Melissa, What’s Your Favorite Food? "Mouse." That’s Life With a Jungle Kitty

That wasn’t the answer I was expecting, but, of course, that’s why Animal Communication is so important. It definitely helps us understand the animal’s perspective.

Melissa is now almost 4 and half years old, and is quite a fierce hunter. She has captured and sometimes killed mice, chipmunks, garter snakes, dragonflies, moles, various other insects, and once a red squirrel.

Inside the house, she is controlling the mouse population. There are nights when she doesn’t come to bed until 3 a.m. or later. She’s been “on patrol.”

During the day, she gets to go outside for awhile. This is to save me having to replace screens on a regular basis, and also because she’s miserable and frantic when confined indoors.

When she was younger, Melissa would bring in her prey alive. This was to show them off to me and to play with them. When they got loose… the game was on.

I would try to keep her from bringing in her catches, so Melissa became like Demosthenes, the Greek who had trouble speaking clearly and used pebbles in his mouth to improve his speech.

At first when she came to the door with a catch, I could tell by the sounds she made that her mouth was full of something. This was true the first 2 times.

By the third time, I could no longer discern that Melissa had anything in her mouth.

Eventually, Melissa would bring home a catch that was already dead, and after playing with it a bit while I praised her hunting skills, she would let me take it and put it outside. Once I did that, she’d ignore it. I’d then take the body and place it where some other animal might benefit from her kill.

But eventually, Melissa just couldn’t resist eating her catches, despite my efforts to make sure she went outside on a full or nearly full stomach.

And the consequence of that is… PARASITES.

All wild animals (birds and mammals) that a cat will eat have parasites. And by eating the animal, the cat gets infected.

It became clear to me in the last 2 weeks that Melissa has worms and needs to be dewormed.

There were 3 main symptoms:

    1. greater than normal hunger;
    2. constipation; and
    3. a coughing that occurs when the larvae, which have been maturing in the lungs, are ready to move back into the digestive system.

So today I got some dewormer from my veterinarian for Melissa, and some syringes I can use to give her the meds as a paste if I can’t get her to eat it in her food..

The thing is, Melissa has a very sensitive nose. And this dewormer is supposed to go into the cat’s food. Would I get away with this approach?

Melissa’s sense of smell is very powerful. She won’t eat food that’s the slightest bit older in one bowl than in the other bowl.

I will serve food left over from the previous day, but still good to eat – according to my nose and Starlight’s nose, but Melissa won’t touch it and always chooses the newer food in the other bowl.

Remember, my cats get a raw food diet. The food is not left out for hours and hours. They get it at feeding time and within 2 hours, they’ve eaten. I put any left-over away. It’s still perfectly good to eat – unless you have Melissa’s nose telling you otherwise.

So could I give her deworming medicine in her food? Could I really get away with this?

Hence, our conversation:

Nedda: “Melissa, what’s your favorite food?”

Melissa: “Mouse.” [This is said without hesitation or consideration, and very matter-of-factly.]

Nedda: [Laughing very hard at herself for not asking the question correctly.]

Nedda: “Melissa, of the foods I feed you, do you have a favorite?”

Melissa: “Not really.”

Nedda: “How do you feel about fish? Like salmon? Or sardines.”

Melissa: “They’re OK.”

Well, I’m not about to serve mouse to Melissa.

Melissa needs 3 doses of medication over 3 days. Today, Day 1, she ate it in some of the raw chicken mix covered with a small amount of sardines.

I tried serving it without the sardines, but after one taste, Melissa walked away. And she had been asking for food, so she was hungry.

So far, so good.

Will I get away with this tomorrow and the next day?

Stay tuned for the update.

A few more things I have to keep in mind.

  • Melissa will not stop hunting, so she’s going to have to go onto a regular deworming schedule.
  • Starlight may or may not catch the worms from Melissa.

Oh, dear. I shall have to give up feeding the birds this winter to keep Melissa from attacking them. She can easily leap straight up about 4 and a half feet and knock a bird out of the air. I’ve seen her do it!

I’m going to miss the birds… and they’re going to miss this feeding station.

Sigh!

That’s life with a Jungle Kitty!

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Why Volunteer With Lions During Your Holiday?

For a rewarding and life changing experience have you ever considered volunteering while on holiday. If you love traveling this will give you the chance to help with conservation of lions in countries like South Africa.

Volunteering while on holiday is something you won’t forget and it’s the perfect opportunity to make a difference while at the same time visiting exotic and really great locations all across the globe.

You’ll be able to work closely with wildlife animals and see sights tourists never see and it will give you an unique insight into local life.

Volunteer Work With Lions and Cubs

There is a breeding park for White lions, Lions, tigers and Jaguars situated 15km from the nearest town in the hart of South Africa. The area has superb bush and grasslands. It is easy to reach and to travel to other destinations. This is also a malaria free area.

