Sunday, June 28, 2009

Keep pups skinny

Several years ago I read a statement to the effect that you don't accumulate fat cells as an adult, you just enlarge the ones you have. It was a statement in commentary on a website, with no supporting evidence.

It was one of those comments in passing, that rolls around in the brain as having superficial merit, and so you wait, until the evidence catches up with it, or doesn't.

In this case, the evidence did.

From the magazine "Nature":

The factors determining fat mass in adult humans are not fully understood, but increased lipid storage in already developed fat cells (adipocytes) is thought to be most important4, 5. Here we show that adipocyte number is a major determinant for the fat mass in adults. However, the number of fat cells stays constant in adulthood in lean and obese individuals, even after marked weight loss, indicating that the number of adipocytes is set during childhood and adolescence.

People find roly poly puppies irresistible. Cute little round fur balls are often proclaimed 'what a healthy looking pup'!

(Same goes for children too.)

But the life time of problems (Hip Dysplasia, anyone?) that obesity brings with it, are anything but healthy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Supply and Demand

Mob rushes animal shelter for Yorkies

A mob of nearly 100 people gathered at the Hillsborough County Animal Services building for a chance to adopt one of 23 rescued Yorkshire Terrier puppies.

The doors opened just before 9 a.m. Thursday and all the dogs were gone by 10:15 a.m. Some people had actually spent the night in front of the building to make sure they got a dog.

With demand like this, any takers on whether SUPPLY will be increased?

Here's the story about the raids.

The raiders are trying to file animal cruelty charges, and the dogs were adopted a mere week after the raids were conducted.

No time for due process! People want their Yorkies NOW!

A website called "Yorkie Talk" has a thread on the raids. According to poster "sarahheartmaddy", one 14 year old Yorkie with no teeth and mammary tumors was going to be the most expensive to rehabilitate. A 14 year old Yorkie without teeth. Surely a puppymill. A 14 year old dog with mammary tumors. Only at the worst of breeding facilities.

We need to make sure that she is not PTS~which is a real possibility if her vet care will be too high.

With demand like that, is there any doubt the criteria for raids will be loosened?

The breeder was an 83 year old woman, who's health gave out. No matter! She is still the devil incarnate. These people can't fathom why living conditions deteriorated for these dogs. They can't fathom that maybe the old woman didn't give them up because...she loved them.

Maybe that love blinded her to her inability to care for the dogs. It happens. It's pathetic. It's not the devil.

Many of those posters wanted to line up to increase their own Yorkie population (wonder how many are all ready violating their local pet ordinance numbers). Hopefully they will never get old.

From the Tampa Tribune:

Delaine Bacon of Seminole Heights was first in line.

Since 1990, Bacon has had eight Yorkshire terriers, most of which came from a breeder who was raided last week, she said. "I wanted another Yorkie from that breeder and I figured this was my only chance."

She said the breeder, who has not been charged, ran a clean operation, but as she grew older, it became harder to care for the animals.

"She's a great person," Bacon said. "But she is elderly and I guess it became more challenging."

Government won't have any problems increasing demand (for a while). Where Governments' always fail is customer loyalty.

Quality, you see, is a function of a free market. But in this regulated society, we don't help people. We report them. And for government, it's a win-win.

Melamine Convictions

A company and its owners have agreed to plead guilty in connection with melamine-tainted pet food that may have killed thousands of dogs and cats in 2007, according to a court document.

This is the story from the Associated Press.

The Millers and ChemNutra, along with two Chinese companies, were indicted in February 2008 on charges alleging they imported wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine, which was then sold to pet food makers. Thousands of cats and dogs reportedly sickened or died after eating the tainted food.

ChemNutra, which imports ingredients from China to the U.S. for the feed and food industries, and the Millers were charged with 13 misdemeanor counts of introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, 13 misdemeanor counts of introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce and one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Misdemeanors? How animals died again? Will this company continue to do business in the 'feed and food industries'?

Gee. Fail to get a test done or administer a vaccine and you could lose your ability to own animals for life.

Poison thousands, and what, a slap on the wrist?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Watch the German Shephard Change.

I found this list of winners, with photos, of the German Shepherd Bundessiegers since 1899.

