Sunday 3 September 2023

Private zoo owner employed emotional blackmail to raise money

Private zoo owner employed emotional blackmail to raise money
Private zoo owner employed emotional blackmail to raise money. Image: MikeB based on images on the Daily Mail website.

Keith Evans, the owner of Lion Habitat Ranch, a private zoo in America, employed a company to fund raise for him. He blames that company for sending out a handwritten letter claiming that he would put down his big cats unless people made donations. It was a form of emotional blackmail because he was tugging at the heartstrings of people who are concerned about animal welfare.

Keith Evans runs one of America's dwindling private zoos. They are on the way out because of the Big Public Safety Act. There are far too many private Jews in America. It's a form of self-indulgent human behaviour and the victims are the big cats and other animals they keep.

Lion Habitat Ranch is home to 21 lions on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. In one letter and I presume in his handwriting, it says that, "It scares me deeply to think about what might happen if I can't afford to feed them. It's possible they would be euthanised because they simply have nowhere to go. I can't let that happen."

When he was asked by a local news station whether he would in fact kill the lions he said no that he wouldn't and he has blamed the letter on a fundraising company he has contracted with. He regrets the letter going out and has rescinded it. Although he had approved the letter.

He says that the company he uses make more from him than he makes from their fundraising. His lion sanctuary has a total income of $2.5 million for the year 2021-2022. Keith Evans paid a fundraising company, a Eberle Associates a total of $613,533, I presume, over a long period of time and Mr Evans complains that the money pays them is not good value for money.

Evans said that anyone who receives the letter should rip it up and Evans has asked Eberle Associates to stop sending out these letters.

Evans is now backtracking big time because this kind of fundraising is a public relations disaster for his lion sanctuary as it has been called. It shows how commercial they have to be. It shows us that ultimately these private zoos are commercial establishments making money for the owner and they are therefore exploiting the animals held captive at them.

All private zoos in America should be shut down, lock stock and barrel. Fortunately, Carole Baskin's Big Cat Safety Act bans the ownership of big cats in America within private zoos and therefore in the not-too-distant future they should be non-existent in America because this is a federal act governing all states. The new law allows private zoos to wind down.

The Internet is bloated and repetitive. I'll tell you why.

The Internet is too big and too repetitive in 2023. It is suffering from acute bloat. In human terms it is morbidly obese and it is still guzzling crackers and processed foods. No one is managing it. It is a product of human competition without controls. This article will be a victim of the bloated Internet. Hardly anybody will read it. I'll be lucky if it is read a hundred times. It's basically a waste of my time.

You will see hundreds of thousands of articles on any one subject. What's the point? You will see millions of articles answering your questions that you have put into Google's search box. There are far too many websites and they repeat each other. They regurgitate the same stuff endlessly.

The Internet has become boring in its repetitiveness. It's a great wall of words and pictures, each one the same as the other. And authors in an effort to beat other authors of articles sometimes make them longer and longer to the point where they are unreadable because most people want to find answers quickly on their smartphones. If you've written a 3000-word article no one is going to get to the bottom.

I've painted a black picture but the Internet has got worse because of this constant competition by the owners of content websites. And the competition is to be visible which turns on search engine optimisation - SEO.

If there are 3 million websites with the same article on the same topic, they are all chasing the top five slots in Google's search engine results on page 1. Only the top 10 of those websites featured on page 1 of Google's search results get clicked on. All the rest are in the dark. They are a waste of space. The clog up the internet.

The tip of the iceberg in terms of Google search results is a tiny tip and below it is this huge mass of words and pictures. The problem, as that websites are chasing an almost impossible objective to be visible in the vast ocean of words.

They do this by trying to optimise their webpages from a search engine perspective. And that tends to create a very bland page written for a 14-year-old which is very repetitive and written in simplistic ways.

It's almost as if the Internet is destroying itself by becoming more and more bloated. It's like a huge overweight man or woman who is still guzzling on unhealthy food. Becoming sicker and sicker.

Piles and piles of repetitive semi-dead pages. Google tries to be fair and operates a kind of time share system which recycles websites to the top from time to time to give them some air time. But it is small fry.

It's the same with social media. Millions and millions of Facebook pages chasing a bit of visibility but hardly ever if ever achieving it. People try more and more desperate things to get seen.

They might rebuild their website but rebuilding a website doesn't really do anything. It might produce a short improvement in visibility for a while, for a short while but that soon fizzles out. And as all the content has been written there's nothing more to say.

That's the truth of it, there is nothing more to say except provide news. News always changes but even that becomes boring because news, too, can be very repetitive. You will see hugely repetitive news stories. And the news media run out of stories so we get these ridiculous click bait articles about a black panther roaming around the Buckinghamshire countryside in the UK or some other idiotic article.