You’ll have the amazing experience of working closely with these majestic animals by feeding and caring for them, raising the cubs by hand and being involved in all the day to day activities of a lion park.

Benefits To Volunteers

You will come face to face with lions, jaguars and tigers. It is an amazing experience being accepted by these wild animals. The breeding park is in constant need of assistance and you will be of great help to these cats.

With approximately 1000 white lions left on earth, your volunteering will be an enormous contribution to the white lion population. This will be a most rewarding experience, giving something back to African wild life. You will have the opportunity to travel and experience South Africa. You will also meeting other volunteers from all over the world.

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The Beatrix Potter Syndrome

When trying to understand something new, we automatically look for parallels in our previous experience: we seek examples from the familiar in order to better understand the unfamiliar. Often, this can be helpful, as when we learn a new language and we draw on our knowledge of another language with a common root.

Unfortunately, this strategy can also take us down a path that leads not to greater understanding, but to the confusion of fact with conditioned thought and to a form of distorted vision.

This can readily be observed in the interpretation of animal behaviour by reference to human behaviour, which is one form of what we call anthropomorphism. Myths and fables and children’s tales are so suffused with the granting of human values and character traits to animals that it is hard to think of a creature that has not, in our imaginations, been stereotyped and imprinted with characteristics ascribed to it by someone with a particular point to make, or axe to grind. Thus the fox is ‘wily and cunning’; the dog is ‘faithful and obedient’; the elephant is a ‘gentle giant’ and the snake is ‘sneaky and deceitful’. Aesop probably started the trend, but I prefer to call it the ‘Beatrix Potter Syndrome’, in recognition of her influence on the developing minds of 20th-century children, of whom I was one.

Beatrix Potter was an accomplished illustrator and observer of nature, who, had she been born a century later, may well have had a distinguished career in science. Sadly, she is now only remembered for her children’s books depicting animals in human clothing who walk on their hind legs. From her stories, a direct line can be drawn to the emotionally charged portrayals of animals in many Disney films, while the brutal reality of the lives of wild animals is hidden beneath a veil of sugary sentimentality.

Potter’s assignation of human attributes and behaviour to animals is only one form of anthropomorphism. There are at least two other ways in which we routinely corrupt our understanding of the non-human world by our choice of language: the use of words to name or describe an animal and the description of animal behaviour in human terms.

We can draw examples from the world of bees to illustrate both of these phenomena.

When we label the egg-laying mother of the colony as ‘queen’ bee, we impose on her by implication all the meaning with which that English word is loaded. Thus we may expect to find her as a monarch in charge of the colony, issuing orders and, perhaps, punishments for infringements of ‘colony law’. The term ‘queen bee’ has passed back into the English language as a description of a woman with a controlling and manipulate nature, who likes to have people around her to serve her needs and give her attention. This reinforces the popular but inappropriate picture of a real ‘queen’ bee, which should really be more accurately thought of as the egg-laying servant of the colony and certainly not its ruler. While the queen bee does indeed have a retinue of attendants to feed and groom her, it is they who lead her around and prepare places for her to lay. When she begins to show any signs of a decline in her ability to provide eggs, she will be superseded, ignored and left to starve.

Likewise the male bee, or drone, which has inherited the popular meaning of its name as a parasitic loafer, or one who lives off the labours of others. While the male bees do no obvious and visible work compared to their sometimes hyper-active sisters, we know remarkably little about their day-to-day activities due to the comparatively small amount of research that has been conducted on them. I suggest it is highly improbable that a colony would deliberately encumber itself with a ‘useless’ 10-15% of its population at a time when gathering food is its primary concern. Simply because we have so far failed to study them with due care does not entitle us to label them as ‘surplus to requirements’, which is how they are regarded by most conventional beekeepers. In fact, research by Juergen Tautz at Wurtzburg University has shown that drones may indeed have hitherto unsuspected duties within the hive and may well have functions in the outside world that have so far eluded detection. As long ago as 1852, Moses Quinby (Mysteries of Beekeeping Explained) suggested that drones would likely have functions beyond mating with a queen, perhaps including helping to keep the brood warm. R.O.B.Manley noted that his best honey-producing hives generally had “a large number of drones” (Honey Farming, 1947).

When we come to bee behaviour, so much of it is alien to us that we struggle to make sense of it, so it is not surprising that we resort to attempts to explain aspects of their world in human terms. We talk freely of bees foraging for food, scouting for a nest site, communicating by means of the ‘waggle dance’, defending their home, mating and carrying out their dead because these are all activities that we can easily relate to and make practical sense in terms of day-to-day survival in a colony.

What is perhaps more surprising – and infinitely less helpful – is when people concoct mystical ‘explanations’ derived entirely from their imaginations and pass them on as if they had some scientific validity or foundation in fact.

