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No Animal Should Have to Die Alone - YouTube
“Alexis Fleming owns a hospice where she provides palliative care to more than 90 terminally-ill animals. Some of the dogs, sheep, chicken, pheasants, and pigs that Fleming has rescued were abandoned by their owners and left to die in a shelter. Others were discarded by farmers due to a disease or disability and would have met their end at the slaughterhouse. Thanks to the self-sacrificing and endlessly compassionate Fleming, these animals now have a chance to experience love and to die in peace without suffering.”

[See also: https://crannog.weebly.com/
https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/604498/crannog/

"When Alexis Fleming adopted her pit bull, Maggie, the dog had been severely neglected. Fleming, who comes from a family of dairy and sheep farmers, decided to move somewhere more rural in her native Scotland so that she could give Maggie the care and attention she needed. The dog eventually recovered from her history of abuse, and Fleming and Maggie enjoyed seven years together. Then, in 2015, Maggie experienced unexpected complications from surgery, and Fleming, who wasn’t nearby, had to make the difficult decision to end her pet’s life.

“I couldn’t be with Maggie when she died,” Fleming wrote on her website, “so I decided that, in her memory, I would build a home for other animal-folk who found themselves in need of a friend and home as their lives wind down.”

Isa Rao’s poignant short documentary Crannog follows Fleming at her sanctuary, where she provides palliative care for more than 90 terminally ill animals. Some of the dogs, sheep, chicken, pheasants, and pigs that currently live at the Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice were abandoned by their owners and left to die in a shelter. Others were discarded by farmers due to a disease or disability and would have met their end at the slaughterhouse.

“Alexis has created a tiny safe space where animals can live and die in peace while experiencing kindness—often for the first time in their lives,” Rao told me. “To her, there is no difference between human and animal suffering.”

Fleming is herself no stranger to suffering. She has Crohn’s disease, an incurable affliction of the digestive tract. A few years ago, she was given just weeks to live. After a successful major surgery, she’s now doing better, but she lives with a range of symptoms, including debilitating fatigue and extreme chronic pain. In Crannog, Fleming is shown caring for a dying sheep despite her own physical pain. Her compassion and self-sacrifice seem to know no bounds.

While filming, Rao was taken by the bond she observed between Fleming and the farm animals at the sanctuary. “It was the first time that I ever saw sheep, pigs, and even chickens come up to a person to receive back scratches,” she told me. “They nuzzled their snouts and beaks into her arms. They wanted to be close to her.” Fleming knows each animal’s personality intimately and attends to their individual preferences.

Behavioral and neuroscientific studies clearly indicate that a wide range of animals, including pigs, cetaceans like dolphins, and birds, exhibit evidence of consciousness. Rao, who has a doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience, said that while these findings may seem intuitive to people who own pets, many people experience cognitive dissonance when it comes to considering the feelings of farm and wild animals.

“A lot of us would agree that many animals are conscious beings and can feel pain, but we at the same time often just accept animal suffering as something normal,” she said. “We still do not give animals the same consideration as humans, in particular in death and sickness. If we want to be ethically consistent, we should treat farm and wild animals with at least the same dignity and respect as we treat our pets. We need to treat them as living creatures that can feel and should not be exploited—whose lives have value, whose suffering should be avoided.”"]
multispecies  morethanhuman  2020  documentary  farms  chickens  animals  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  sheep  pigs  illness  care  caring  isarao  alexisfleming  compassion  pheasants  dogs 
14 days ago by robertogreco
These photos show some unexpected friendships between humans and their animals - The Washington Post
"Over the summer, The Washington Post partnered with Visura in an open call for submissions of photo essays. The Post selected three winners out of more than 200 submissions. We are presenting the second winner today here on In Sight — Diana Bagnoli and her work “Animal Lover.”

Bagnoli is an Italian freelance photographer based in Turin and has always loved and lived with animals. What started as a personal project in her free time has blossomed into an award-winning personal series.

