Category Archives: Pets
Who loves piggies? I do! Who doesn’t love piggies? Not that I hold one animal greater (or more cute) than another, but pigs played an instrumental part in my conversion to a vegan lifestyle. Pigs are often times mistaken as being dirty, mud loving animals – but they’re so much more than the common myths and misconceptions. They’re incredibly smart, remarkably clean, and more like you and I than we realize! Once you fall in love with pigs, there’s no turning back. So I wanted to dedicate an entire special post solely to pigs: because they truly deserve it! Here’s the Top Ten Fascinating Facts About Pigs written by the folks at PETA. Oink! Oink!
- Pigs snuggle close to one another and prefer to sleep nose to nose. They dream, much as humans do. In their natural surroundings, pigs spend hours playing, sunbathing, and exploring. People who run animal sanctuaries for farmed animals often report that pigs, like humans, enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages.
- Pigs communicate constantly with one another; more than 20 vocalizations have been identified that pigs use in different situations, from wooing mates to saying, “I’m hungry!”
- Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices and to recognize their own names. Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing.
- According to Professor Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School, “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds.”
- Pigs appear to have a good sense of direction and have found their way home over great distances. Adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11 miles an hour.
- Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University has found that pigs can play joystick-controlled video games and are “capable of abstract representation.” Dr. Curtis believes that “there is much more going on in terms of thinking and observing by these pigs than we would ever have guessed.”
- Pigs do not “eat like pigs” or “pig out.” They prefer to eat slowly and savor their food.
- Suzanne Held, who studies the cognitive abilities of farmed animals at the University of Bristol’s Centre of Behavioural Biology, says that pigs are “really good at remembering where food is located, because in their natural environment food is patchily distributed and it pays to revisit profitable food patches.”
- Pigs are clean animals. If given sufficient space, they will be careful not to soil the area where they sleep or eat. Pigs don’t “sweat like pigs”; they are actually unable to sweat. They like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool, and they actually prefer water to mud. One woman developed a shower for her pigs, and they learned to turn it on and off by themselves.
- In his book The Whole Hog, biologist and Johannesburg Zoo director Lyall Watson writes, “I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being.”
Last week Gracie (our labrador retriever mix) and I got an invitation from WTTG FOX 5’s Annie Yu to join her live on the set of the FOX 5’s Morning News for a special “Pet Project” segment with animal communicator and psychic, Diane Roadcap. Gracie is an avid lover of everything water related…except baths! She loves swimming and playing in the ocean, rivers, and creeks…but will do whatever it takes to avoid a bath. Paul and I have always wondered why this is the case, so we gladly accepted the invitation in hopes that Diane could give us some insight as to Gracie’s thoughts and feelings. Amanda Marie Bowen and her 2-year old deaf Great Dane, Luna were also invited on the show. Of course some are probably skeptical about a pet psychic or any psychic for that matter…but I believe Diane had an amazing connection with Gracie, and I bet the same could be said by Amanda (the other segment guest) who brought Luna to have a reading as well.
Diane Roadcap’s website says, “As a child, Diane recognized that she had a deep spiritual connection with animals. Playing with a variety of animals in the wooded areas around her home outside of Washington, DC, she discovered that she could connect with them at a soul level. This connection was confirmed at age five when her dog Blackie telepathically warned her that a poisonous snake was dangerously close to biting her. She heeded his warning and slowly backed away before it could attack her. She continued to receive communications from animals and discovered that she could easily read their needs and wants, humor and insights, aches and ailments.”
While we were still in the green room, Diane already began reading our pets as well as Amanda and her family. She knew that Gracie had a smaller, older K9 companion at home which would describe our 11-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, Tabatha. She also mentioned another light-colored labrador which had passed away…of course I knew this was Heidi, a beautiful labrador who passed away when I was around 3-years old. “She wants you to know she’s standing next to you”, Diane exclaimed. I could have fallen out of my chair! She went very into depth reading Amanda, her family, Luna, and their pets at home which I won’t go into detail, as it’s not my place to tell about that very special moment.
Do you believe in psychics? As far back as I can remember, I have had ongoing contact and communication with human spirits who have passed away…family and strangers alike. To my knowledge, there’s nobody in my family who has this “gift.” Though the information given to me is often vague, it is something I’ve gotten used to and experience daily. So it makes perfect sense to me that people have an ability and “gift” to fully communicate with pets, both passed and living. But at the end of the day, we will believe what we know as truth and dismiss that which we don’t. For me, I believe!
Besides learning that Gracie doesn’t like to be in a confined areas…she’s a very happy dog. “She wouldn’t change a thing. She loves people…the more people she’s around, the more she loves life”, Diane affirmed.
Below is a video from the segment. Check it out!
For most of us, a trip to the beach can best be described as relaxing and therapeutic. According to Trip Advisor’s 2013 Top 25 Destinations in the World, 14 locations are seaside and 20 locations are seaside or along a major waterway. There is no denying that we are balanced by water, whether that be an ocean, bay, river, or lake. But for many of us, when we think of the greatest relaxing vacation, we think of a tropical beach oasis. Destinations like Maui, Bora Bora, St. Lucia, Belize, and the Fiji Islands are just some of those popular names that come to mind when you think of aqua blue waters, reef life, warm sands, and tropical air.
Have you noticed an increase of saltwater marine aquariums in public locations? Perhaps you’ve seen them at a clinic, restaurant, hotel, spa, or maybe even a classroom? Aquarium Therapy is not new concept, but it is constantly studied and growing with high popularity!
Most people who watch a tank with fish will feel a calming effect, therefore reducing stress. At Purdue University, researchers discovered that displaying tanks with brightly colored fish helped to curtail disruptive behaviors and improve eating habits of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. It helps to boost physical and mental health. It was shown to help create bonding and a positive attitude. Studies have shown that seniors who were given the opportunity to view aquariums with fish had significant blood pressure reduction as well as cholesterol. Children, when visiting a doctor’s office, were found to be much calmer, especially children who suffered from hyperactivity disorders. Dental patients watching a fish tank required less pain medication. It also helps in reducing insomnia and persons coping with obesity. How awesome is this?
My fiancé and I have two saltwater marine aquariums filled with various fish, invertebrates, and corals. Contrary to popular belief, we find saltwater aquariums to be be more easy to maintain than freshwater…and not to mention more stunning, beautiful, and therapeutic. What I find so awesome about a saltwater marine aquarium (particularly a reef tank) is how organic the system is. When properly maintained; your aquarium becomes its own ecosystem. This is maintained through bacterias, diversity of species, live rock, live sand, etc. No unnatural chemicals are needed!
Another added benefit to aquariums are their incorporation into feng shui design. It is believed that moving water brings prosperity and good luck to a home or office. Aquariums are great feng shui enhancements because they are at the same time soothing and energizing. The sound and motion of gurgling water activates chi and adds humidity to a dry room, helping to balance chi. Moving water gets things going when the chi has been stagnant for a while (think of ice melting in the spring). Use moving water cures anywhere you want to enhance water or wood energy.
As amazing as this all is, any aquarium still requires learned knowledge, experience, time, money, and patience. After all, your marine life are all pets and should be treated with the proper respect and care that every pet has the right to. It is also very important to purchase and trade your marine life with reputable dealers and passionate and ethically driven marine enthusiasts. Marine life should never be harvested from the oceans!