And there are many websites which simply publish click bait articles. They provide misinformation and there are millions of pages like this. This just serves to degrade the Internet.

Back in the day, about 15 years ago the Internet was far less competitive. And before that it was even newer and fresher. The website could actually lead the way on something and be different. Now it is impossible for a website owner to be different because it's all been done before.

All you can do is write good articles with good content but, you know, content runs out. When it's all been said and done all you can do is repeat, rinse and start again. Repetitive, the same, boring, and web surfers are drowning in trillions of words seeking information and entertainment.

Google wants the Internet to expand which is fair enough because they are a business. They want to expand because they can make more money in advertising revenue but their objective is almost self-defeating. And it must get harder and harder for Google to provide good search results and harder and harder to index the trillions of website pages accurately and fairly as the Internet becomes ever more bloated and repetitive and samey.

It's time for a change but there is no way to change. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been promoted as being revolutionary and something that will improve people's search results and help them find top quality information quickly but I don't think this is actually happening.

AI simply feeds off the Internet to provide answers to questions. It is delving into the massive pile of the Internet and summarising what it sees. AI is good at summarising things. It provides a good précis of what's been said but the information that AI provides is very bland and very safe. It too is repetitive and boring.

Perhaps the size of the Internet should be limited. Perhaps there should be a neutral, independent and international organisation which governs the Internet and limits its size. Only the best sites should survive. All the rest should go to the wall to help create an Internet which is clear, sharp, precise, manageable without click bait. The survival of the fittest. Darwinism in action.

What should be on the internet? Here is an example. An inspiring story in a short video. A great woman. Her efforts are almost invisible on the internet. She should be at the top. That's another issue. Good things drown in the ocean of words, videos and pics.

Saturday 2 September 2023

Is there a high-quality cat food I can give my cat to reduce shedding?

Ragdoll groomed during the shedding season. Image in public domain.

Conventional response to the question

While there is no cat food that can completely eliminate shedding, you can choose high-quality cat foods that can help reduce excessive shedding and promote healthy skin and coat. Here are some factors to consider when selecting cat food to help with shedding:
  1. Look for foods with a high-quality protein source: Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet should primarily consist of animal-based protein. Foods with high-quality protein sources like chicken, turkey, or fish can promote healthy skin and coat.
  2. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids: These essential fatty acids are crucial for skin and coat health. Foods containing fish oil, flaxseed, or other sources of these fatty acids can help reduce shedding and improve coat quality.
  3. Limited fillers and carbohydrates: Avoid cat foods that have excessive fillers and carbohydrates, as they may not provide the essential nutrients your cat needs for optimal coat health. Look for foods with a lower carbohydrate content.
  4. Nutrient balance: Ensure that the cat food you choose is balanced and meets the nutritional needs of your cat. High-quality commercial cat foods are typically formulated to provide the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
  5. Avoid artificial additives: Some artificial additives and preservatives may contribute to skin and coat issues. Opt for cat foods with natural ingredients and minimal additives.
  6. Consult your veterinarian: If your cat's shedding is excessive or if you're concerned about their coat health, it's a good idea to consult your veterinarian. They can recommend specific cat foods or dietary supplements tailored to your cat's needs.
Remember that genetics, age, and environmental factors can also influence shedding, so even with the best diet, some shedding may still occur. Regular grooming, such as brushing your cat's fur, can also help reduce shedding by removing loose hair and preventing matting.

Comment on the above

I feel it necessary to comment on the above which, by the way, is a conventional answer taken from sources on the Internet. I think, to be fair, you will find some websites being a little overoptimistic about the prospect of a certain cat food reducing the shedding of fur from a domestic cat.

Why should I say this? Because it is entirely natural for a domestic cat to shed fur when there's more light not, by the way when it is warmer. It is light which dictates when and how much a domestic cat sheds.

Some people believe that seasonal temperature changes dictates when a domestic cat sheds but my reference book written by four distinguished veterinarians tell me that "shedding is influenced more by changes in ambient light. The more exposure to natural light, the greater the shedding. This applies to both neutered and intact cats."

I guess, on that basis, if you kept your cat in a darkened room they wouldn't shed! But that's entirely impractical and cruel. Cats kept indoors full-time exposed to constant light may shed lightly and grow a new coat year-round.

But the point here is that it is a natural process and so feeding high-quality cat food with the intention of reducing this natural process is not going to produce a dramatic change. There might be a slight improvement partly because good quality cat food would improve the overall condition of the cat including the condition of the skin and it makes the skin more supple and the hair strands softer and silkier.