“I wanted to explore the special relationship that people establish with what I would call ‘unusual pets.’ I had a feeling that I would discover interesting situations and be able to document how someone can be involved in a different kind of friendship,” she said.

Bagnoli finds her subjects in the countryside near her home town in northern Italy. She visits animal sanctuaries, meets animal activists and finds everyday animal lovers, each with a unique story and special connection.

“One man entered in a factory with a balaclava in the middle of the night to save a pig, and another one explained to me how he deeply loves toads because he’s so proud of their survivor spirit,” Bagnoli said.

She photographs her subjects where they are most comfortable, at their homes. She chooses a location that might yield an interesting interaction and show the animal’s connection to the world of the humans who care for them. Bagnoli says her subjects are always happy to share their stories and how passionate they are about their animals.

She recently started a new chapter of her series dedicated to insect lovers. She discovered an unexpectedly large community of people who bred insects or had them as pets. She found them to have an even more personal and tender relationship with their insects, valuing their beauty, character and how important they are to the planet. Her most unusual subject so far is Andrea Bonifazi and his stick insect, Phasmid. Andrea has bred stick insects for 10 years and spends most of his free time observing them.

“They’re like a living book, it’s enough to watch them to understand how their world works,” he said.

Bagnoli learned that pigs squeal quite loudly when they are not coddled and that Alpacas are faithful companions, but most of all that the animals she photographed sought affection and companionship from their humans and vice versa. She is not sure that her series has changed perceptions about our relationships with animals, but she hopes it will."
multispecies  animals  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  photography  2017  geese  alpacaspigs  sheep  bees  turtles  rabbits  cats  butterflies  insects  chickens  classideas  donkeys  goats  snakes  birds  via:anne  dianabagnoli  italy  italia 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces | Aeon Ideas
"We are accustomed to the idea of geology and astronomy speaking the secrets of ‘deep time’, the immense arc of non-human history that shaped the world as we perceive it. Hawkes’s lyrical meditation mingles the intimate and the eternal, the biological and the inanimate, the domestic with a sense of deep time that is very much of its time. The state of the topsoil was a matter of genuine concern in a country wearied by wartime rationing, while land itself rises into focus just as Britain is rethinking its place in the world. But in lying down in her garden, Hawkes also lies on the far side of a fundamental boundary. A Land was written at the cusp of the Holocene; we, on the other hand, read it in the Anthropocene."



"Deep time represents a certain displacement of the human and the divine from the story of creation. Yet in the Anthropocene, ironically we humans have become that sublime force, the agents of a fearful something that is greater than ourselves. A single mine in Canada’s tar sands region moves 30 billion tonnes of sediment annually, double the quantity moved by all the worlds’ rivers combined. The weight of the fresh water we have redistributed has slowed the Earth’s rotation. The mass extinction of plant and animal species is unlikely to recover for 10 million years."



"There is also something disturbingly banal about the Anthropocene. Arguably, it’s in the encounter with everyday objects, surfaces and textures that we get the best sense of its scope and scale. Some 60 billion chickens are killed for human consumption each year; in the future, fossilised chicken bones will be present on every continent as a testimony to the intrusion of human desires in the geological record. Plastics, which began being mass-produced in the middle of the 20th century, give us back the world as the West has been taught to see it – pliable, immediately available, and smoothed to our advantage. Yet almost every piece of plastic ever made remains in existence in some form, and their chemical traces are increasingly present in our bodies. It is ironic that the characteristic ‘new’ smell of PVC is the result of the unstable elements in the material decaying. Although ostensibly inert, like Chernobyl’s ‘undead’ isotopes, plastics are in fact intensely lively, leaching endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Single-use plastic might seem to disappear when I dispose of it, but it (and therefore I) will nonetheless continue to act on the environments in which it persists for millennia.