Myths and legends, populated by gods and heroes, are poetic allegories through which we have conveyed information – both oral and written – from generation to generation and thus gained some understanding of our cultural history. Many myths are anthropomorphic in their personification of natural phenomena, but as long as we understand their origins and true nature, we can learn from them without confusing their content with objective reality.

However, as our scientific understanding of the natural world grew rapidly throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there was a parallel growth of popular interest in such things as clairvoyance, telekinesis, telepathy, reincarnation, ghosts, out-of-body experiences and suchlike para-psychological phenomena that appear not to be subject to the known laws of physics, chemistry or biology. Despite the lack of verifiable evidence for such phenomena, they appear to occupy a nether region that stubbornly persists in popular culture.

In the context of this article, the consideration of whether or not such phenomena really exist is less relevant than the fact that they have, since Victorian times at least, been routinely presented as if they were genuine by people with a considerably greater talent for showmanship than for scientific rigour. Demonstrations of ‘manifestations from the spirit world’ were fashionable in late nineteenth century society, while Ouija boards and ‘table-tipping’ have floated in and out of fashion almost to the present day, despite the efforts of rationalists such as James Randi and Derren Brown to expose the trickery behind them. Variations on the ‘clairvoyance’ theme have been around at least since the days of the Delphic Oracle – probably the first example of a tourist industry built around a mystical cult – and show no signs of losing popularity, despite various myth-busting public exposures of fraud and trickery.

Rudolf Steiner, in his lectures on bees, delivered in November and December of 1923 at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, sought to interpret the world of bees by means of ‘Anthroposophy’, a Christianized, version of the mystical 19th century eastern-derived ‘religious philosophy’ of Theosophy, whose best-known proponent, Helena Blavatsky, was also a performing clairvoyant. Both Steiner and Blavatsky claimed to derive their occult knowledge from outside the material world, by a process that would nowadays be called ‘channeling’.

Steiner believed that mankind had existed on Earth – although not necessarily in material form – since its creation, and that bees (as well as other animals) were created for our benefit. This chronological reversal of the truth as revealed by fossil evidence – bees having certainly been around for more than 100 million years before Homo sapiens – sets the scene for further dubious assertions, such as when he talks of embryonic queens “giving off light” that somehow causes a colony to swarm from “fear that ‘it no longer possesses the bee poison”.

Anyone unfamiliar with Steiner’s idiosyncratic cosmology and his other writings about the supposed history of the Earth may be surprised by passages such as:

“Our earth was once in a condition of which one could say that it was surrounded by clouds that had plant-life within them; from the periphery, other clouds approached and fertilised them; these clouds had an animal nature. From cosmic spaces came the animal nature; from the earth the essence of plant-being rose upwards.” (Lecture VIII)

Back in the world of bees, Steiner makes much of the 21-day gestation period of a worker bee as being equivalent to “a single rotation of the sun on its axis” (Lecture II), apparently unaware that the equatorial regions of the sun perform a single rotation in 25.6 days, while polar regions rotate once in about 36 days (NASA).

He goes on to say that ‘the drone is thus an earthly being’ (because its completion takes longer than the sun’s rotation – which in fact, as we now know, it does not).

He further elaborates on this thesis:

“The drones are the males; they can fertilize; this power of fertilization comes from the earth; the drones acquire it in the few days during which they continue their growth within the earth-evolution and before they reach maturity. So we can now say: in the bees it is clearly to be seen that fertilization (male fecundation) comes from the earthly forces, and the female capacity to develop the egg comes from the forces of the Sun. So you see, you can easily imagine how significant is the length of time during which a creature develops. This is very important for, naturally, something happens within a definite time which could not occur in either a shorter or a longer time, for then quite other things would happen.”

As happens numerous times in the Lectures, Steiner makes a statement that is demonstrably erroneous, and then goes on to elaborate a sequence of specious arguments from it, which, being derived from false premises, must inevitably lead to false conclusions.

It would be tedious to cite every instance where Steiner is obfuscatory, unnecessarily mystical or just plain wrong. Suffice to say that, while not being totally devoid of interest, his Lectures are about as useful a source of insights into bees as a medieval book of medicinal herbs would be for conducting modern surgery. Indeed, Steiner even betrays his lack of basic understanding of the functions of the human body (Lecture VII) in saying that:

“…it is represented as though the heart were a kind of pump, and that this pumping of the heart sends the blood all over the body. This is nonsense, because it is in reality the blood which is brought into motion by the ego-organization, and moves throughout the body.”

