Showing posts with label starvation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label starvation. Show all posts

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Holocaust engulfs Gaza according to Palestinian poet

A Palestinian poet novelist and activist, Susan Abdulhawa, living in Cairo, who's just returned from two weeks in Gaza described what has happened there is a holocaust. She was reluctant to use that word and did not use it lightly but she says that "it is absolutely that".
“What I witnessed personally in Rafah and some of the middle areas is incomprehensible, and I will call it a holocaust — and I don’t use that word lightly. But it is absolutely that.”

Gaza mass destruction is like a holocaust as per the definition of the word.
Gaza mass destruction is like a holocaust as per the definition of the word.  Image: Wikipedia.

Definition of 'holocaust'

So what is the definition of the word "holocaust"? Here it is: "destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war", according to a Google search.

Destruction of buildings and infrastructure

It can't be denied that Israel has destroyed large parts of Gaza and I'm talking about the buildings including homes, hospitals and other administrative buildings and of course roads and other infrastructure. The pictures confirm that there has been mass destruction.

Holocaust engulfs Gaza according to Palestinian poet

Destruction of innocent people

The information from the Palestinian authorities tell us that about 30,000 people have died in Gaza as a result of the Israeli bombardments. Nearly all of these are innocent men women and children. 

Obviously some of them are Hamas terrorists, the target of Israel's invasion and bombardment of the Gaza Strip but I would suggest that the terrorists are a tiny proportion of the overall number of Gazans guilt in this war.


It is difficult to avoid coming to the same conclusion as this poet and novelist. You make up your own mind but to me it does look like a holocaust and if that is true it is shatteringly ironic that the Israelis are causing holocaust when in the history of the Jewish race they were, as the world knows, the victims of the ultimate holocaust, the Holocaust, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II between 1941 and 1945 when 6 million Jews were systematically murdered.

Obviously nothing can match that horror but even if we can discuss the possibility that what is going on in Gaza has some resemblance to a holocaust it is very sad and shocking bearing in mind this history.

Animals of Gaza

And I want to briefly mention the animals of Gaza. The news media talk about the innocent women and children being killed in their homes but we must remember the animals, the domestic animals killed with their owners or if they survived, left starving on the streets. 

They have nowhere to go, no one to look after them, no one cares except the odd and very fine individual who is engaged in animal rescue. Yes, there are still people in Gaza engaged in animal rescue despite the most horrific conditions.

There are still some veterinarians operating in Gaza as I understand it but I'm sure their medications are running out or have run out. I feel for the animals terribly. It is depressing to think about them. They are entirely innocent as are the children.

Domestic animals live in the human world. When the human world is destroyed by humans in the most violent of ways, domestic animals are either violently killed or they slowly die. Humankind should be ashamed of itself. Thoroughly ashamed.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Colombian woman in Madrid eaten by her domestic cats

NEWS AND COMMENT: The headline sounds awful and impossible but it is essentially true in that a 79-year-old Colombian woman died in her apartment about three months ago it is believed and she had cats. The cats were full-time indoor cats and all of a sudden there was nobody there to look after them and so they turned to the body of their owner for sustenance; which is why the headlines state that the woman was eaten from the waist up by her pet cats.

The apartment block where Clara lived
The apartment block where Clara lived

This has happened before because I can remember similar headlines about a year ago when the news media were chewing over the possibility that domestic cats eat people. And their imaginations ran riot for a week while they joked about the possibility of domestic cats eating people. They don't eat people as we fully well know. But the story is incredibly sad, not really for the lady who passed (although that is sad enough) but for her seven cats. Five of them had died of starvation and two had survived by eating her.

The woman's name is Clara Ines Tobon. She was a Colombian living in Spain. They believe that she died from Covid-19. The alarms were raised in the usual way: smells emerging from her apartment from a decaying body. And there were flies too.

The police asked firefighters to force entry into the apartment on Monday through one of her windows and they found her dead in one of the rooms. The two surviving cats were taken to a local animal rescue centre. One neighbour said to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo: "A police officer said it was the worst thing he had ever seen since in his job."

Clara had been living in the apartment since 1996. Her family lives in Colombia. As I mentioned, this sort of event is not that unusual. 

Dog under similar circumstances

Apparently, in September 2019 a dog survived after their owner died of cancer by eating part of his body. This, too, happened in Spain and the man's body was undiscovered for about a month. When he was discovered, there was no flesh on his legs. Once again there was a rancid smell coming out of his apartment which notified neighbours that something was badly wrong.

The dog was taken to an animal rescue centre. They said that the man died of lymphatic cancer and that he was a chef aged 56.

Dying of starvation and dehydration

The Humane Society of America tells us that when an animal dies of starvation they suffer from tremendous pain. It is said that they suffer from a "myriad of painful symptoms throughout each stage of their physical deterioration."

When an animal dies of starvation chemicals known as ketones build up in their blood. They cause mild euphoria which act as an anaesthetic for the animal which I presume is a form of survival. The brain releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. This is the same chemical that is released when you do strenuous exercise.

