All posts tagged: Humane Society of the United States

cage free is the way to be

“They will come running when they think you might have a treat, learn to eat out of your hand and some may even allow you to stroke them. If you talk to them, treat them well and handle them gently you’ll have faithful followers. However, for a truly bonded pet that will seek out your company, follow you around the yard and nestle in your lap for a nap you may want to hand-raise a baby…” Sounds like a cat or any other normal domestic pet doesn’t it?  Guess what? The excerpt above (from this article) is actually talking about chickens.  Yes, I wrote that right–chickens.  According to more sources than I could list here, chickens do have emotional capacity.  In this article from Psychology Today, hens showed signs of distress and fear when a mere puff of air was blown on them.  When this same activity was performed on their chicks, their heart rate went up and they became more vocal.  They are intelligent, empathetic, and according to my own father (who spent lots of time …

land of sun and seals

My first real impression of San Diego involved a very muscular guy standing proudly on a roof deck containing loads of gym equipment.  He, of course, was not wearing a shirt and I think he may have even been flexing into a mirrored window. Then the buildings cleared out and I saw an entire block simply covered in purple flowers and the muscle man was quickly forgotten.  As the taxi drove up to the hotel, all I could hear were birds chirping and I spotted the most gorgeous hibiscous. Don’t these sun worshipping Californians know it is January? Though on a work trip, the months of work-stress and winter ickiness literally started melting away with the beads of sweat accumulating on my forehead.  If I hadn’t been with a carload of people I work with, I might have just started running through the parking lot with arms wide open singing “The Hills Are Alive” like Julie Andrews.  Instead, I walked calmly to my room, passed a large sign for an herb garden (making a mental note to check it …

Toyling: 1988 – January 3, 2011

You never see someone for the last time and realize it will be the last time.  It was Sunday night when I last touched our elderly cat, Toyling.  I didn’t realize it would be the last time I’d see his little face ever again as a living, breathing family member.  Though I wish I had a chance to say a proper goodbye, I’m glad he died as an old man in his home instead of under harsh lights at a veterinary office. A few years ago, Toyling came to live with us when Chris’s grandmother moved into assisted living and couldn’t keep him.  Our chubby black kitties didn’t know what to think when this slender, long-legged, brown, loud, and exotically named Siamese cat came to live with us.  If he was cranky, we knew.  If he was hungry, he howled!  If he just wanted love (and oh did he need a lot of love), you couldn’t escape.    Though he looked a little past his prime, the vet assured us he had years.  And years he did end up …