Goats can Solve Complex Mechanical Puzzles, Remember The Solution Nearly a Year Later
New research found that most goats tested could quickly figure out how to solve a “mechanical puzzle” that yielded a delicious piece of fruit. In this case they had to pull on and then lift up a lever, a “highly novel cognitive task.” Completing this two-step process caused a box to open, within which was a piece of fruit. Of the 12 goats tested, nine of them got it within fewer than a dozen trials on average. Two of them were disqualified for trying to pry open the fruit-box with their horns, which actually might have been a smart idea (and it’s not like the goats knew they’d be DQ’ed), and one was dismissed as hopeless upon not showing signs of learning the task after 22 trials.
The scientists re-tested the goats 10 months later, and this time they solved the puzzle much more quickly, within two minutes. "The speed at which the goats completed the task at 10 months compared to how long it took them to learn indicates excellent long-term memory," co-author Dr Elodie Briefer, at ETH Zurich, said in a statement.
Do not exploit fellow earthlings.
It may seem shocking to some people who believe “humane” treatment can still involve slaughter, but “the least amount” of something is always, logically, a lack of that thing. A lack of slaughter and exploitation is the truly humane option. This isn’t to say there aren’t ways to cause less harm to farm animals, but that labeling it “humane” might be a huge misnomer worth fixing.
Great article by Jake Conroy of Rainforest Action Network.
One important part of the article I’d like to point out is how much water we’re using to sustain supposedly “grass fed”, “organic” cows used for beef. It goes to show that this sort of ‘food product’ has a rather dire environmental impact, even though it is bought by consumers who tout themselves as ethically conscious.
If you aren’t totally quaking in your boots at the news of millions of bees dead, yet again, you’re nuts.
Alright you guys, there’s a good amount of notes on this but it’s only making us aware of the problem, not telling us what we can do to help. We can do something to help and YOU CAN HELP, YES THAT MEANS YOU. ALL YOU NEED IS DIRT, A FEW BUCKS, AND A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME TO MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE, LITERALLY.
Plant flowers that bees like and that attract them.
Bees prefer flowers that are blue, purple, and yellow. Choose flowers that bloom successively over the spring, summer, and fall seasons such as coreopsis, Russian sage, or germander. They especially love clover! Other plants include sage, salvia, oregano, lavender, ironweed, yarrow, yellow hyssop, alfalfa, honeywort, dragonhead, echinacea, bee balm, buttercup, goldenrod and English thyme. Buy seeds online.
GET RID OF THE PESTICIDES!!
If pesticides are killing off the bees so easily, what do you think it’s doing to us? The EPA says studies have shown pesticides can cause birth defects, nerve damage, and cancer. There are other ways to get rid of pests in the garden than using chemicals. Organic Garden Pests shows you how to keep off the bugs the organic way.
Give the bees a free home!
Please, if you have already reblogged this, reblog this again with what I have posted onto it so you know what you can do to help. We can make a difference.
Sources and other helpful links:
Quick mention of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit group doing a LOT of good work for bees and other pollinators, among others.
Guys, if all the bees died we’d have FOUR YEARS to live.
1. lol if pokemon were real, then yes. personally, i love pokemon. i don’t care how hypocritical it is (i do care, i just ignore it because it’s just a game). what’s funny to me is pokemon is like the perfect example of animal rights, written from a carnist’s perspective. like, they’re always talking about loving pokemon and respecting pokemon, yet what could be less loving and respectful then fighting a creature until they almost faint, entrapping them in a tiny ball and then only taking them out to battle, which is entirely for your own purposes? even pikachu, who ash apparently loves more than anything, is referred to as an “it” by him. then they made the absolutely awful black and white games (that i couldn’t even finish), which try to trivialize pokemon rights and demonize pokemon rights activists. so it’s just a mess all around. peta made a fun game though.
2 & 4. to me, being vegan means being against all animal exploitation of all animals in all forms. i don’t care if the apocalypse was coming and the only way to stop it was to sacrifice a mouse to the gods, i would still be against it. you have to get away from this idea that animals are resources for us to utilize. they are not. they are their own beings with their own feelings and purposes. if you couldn’t condone doing something to a human baby (a being who can’t give consent), then i couldn’t condone doing it to another animal.
3. as long as what they’re doing is in the dog’s best interest and isn’t just to entertain your friend, i don’t see a problem. i think it’s really important to make sure animals are getting plenty of exercise and activity, especially large dogs like that.
my aunt bought a pure-bred siberian husky and when he was a puppy, he was a monster because no one walked or played with him enough. whenever i went over, i would wrestle with him for an hour (at the expense of my clothes) and run around the block with him (at the expense of all my muscles) because he just had so much built up energy and i felt so bad for him. now he’s overweight and sad. it’s really upsetting because if you take in a large dog (especially if you buy them from a breeder), you have the responsibility to meet all of their needs and a lot of people just don’t do that. so yeah, i think what your friend is doing sounds great, unless of course there’s some seedy underbelly that i’m missing
|—||Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)|
If you caught your kid raising cats in tiny boxes, forcing them to live in their own feces without clean air or sunlight, pulling their teeth and claws out with pliers to keep them from hurting each other, then skinning them alive to make collars to sell to their friends, you’d rush him to a psychiatrist.