This is 1899.

This is 2007.

Look at the progression in between. I wish someone would animate it. The modern version are practically crawling on their knees.

Maybe they're begging for help?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More finger pointing at fluoride.

I shared the link between fluoride and osteosarcomas a couple years ago.

New research has shown a greater level of fluoride in patients with osteosarcomas.

The latest cancer study indicates blood fluoride levels were significantly higher in patients with osteosarcoma than in control groups, according to research published in Biological Trace Element Research (April 2009).

Osteosarcoma occurs mostly in children and young adults. According to the study, status of fluoride levels in the serum of osteosarcoma is still not clear. Other reports have also indicated that there is a link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma.

“The more studies that we have which talk about osteosarcoma with fluoride, the more the scientific community will take notice and eventually blind politicians will do the same,” said Paul Beeber, president of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.

The government is still supporting the forced fluoridation of its citizens.

"government officials cite scientific studies that prove fewer cavities and no serious risk."

But the barricades are weakening.

A 2007 recommendation from the American Dental Association urged parents not to use fluoridated tap water to mix infant formula. Researchers say the amount of fluoride in safe tap water is still too much for an infant when ingested as the primary source of nutrition.

The establishment will admit that too much fluoride will cause pitting in the teeth (fluorosis). But so far, that is all. Damaging effects to bones, cancer, Alzheimers and mental health problems are rarely mentioned.

Maybe, just maybe, the osteosarcoma relation can push aside the shroud that conceals the danger of fluoride.

Some more links on fluoride.

Gov V. Pets...Lock Up Your Dachshunds.

First Chihuahua's, now Miniature Dachshunds. These little guys max out at 11 pounds.

Eleven Pounds.

No wonder cops need tanks these days.

Police chief defends dachshund shooting

A Virginia police chief said an officer followed regulations when he shot and killed a miniature dachshund that growled and ran at him.

Broadfoot said in a release that the officer was returning to his car when "he was surprised by a growling dog running through the yard directly at him from the rear, leaving him with just seconds to consider his options."

The police chief said the dog lunged at the officer.

At some point, the citizens of this town are going to start asking, "Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy the cops some pairs of boots?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I can fly! I can fly!

Well, if I were a dog, maybe :-D

Now where would you rather spend your weekend? At the show above?

Or here?

Now pretend you're the dog. Where do you want to be?


Gov v. Pets. Chihuahua Loses.

Ohio, a great place to be from.

Scott and Sharon Bullock gave the Chihuahua mix to their son for his birthday a few years ago.

When they returned home last Friday they found blood, three bullets and a note to call the Blue Ash Police Department about their dog.

Apparently the dog got out of their backyard and the two officers couldn't catch him.

Cops say they had him cornered on the front porch but when they reached out to pick him up, the dog bit one of the officers.

That's when they shot it three times.

3 bullets on a 5 pound dog? I'm surprised there were enough scraps to stick a note too.

As The Nanny State asked, "Police state? What Police State?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Irradiation Dangers

A recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald announced that Australia had banned cat food irradiation.

The Agriculture Minister, Tony Burke, has ordered the controversial sterilisation process, which has been in place for more than a decade, to cease immediately, following compelling overseas evidence that some cats can suffer fatal neurological damage after eating irradiated dry food.

Dogs do not appear to be affected by similarly treated food.

About 90 cats fell ill last year and 30 died before a Sydney vet, Georgina Child, made the link in November between the mystery illness and a brand of Canadian gourmet pet food called Orijen.

So what's happening? Why is irradiation killing animals?

For more information I dug up a Consumer Release from Champion Petfoods on the problem.

They say the problem is Vitamin A defeciency. Irradiation, it turns out, destroys Vitamin A.

This affects cats more than dogs because cats, being obligate carnivores, can't synthesize their own Vitamin A but must get it in the already already synthesized version such as is found in animal livers. Interestingly, cats are also quite resistant to Vitamin A toxicity.

Champion Petfoods also lays blame to the creation of free radicals.

