"I can't believe I saw that on a twelve-year-old's phone today, but life is full of surprises." Indeed it is, Christina van Beek. But even though a cat in a blender is shocking today while chicks in macerators are shrugged off as the price of getting eggs, that attitude is arbitrary:
Ritualistic Cat Torture Was Once a Form of Town FunIf you’re fond of cats, you should probably stop right here and switch to looking at photos of kittens wearing tiny hoodies. Because in medieval times,...www.atlasobscura.com
Also plants can't feel pain because they lack mobility. The reason we feel pain is to alert us to danger so that we can get away from it. If you cant get away from the source of pain, theres no point in feeling it. What a flaw in the universes design it would be if creatures were to feel pain without being able to do anything about it.Just a minor quibble, but that article isn’t quite “plants are conscious.” It’s “some Italian botanist thinks plants are conscious.” Consciousness can be variously defined to fit almost any thesis, but as plants lack brains and central nervous systems, they probably don’t suffer.
File under: somewhat more dismaying than trampled grass—Spain has approved the construction of a factory farm for octopi in the Canary Islands. (You cannot help but feel the Spanish are a sub-species). According to the article, “a few dozen people” showed up at a protest in Madrid yesterday. Octopi are sentient, sensitive, and intelligent, despite not being vertebrates. The farming conditions are apt to foment terror, filthy living conditions, and possibly cannibalism. Same mode of treatment, new kind of animal.
International protest against octopus farming led by Spanish Party for the Animals - Party for the AnimalsThis summer, the world’s first octopus factory farm is planned to be opened in Spain. A highly controversial first, since octopus farming has been denounced as unethical, a threat to wildlife and the environment, and incompatible with EU guidelines for sustainable aquaculture. Last weekend, the S...www.partyfortheanimals.com
Many indigenous people still practice an attitude to nature that involves stewardship, gratitude and cooperation, but instead of being honoured and imitated by the rest of the world, they are being killed for trying to protect nature. Stubborn is the status quo, although ordinary people are increasingly concerned.
Interesting you imply consciousness is signaled by being able to suffer, Aubrey. Consciousness has been called the 'hard problem' of science for a long time, meaning it is not yet understood, at least not by the scientific community to their satisfaction.
I chuckled at the mother's concern about Phantom Thread. While watching it, I noted a resemblance to Morrissey, especially in the discipline to art, while realising all I have to go on is the imputed public image.
How are your cats doing? Did the kittens make it? They must be getting big now.
Say, that's a good comparison. Morrissey is certainly an "impossible" artist like the dress-maker in the film, behind whose perfection is prickliness and an oddball personality. And back in the 80s I thought there was a kind of physical resemblance between Morrissey and Daniel Day-Lewis. Their noses could hardly be more different, but the similarities are in the brow, the facial structure, and the hairline.
I only have one cat, but she has several siblings in the feral cat colony near where I live. She's about a year old. I took her in as a juvenile last October after I found her mauled. She's FeLV-positive and is already showing some symptoms: her coat is falling out in clumps and her gums are swollen. The vet said the symptoms can be lived with for varying amounts of time, but once the virus itself hits, it's very aggressive. But you've reminded me, I have a can of kitten formula I intend to take down to the railroad tracks where the feral cat colony is, and see if I can hear any mewling from the bushes. It's that time of year. I'll report on this thread if there's any activity.
The cat(s) landed on their feet with you anyway. FeLV? Feline leukemia virus, I just learned. Is that common in cats? One way or the other, suffering is a sure thing, isn't it? May your one domestic cat, and family of adopted feral felines all fare fine.
Speaking of cats, I miss 'cat on a train'. Have they left or did they morph again? Or like others, do they show up mainly when a tour's in motion?
I think it's about five percent of cats. The veterinarian politely shamed me about letting her be an indoor/outdoor cat, because she could potentially infect another cat if they fight. He even mentioned that there's a "crazy cat lady" in town who's made her house a sanctuary for FeLV cats, since shelters put cats down if they test positive (they're deemed "not adoptable" due to their short life spans, and also their weak immune systems requiring more medical care). Maybe I took it the wrong way, but it almost sounded as if he was asking me if I wanted to give this woman my cat. There's just no way. My line of reasoning is that she'd be outdoors all the time if I hadn't taken her in, so if anything I'm reducing her chance of infecting another cat. He could've countered that she'd probably be dead if I hadn't gotten her injuries taken care of, but he didn't, and was good enough to let the conversation end. Because my next question would've been, "do you eat meat or dairy?" We can certainly talk about the amount of animal suffering we cause, Bub. He's a nice guy, though.
What I am worried about is that there are new people moving in piecemeal next door. They're not spending their nights there yet, and I don't know what I'll do if it turns out they have an outdoor cat. I'll have to be honest about my cat's status, because they'd certainly interact (I am "dog-faced in a duplex"). I guess I'll even offer to pay for their cat to be vaccinated against FeLV, if it isn't already.
I don't think she's around, because I don't see anybody going "a-ha, o-ho!" on here. She has a unique style and she'd be detected if she took a new name. I hope she's doing well. I know the loss of her cat was particularly on hard on her, given the circumstances of its death. It's strange. The anti-death-penalty people are constantly telling us how the lethal injection process is probably not always a peaceful way to go, and then we turn around and assure ourselves that it's fine for our pets.
"People in modern societies often have a harsh view of nature, believing that competition reigns supreme and that the flourishing of one individual or group must necessarily come at the expense of others. In Sweet in Tooth and Claw, Kristin Ohlson argues (gently!) that nature is instead shaped and knitted together by mutually beneficial relationships, many of which humans unwittingly disrupt as we build our homes, expand our cities, divert water, and grow food.
But when we change our guiding metaphor and view nature as predominantly cooperative --and ourselves as cooperators instead of disruptors--we can repair the damage we’ve done to the natural world and plant the seeds for mutual thriving.
Through interviews with biologists, ecologists, ranchers, farmers in the field, urban visionaries, and others, Ohlson’s deeply researched case studies and observations show example after example of how nature is mostly sweet, not ravenous.
The title Sweet in Tooth and Claw plays on Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.,” in which he describes nature as “red in tooth and claw.” The book extends the concept of cooperation in nature from The Soil Will Save Us to the life-affirming connections among microbes, plants, fungi, insects, birds, and animals—including humans—in ecosystems around the globe. Ohlson tells stories of trees and mushrooms, beavers and cows, coffee and ants, bird poop and coral reefs. There are chapters on a wide variety of ecosystems and portraits of the people who learn from them: forests (the work of Suzanne Simard); scientists who study the interaction of bees and flowers in the Rocky Mountains; ranchers and biologists restoring wetlands in desertified northeastern Nevada; architects designing urban wetlands to protect major rivers, and more. Ohlson also recognizes older cultures that understood the necessary balance between nature's and human needs, and to which we must turn at this time of climate and environmental crisis.
“I’m convinced that if we can learn to respect, not ravage, the rest of nature, we’ll also become more generous and nurturing with each other,” she writes.
Sweet in Tooth and Claw is a rich and fascinating book full of amazing stories, complemented by full-color photography, and is sure to challenge the reader’s perspective on the natural world.