But you support that very behavior every time you buy meat, eggs, dairy or fur.
|—||Dan Piraro (via ukkirah)|
People talk about veganism as though only by being vegan are we making a choice. People who aren’t vegan are talked about as ‘not doing anything.’ This kind of thinking is not only fundamentally incorrect, but also very harmful, in that it let’s those who choose not to be vegan*, off the hook, as just ‘not making a choice.’
Every time you make a purchase, you are making a choice. Maybe your choice is made out of ignorance, but it is a choice, nonetheless. Every time you buy a carton of dairy milk or a leather jacket, you are choosing to exploit, abuse, and kill animals, whether you realize it or not.
Being vegan does not make me an animal rights activist. An activist takes direct actions. They campaign, they free animals from labs, they run farm sanctuaries, etc. I try to do a small part by running this blog to answer questions and raise awareness and I sponsor a pig, but it is not anywhere near enough.
Being vegan is the absolute least anyone can do. We are not doing anything extra by being vegan. We are simply choosing to purchase the less cruel alternatives that are already available, unlike non-vegans who are actively choosing not to be vegan with every purchase they make.
Please stop talking about non-vegans as if they aren’t doing anything. It takes the responsibility out of their hands. They don’t need to start doing something, they need to change what they are already doing.
*note, I’m only talking about people who have the choice to be vegan, but are not (most people). I’m not referring to or judging anyone who is not vegan beyond their own control
Sistah Vegan is a unique gathering of reflections, poems, personal narratives, and critical essays from a diverse community of North American black-identified vegans who describe their many and varied motivations for deciding not to eat animal products. However, Sistah Vegan goes way beyond discussions of diet and lifestyle to examine veganism’s intersection with race, nutrition, gender-identification, animal rights, spirituality, health and healing, body image, parenting, and personal and collective liberation. Thought-provoking, challenging, passionate, and affirming in its identification and dismantling of environmental racism, ecological devastation, and other social injustices, Sistah Vegan is an in-your-face handbook for our time. It calls upon all of us to make radical changes for the betterment of ourselves, our planet, and—by extension—everyone.
Too many “spiritual” passages for my taste, but a great read nonetheless. Breeze Harper is always on point and if you don’t know her, I suggest you look up some of her writing and speeches
Have Humans Adapted to Eating Meat and Does it Even Matter?
It is a question I’ve answered many times on this blog, so I decided it deserved its own post.
From Huffington Post article, Shattering the Meat Myth:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine President Dr. Neal Barnard says in his book, The Power of Your Plate, in which he explains that “early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging—eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.”
There is no more authoritative source on anthropological issues than paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey, who explains what anyone who has taken an introductory physiology course might have discerned intuitively—that humans are herbivores. Leakey notes that “[y]ou can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand…. We wouldn’t have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines” (although we have teeth that are called “canines,” they bear little resemblance to the canines of carnivores).
In fact, our hands are perfect for grabbing and picking fruits and vegetables. Similarly, like the intestines of other herbivores, ours are very long (carnivores have short intestines so they can quickly get rid of all that rotting flesh they eat). We don’t have sharp claws to seize and hold down prey. And most of us (hopefully) lack the instinct that would drive us to chase and then kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Dr. Milton Mills builds on these points and offers dozens more in his essay, “A Comparative Anatomy of Eating.”
The point is this: Thousands of years ago when we were hunter-gatherers, we may have needed a bit of meat in our diets in times of scarcity, but we don’t need it now. Says Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, “Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”
If humans were “designed” to eat meat, why is it that most of our leading causes of death are directly linked to the ingestion of animal proteins (yes, even when it’s organic, boiled and skinless)? Why are vegans generally healthier and live longer lives? Doesn’t sound like our bodies have adapted too well to these products yet, if they’re still killing us. I’ve never heard of a lion with high cholesterol, after all.
Here’s a chart of our anatomy, based on this study:
Notice how we compare. It seems safe to conclude through modern research, that we have indeed developed to be herbivores (specifically, frugivores).
But does any of our evolutionary background even matter in terms of modern-day veganism? I would say no. Since it is apparent that humans can thrive on a plant-based diet, it seems entirely irrelevant what we may have adapted to eating in the past.