However, Steiner does make some non-mystical statements that must be considered, as they at least fall into alignment with observable reality. He warns against pushing bees for over-production, drawing a parallel with the dairy industry (Lecture V); he emphasizes that “… the bee-colony is a totality. It must be seen as a totality.” (Lecture V); The one much-vaunted but often mis-quoted, ‘prediction’ made by Steiner, usually misrepresented as a ‘prophesy’ of the general demise of bees, amounts to a rather mild criticism of the then relatively new practice of artificial insemination: “…we must see how things will be in fifty to eighty years time…”.

Right at the end of the final Lecture, we find clear evidence that Steiner’s view of nature is actually highly anthropocentric:

‘Thus we can say: When we observe things in the right way, we see how the processes of Nature are actually images and symbols of what happens in human life. These men of olden times watched the birds on the juniper trees with the same love with which we look at the little cakes and gifts on the Christmas tree. “…I have therefore spoken of the juniper tree which can truly be regarded as a kind of Christmas tree, and which is the same for the birds as the blossoms for the bees, the wood for the ants, and for the wood-bees and insects in general.”

And so Steiner’s personal mysticism, as well as his sentimentality, turns out to have a large component of anthropomorphism lurking within it.

Having reached this point in our analysis, we have to consider what is left to us: what would be a legitimate methodology for the study of bees, that would be free from the elephant traps of anthropocentrism, anthropomorphism, sentimentality and mysticism, yet can encompass the sense experienced by many who come into contact with bees that there is ‘something else’ present, beyond the purely material?

A rationalist would say, ‘observe without interpretation: see what is there and describe it as accurately as possible, but without overlaying it with meaning. Be true to observable reality’.

And yet, many people report some kind of transcendental experience in the presence of bees en masse, so are their reports to be written off as mere whimsy?

Speaking from my own experience, I can say that while working with bees and maintaining a calm, unhurried demeanour, I have had moments of inner peace akin to that I have also experienced while meditating or engaging in certain martial arts practices that aim to ‘still the mind’. Having one’s unprotected hands in a hive containing 50,000 fully-armed bees has a way of focusing the mind very much in the moment, while any deviation from the ‘now’ is likely to be punished more rapidly and more severely than by a Zen master’s staff.

Being present ‘in the moment’ is a rarer – and thus more precious – experience for the 21st-century Twitter-dweller than for our ancestors. For the opportunity to experience that sense of timelessness in the company of a wild creature so many millennia our senior is a privilege that beekeepers should celebrate and cherish.

Mysticism has had its day. We are grown-ups now: we have seen the atom bomb and the double helix and we need to come to terms with objective reality in all its wonderful forms without ascribing all phenomena just beyond our understanding to the work of gods, aliens, faeries or gnomes. We can appreciate nature without projecting our aspirations or values onto it. We can observe without always needing to know the ‘hidden meaning’ of what we see hear, smell and taste. We can be elevated by what is around us and enjoy all the sensations available in this remarkable, natural world. We can even compose poems and songs, myths and fables to entertain us and our children, but we no longer need to sit at the feet of all-too-mortal men who exert power over the ignorant by interposing themselves between us and authentic experience of the mysteries of life.

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A Call to Action – Now or Never

For decades, we had been facing many environmental-related abuses and issues around the world. Among these abuses are mining, illegal logging and deforestation, improper waste disposal from factories and other infrastructures, and other complicated environmental problems. On top of that, we also had huge previous wildfires happened across the continents such as in Australia and California this year which burned down hectares of forests and endangered the lives of wild animals.

According to DW Zimmermann, 2016, five of the world’s biggest environmental problems are: (1) Air pollution and Climate change; (2) Deforestation; (3) Species extinction; (4) Soil degradation; and (5) Overpopulation.

Air pollution and Climate change

There is air pollution when the atmosphere or the air we breathe is occupied with higher level of CO2 or Carbon Dioxide than Oxygen or any other gases. These CO2 mainly came from burning factories, burning coal and fossil fuels, and other industrial activities that contribute to the increasing number of parts per million (ppm) which was from 280, 200 years ago to about 400 ppm today. The result: Climate disruption.

In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that one in nine deaths in 2012 were attributable to diseases caused by carcinogens and other poisons in polluted air.

Solution: Replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Change Industrial processes.

Deforestation

Today, about 30 percent of the planet’s land is covered by forests-which us about half 11,000 years ago as before agriculture started. About 7.3 million hectares of forest are destroyed each year, mostly in tropics. Now only 6 or 7 percent tropical forests covers the planets land area, which was used to be 15 percent.

Solution: Deforestation and restore what is left of natural forest.

Species Extinction

Both in land and in water species were being hunted legally and illegally. In land, wild animals are being hunted almost to extinction for bush meat, ivory, or medicinal purposes. At sea, huge fishing vessels wiped out vast fishing populations. The loss and destruction of habitat are also a contributing factor for mass extinction.

Solution: Restoring habitats and call for action from government to prevent further extinction of endangered species.