When irradiation is applied to food, the molecular structure of long chain fatty acids (DHA, EPA) is altered. This causes the formation of free radicals that are then released into the body.
ORIJEN CAT foods contain very high levels of EPA and DHA unsaturated fatty acids and therefore have a much greater potential for free radical formation (in response to irradiation) than do conventional dry cat foods.

The cats are dying from consuming irradiated foods. What does that mean for the rest of us?

Fat is one of our most important food groups (except trans of course). Meat, a source of saturated and unsaturated fats, is a primary target of irradiation. In addition to vitamin A, some studies have shown B, C, E and Niacin are all depleted by irradiation as well.

Once again, the cat has been our canary. People have been up in arms about irradiation for a long time. Now that we have casualties, let's pay some closer attention to the criers.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Defending the Undefendable: Michael Vick, Dog Killer

(this article is rebroadcast from

Defending the Undefendable: Michael Vick, Dog Killer

by Todd Steinberg

I have been studying libertarian theory for the better part of two years now, and last year I read Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable with much alacrity. Afterwards, I wondered if there were any "lost chapters" that he could have written, especially now that over 30 years have passed since it was first published. Inspired by recent events, I have taken an opportunity to write about someone who clearly needs to be defended.

Two years ago, when professional football player Michael Vick was arrested for financing and organizing dog fights in his backyard, he didn't have a single friend. When a person leaves a dog in his car without rolling down the windows, we look upon the owner as an irresponsible felon, so you can imagine the outrage when people learned that Michael Vick had trained dogs and put them in harm's way for the sake of sport.

Now that Michael Vick is out of prison, perhaps we can have a conversation as to why he was arrested in the first place. I take the position that animals are private property and that as long as Michael Vick peaceably acquired the dogs, it's nobody's right to tell him what he can and cannot do with his possessions.

Though some may find dogfighting to be barbaric and uncivilized, that is no reason why the practice should be outlawed. Currently, there are thousands of businesses whose purpose is to raise animals, slaughter them, cut them into manageable pieces, package them, and ship them worldwide. There are advertising and marketing operations that aim to increase our consumption of animals. Television networks regularly feature people who demonstrate their ability to cook animals in novel ways so that we do not grow bored of their taste. These people learn their techniques from schools built for this purpose and some of the graduates write books about the art of cooking and eating of animals.

So if one believes that fighting animals is barbaric, then certainly eating them is just as barbaric if not worse. Some people believe it's inhumane to use animals for any purpose, whether it be for food, clothing, shelter, milking, sport, burden, service, companionship, exhibition, or experimentation. If we were to take the position that animals have equal rights, then no human has more rights than any other animal. We couldn't make any distinction between an elephant and a nematode for if we did, we'd quickly revert to a system where humans are more equal than cows, and cows are more equal than chickens. For a system of animal rights to work, humans could only do what they wanted to do so long as they weren't infringing on the rights on any other animal.

If an absolute system of animal rights were adopted, then we'd have no choice but for all of us to go vegan. However, even if we all unanimously decided to refrain from consuming meat and dairy, it wouldn't be enough to save us from having to violate the rights of animals on a regular basis. If we were to dig up a parcel of land to plant crops, we are disrupting the ecosystem of whatever animals reside there. Even if we were to forgo cultivation and revert to the gathering of nuts and berries, we are again encroaching on the private property of animals such as bears and squirrels who acquired homesteading rights to the nut trees and berry bushes long before humans arrived there.

Though we may personally feel it's immoral to eat animals or milk them, keep them as pets or beasts of burden, it's equally immoral to throw someone in a cage and take their property for not adequately following someone else's arbitrary rules on the proper treatment of animals. Declaring animals as private property is the only moral and consistent way to deal with the topic of animal cruelty. It is your right to do what you will with the animals you own just as it's your neighbor's right to tell you how much better your life would be if you'd minimize your animal consumption.

Greater than the cruelty of animals is the cruelty of hypocrisy. The day Michael Vick was charged with the crime of endangering animals, how many of the arresting FBI agents had bacon with their breakfast?
June 3, 2009

Todd Steinberg [send him mail] works with his family at a wholesale teddy bear company in Dallas. In his spare time he is furiously working on his cartoon, "Don’t Tell My Wife I’m a Cult Leader," which he plans to unleash on the Internet and beyond in 2009.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.