Dec 072017
 

After the depressing grrr-worthy video a few days ago, here’s kinda the polar opposite:

Man rescues rabbit from wildfire on side of Calif. highway

I’m not sure how wise it is to put your life at risk to rescue a wild rabbit from a raging fire, but compare the bravery and *care* to that of the scumbags who go out of their way to harm animals for fun. How much of this is down to simple genetics? How much to upbringing… home life and larger culture?

The guy has apparently been found by the press but didn’t want to be interviewed. Would be interesting to find out what happened with the rabbit. You wouldn’t think the bunny would be too tolerant of being captured and held by a giant monster… the feller probably got bit for his troubles.

 Posted by at 9:45 pm
Dec 032017
 

This one is rough. It features animal cruelty *and* profound human stupidity: the prime features of downright evil. It’s one of those vids that produced an *instant* negative emotional response in me, as it may others, so I’m putting it after the break. Don’t click “Continue reading” if you don’t want your day freakin’ ruined, you heart broken, your gut wrenched, your remaining shreds of your former faith in humanity stripped away by the sounds in the last second of the video.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:32 pm
Nov 242017
 

When you think of the sort of pet that people can be truly emotionally attached to, chances are *really* good you’ll think of either “cat” or “dog.” Any species other than those two, at least in the US, will either be far fewer in number or far less likely to be something you really bond with. A goldfish, after all, is more likely to be something more of a decoration than an entity you empathize with.

Me, I’ve had cats, dogs, ferrets. Bonded with all, mourned those who’ve died or left. I also had some Triops, some big brine shrimp sorta prehistoric monster critters; when they died, it was a disappointment, but not mournful. I’ve never had pet bunnies or sheep, but I’ve met such critters. Cute enough, but… meh. No connection. Why not? Because there was “nothing behind the eyes,” one might say. And… because bunnies and sheep are quite different from humans. They do not hunt. They have no “killer instinct.” They are… different from us.

Look at the natural world: the creatures we think of as being “smart” or ‘high up on the evolutionary ladder” tend to be vicious killers. Chimpanzees? Sure, they’re cute (-ish) when they’re young, but as adults they’re 600-pound murder machines who will rip your limbs, face and nads off. Dolphins? Sure, Flipper looks cute, but they will murder other species of dolphins apparently for fun. Orcas? OK, the alternate name of “killer whale” kinds gives it away, but they’re well known to play with their food. And their food tends to cute cute, fluffy-bunny seals.

Of course, “smart” isn’t exclusively the province of predators. Elephants are well known to be quite smart, with complex emotions. But… you tick off an elephant, and they turn into *giant* murder machines. They might not eat you, but they’ll kill you, and not purely for defense. They will attack other creatures simply because they’re ticked off.

So… being killers seems to correlate with making good pets… and with making them understandable. Of course it’s not a 100% match; go head and snuggle up with a shark if you want, won’t get you anywhere.

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Sep 292017
 

In the animal world, predators are almost always smarter than herbivores. This makes sense, evolutionarily… you don;t need to be all that smart to sneak up on a leaf, after all. There are of course exceptions… elephants are reasonably bright. But stacks a rabbit against a cat, or a deer against a wolf, or an Aurox against a Cro Magnon… the vegetarians is going to come out on the losing end of the who’s smarter” scale.

The same seems to apply within species as well. Take, for example, this group of vegans who decided to stop a fully loaded semi truck by jumping out in front of it while it was in motion. As any meat eating  engineer will be able to tell you, even if the truck driver wanted to stop, these things don’t stop on a dime.

 

 Posted by at 12:46 pm
Sep 262017
 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many dashcam videos out of Russia showing spectacular car crashes? The usual explanations include bad roads and booze, but I think I’ve discovered the real problem: bears. Bears on the roads. Bears in vehicles.

NATO better watch out. When Russia invades Lithuania, Poland and Portugal to protect the local ethnic Russians, they’re going to show up with bear cavalry.

 

 

 Posted by at 8:33 pm
Sep 212017
 

There is a time and a place for critters. My cats, for instance: their place is “my house” and their time is “all the time, because this is their house too.” But their place is *not,* say, the grocery store or the restaurant. Nor is it appropriate for women to take their genetic mutant fishbait yapdogs into restaurants and the like simply because they want to keep them nearby.

On the other hand: service animals, generally dogs. (NOTE: *real* service dogs, trained and certified) Their place is “pretty much everywhere.” Because they not only do a job, they’ve been *trained.* Cats and dogs, as I’ve said multiple times before, are On Our Team. But service dogs are even more so… they are *professional* members of Team Humanity. They get to go wherever the person who needs them gets to go.

The proper response to a service animal is, almost always, to *ignore* it. Sure, you see a dog and your instinct is to start baby-talking like an idjit and to come over and pet it… but it’s doing a job. Leave it alone. Your petting it will not only distract it, you could well cause a system failure.

There was a time when the only service dog you were likely to see was a seeing eye dog for the blind. But now there are dogs who can detect when their human is about to have an epileptic seizure, or go into sugar shock or something like that. And there are now service dogs trained to aid people with psychological issues, anxiety and PTSD and the like. You coming over and pestering the dog will not only throw it off, you might actually set off the issue that caused the person to need the dog in the first place. I admit, a decade or two ago I thought the idea of a service dog for mental issues was nonsense, but all evidence points to them being fully functional, real and useful. A PTSD service dog is no more nonsense than PTSD is. So if someone has been properly diagnosed with PTSD and the people and organizations who regulate PTSD dogs sign off on that someone having a service dog… I got no problem with that. And neither should anyone else.

But of course, the world is full to overflowing with people who missed out on the whole “rationality” and “empathy” development programs. Take this magnificent example of NSFW insanity:

Note how the dog remains calm throughout, as does the veteran. You know who else remained calm throughout? The womans husband/boyfriend/whatever. The look on his face, though… *priceless.* Ya gotta feel for the guy. How many years of this before *he* needs a therapy dog?

Uuuuuuuuuunnnnnnggggggggghhhhhhh……

Repeat after me, kids: Leave. The. Dog. Alone.

So, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you see someone with a service dog, and it is behaving itself. And your first thought is something like “ewww, the hygiene, the hygiene,” and your impulse is to get up and complain. Well, I have a very simple test for you. Look around. Does the restaurant allow *children?* If so:

 Posted by at 6:39 pm