The Anthropocene is a product of our fantasies of a frictionless, hyper-connected world. Humans created 5 billion gigabytes of digital information in 2003; in 2013 it took only 10 minutes to produce the same amount of data. Despite the appealing connotations of ‘the cloud’, this data has to go somewhere. Greenpeace estimates that the power consumption of just one of Apple’s immense data centres is equivalent to the annual supply for 250,000 European homes. Traces of this seemingly ephemeral data will persist into the deep time of the future, as rising concentrations of carbon warms the atmosphere."



"Deep time is not an abstract, distant prospect, but a spectral presence in the everyday. The irony of the Anthropocene is that we are conjuring ourselves as ghosts that will haunt the very deep future."
anthropocene  plastic  deeptime  science  time  longnow  humans  chickens  2016  davidfarrier  environment  earth  holocene  consumption  materialism 
november 2016 by robertogreco
When chickens go wild : Nature News & Comment
"The feral chickens of Kauai provide a unique opportunity to study what happens when domesticated animals escape and evolve."



"Chicken and egg

“You won't see a bird as healthy-looking as that,” Wright says of the hen that he and Henriksen had captured at Opaekaa Falls. “Her plumage is perfect.” In the basement of a rented house on Kauai, the researchers have set up a makeshift laboratory where they photograph the bird, draw its blood and then kill it and prepare it for dissection. Wright starts with the hen's Brazil-nut-sized brain.

Their unpublished research has shown that the brains of domestic chickens are smaller than those of junglefowl, relative to their body size, and organized differently. The team hopes to identify the genes responsible for these changes and others, such as the diminished visual-processing systems of domestic birds. Life in the wild has also altered the reproductive systems of the feral chickens. Domestic breeds lay eggs almost daily, but breeding seasonally could allow feral chickens to reapportion the minerals devoted to eggs (which come from spongy tissue in the centre of their bones) to making their skeletons more robust. The researchers sample the hen's femur and also find that its ovaries are empty of egg follicles, which could be a sign of seasonal breeding.

Feralization has garnered much less attention from scientists than domestication (which gets a nod in chapter one of Charles Darwin's 1859 On the Origin of Species). But swapping of domestic and wild genes has been happening all over the world for thousands of years. A feral-sheep population that has lived on the island of St Kilda in the Scottish Outer Hebrides for as long as 4,000 years acquired beneficial alleles that determine coat colour from a modern domestic sheep breed some 150 years ago2. A 2009 study in Science3 found that some wolves in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, carry a domestic-dog version of a gene linked to dark coats that shows hallmarks of positive selection, possibly helping wolves from the Arctic to adapt to forested environments. “People would have thought that genes to live in a farm and house aren't going to be any good in the wild, but that's not necessarily true,” says Jonathan Losos, an evolutionary ecologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

And like Kauai's feral chickens, other feral animals such as dingoes in Australia and urban pigeons practically everywhere have not evolved back to the state of their wild ancestors — even if certain traits may trend in that direction.

Like chickens, other domesticated animals tend to have smaller brains than their wild cousins, relative to body size (see 'Free bird'). And brain regions involved in processing things such as sight, sound and smell are among the most diminished, perhaps because humans bred animals to be docile and less wary of their surroundings. Feral pigs in Sardinia seem to have regained large brains and high densities of neurons involved in olfaction, but not the abilities that come with them: their neurons do not express a protein that has been linked to the exquisite sense of smell in closely related wild boars4. Likewise, feral dogs, cats and pigs often lack the savvy of their wild brethren and still depend on human niches for their survival, notes Melinda Zeder, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Packs of feral dogs, for instance, do not form the complex hierarchies that make wolves such fearsome predators. “There's no leadership the way you get in a wolf pack. It's just a bunch of shitty friends ,” says Greger Larson, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Oxford, UK, who is part of a team examining the mixed ancestry of Kauai's feral pigs."
feral  chickens  kauai  nature  birds  anthropocene  science  evolution  2016  ewencalloway  feralization  via:anne 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Farmers discover painting chicken purple keeps away aerial predators - Nakuru - nation.co.ke
[Reminded about this when @meetar RTd: https://twitter.com/PortlandPolice/status/581188059020029953 ]

"As the demand for the indigenous poultry continues to rise farmers are finding ingenious ways of protecting their stock from predators.