Breeds

I have said it before but I will say again briefly. There are no cat breeds (except hairless!) or individual cats who don't shed fur. All domestic cats of whatever cat breed shed fur because, as stated, it is a natural process. I wouldn't believe what you read on the Internet about certain breeds not shedding fur. They are not really true.

The hairless cats don't shed hair because they don't have any real hair except for a downy coating and so you won't have the problems of shedding hair but you will have other problems of keeping the skin of the hairless cat clean and in good condition.

Oregon has done three things which improves animal welfare in the state


Pet shop sales

The American state of Oregon has become the latest to ban the sale of commercially-bred dogs and cats in pet stores. This development follows California, New York state, Maryland, Maine and Illinois together with hundreds of cities and counties nationwide.

This sort of law is critical because it does three things to improve animal welfare namely:

  1. Encourage people to adopt/rescue;
  2. Educate the community about dog and cat (and rabbit) abuse in getting them puppy mills and
  3. Stop the abuse.

Nathan Winograd tells us that because of these sorts of laws preventing pet stores generally getting their animals from commercial breeding enterprises, the number of commercial breeders in the US has declined by 30%.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture records show that half of the state's commercial dog and cat breeders have left the business according to Nathan Winograd's report to me in an email.

Commercial Breeding Enterprises (CBEs) engage, according to Nathan Winograd, in "systematic neglect and abuse of animals, leaving severe emotional and physical scars on the victims. One in four former breeding dogs have significant health problems, more likely to suffer from aggression, and are psychologically and emotionally shut down, compulsively staring at nothing."

Ban on animal testing for cosmetics

The second good thing that Oregon has done very recently is that the governor of that state has signed into law legislation which "bans the sale of cosmetics that have been subjected to new animal testing". This puts Oregon in line with more than 30 countries and 10 states in America namely California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

Domestic abuse shelters

And finally, Oregon are going will provide $1 million to "support pet-friendly homeless and domestic violence shelters, removing obstacles to safe refuge and supplying vital resources for people in need who have pets."

It's a well-known problem that domestic violence shelters do not often provide accommodation for women with pets which prevents them taking refuge in the shelters which put them back into the family home where they may continue to be abused by a bullying partner. So, this is an advancement both to women and to their pets. Often, as I understand it, women do not leave the family home despite abuse because they won't leave their companion dog or cat.

On that topic, by the way, it is not uncommon for the abusive partner to abuse the family's companion animal as well and use the animal to threaten the partner which may lead to animals death.

Friday 1 September 2023

What the Brighton cat killer died of (if it interests you!)

We have the inquest report on the death of the Brighton cat killer. You may remember him. He went around Brighton killing domestic cat that were outside on the street. He did it for quite a long time and killed a large number of cats but was eventually caught on a CCTV camera when he returned to the scene of one of his crimes.

Steve Bouquet, The Brighton Cat Killer. Photo: Eddie Mitchell.
Steve Bouquet, The Brighton Cat Killer. Photo: Eddie Mitchell.

He was a former Royal Navy gunner. His name was Steve Bouquet. I am writing in the past tense because he died in prison after he was convicted and sentenced to a prison term.

Yesterday, at an inquest held in Maidstone, Kent, coroner Patricia Harding confirmed his cause of death as Covid-19 pneumonitis and a secondary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. At the time he had been receiving end-of-life care for thyroid cancer at the prison where he was incarcerated, HMP Elmley.

So, Mr Bouquet died of a Covid-19 infection which affected his lungs as this disease does. The coroner decided that it was not clear where he had contracted Covid. He tested positive on December 28. This was a day after he was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital as he was having difficulty breathing and had a cough.

He was treated with antibiotics and oxygen and other medication specifically to treat coronavirus but his condition progressively deteriorated.

For the sake of completeness, he was jailed for five years and three months at Hove Crown Court in July 2022. He had been found guilty of 16 offences of criminal damage (i.e. the murder of or injury to 16 domestic cats). He was also found guilty of the possession of a knife.

As I recall, he stabbed the cats to death. He died on his 55th birthday on January 5, 2022. His cruel actions caused an awful amount of distress in the cats' owners as you can imagine. Nine cats were killed while another seven were injured. In memory of those killed their names are: Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo.

During sentencing the judge, Jeremy Gold QC said that his behaviour was "cruel, it was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life. It is important everyone understands cats are domestic pets but they are more than that. They are effectively family members. They are much loved by the adults and children who live with and care for them. Cats and all domestic animals are a source of joy and support to their owners, especially during lockdown."

Absolutely correct. It is nice to see a judge recognising that simple fact and the law is out of date because you may remember I referred to criminal damage above. If a person kills a cat in the UK, under the law, they are effectively damaging an inanimate object not a sentient being who is a family member. That's because the law regards domestic cats as chattels just like any other inanimate possession.

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