The community of social networkers is once again spreading it’s wings with a new social networking site called Pintrest. Instead of sharing your status, posting personal pictures, or catching up with friends, Pinterest is a place where you can categorize pictures, hobbies, quotes, or articles from your favorite websites.
So what does this new social site have to do with sustainability? As a place dedicated to sharing people’s interests, I’ve discovered a gold nugget of sustainable themed information, crafts, and images.
For instance, I signed into my account this afternoon only to discover that a friend had “pinned” an entry from a blog that described how to hang fallen yard branches from the ceiling for interior decorating purposes in her nursery.
Last week I came home to find my roommate struggling with an old picture frame in the living room. Inspired by John Hardy’s innovative green school and their use of old car windshields as whiteboards, she told me she had seen a similar idea on Pinterest which involved putting recycled paper in an old picture frame to make a white board. It’s now hanging in our living room.
Currently 29,443 boards exist on Pinterest showing the people who have created a space for keeping track of clever, sustainable, green living ideas. These include sustainable household items, designs, fashion, poetry, pictures of bikes and alternate transportation, tips on gardening, and alternative crafts that are aimed at reusing and recycling.
With the wide wealth of information that is spread over the World Wide Web, Pinterest is a snazzy way for the sustainable community to spread ideas across the globe.
Big news this week is Terry Thompson and his exotic animal farm. For those of you who haven’t heard, Terry Thompson, owner of an exotic animal farm in Zanesville Ohio, released all of his animals on October 18th before committing suicide. Within the next 24 hours 49 of his 56 animals were hunted and killed by 50 deputies from the Sheriff’s office in Zanesville.
Among these rare animals were 18 Bengal tigers, two wolves, eight lionesses, six black bears, and one baboon. As of yesterday there was only one monkey missing, but deputies have announced that he was eaten by one of the loose tigers.
Thompson had a history with the police department including complaints from neighbors, animal cruelty, fines for loose animals, and a term in prison after being found with illegal weapons. There is speculation that his actions stemmed from his wife recently leaving him.
Photos from Zanesville are hard to stomach. Rare animals slaughtered in a mass hunt. Even so, representatives from the Humane Society and even Jack Hanna have said that deputies were not wrong in their actions. Concerned with their own safety and the safety of residents, deputies were forced to act. Many deputies have voiced their sadness at being put in such a position.
Jack Hanna, who drove up to aid deputies and to transport the captured animals to the Columbus Zoo, has voiced his dismay at the Ohio laws that allow civilians to own exotic animals at their homes. The County Sheriff and Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, have also voiced outrage about this incident in reference to loose state policy where exotic animals are concerned.
What makes it green? The destruction of these exotic animals is a horrific incident. Sustainable treatment of this planets treasure’s and resources doesn’t include the mistreatment of animals. The fact that Terry Thompson’s actions could lead to the death of 49 exotic animals is disturbing. I’m interested to see what happens in the future. This event has given the Ohio state legislature something to consider and activists a new cause.
For almost 400 years these tiny toothless fish have been papering people. The Gara Rufa Fish opposes beliefs that there is no such thing as a free lunch. By devouring the dead skin off of peoples feet the Gara Rufa Fish gets a free meal and the people get smooth feet.
The Gara Rufa fish is very popular in the United Kingdom and Thailand, but not for display or culinary purposes, these fish give great pedicures. The Gara Rufa pedicures origin is Turkey, where the natives used to benefit from the Gara Rufa fish, also known as “The doctor fish”, in river basins.
Health Protective Services and Animal Welfare groups are turning the practice into a controversy. In eleven of the continental United States fish pedicures are banned. Washington State is one of the eleven with such a ban. The following is a quote from the State Department of licensing Spokeswoman Christine Anthony: “You can clean the tank, you can clean the water, but there’s no guarantee that the fish aren’t carrying something from the previous customer.”
Paul Waite is an owner of Dr. Spafish a chain of fish pedicure salons in Norwich, he has a different understanding of the health risks associated with the fish: “You cannot transmit a disease from fish to human, unless it’s through an open wound. The girls in our shops always ask customers before treatment whether they have cuts or open wounds, and if they do, we don’t offer them treatment… I’m aware that fish pedicures were banned in a few US states.”
The UK seems to be in agreement with Paul Waite stating that the potential health risk seems to be “Very Small”, Said a Heath Protective Agency (HPA)
spokesperson adding: “The HPA and Health Protection Scotland are currently unaware of any cases of infection associated with the use of fish spa pedicures in the UK…However, following a number of inquiries to the HPA from local environmental health officers, the HPA, Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Laboratory are currently examining the most up-to-date evidence and will publish practical advice to help both salons and the public to minimize any possible risk in due course.”