And the chicken dye is coming quite in handy.

Some farmers in Nakuru County have embraced the camouflaging technique to keep their chicken from hawks’ talons preying during the day.

Geoffrey Mwangi is a happy farmer since he started using the dye in 2012.

He has managed to maintain a brood of more than 100 chicken despite their exposure predators while feeding in the open.

The small scale farmer from Ruiru in Rongai Sub-County, Nakuru uses the purple chicken dye to conceal the identity of his poultry from the many hawks ever hovering around his farm.

“From 2012 when I started painting the chicks, I have not lost any of them to the hawks,” says Mwangi.

He further explains: “The predators cannot recognize them since they resemble flowers or clothes. My only concern now is the Newcastle disease.”

WHOLE BROOD SURVIVES

Unlike before when he would hatch 50 chicks and loose half of them in a week to the predatory birds, now he says he is assured of a whole brood growing to maturity.

“I can comfortably keep my 160 chicks and six months later I have my complete stock to sell unless there is a disease outbreak like the rampant Newcastle,” he notes.

“It is such a relief from the many losses I made in the eight years I was in the business,” the farmer further states.

During festive seasons, he manages to sell off his poultry for a price ranging between Sh1,000 to Sh1,500 each.

A few metres away from Mwangi’s farm is Margaret Kimeria, with her 60 chicks painted in the colourful purple dye.

The colour disguises them into some kind of ornamental birds commonly kept as pets in homes or displayed in luxurious entertainment joints.

“I am no longer keeping vigil over the chicks. Previously it was a task for me to keep watch and scare off the hawks,” states Kimeria.

Ms Kimeria who rears the indigenous birds for commercial purposes says her attention has now shifted from replacing birds taken by predators to gradually increasing their numbers as she seeks to expand her customer base.

FREE RANGE CHICKEN REARING

“I want to have as many as I can since managing the chicken on free range is less laborious and there are enough termites for them to feed on. With the chicken dye, I am sure of an intact brood,” she asserts.

Painting the chicks with the dye involves using a mini-brush to roll the tint over the feathers.

According to Mwangi, who is also trained on application of the dye, the procedure should be done during the day under the sun.

“The dye is usually cold and the chicks are likely to die from cold. It should be applied under the sun so that they can bask,” says Mwangi.

He says the process of application is only repeatable if the feathers fall off as the dye does not fade away.

ORGANIC DYE SAFE

Using the dye on the chicken is safe as it is organic and hence free from any harmful effects on either meat or eggs according to Githui Kaba, a veterinary officer with the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The chicken dye is an organic paint. It is a food-based paint and not the kind made of normal chemicals or petroleum,” he says.

The officer says farmers are advised to camouflage the poultry reared in the free range system with a dye resembling the surrounding environment.

This makes it difficult for the predatory birds to single out the chicks from above.

Poultry farming continues to be attractive to many farmers in the country as the demand for the eggs and meat rises."
chickens  color  predators  animals  2015  farming  dyes  poultry  multispecies  agriculture 
march 2015 by robertogreco
In Brooklyn, gentrification wipes out pigeons and chickens to make room for cats and dogs | Money | The Guardian
"Gentrification of inner-city neighborhoods into pseudo-suburbs have created a line between the haves and the have-nots"

[See also: http://gothamist.com/2015/03/21/photos_lamb.php ]
brooklyn  animals  cats  dogs  chickens  pigeons  birds  2014  pets  nyc 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Chickensaurus Skeleton | Geekdad from Wired.com
"As a lesson in anatomy, my son and I reassembled a chicken skeleton from the bones remaining after a chicken dinner. We cleaned and dried the bones, then hot-glued them together."
fun  kids  learning  projects  edg  glvo  anatomy  animals  chickens  science  kevinkelly  education  homeschool  unschooling  howto  parenting  diy 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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