So the question isn’t ‘is meat healthy’? (it isn’t) or ‘did our ancestors eat meat’? (they didn’t) or ‘do our bodies align with meat-eaters’? (they don’t). The question is ‘if we can live long, healthy lives without animal products (we can), why do we continue to exploit and abuse sentient, feeling beings?’ The answer is in the hands of carnists because I can’t see any way to justify it. Maybe they think “humane" meat is better, but if the whole process of breeding, enslaving, and killing animals is unnecessary (and actually, very unhealthy) how can we defend it at all?
i feel awful, obviously. the camels were brought over for transportation purposes and the rabbits were brought over, get this, for hunting. that’s right. thomas austin wanted to be able to continue hunting rabbits after he moved to australia, so he had his nephew send him some, which were then released and wreaked havoc on all.
notice how both of these problems arose because of humans. if people hadn’t been so arrogant and ignorant, there’d be no problem in the first place. you reap what you sow and if it were only affecting the well-being of humans, i’d say there’s no reason to do anything. after all, humans are the most destructive, over-populated, and invasive species there is. that being said, i realize that as a foreign species they are damaging natural ecosystems that affect more than just humans.
i know this may come as a shock, since “population control” is the mantra of hunters, but it is actually not an effective method of large scale eradication. when animals are hunted in such great numbers, they’ll increase their reproductive rate to compensate for the animals they’ve lost (example in coyotes, deers). if the hunting continues, they’ll even begin adapting, so they can breed faster and at younger ages. making the problem worse or they’ll develop new survival strategies (example of rattlesnakes), which is why decades of hunting did little to nothing to the rabbit population and they were only eventually contained with poisons and human-introduced diseases.
birth control is not only more ethical, but also more efficient (shots are already used in some states to control deer). sterilizing the males will reduce the number of babies born and it will also eliminate the need to replace the animals they would have lost to hunting. it’s not a perfect solution (it still involves humans interfering with wildlife), but since we’re the ones who started all the damage by interfering in the first place, we have a responsibility to fix it. is it ethical to capture and sterilize animals? not really, but if the only other alternative to correcting the damage is trying to kill them all, then it would seem to be the least harmful option and therefore the best course of action.
So I saw this today on Pinterest and then found the Etsy link and I have to make a small PSA.
Please do not ever ever ever keep your betta (or any fish for that matter) in a permanent tank this small. EVER.
The seller claims that betta don’t need aeration, filtration, or a lot of water to live a long and healthy life of two years, so a wine bottle is the perfect fashionable tank for them. This is a lie.
Small tanks mean low water temp, which makes betta, a tropical fish, sick. Any good betta tank will have a heater that can be regulated to 80 degrees.
The smallest tank any betta should live in is one gallon, which is nearly three times as much as a wine bottle (or those stupid “betta vases”) will hold. Betta will thrive much better in a three gallon or larger tank.
There is nowhere in this jar for the betta to hide when he’s scared or nap when he’s tired. They do enjoy playing with their humans, but they need some aquarium decor to interact with when you’re not around.
The seller suggests cleaning the tank once a week and that filtration isn’t needed, but bettas eat and poop just like any other fish and create waste that is harmful to them. The small amount of water in this jar should be changed daily, not weekly, to avoid ammonia buildup and remove uneaten food crud. Of course, a daily water change could be avoided with a good sized tank and a nice, slow-current filter.
This person has already sold a number of these upcycled tanks to people who don’t know any better about betta care, and it makes me so sad that their beautiful fish are living unhappy lives.
1. ok, this is the last ask i’m going to answer a question about human anatomy because it does not make any difference. even if our bodies had evolved to consume meat and animal secretions, it is obvious that humans can thrive without them (even the aha has stated that a vegan diet is suitable for all persons at any stage of life), rendering them unnecessary. since they are unnecessary, it comes down to matter of choice. do i choose to kill, enslave, and exploit animals or do i choose to avoid it? vegans obviously choose the latter.
but also, you are wrong. our colon, teeth and stomach acid align with that of other herbivores/frugivores. the ph of the human stomach, rarely drops below 3, whereas the ph of a meat-eaters’s stomach is kept between 1-2, even after eating.
2. yes, i’ve had this discussion with vegans on tumblr before. mostly about dumpster diving for food, but i think the argument is pretty weak.
if i eat a black bean burger and others mistake it for a beef burger, i could just as easily be sending the silent message to others that i think it’s ok to eat cows. if i wear faux fur, how can someone else know it’s faux? of course a silent message could easily be misinterpreted; however, if someone asks me about it (is that real fur? is that beef? why are you wearing wool?) it is very easy to explain, in this case about supply and demand.
i understand if other vegans don’t want to wear or eat any animal products no matter the situation. it is your body and therefore your choice. i don’t like the idea of having wool on my body because i know how it was made, but i can rest assured, knowing that i was not apart of that problem and no suffering was done at my hands. i also take comfort in knowing that by buying an item secondhand, no new materials had to be harvested and no new resources utilized, so no more harm was done to the planet. plus, i doubt most people can tell the difference. no one is checking the the tags on my clothes every time i go out.
3. if your main concern is ‘spreading warmth’ to carnists, that is your prerogative, but my main concern is ending animal exploitation. besides that, ‘carnist’ is not necessarily an insult. here is explanation of the term. if describing people as choosing to unnecessarily exploit, torture, and kill animals is offensive to them, when that is what they are actually doing, then maybe they should consider why that offends them, instead of complaining about the word. just a suggestion
4. i’m not sure what you’re asking? i don’t know what ageist agility courses are, but i made a new page to address any concerns about if something is ‘ok’/vegan/exploitative. see here and if that doesn’t answer your question, please let me know