Meanwhile, Animal Rights Activists bring their own set of problems with the industry: “Fish are covered by the Animal Welfare Act. They need a stable environment, with the correct water quality and temperature range. Sudden changes in temperature should be avoided as they can severely compromise welfare and even kill the animals. Water quality is of paramount importance in maintaining healthy fish. Having people bathe in the water with the fish is likely to affect quality, particularly if they are wearing any lotions or other toiletries that could leach into the water. Similarly, chemicals used to disinfect tanks and to clean patients’ feet beforehand would have to be non-toxic to the fish.”
Washington salon owner Tweety Bui is not pleased with the Department of Licensing’s decision: “I am shocked and surprised and disappointed, and not happy… I am so overwhelmed with all this that it’s not even funny.”
The fish salon caught the attention of Washington officials only after it’s success. Tweety said her schedule had been full of appointments with the fish, but when the “fishy concept” was featured on the news she promptly got a cease and desist letter from the Department of Licensing.
“Letters are also being sent to licensed salons across the state informing owners it’s unlawful to perform the treatment,” Said Christine Anthony from the Department of Licensing.
What do you think about fish pedicures? Is it a little too fishy for your liking? Or does it make just the right amount of splash?
If you live in Japan and you see a truck full of live dogs or cats making its way to southern China, you know instantly the fate awaiting those four legged friends is not good. Last Friday someone sharing the road with one such truck did not like what he saw. The driver pulled his vehicle in front of the truck of furry cargo and forced it to slow down and eventually pull over. Simultaneously the driver was posting information to his blog alerting other animal rights activist of what and where this was going on.
The driver/blogger’s words did not go unheard, about 200 activist came to aid in the rescue of dog cargo. The dogs in the truck were being transported to culinary institutions (restaurants) in southern China to be eaten.
I have written before on the Chinese/ Japanese century long taste for cat and dog meat in my article: Eating Dogs, and Wearing Cats. For most Americans, eating dogs and cats is unheard of. And in China, animal rights activists are a relatively young group. A new group maybe, but they are certainly not undedicated.
There were 430-520 dogs rescued last Friday as a result of the drivers awareness of what was going on. Of those dogs many were stolen from their owners, which is not an uncommon fate for dog owners
How many dogs can you fit into one cage?... Horrible
who pets never return home. Some of the stolen dogs the activist found sill had collars with nametags on them (indicating that they had owners). Cats are also a subject of Chinese delicacy and fashion, where they are eaten and worn like dogs. For more information click: HERE
Traffic on the road was backed up while the standoff lasted 15-hours, between activists, police, and the truck driver. Police could not do anything as the trading of dogs, for whatever purpose, is not illegal. The end result of the activist effort came when activist bought the would-be-eaten dogs for 115,000 yuan ($17,000). Which still does not compare to the World’s Most Expensive Dog.
Dog and cat meat in China is thought as a “warm food” that comforts the soul much like Chicken Noodle Soup is thought of in America. Neither the truck driver, nor the destination restaurants will face any legal charges. Police said the truck had all of the proper permits and certifications to transport and trade the dogs.
Puppy Paws, Anyone?
The healthy dogs rescued will be cleaned up and up for adoption in a month if original owners do not claim them. Many of the dogs were suffering from sickness and are being transported to animal hospitals.
Activists are struggling to get a law passed that would ban the inhumane dog and cat trade, but as for now, its tradition. Long held beliefs never die easy and it is in the hands of the activist to get things done. Let those who showed compassion to the dogs be an example of a peaceful protest with a compromised solution (purchasing the dogs).
Also read about dogs in Japan being rescued from the radioactive evacuation areas around the failing Fukushima plant: Rescue Misson, Dogs
The inside of the suitcase had been modified to separate the vast array of critters inside.
Yesterday February 10th:
Could you get 200 live animals on and off of a plane, without getting caught? One-man thought he could, cramming hundreds of snakes, turtles, squirrels and other critters into specially divided suitcases that he would attempt check onto an airplane. No problem right? Post 9/11 has made airports one of the most secure places in the country, with as many cameras and security monitors as in a high security prison. These cameras are not just pointed at the people, but also scan the luggage.
TSA workers were shocked to see hundreds of moving images appear on their screens as three black bags ran through the scanners.
Here is the complete list of animals the man was attempting to smuggle:
· 88 Indian Star tortoises
· 34 ball pythons
· 33 elongated tortoises
· 22 common squirrels
· 19 bearded dragons
· 18 baboon spiders
· 7 radiated tortoises
· 6 Argentine horned frogs
· 6 mata mata turtles
· 4 spiny tailed lizards
· 4 striped narrow-headed turtles
· 3 aldabra tortoises
· 2 boa constrictors
· 2 Sudan plated lizards
· 2 corn snakes
· 2 king snakes
· 1 ploughshare tortoise (world’s rarest turtle)
· 1 pig-nosed turtle
· 1 African gray parrot
· 1 milk snake
· 1 hog nosed snake
The Indonesian man is arrested as is currently being held in custody in the Thailand airport where he was apprehended. Authorities are shocked with the boldness of the attempt and the blatant stupidity of it, seeing as the man did not suspect he would get caught with three bagfuls of live animals.