The couple’s family consists of two cats and four dogs. Some of these pets began as fosters, who stayed, and some have special needs. All six are loving and loved.
When two relatives visited for the first time, Uncle X said, “We’re not animal people, so would you mind putting your pets away?”
What would you say to that?
No, I don’t know what was said, or done, in response to that request. I was speaking with a new acquaintance who had already wowed me with the story of her family. “Kim” is a health care professional, but much more important, she’s “an animal person.” And like me, she distrusts people who say or behave like not-animal people.
Talking with Kim caused me to remember the NAPs (not-animal-people) in my life who inevitably disappointed me, or worse. Compassion, kinship as living beings, appreciation of beauty, respect for qualities. . . It’s hard to understand how some human animals can lack such feelings toward (other) animals. They seem somehow incomplete.
Guard against NAPs!
When wrinkles are good
African elephants of both sexes benefit from their wrinkles! As elephants age, their skin thickens and cracks. But since they don’t sweat, those skin cracks
This info about keeping cool and staying healthy comes from Michel Milinkovitch, an evolutionary biologist, who used computer modeling and studied elephant skin samples to reach these conclusions.
. . . and captivity is extra bad
Happy, a 47-year old Asian elephant, has lived alone in the Bronx Zoo for the last 12 years of her 40 year residency there. Fighting within the captive population had led to their separation, causing Happy’s solitary existence -- painfully far from how wild elephants live.
To date, activists’ efforts have failed to move Happy to an elephant sanctuary where she can make new friends. That may be so because their campaign has to do with “nonhuman rights” --granting the same legal protections as humans -- a cause that has not yet caught on in the courts.
Could Happy ultimately become happier if advocates simply claimed, and proved, inhumane treatment; if they showed that living alone in a zoo bears no resemblance to how an Asian elephant would live in the wild? That seems like reason enough to me.
Never forget elephants
|Tusk-free female Adoo pic|
Elephants worldwide are still in jeopardy. Their tusks feed the unabated desire for ivory trinkets that are more valued than the lives of these iconic, intelligent, highly social creatures. There could yet come a time when elephants no longer live on this planet; isn’t that a fearful thought, especially if human greed and cruelty make it happen?
But as reported in a captivating story about them, some elephants have evolved into tusk-free animals. If that were to happen widely and quickly enough, could it be an answer, if not the answer? Such an evolutionary change might save elephants. But should it happen that elephants become creatures without tusks?
For me, anything Natalie Angier writes about is ultra-readable because of this journalist-artist’s diction and wit. Here, she writes about elephants without tusks.
Sorry not to have run this poster earlier, but it’s never too late to walk your dog or put your chubby pet on a diet or love up black dogs (and cats!) or salute the vet tech(s) in your life. And please remember Halloween on October 31, another important date for animals: it’s a nasty trick to let them eat any “treats.”
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