Posts tagged animals

Fluffy and Fido Go Green

A lot of the stuff you use on your pet, from food to flea dips, are toxic and bad not only for the furry friends but for the planet too. Here are some quick suggestions for changes you can make that will be good for you, the kids, the pets and the planet.

Natural First Aid

For smaller accidents like cuts, scrapes, minor burns, you do not need to use OTC meds. For most of these, a simple application of fresh Aloe Vera will take care of the problem. Instead of meds for vomiting, try using Activated Charcoal. For hairballs or constipation, give organic vegetable oil. For fleas, try washing the animal with the following rinse: Pour 2 packed cups of fresh Peppermint, Rosemary or Pennyroyal into a large pot. Pour over with 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep like tea. As the water cools and the tea steeps, it will start to smell very strongly. Once it is dark and strong smelling, strain out the herbs. Then mix the remaining liquid with 4 full quarts of lukewarm water. Make sure this is tepid in temperature, safe to use on your pet. And then wash and rinse and do this once a week if necessary to keep the bugs off. Another flea and tick shampoo idea: Pour 2 ounces of natural liquid soap into a squeeze bottle. This can be any natural castile or glycerin soap that is non toxic and chemical free. Blend the soap with 5 drops of oil of citronella (buy the pure organic kind, not the stuff they sell in bargain bins), 5 drops of Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil and 5 drops of Organic Lavender Essential Oil. Shake it up really good and then wash the pup or kitty with it. Dry off well and repeat every week.

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The Bull About Bovine Growth Hormone

Many years ago I used to visit my cousins on their dairy farm in upstate New York. A foggy, sprawling area of marsh and farmland, the moors are kind of creepy. But they had what was considered to be a medium scale farm in those days, with a few lines of cows and a few milking machines. The cows were treated pretty well, milked when they could be milked and allowed to feed their calves after birth. The calves were sold off at auction later on, when they were ready. This was their operation, small, clean and profitable.

But times have changed. The need for milk production has exploded beyond the capacity of family dairy farms and the constant demand has fueled enormous operations that must produce 24/7 365. And, as with all other big business applications, money is the bottom line for the milk industry. The major contributor to these factory scale dairy operations and their profitability is recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, also referred to as rBGH or rBST. This is an artificial growth hormone developed by Monsanto to increase dairy cows’ milk output. Industrial agriculture proponents proclaim that farming on a large scale, and using technology such as rBGH, is better for the environment. But is it really?

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The Human Bond with Animals

The theme of this blog is how to live in concert with the natural world. For the most part, this is all of nature, including the environment, the planet and the animals that share all of it with us. Here in America we are working hard, collectively as a people, to heal the broken bonds with the animals around us. These bonds were broken in our history by sanctioned abuses and acts of cruelty that we justified as a fight for survival. But we are way past fighting for mere survival and animals are reduced to only a rare threat, although, on occasion, a deadly one, I admit. A shark attack, bear mauling or snake bite can end it all for any one of us. And we respect that.

But we also realize that we hold the upper hand in any war with animals, possessing weapons and clever minds that outdo even the strongest and wiliest of the wild. Here in America, we realize all of this and we fight cruelty with more zeal than any other country; our homes are populated with every kind of animal from cats and dogs to rabbits and ferrets and even snakes. We punish animal abusers more stringently than any other country in the world, although many civilized countries are also trying hard, including Australia, the Netherlands, Britain and Germany. But equally there are as many other countries, or more, that do not treat their animals kindly and, in fact, tolerate acts of barbarism and cruelty that would make most of you cry out in anguish if you witnessed them. Although, I realize that we cannot do anything about what other countries tolerate or even find justified, I also know that we can, as a people, go farther than we even imagine in mitigating this injustice by simply altering our own actions.

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