The immune system is harmed because of an extreme deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Sometimes starving people die of immune-related diseases because of this.

There is, of course, a loss of body fat followed by a loss of muscle and general atrophy and ultimately organ failure. The liver degenerates, there may be skin lesions and anaemia.

The body becomes acutely dehydrated which itself causes a general degeneration of the body and brain as the electrolyte balance is disrupted. The brain cells dry out causing convulsions. The respiratory tract dries out resulting in thick secretions which can plug the lungs and cause death. The major organs stop working causing death.

The five cats that died of starvation and dehydration suffered acute pain for quite a while before they passed. May they rest in peace. We should think of them.

Friday 28 May 2021

Read this if you are old and you might die and have full-time indoor cats

There is a story emerging from Spain which is a bit of troubling because I can see other households suffering the same outcome. In this instance an elderly Colombian lady, Clara Ines Tobon, who had lived in the northern Madrid neighbourhood of Fuencarral since 1996, died. She had some pet cats. We don't know how many. It is believed that she died three months ago. 

Some think that she died of Covid-19. The cause of death is unimportant. The important aspect of the story is that nobody knew about her death and she had some pet cats who appear to have been full-time indoor cats with no way of exiting her property. That is the way I have interpreted the story which I think is reasonable because the cats ate her in order to survive.

For illustration purposes only. Photo: Pixabay (modified)

The upper part of her body was partially eaten by her pet cats. They say that there were two surviving cats that were taken to an animal rescue centre. That statement implies that some of the cats did not survive but detail is missing in the story with respect to her domestic cats which is the part that interests me.

She obviously lived alone and appears to have done so for a very long time. So, under these circumstances it seems to me that a cat owner needs to have at least one friend who should be given instructions to come into the property if they do not receive a response to their phone call on a daily basis. Or perhaps it might be every couple of days. But there needs to be some method to notify a next-of-kin or friend that a cat owner has died in their home. And if not died, is injured and cannot move and therefore cannot feed the cats.

We don't know how commonplace this sort of story is but I would expect it to happen not to infrequently and it is a genuine risk because there are an increasing number of full-time indoor cats who don't necessarily have access to the outside. They are basically prisoners in their owner's home and therefore they rely upon the owner to be in a position to look after them. That is a position of responsibility and therefore they have a responsibility to think through what would happen if they should die. It takes proactive action.

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Namibia's desert lions attack humans because they are starving due to drought

NAMIBIA, AFRICA - NEWS AND VIEWS: Starving desert lions are attacking humans in Namibia because a prolonged drought has killed off all their prey animals. Tourists have been warned about the danger that Namibia's desert lions posed to them and this small population of lions is dwindling as they battle starvation. Is this an example of global warming and climate change?

Campers have been attacked in their tent. One starving lion pounced on a 72-year-old man the previous day. The man, Denker, said that he was settling down with his wife at a camp in the north west when they spotted what they initially thought was a hyena but when the animal approached it emitted a chilling lion growl. 

Namibia's desert lions
Namibia's desert lions. Photo: Twitter.

They screamed and scared it away but the lion returned. It charged at the tent's window with the same low growl and crashed hard against the tent, dislodging the tent pole and peg and tilting the tent inwards towards them. The man fired a shot from his revolver which scared the lion off allowing them time to find safety.

Sadly, when they returned to their camp at Brandenburg, Namibia's highest mountain they found the gaunt lion chewing their tent canvas because of acute starvation. The same male lion is believed to have targeted the tour guide, David Ward, and his father a few miles away. They fought the lion off but Ward's 72-year-old father needed 20 stitches to his leg. The ribs and backbone of the lion were visible. The guide said that lions are going crazy with starvation.

Their plight is evidenced by these very rare attacks on humans and there is real concern that the lack of food and water in the desert habitat will lead to similar incidents. There must be concern, too, about their survival.

A spokesperson for the country's ministry of environment and tourism, Romeo Muyunda, said that: "Such behaviour is driven by sheer desperation because the animals have nothing to eat. We don't want anything happening to our tourists."

Namibia's desert lions attack a giraffe
Namibia's desert lions attack a giraffe. Picture in public domain.

The lion mentioned and three other malnourished cats were tracked and relocated to a private farm where there is plenty of prey animals such as antelopes. They will stay there until their condition has improved, the spokesperson said.

Sadly, two emaciated desert lions had to be euthanised because they were to weak to be saved.

The desert lions of Namibia live in what is described as the most "unforgiving patch of southern Africa" but they have adapted to the environment and survived. They are not a distinct subspecies but standard African lions.

They are leaner than average and travel longer distances in hunting for food and they've adapted to relying on the water content of their prey animals as a substitute for drinking water much like the diminutive sand cat. The sand cat is the only true desert cat.

Namibia's desert lions have been seen hunting seabirds and small seals on Namibia's Skeleton Coast. They are the only lions targeting sea life. It is believed that there are a mere 120 of these lions left and they have become a popular tourist attraction.

Farmers are affected because the lions have had to turn to livestock as a substitute for their normal prey animals.

News media: The Times.

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