Soil Degradation

Over grazing, monoculture planting, erosion, overexposure to pollutants, land use conversion- and a long list of ways that causes soil damages. Almost 12 million hectares of farmland a year get seriously degraded, according to UN estimates.

Overpopulation

Human population continues to grow worldwide rapidly. From 1.6 billion people entering 20th century, now we are about 7.5 billion. Estimates put us at nearly 10 billion by 2050. Growing global populations, combined with growing affluence is putting ever greater pressure in essential natural resources both in land and in water. Most of the growth is happening on the African continent, and in southern and eastern Asia.

Solution: Family planning and 2-3 child for every family might be applied. Accessibility of education especially in young girls in tropical regions.

Among those five major environmental problems in the world, there are still many minor problems which we are facing today like: water pollution’s, improper waste disposal, poor drainage system, mining, and a long list of environmental abuses.

In the Philippines, its rich biodiversity is under a threat, mostly from human activities, including deforestation and forest degradation, illegal fishing and illicit wildlife trade.

Despite the abuses of our environment, we are lucky to have many social groups and environmental activists that fights for the protection and conservation of our environment.

We had the famous Greta Thunberg, a 17-year-old Swedish environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change. She also published several books promoting environment protection and conservation and among others such as: “No one is too small to make a difference,” “Scenes from the Heart, Greta Thunberg (I know this to be true): On Truth, courage and saving our planet (Brittanica Whang, 2020).

She urges everyone especially the youth to speak up for climate change and other environmental issues. Today, she already gained many supporters worldwide, marching in saving our planet.

In the Philippines, environmental activist Gina Lopez had achieved a lot of environmental related works such as the clean-up of at least 17 tributaries in the badly polluted Pasig river and nearby streams, when she chaired the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and she led Save Palawan Island movement.

Lopez ordered 23 mines to shut down and many others to deny or suspend their operations. She also cancelled 75 contracts to mines which she said posed threat to nearby water supply.

In August 2019 however, Gina died, aged 65, following multiple organ failures after losing the battle against brain cancer. She was mourned by many, at best the ABS-CBN Foundation, a social development organization of which she was the chairperson for many years (Nytimes Gutierrez, 2019).

Today, Philippines is considered second to the deadliest country for environmental activists from last year’s report with 34 killings. Columbia with 64 killings ranked first (Bernanews Espina, 2020).

On the other hand, you do not have to join any environmental groups to be recognized with your efforts as an “environmentalist.” You can still make a big difference on your own by simply knowing and doing what is proper for our environment. Put simply, segregating your garbage from biodegradable to non-biodegradable, cleaning the canals and drainage system, planting trees, saving water and electricity, and other environmental activities. Consider this thinking, your efforts today is the future of our next generation. And together with our little ways we can make a difference. Protect our Mother nature, today and for the future to come.

Do something good, no one might see or recognize it, but the future generations will.

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Can My Pet Make Me Sick?

Can having a pet make my children or me sick?

The answer to that question is “yes” and “no.”

There is always the possibility and there are also ways to prevent problems.

The best way to make certain, germs and/or bacteria is not passed around is to practice good hygiene. Cleanliness seems to be the best prevention of common illnesses.

However, one important thing is, to keep in mind is the current state of everyone’s health. People with a weak immune system, people suffering from serious illnesses, people with HIV/AIDS, people with organ transplants, people being treated for cancer and infants and young children are all at a greater risk of picking up a disease from an animal than most other people.

With few exceptions, carelessness in handling a pet along with not washing your hands after cleaning up after a pet, are primary causes of illness connected with pets.

What are some of the possible illnesses that can be associated with animals? The most feared in my mind is rabies.

What is rabies? It is a disease caused by the rabies virus and is transmitted though a bite from an animal that is carrying the virus. Today most domesticated animals are vaccinated for the rabies virus as dictated by most state laws.

However, a bite from an unknown animal, domestic or wild, until it is known that the animal has been vaccinated, has to have the recipient of the bite, treated as if the animal has the virus.

It may take from one to three months for a person to show signs of the virus and by then it is too late for any treatment to work.

It is very important that your pet, even if it is an inside only pet, be inoculated against the rabies virus.

Teaching children to avoid trying to pet strange dogs or cats, unless supervised, along with avoiding the temptation to catch a wild animal, is one of the best lessons you can teach your child.

There are many germs/viruses that can be picked up from dogs other than rabies, most of which come from contact with a dog’s feces. That is why cleanliness seems so important. To clean up after your dog eliminates, use plastic gloves, a pooper scooper or a plastic bag to avoid touching the feces.

A dog can carry many types of germs, bacteria and/or virus and not be ill, but you can pick it up and suffer. Most illness caused by pets usually run the gamut of diarrhea, vomiting, some fever and muscle aches. As with any illness see, your medical provider.

