Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thirsty Thursday

Animals get drunk too! Here is a video of some animals eating a type of fruit that gets them drunk. There are a lot of similarities between drunk humans and drunk animals. It's very funny to see wasted elephants try to walk straight. 

Banana Slug...

I finished the last final of my undergraduate career today. As I was walking from my class to the bus stop, I spotted a dead banana slug. The first thought that came to my mind was that someone was trying to kiss it and killed as a result. I’m sure everyone, who is a student at UCSC, knows that human saliva and skin oil is actually very deadly to banana slugs. The sight just made me think further about the relationship between humans and animals. We co-exist with each other and benefit from each other. Banana slugs, in this case, do not bring any harm to human’s existence. Yet, they are constantly killed. Accident or not, I think we, as humans, should be more conscious of our impact on other natural beings. I also feel that UCSC itself, as well as other educational institutions, does not put in enough effort to raise awareness for the native animals that reside on campus. I do feel satisfied that UCSC has classes such as LIT80E that teaches students about animals. I’m glad I took this class this quarter because it has opened my eyes to the importance of animals and how humans’ actions can impact their existence.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Would You Eat Your Own Baby ?

 Please take a good long look at these pictures and what they represent. Think about what they really mean. I know it's not very pleasant but it's extremely important. And it's always better to know the truth than to live in hypocrisy. 

In reality there's no difference between a human baby and a pig baby. When we were talking about abortion in my Writing 2 class, we saw some disturbing pictures of unborn dead human beings with blood and all that… and these pictures were supposed to make us understand how terrible abortion is. And personally, I still don't think that abortion is as terrible as what we do to innocent animals. I actually think it's much better than that, because there are too many humans on this planet nowadays (7 billion…!!) And of course, they all need to eat something. That's why we need to find a balance. We need to stop using other animals for our basic needs and stop reproducing so much….!

For all the hypocrites (like me) :

I think it's ok to eat someone if you kill them yourself (if you still feel like eating them after killing them). What I don't find OK is the way humans made it an industry, a system. It's just not fair in principle.

That's how they take those innocent lives, pure torture… I wish they could use it on humans:

After all, we are probably not the most intelligent species on Earth.

Please don't buy anything from these labels:

Especially relevant today in California:

"Destroy": because she is deemed worthless. This is motherhood in the meat industry. This pig is probably 2-5 years old, has spent her agonizing life being inseminated and giving birth in a crate to babies who will either be slaughtered long before their 1st birthday or live the same horrific life that she has. 

So if this picture bothers you, please stop eating meat.

Now let's all make a wish that people will one day stop being so ignorant and cruel. Humans are the worst creatures on this planet, and yet some of them are the best. Those who don't hurt other living beings and help them.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Do Animals Talk To Each Other?

Initially I had planned to write my fifth paper on this article written by Erica Goode:
At Donna Haraway's talk, I asked what can we learn from how interspecies members relate to each other to improve our human-animal relations? It was a direct reference to this article, which references Haraway herself, from her novel When Species Meet. Biologists have generated a range of terms for how species may interact: mutualism, parasitism, commensalism, competition, but there is mostly a dearth of research on any sort of companionship that is not based on direct need. I do not mean to say friendship doesn't provide a support network which is highly beneficial; no, how can one make this claim when research in graph theory and social networks has shown that we can show which individuals are most likely to commit suicide by recreating a matrix of their relationships? We mostly discount animals' capabilities for language and emotion, which are deemed the (human) basis for companionship, so it is easy to see why any possibility of interspecies friendship was also ignored. If you are to read papers in behavioral ecology, you will certainly find accounts of animals "signaling" to each other, but they are always framed in evolutionary contests. Goode includes the story of Safi and Wister, a dog-donkey friendship, which we viewed in class. Young animals seem particularly impressionable in forming these interspecies relationships. The extreme case is of course the baby birds who imprint on other animals that are not their true mothers, and we, the human species, are not exempt from these anomalous occurrences. The stories of the wolf children in Humanimal speak to a interspecies relationship, that even exceeds mere companionship. They have been entirely inducted into the folds of wolfe society. Haraway's naturecultures are heavily present here. Genetic material is passed down within species for a shared communication, but they are also refined and perfected in those formative infant days through culture. And when these cultures are not of the species which they constitute, children do not seem to break down but adapt! I had heard about dogs being added to cheetah exhibits in order to relax them. The article suggests that the dog is particularly good at cross-species communication due to our cross-species relationship with them. She also suggests our fascination with these relationships is derived from our desire to have a more friendly connection to nature, a goal which seems always out of reach. We are lonely in a world where no other species has truly been able to communicate with us. Can you think of films/fiction in which the animals are friends and talk to each other? Dumbo comes to mind, Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella, and in general many children's books and allegories. How do we imagine these relationships to be like? There is, I think, sometimes this feeling that all animals speak to each other and we are the only ones who are not included in this language. Animals certainly whisper sweet nothings into each other's, for how can hybrids come about? But hybrids are often rejected by either group because they cannot communicate successfully, and we once again come to the crucial question of whether animal language can cross species lines.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Masson & McCarthy, “Grief, Sadness, and the Bones of Elephants”

Above is a link to a short video. It concerns the mourning habits of elephants when it comes to there dead. In Masson and McCarthy they say it has to do with elephants ability to recognize the features of others. The ritual they describe is shown in the video. The elephants will turn the bones over and over tracing the contours of the face seeming to recognize the skull or bone. They will even carry them from time to time for miles.

I had to take pictures of this article from Gaia magazine, a UCSC student produced and environmentally inspired magazine, because there was no link on their website. 
I really enjoyed reading this article and think it brings up a lot of good points about veganism. I am vegan and have been vegan on and off for years now. It's a very rewarding lifestyle, but also easy for me to fall off the wagon. 
This article discusses the motivation for people who choose a vegan lifestyle. When I first became vegan years ago it was for health reasons. After transferring to UCSC in 2013 I slowly started incorporating dairy products and eggs into my diet because I convinced myself it was easier and faster (which sometimes it is). I ate a non-vegan diet until recently when we watched Behind the Mask in class. It made me re-examine my lifestyle and I found it's worth it to put extra effort into my diet for the sake of the animals.
Enough about me, let's move on! The article also discusses the nutritional factors of being vegan as well as the treatment of animals and even how veganism could feed the hungry people around the world. The most interesting part for me however, was the discussion of Jenna Wogenrich and her article titled, "My Beef With Beef: Why I Stopped Being a Vegetarian". I don't want to ruin the article for everyone but I highly suggest you read this!

Have a good summer guys! Let's meme!

Well the quarter is almost over and here is my current reaction:
Then I remembered I had finals so then I'm like:

So yeah, that's happening. So yo make me happy, and to try to and brighten up our miserable lives. I'm going to be discussing animals in memes. Why are animals such popular memes? Well look at this guy:

That is one of my greatest fears around here. But that's why it's funny. We see animals and we want to relate them to our modern lives. And making something look funny makes them less daunting and terrifying. For example:
Without the funny caption, if you saw this face, you'd be saying...oh snap, RUN!!!!! If you say otherwise, you're a liar. But we see non humans in funny situations that we as humans can relate to....or at the very least make fun of. What better example of this than GRUMPY CAT!!!

Isn't this so true? This is me on most given school days. So animal memes are just our ways of trying to connect with animals through the universal human necessity of comedy and laughter. Ladies and gentleman, it's been a pleasure writing for you, and I hope you all have a good summer (and that Sophie recommends giving me an A, thanks Sophie).
(Toto's in this picture, so it counts as an animal meme)