “What’s Troubling Gus?”
The zoo’s public affairs manager said that Gus’s story was so captivating because “it’s like Woody Allen always being in therapy—the idea that all New Yorkers are neurotic.” In the wake of the news coverage, people called in from around the country to ask how the bear was doing.
Gus lived in a 5,000-square-foot enclosure—less than .00009 percent of what his range in the Arctic would be. He was a major predator who, despite being born in captivity, no doubt still felt predatory impulses.
In fact when Gus first arrived from an Ohio zoo in 1988, his favorite game was stalking children from the underwater window in his pool. “He liked to see them scream and run in terror—it was a game,” the zoo’s animal supervisor told a reporter. But the zoo staff didn’t want Gus to scare children or their parents, so they put up barriers to keep visitors farther away from the window. Gus soon started to swim in endless figure eights.
Hoping to curb the neurotic behavior, the zoo hired Tim Desmond, an animal trainer who had trained the orca who played Willy in the film Free Willy. Desmond was able to reduce Gus’s compulsions by giving him new things to do, such as bear food puzzles or snacks that took him longer to eat: mackerel frozen in blocks of ice or chicken wrapped in rawhide.
The zoo redesigned his exhibit and installed a play area stocked with rubber trash cans and traffic cones that Gus could pretend-maul. They also put him on Prozac. I do not know how long he was on the drug, or even if it was as effective as his new exhibit and entertainment schedule, but eventually Gus’s compulsive swimming tapered off, though it never went away entirely.
The Gorillas Who Got Haldol, Valium, Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, Buspar, Prozac, Ativan, Versed, Mellaril, and Beta-Blockers
Another case involves a whole troop of gorillas at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.
In 1998 a 12-year-old male gorilla named Kitombe arrived at the zoo. The first week there, introductions between Kit and the other gorillas went smoothly. But soon Kit became violent. He also quickly impregnated one of the female gorillas, Kiki.
Kit was deeply agitated about the pregnant Kiki and wouldn’t let any of the other gorillas in the exhibit near her. His ire was focused in particular on a 36-year-old female named Gigi, who was the oldest gorilla in the troop.
As Kit chased Gigi around the exhibit, she screamed and shook. He bit her, tried to drown her in the exhibit’s moat, and tore open her scalp from ear to ear. Gigi, an already anxiety-prone gorilla given to repeatedly regurgitating and reingesting her food, eating her own feces, and sometimes slamming it on the glass of the exhibit in front of visitors, became a nervous wreck.
The drugs gave Kit diarrhea and slowed him down a bit, but they didn’t make him less aggressive. The keepers weaned him off the Haldol and Prozac and started him on Zoloft, which didn’t work either.
After two months of this, Dr. Hayley Murphy, the head veterinarian at the time, found her way to Michael Mufson, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
They tried one last antipsychotic, risperidone, but after a few months with no change in the frequency of his attacks on Gigi, Kit was separated from the troop and put in a cement and steel holding area by himself. Sadly, this isolation period would last more than 10 years.
Mufson was more hopeful about his ability to help Gigi. He prescribed her a beta-blocker, the same drug that concert pianists take for nerves. She was on it for three months without much of an effect. Mufson then decided to try a combination of Xanax and Paxil. Gigi soon seemed slightly less anxious, but Kit still intimidated and bullied her. What actually worked was removing the violent gorilla from the rest of the troop, even if that didn’t help him. In the wake of Kit’s exile, Gigi was weaned off the drugs.
After their experiences at the zoo in Boston, Murphy and Mufson were curious about the use of psychopharmaceuticals in other captive gorillas, so they surveyed all U.S. and Canadian zoos with gorillas in their collections. Nearly half of the 31 institutions that responded had given psychopharmaceutical drugs to their gorillas. The most frequently prescribed were Haldol (haloperidol) and Valium (diazepam), though Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, Buspar, Prozac, Ativan, Versed, and Mellaril had all been tried.
Mufson keeps photos of the Boston gorilla troop on his desk alongside pictures of his wife and children, and every year, he brings medical students on psychiatry rotations to the zoo to see the apes. Since he first began working with Gigi, Mufson has treated a number of gorillas in other American zoos. He also agitates for changes in their environments and daily routines.

Even the Gorillas and Bears in Our Zoos Are Hooked on Prozac

Excerpted from Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves by Laurel Braitman. Copyright ©2014 by Laurel Braitman.

The Gorilla Who Got Thorazine in His Coca-Cola

One of the first nonhumans to be given psychopharmaceuticals as a patient (and not as a test subject) was a western lowland gorilla named Willie B., who was famous in Atlanta, Georgia. He was captured in Congo as an infant in the 1960s and sent to Zoo Atlanta, where he lived for 39 years, 27 of them alone in an indoor cage with a tire swing and a television.

According to Mel Richardson, who was working as a veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta at the time, Willie broke a glass window in his enclosure in the winter of 1970–71 and had to be transferred to a much smaller cage for six months while the glass was replaced with heavy metal bars.

“He weighed around 400 pounds, and the cage was way too small for him,” said Mel. “If he stood up and stretched each arm all the way out he could almost touch both sides of the cage at once.”