Cats too, can pass on a disease or two to their humans, but in general you are most likely not going to get sick from touching or owning a cat.

Cat scratch fever can come from a scratch or bite, but using normal precautionary measures such as washing the wound and putting an anapestic on it, can generally prevent any illness. Symptoms of cat scratch disease can include infection at the point of injury, swollen lymph glands, some fever, and a loss of appetite.

Another disease associated with cats is Toxoplasmosis, however people are more likely to get it from eating raw meat or gardening.

What is toxoplasmosis? It is a disease caused by a parasite, about 60 million people are infected by this bug and do not know it. You can get it by swallowing cat feces.

Yuk, you say why would anyone do that? Actually just by touching your mouth, eyes, or nose you can transmit it to yourself. The symptoms are flu like. It particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can be transmitted to the fetus.

When cleaning the litter box always use caution and refrain from handling any feces. Keep pets away from the litter box, along with children. For some odd reason dogs seem to enjoy looking for treats in the litter box.

What other diseases can be transmitted to humans by pets?

Salmonellosis, which is a bacterial disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella. Most of the time people get it from infected chicken, eggs or other contaminated food. The symptoms can cause severe diarrhea, fever and stomach pain.

The virus salmonellosis can also be passed on to humans by handling such pets as reptiles (lizards, snakes and turtles,) baby chicks, ducklings and occasionally a cat or dog.

Again it comes from touching the feces of the animals and not washing your hands after doing so. Some animals can have it on their bodies, as they have picked it up from the ground.

Water can also be a point of contamination, where animals have access to it and due to ground run offs, feces and urine can flow into the water, humans need to be careful.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals.

How can you get it?

By exposure to many things, as the bacteria is secreted through the urine of infected animals. It can be found in water, (ponds and streams) food, or soil containing urine from the infected animals. Swallowing the water (swimming in a pond or stream,) contaminated food or by hands that have been in contact with a source and you have rubbed your eyes, nose or mouth or through a cut on your skin.

The symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible especially, if you have been swimming in the “old swimming hole.”

Leptospirosis is found worldwide, but mainly in temperate and tropical climates. Pets can acquire it from drinking out of a contaminated birdbath.

Ticks carry diseases and ticks bite dogs, so the rule here is, when removing ticks from your pet be extremely careful. Your chances of getting either Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted fever are slim and none, unless you are tramping around in areas of the country where those ticks are prevalent and are not wearing protective clothing.

Fleas can cause tapeworm in household pets. The animals get it by swallowing a flea that has been infected.

Can you get tapeworm, certainly, but only if you swallow and infected flea. Keeping your pet and household flea free will prevent either of you from becoming infected. Last, but not least in this list of things, is Ringworm, this is a skin and scalp disease that can be caught not only from animals, but people, too.

How can you get ringworm?

Ringworm is a contagious fungus that can be passed on from person to person, pet to person or pet to pet.

It has nothing to do with worms, but is a fungus that lives in humans, pets and rarely in the soil. Ringworm appears as, a flat round patch on the skin and then conforms to a ring like patch. It can be treated by a fungus killing medicine usually taken orally in tablet form or by an ointment applied to the affected area.

The important thing here is not to share personal items with an infected person, do not touch infected areas, keep children away from infected pets, and to thoroughly wash all items handled by the infected pet or person.

Now that I have made you wonder, should I ever get a pet, the answer is of course.

Plain old common sense hygiene is the answer to most pet to people diseases. I have never heard of a person dying because of a disease caught from a cat or dog. With the possibly exception of someone being bitten by a rabid animal and not seeking treatment.

Keeping play areas for children free from being your pet’s bathroom area and keeping feces cleaned up is the safest thing you can do.

Teach your children to wash their hands frequently after playing with their pet and you are on your way to a long and happy life

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The Vegetarian Diet – You Are What You Eat

There is an expression, “You are what you eat.” In countries of the East where vegetarianism has been the diet for thousands of years, people recognize that whatever they eat forms a part of their body and also influences their thoughts. They believe that if they eat the flesh of an animal that the mental and emotional vibrations or characteristics of the animal will form a part of their own nature. Today, science is researching the effect that our own stress hormones have on our body and the damage that long-term stress does to our organs. Imagine eating animals whose last days or minutes of life on earth were drenched with the hormones released in their state of fear they were in when they were about to be slaughtered. Those who eat meat are ingesting not only the flesh, but all the hormones of stress that are released due to the animal’s fear as well. Thus, many people brought up in the traditions of the East prefer to live on plant foods, which are more conducive to mental equipoise.

