Yesterday (September 25, 2013) in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe poachers – the scourge of our planet – annihilated at least 90 more African elephants by poisoning their watering hole with cyanide. Earlier this month they poisoned at least 41 mature elephants in the Park in an attempt to feed the insatiable Asian demand for ivory, which now fetches $1,000 a pound.
To give you some idea of how quickly Earthlings are exterminating elephants in 1980 there were about 1.2 million African beasts. Last year the estimate was at most 400,000 remaining. Since 2002, the African forested elephant population has plummeted by 76 percent. In Tanzania alone the population estimate in 2008 was about 165,000 — today there are fewer than 23,000 elephants left.
The Obama Administration led by Hillary Rodham Clinton has pledged to step-up the fight to save the elephants. Recently 6 tons of ivory was seized in the U.S. And earlier this year, the Philippines announced that it had crushed 15 tons of elephant ivory. There are simply not enough animals remaining on the planet at the current rate of this prolonged looting spree to file another of these disgusting poaching reports of 21 tons of elephant ivory confiscated within one year. How many more tons this year are being gobbled up on the black market? Unknown vast quantities.
What has happened to Earthlings?
Our species is so unconscious and detached from the natural world that the media headlines now report one heinous act against nature after the next attempting to best one another in brutality and illegal sales ($) of animal parts.
These unimaginable atrocities against nature: killing whales, dolphins, bluefin tuna, elephants, rhinos, polar and grizzly bears, lions, tigers, jaguars to name but a few apex predators are crimes against humanity! Without predators to keep prey fit and cull the old and weak, diseases will spread, ecosystems will crumble and including Homo sapiens.
What kind of a world are we leaving for our children?
I suggest that all poachers, worldwide, be subjugated like international drug traffickers, and face the harshest judicial penalties possible within all 198 countries on planet Earth.
Clearly it is now time to stand up and protect what remains of nature and her Animal Kingdom, wouldn’t you agree?
Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, biologist, educator and co-author of Life, The Wonder of it All.
What is the purpose? Some believe the journey is the purpose. Exploring all the nooks and crannies, hidden alcoves, and long runs is the reason for existing, moving, and living. If so, then it doesn’t matter where you start or where you end up. Simply be. Enjoy. Breathe. Some believe there is a purpose, meaning, or call to where we are growing. If so, are we headed to the center? Perhaps the center is the Godhead, the universal core, or ultimate self-discovery and awareness. From the center perspective we can see as well as experience the self and the maze. Or are we more like the mazes in puzzle books that have one entrance and one exit, a destination outside the maze?
A heightened awareness of the journey brings enlightenment, appreciation, and wisdom- tools for the forward motion time will force upon you. Awareness immediately gives rise to the question of self. Who am I? Without awareness of a self, distinct from other people and things, there is no self to try to define. Thus the enlightened quest begins to discover self — to seek and create an identity. Information about this identity comes from within and without. Still, the authentic self finds itself in context with impulses, desires and hopes. What one does with the self in context, in the maze, defines life’s path.
Search for self is not always enlightened. Before we are even capable of awareness, the context is upon us, guiding, and shaping. We are given no choice regarding where, when, and to whom we are born. We are given an identity: a gender and a name. First, our parents, then our friends, and then the roles we choose or are forced into have their influence. Almost immediately, the self begins cry out. The self begins to move in the maze by making demands, seeking relief, or simply exploring. First, as babies, we call for attention, food and water, then we develop an ability to say “No!” and soon enough, we are able to rebel.
The maze continues to thwart, force, and sometimes support progress. When we start out, few of us know exactly what we want to be or where we want to end up. We spend time floating along, fulfilling others’ expectations or exploring career and relationship paths that are unexpected, unproductive, or disappointing cul-de-sacs. Sometimes we are pulled “off the track” to raise children, to care for an aging parent, to serve in the military, or to spend time in what seems like a long detour to our goal, but is actually part of our divine path. Even if we know what we want to be and how to get there, we are not always given the resources and access. Our progress is cut short by paths blocked by racism, classicism, chauvinism, prejudice, low self-esteem, lack of knowledge, discouragement and sometimes just not knowing. Some of these barriers are worked around, some have been knocked down by others and some yet remain. The concept of the maze is important in understanding that expecting a clear trajectory in your life is unrealistic — in review and in going forward.
What is the end goal? Certainly we are oriented to seek comfort and belonging, but what if being rich and famous were simply geographic locations in the maze, like a mountain top — a great place to live or visit? The self can easily be distracted and numbed from its true impulses and desires with comfort and ego stroking. In the end, however, you cannot remain on the mountain top. No location within the maze can be the end goal because time will forcibly move you and death will take you out. Though being secure is undoubtedly a very good and desirable route to take in this maze, it can literally be a dead end and is not the purpose of our movement.
The purpose of our movement is to find our true self and its place in context. The existential question of who am I and what does it matter begs an answer. The movement drives us to create our space and value in this world. Some people simply drift letting themselves be defined, asking few questions and taking what is forced upon or left to them. We can do better by engaging in the self-defining process through awareness, exploration, and choice. Sometimes defining self is an outwardly active process, building a family, pursuing a career, attempting a physical feat or giving in relationship to others. Other times defining self is an inward process, listening and learning what is authentically you and what is projected onto you from others and society. Are you stupid, kind, adventurous, wise, funny, peaceful or is that what other people told you that you were?