The vet staff put Thorazine in the Coca-Cola Willie drank in the morning. He responded to the drug as many institutionalized humans do: He shuffled back and forth across his cage with dulled eyes.
Dolphins, whales, sea lions, walruses, and other marine creatures in parks like SeaWorld have also been given psychotropic drugs for what their vets see as depression, anxiety, compulsive regurgitation, flank sucking, or other distressing behaviors.

Two marine mammal veterinarians who have spent decades on staff or consulting for American animal-display facilities and the military’s marine mammal program told me that antidepressants and antipsychotics are commonly used but that “no one was going to talk to [me] about it.” Even they wouldn’t speak about the subject on the record.

The Polar Bear on Prozac

But we do know about Gus, one of the polar bears in the Central Park Zoo, who started compulsively swimming figure eights in his pool for up to 12 hours a day, every day, for months. When the zoo paid a behaviorist $25,000 to help him, something of a Gus moment took hold of the city. The bear was on the cover of Newsday, Letterman cracked jokes about him, and the Canadian band The Tragically Hip wrote a song called “What’s Troubling Gus?”

The zoo’s public affairs manager said that Gus’s story was so captivating because “it’s like Woody Allen always being in therapy—the idea that all New Yorkers are neurotic.” In the wake of the news coverage, people called in from around the country to ask how the bear was doing.

Gus lived in a 5,000-square-foot enclosure—less than .00009 percent of what his range in the Arctic would be. He was a major predator who, despite being born in captivity, no doubt still felt predatory impulses.

In fact when Gus first arrived from an Ohio zoo in 1988, his favorite game was stalking children from the underwater window in his pool. “He liked to see them scream and run in terror—it was a game,” the zoo’s animal supervisor told a reporter. But the zoo staff didn’t want Gus to scare children or their parents, so they put up barriers to keep visitors farther away from the window. Gus soon started to swim in endless figure eights.

Hoping to curb the neurotic behavior, the zoo hired Tim Desmond, an animal trainer who had trained the orca who played Willy in the film Free Willy. Desmond was able to reduce Gus’s compulsions by giving him new things to do, such as bear food puzzles or snacks that took him longer to eat: mackerel frozen in blocks of ice or chicken wrapped in rawhide.

The zoo redesigned his exhibit and installed a play area stocked with rubber trash cans and traffic cones that Gus could pretend-maul. They also put him on Prozac. I do not know how long he was on the drug, or even if it was as effective as his new exhibit and entertainment schedule, but eventually Gus’s compulsive swimming tapered off, though it never went away entirely.

The Gorillas Who Got Haldol, Valium, Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, Buspar, Prozac, Ativan, Versed, Mellaril, and Beta-Blockers

Another case involves a whole troop of gorillas at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

In 1998 a 12-year-old male gorilla named Kitombe arrived at the zoo. The first week there, introductions between Kit and the other gorillas went smoothly. But soon Kit became violent. He also quickly impregnated one of the female gorillas, Kiki.

Kit was deeply agitated about the pregnant Kiki and wouldn’t let any of the other gorillas in the exhibit near her. His ire was focused in particular on a 36-year-old female named Gigi, who was the oldest gorilla in the troop.

As Kit chased Gigi around the exhibit, she screamed and shook. He bit her, tried to drown her in the exhibit’s moat, and tore open her scalp from ear to ear. Gigi, an already anxiety-prone gorilla given to repeatedly regurgitating and reingesting her food, eating her own feces, and sometimes slamming it on the glass of the exhibit in front of visitors, became a nervous wreck.

The drugs gave Kit diarrhea and slowed him down a bit, but they didn’t make him less aggressive. The keepers weaned him off the Haldol and Prozac and started him on Zoloft, which didn’t work either.

After two months of this, Dr. Hayley Murphy, the head veterinarian at the time, found her way to Michael Mufson, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

They tried one last antipsychotic, risperidone, but after a few months with no change in the frequency of his attacks on Gigi, Kit was separated from the troop and put in a cement and steel holding area by himself. Sadly, this isolation period would last more than 10 years.

Mufson was more hopeful about his ability to help Gigi. He prescribed her a beta-blocker, the same drug that concert pianists take for nerves. She was on it for three months without much of an effect. Mufson then decided to try a combination of Xanax and Paxil. Gigi soon seemed slightly less anxious, but Kit still intimidated and bullied her. What actually worked was removing the violent gorilla from the rest of the troop, even if that didn’t help him. In the wake of Kit’s exile, Gigi was weaned off the drugs.

After their experiences at the zoo in Boston, Murphy and Mufson were curious about the use of psychopharmaceuticals in other captive gorillas, so they surveyed all U.S. and Canadian zoos with gorillas in their collections. Nearly half of the 31 institutions that responded had given psychopharmaceutical drugs to their gorillas. The most frequently prescribed were Haldol (haloperidol) and Valium (diazepam), though Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, Buspar, Prozac, Ativan, Versed, and Mellaril had all been tried.

Mufson keeps photos of the Boston gorilla troop on his desk alongside pictures of his wife and children, and every year, he brings medical students on psychiatry rotations to the zoo to see the apes. Since he first began working with Gigi, Mufson has treated a number of gorillas in other American zoos. He also agitates for changes in their environments and daily routines.