Others can often pick up the effect on our vibrations based on what we eat. To illustrate this, there is an instructive story from the life of a great Sufi lady saint named Rabia Basri. Once when she had gone to the mountains, a group of wild animals- deer, gazelle, and mountain goats-gathered around her. They came and looked at her and stood close to her. Suddenly, her friend, Hasan, arrived. When he saw Rabia he came near her. When the wild animals saw Hasan, they all fled in fear. Hasan was perplexed when he saw this.

He looked at Rabia and asked, “Why did they run away in fear from me while they acted friendly to you?” Rabia asked, “What did you eat today?” He said, “Some onion, fried in animal fat.” She said, “You eat their fat, why shouldn’t they flee from you?”

Many enlightened beings, saints, mystics, and spiritual teachers have traditionally advocated a vegetarian diet for spiritual and moral reasons. For those pursuing a spiritual path, a vegetarian diet is essential for several important reasons. First, spiritual teachers have always taught that we are more than just a body and a mind; we are also soul. They have also taught people the process of meditation to help rediscover our true nature as soul. To help gain proficiency in the spiritual practices, vegetarianism is a helping factor. To be able to concentrate in meditation, we need to be calm and collected. If we eat the flesh of dead animals, our own consciousness will be affected.

In the East, vegetarianism has been considered essential to spiritual development. Spiritual teachers promote a life of nonviolence. Helping factors for spiritual growth include developing the ethical virtues of nonviolence, truthfulness, purity, humility, and selfless service. The vegetarian diet is a natural by-product of nonviolence, in which no harm is done to any living creature. That is why saints through the ages have recommended a vegetarian diet, avoiding meat, fish, fowl, and eggs.

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A Look at Wildlife Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania

Both Kenya and Tanzania are an ideal home for wildlife species including the big five (leopard, elephant, lion, buffalo and the rhino). Your safari will include touring the most attractive wildlife parks and game reserves. You will spend your nights in camping sites or lodges situated within or near the parks where you can view and listen to a myriad of noises made by different animals all night long. This will be an adventure of it’s own kind where you will watch he big cats hunt for predator as other wild animals feed on grass and leaves from trees and plants.

Your safari will leave you with life time memories, especially after watching the world famous annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti Plains and also in the Masai Mara National Park. A part from the big five, other animals you are expected to see include antelopes, zebras, giraffes, cheetah and hyenas. Your tour guides will teach you how to tell which animal has passed a specific place by just watching at the footprints. You will also learn and tell when grazing animals are in danger. Passing along the river banks where many wildebeest gather to clear their thirst will be very interesting. This is also a good time to watch hungry crocodiles catch their prey.

As you enjoy your safari to Kenya and Tanzania, you will hardly hesitate climbing and hiking both Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. Here, you will spend your nights in huts or tents as you experience the cold weather. You will also learn how to hunt forest honey and taste it’s natural sweetness. As you drive through the bush, you will see many bird life species and insect life. The rolling rocks, The Equator and the Great Rift Valley including its many lakes, spring and rivers, forests and grass land vegetation. You will have a chance to visit different villages where the culture of various tribes is practiced.

This will be a good time for students doing various researches and projects. You will see different tree species and learn to make herb medicine from tree leaves and roots. Fishing and watching different fish species from Lake Victoria and Lake Naivasha will not be an exception. After your safari, relax at the beach along Mombasa Coast as well as in Zanzibar, Pemba and Dar-es-salaam. Your wildlife safari will include delicious meals which will be served in the best hotels, lodges and camps in both Kenya and Tanzania.

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The World’s Most Beautiful National Parks

National Parks are one of the top adventures.

Yellow Stone:

Yellowstone National Park being 3,500-sq.-mile, is a wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. The park spreads into parts of Montana. It features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous. It’s also home to hundreds of animal species, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.

Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon National Park is home to much of the huge Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of environmental history. Views include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio.

Yosemite:

Yosemite National Park is in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. It’s famous for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of high Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. In Yosemite Village are shops, restaurants, lodging, the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Kruger:

Kruger National Park, in South Africa, is one of Africa’s largest game assets. Its high thickness of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, rhinos, elephants and buffalos. Other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, and tropical forests are all part of the countryside.

Torres del Paine:

Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile’s Patagonia area, is known for it’s rising mountains, bright blue icebergs that slice from glaciers and golden pampas (grasslands) that housing rare wildlife such as llama-like guanacos. Some of its greatest iconic sites are the 3 granite towers from which the park takes its name and the peaks called Cuernos del Paine.

Serengeti:

Serengeti National Park is known for its huge annual migration of wildebeest and zebra. Seeking new meadow, the mobs move north from their background grounds in the grassy southern plains. Numerous cross the marshy western corridor’s crocodile-infested Grumeti River. Others turn northeast to the Lobo Hills, home to black eagles. Black rhinos live the granite outcrops of the Moru Kopjes.