The path is rarely straight, but movement is driven by impulses and desires, the purest of which are often named your calling. Knowing your calling can help you arrive at your destination and not be thwarted by society’s dead ends, whimsy’s detours, and comfort’s tar pits. Knowing your calling can give deeper, richer meaning to the awareness of your experiences, but does not necessarily prevent obstacles, detours or the occasional dead end. Knowing your calling stops the wandering, deepens the experience, gives purpose to your life and provides authentic guidance to your next move. Hopefully, you never stop moving, but toward the end of life, a slowing is natural. A tapering can be expected (though is not necessarily going to happen) as physically our body cannot keep up with what our mind, spirit and desires may drive us toward. If you have found your calling and been lucky enough to live it authentically, you may expect peace.
Considering the life path as a maze appropriately frames and reflects the reality of most people’s experience. A vector is a tempting metaphor because magnitude and movement are part of life’s journey, but straight lined paths are rare. Being born and growing big, fast and directly hitting the end goal is an unrealistic expectation in this world. Such a vector-like standard can be a platform for regret and despair. A maze, full of choices, challenges and questioning at every turn, is an adventure. Good luck!
For more by Amanda Deverich, click here.
For more on happiness, click here.
Writing for Veterinary Practice News, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, who teaches vet students about PTSD, discussed one of his cases.
Dog Shot by Police Develops PTSD
It involved a dog that decided to follow a police officer in pursuit of a suspect. The dog’s interest was peaked by the excitement of the foot chase. Unfortunately, the officer shot the dog, thinking he was about to attack him.
The dog fell to the ground, bleeding from his wounds, and was close to death. His owner scooped him up and raced to a nearby animal hospital, where the veterinary staff was able to save him.
The dog slowly recovered physically from his wounds, but his behavior was forever changed. Normally a sensitive soul but relatively confident, the dog became very anxious and hyper vigilant. He never took his eyes off his owner and had to be near him every minute.
The dog also developed an extreme fear of police cars, flashing lights, and black people (the police officer who shot him was African-American). He had what appeared to be nightmares and developed nocturnal separation anxiety so pronounced the owner and his son had to take turns staying up with the dog so the other one could sleep.
Even though there was no way to determine exactly what was going on with the dog’s emotional state, his behavior met the primary criteria for human PTSD, including anxiety lasting more than three months, hyper-vigilance, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, difficulty sleeping, and nightmares.
Abandoned Dogs in Fukushima Show Signs of PTSD
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports documents the condition of dogs unintentionally abandoned after the March 2011 earthquake and major nuclear incident in Fukushima, Japan.
Many of the dogs had been roaming the streets or were chained and left alone for long periods. Others had been living in a semi-feral state in the exclusion zone near the nuclear reactor. These animals endured not only a complete change in their living conditions, but also separation from their human families.
Researchers compared behavior and urinary cortisol levels of the Fukushima dogs and dogs that had been abandoned, but not under disaster conditions.
Study authors concluded that their results “… suggest the possibility that stress can induce excessive, deep psychosomatic impacts with implicit behavioral manifestations, such as deficits in attachment and learning ability also in dogs. Long-term care and concern regarding the psychological impact of disasters appears necessary in humans and companion animals.”
Post Traumatic “Negative Learning”
According to Dr. Dodman, the post-traumatic learning that results from a terrifying experience depends to a certain extent on the release of catecholamines in the brain in response to the event. Catecholamines are hormones — including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — produced by the adrenal glands and released into the blood during physical or emotional stress.
Some post-traumatic learning is helpful in that it allows animals to remember a dangerous circumstance so it can be avoided in the future. But this “negative learning” goes from functional to dysfunctional when it becomes excessive and debilitating.
As is the case with people, some dogs develop PTSD while others under the same circumstances do not. The reason for these differences is unknown, but scientists theorize it may have to do with genetics. Some animals may be wired by nature to be more sensitive to the effects of psychological trauma than others.
ICU Experiences Can Trigger PTSD in Dogs
It’s not only gunshots, earthquakes and war zones that can create PTSD-like responses in dogs. Dr. Dodman believes that similar to people, dogs can also be traumatized by events like automobile accidents and ICU experiences.
Veterinarians should be aware that being ventilated is closely associated with PTSD, as is undergoing surgery while in a conscious or semi-conscious state.
These animal patients need to be handled with a great deal of care and liberal use of appropriate medications to limit the amount of psychological trauma they endure while undergoing veterinary procedures.
If you have a dog who is or might be suffering PTSD-like symptoms, I recommend you consult with both an animal behaviorist with experience in treating pets with PTSD, and a veterinarian who can suggest natural therapies to work in conjunction with behavioral therapy.
Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: MercolaHealthyPets.com.
Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the United States are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.
By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.
For more by Dr. Karen Becker, click here.
For more on pet health, click here.
Tests apparently revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida parapsilosis and Acremonium fungi in the lotion. However, the company said no “adverse reactions” had been reported. Badger CEO Bill Whyte apologized for the recall and clarified:
My understanding of the toxicologist’s report is that the “organisms” found in the failed products are also commonly found in the environment and on our skin. They are unlikely to cause problems except for in immune-compromised persons or for persons with severely damaged skin.
The affected products are:
In the USA
UPC Code Country Product Name Lot #
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3024A
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3057A
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3063A
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3063B
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3132A
634084490091 USA Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3133A
634084490145 USA Badger SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3164A
UPC Code Country Product Name Lot #
634084490114 Canada Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3057A
634084490114 Canada Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3132A
634084490169 Canada Badger SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion 4oz 3164A
Scroll down for further information.
Badger is encouraging customers who bought products from the lots above to return them to the stores where they were purchased or contact the company:
Customer Service Team
Toll Free: 800-603-6100
PO Box 58/768 Route 10
Gilsum, NH 03448
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