Category: Animals

Why I Wanted to Vomit when I Learned What Horse “Soring” Is

Any insider in the Tennessee walking-horse community can tell you about “soring,” but for urban folk like me, news of this practice is, frankly, shocking. And yes, I literally felt nauseated when, while writing an article for Opposing Views, I found out that people put corrosive chemicals on horses’ hooves to erode the skin, then wrap the hooves in chains to create intense pain when the animal takes a step. Why? So that the horse develops a high-stepping gate, and can therefore win awards at horse shows.  If you don’t believe me, watch the video below. Often, the horses...

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Animal of the Week: The Bush Baby

Image by Robertsphotos1 The bush baby is just too adorable to pass up for this installment of “Animal of the Week.” Hailing from east and sub-Saharan Africa, this diminutive primate is deceptively vocal for such a demure-looking creature. While most bush babies adapt well to environmental changes — and even live near farmlands — some species, like the Rondo dwarf bush baby, may face extinction if we don’t take care to preserve their habitats. Image by Joachim S. Müller...

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New App Helps Save Injured Animals

Spot an injured deer, bird or fox? There’s an app for that. A new program called RECOVER (short for Relief and Emergency Computerized Veterinary Medical Record) will take a photo of injured wildlife, map the animal’s location and then send the information to the nearest rehabilitation center so that veterinarians can come to the rescue. According to Audubon Magazine, the RECOVER app is the brainchild of Jonathan Lustgarten, who dreamed it up while he was still studying veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He got the idea after speaking with bird rescuers who had recently returned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill...

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Animal of the Week: The Dumbo Octopus

    Named after Disney’s airborne elephant, the Dumbo octopus is among the rarest of its species. And at 3,000 to 7,000 meters under the sea, it lives deeper in the water than any other known octopus. Dumbo’s official name is the Grimpoteuthis octopus, which also seems oddly fitting for this cute-but-bizarre swimmer. These octopi eat crustaceans, swallowing them whole. And they’re big: The largest known Dumbo octopus was about 6 feet long! Image...

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No More Factory Farm Secrecy, Demand Activists Suing the EPA

You or I can’t walk into a 7-11 without a camera on our trail, but just try to take a photo on a mega-farm. Even our own government can’t so much as record a head count at a corporate flesh factory. That’s why animal-rights activists and environmental groups are accusing the EPA of failing at its job — and they’re taking the Obama administration on in court to get their tax-money’s worth from the organization that’s supposed to have their backs. According to plaintiffs, which include the Center for Food Safety, the Humane Society and the Environmental Integrity Project, big agriculture...

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Animal Language in Action – Birds Password-Protect their Babies

Human mothers often sing to their babies before birth, and so do mother wrens. But while humans may do this to enrich their offspring — and may not be certain that their baby even hears them — wrens are teaching their chicks a secret language — and the young ones definitely get the message. According to an article in Audubon Magazine, some Australian avians pass an oral password of sorts to their young as they incubate in their eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, the chicks use these sounds as a feeding call to make sure they don’t get...

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Eating Red Meat Increases Risk of Death by Up to 20 Percent, Study Shows

If you thought steak was a healthy habit for all strong, red-blooded Americans, think again. Despite the myths floating around about how humans can’t be healthy without red meat, the numbers speak a different story. In a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that eating red meat increases your risk of death by up to 20 percent, and that vegetable-based diets may actually make you live longer. Although nutritionists have long known that saturated fats from animal products like red meat and cheese contribute to high cholesterol, diabetes and poor cardiovascular health, there has...

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What Can Humans do That Other Animals Can’t? You’ll be Surprised.

As alike as we are, we know we aren’t identical to fellow animals. But what makes us unique? Some would say our complex communication skills set us apart, but an ape can communicate as well as a small child with sign language, and even perform some math. Rodents also appear to have complex languages: Con Slobodchikoff, professor emeritus at Northern Arizona University, decoded the sounds of local Gunnison’s prairie dogs and found that what you or I might hear as just a squeak could actually mean, “A fat human is coming and he’s dressed in green!” The myth that...

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