Fiordland:

Fiordland National Park is in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for the glacier-carved fiords of Uncertain sounds. A beach forest trail on the sandy Milford shore proposals views of soaring Mitre Peak. Attached, the craggy Earl Mountains are reflected in the smooth surface of Mirror Lakes. On the Cleddau River, the Chasm Walk passes over bridges with views of powerful waterfalls.

Zion:

Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve illustrious by Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive scratches through its main section, leading to forest tracks along the Virgin River. The river streams to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a droopy garden. Also along the river, partially through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike.

Lakes National Park being 295-sq.-km, is a forest reserve in central Croatia. It’s recognized for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, combined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails breeze around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 minor lakes. The later are the site of Veliki Slap, a 78 meters tall waterfall.

Glacier:

Glacier National Park being 1,583-sq.-miles, is a wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. It’s traversed by the mountainous. Amongst additional 700 miles of mountaineering trails, it has a route to attractive Hidden Lake. It has the activities of backpacking, cycling and camping. Diverse wildlife ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears.

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Charter to Yellowstone National Park

Chartering a jet for business is one thing, but chartering it for leisure makes the trip special on a whole other level. One you can go on your schedule and two you don’t need to mess with busy airports and the hassle that flying commercial comes with.

When you add the freedom of chartering a jet to the freedom of exploring one of nature’s most amazing areas, somewhere like Yellowstone National Park for example you have a match made in vacation heaven.

Yellowstone National Park is 3,468 square miles of wilderness, mountains, wild animals and half of the world’s natural thermal features that spreads over three of America’s states: Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It is home to many lakes, canyons, rivers and beautiful rock formations made from the volcanic area where it is located. It has nine visitor centers and museums and five different entrances and it the first National Park ever designated in the United States.

Probably the most famous of the geysers at the park is Old Faithful, which treats visitors to an eruption every 91 minutes. Old Faithful is just one of the thousands of thermal features that can be found in the park, and it attracts thousands of people from all over the world each and every year.

Of course the park is also home to many varieties of plants, trees, grasses and flowers and many different animal species call the park home as well. Visitors can stay in one of the many lodges or camp in one of the many campgrounds that are sprinkled around the interior of the park itself, and to make negotiating the park that much easier there are paved roads to the major areas and visitor friendly walkways to get closer to the features.

Because Yellowstone National Park is so vast and has five entrances, you can access it by several smaller airports which is great for those smaller chartered jets to land and take off from. Airports in Wyoming and Montana also have shuttles to and from the park that are reasonably priced and perfect for charter jet passengers to get to and from the park with ease.

So the next time you want to get out into nature and explore one of the most fascinating parks in the United States, why not add to that freedom and charter a jet to get you there in style? It’s easier than you think and will make your vacation something to remember for a lifetime.

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Where to Find Wholesale Fluffy, Stuffed Animals?

It is very much the talk of the town that wholesale purchases of any products, including stuffed animals, enable buyers and bulk purchasers as well to have more savings. It is basically the manufacturers that supply wholesale stuffed animals among retailers, professional business users, and other bulk users.

Stuffed animals are preferably favored among children and also those that are still kids at heart. Wholesale stuffed animals are ideal for gifts and even corporate giveaways among company conventions or any social events.

Wholesaling, mainly, is known to always have cheaper priced products and merchandises compared to those sold by the local retail market. In fact, majority of wholesale dealings offer lower prices than that in the usual market. Few manufacturers put up for sale wholesale stuffed animals of high quality, minus the pricey product costs. Moreover, aside from the affordable product rates, packaging and consignment charges are also similarly low-priced with wholesale purchases. Even some manufacturers and wholesalers offer these services free of charges.

Knowing that the animal kingdom include a vast selection of creatures, samples of wholesale stuffed animals are the wild animals such as kangaroos, hippopotamus, elephants, eagles, roaring lions, leopards and the common and domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, all kinds of birds and so on. Singing animals or even animals making sounds are all can be found among wholesale manufacturers that fit together product parts, classify them accordingly and lastly pack and distribute them to their consumers.

Wholesale stuffed animals ensure buyers from manufacturers, usually gift shop owners, to gain a lot of benefits. However, supply of stuffed animals is not steady among some distributors. It is essential for buyers therefore to deal with reliable wholesale suppliers, so that there is prompt action in cases of misfortunes or delayed deliveries. The internet is the best place to search potential wholesale stuffed animal suppliers that provides almost every species of stuffed animals. Other online companies even offer themed wholesale stuffed animals specifically during special occasions or sports seasons like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and football season. Several businesses also provide tempting discounts and product exchange and replacement schemes. It is essential for business owners also to have good customer supports.

For better and conscientious business transactions with wholesalers, numerous free websites provide potential customers and buyers with equally straightforward and unprejudiced business reviews.

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