By Nicolas Simon, Belgium
Whale Watching in the Santa Barbara Channel
By Lena, Germany
World Wildlife Fund Takes Stock
Maxime Vautrelle, France
World Wildlife Fund released a report about wildlife’s situation since the last forty years, and the situation is critical. Including climate change and habitat loss, the planet have declined 60 percent of this population wildlife, most due to human activity.
60 percent in 40 years. As Carter Roberts, president and chief executive officer of WWF-US, said “This report sounds a warning shot across our bow. Natural systems essential to our survival — forests, oceans, and rivers — remain in decline,” this report is a real warning for the future of the planet. Also he claimed that we have to change our habits because this planet is our home and we need it. For example, 20 percent of the Amazon disappeared and that continue. The biggest decline is creatures that live in fresh water, the decline has estimated at 83 percent drop.
“Humanity and the way we feed, fuel, and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature and the services that power and sustain us to the brink,” said the report about the causes of the human activity on the nature. The consequences has been measured and the globe has lost about half their shallow-water corals in the last 30 years.
Earth’s temperature increase of 2 degrees in 2100
Ken Norris, director of science at the Zoological Society of London, who provided the data for the report, said that the statistics are “scary,” but it doesn’t mean we should give up and exactly the opposite. The report calls people, businesses and governments to do together a “global deal for nature” to preserve diversity of wildlife on the planet. Therewith, the director general Marco Lambertini of WWF explain “we have two main problems (…) First the greatest, is the cultural challenge. For too long we have taken nature for granted, and this needs to stop. The second is economic. We can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles.”
Meanwhile, another report released from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) about the urgent situation. Currently, our greenhouse gas emissions are warming up the earth. They estimated will reach 2 degrees Celsius at the end of this century. Exceeded two degrees is the limit, after that, the actual consequences we have noticed on the environment, will be amplified. Extinctions are likely to increase dramatically, and the majority of world’s corals (including on the Great Barrier Reef) will disappear.
To conclude, we have to change our habits, daily routines and make the environment our first priority. That’s a big actual problem which should solves others as economics or socials. The Earth is in global danger and neither political leader from a world power seems to be focused on this problem.
Animals Facing Extinction
by Malena Julia Banjavcic, Switzerland
Help. What does help mean? Who needs help? And what help do they need? What can we do to help? These are questions we should ask ourselves every day. We are not alone in this world, even if it sometimes feels like it. There are people, who need help, but also animals. And we all need to start to ask ourselves how to make a change, because there are animals facing extinction and their time is running out.
So what does it mean when animals are in real danger facing extinction?
Plants and animals which are facing extinction are called Endangered Species. Particularly, it says that these species are very likely to become extinct in nearer time. Of course, there are reasons in nature why animals become endangered, but for the most part we, humans, are the reason. Evidence of this is provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to it, we are now losing animal species at more than 1,000 times the normal rate. In 2012, the IUCN featured 3,079 animals and 2,655 plants as endangered worldwide. Whereas back in 1998, the figures were 1,102 animals and 1,197 plants. People often don’t even know that animals, which are well known, are critically endangered. Examples of species which are facing extinction are the Amur Leopard (pic. 1), the Bornean Orangutan (pic. 2) or the Malayan Tiger (pic. 3).
(pic. 1) (pic. 2) (pic. 3)
If nothing changes, we put ourselves in danger, too. The world is a whole, big ecosystem. Ecosystems depend on healthy plants and animals. Without them an ecosystem is not even possible; they are the foundation. When one of the species becomes endangered, the whole system slowly starts to fall apart. So every loss of a species triggers the next. Just like animals and plants, we, humans, also depend on healthy ecosystems like forests, oceans or grasslands. So we’re risking our health and environment when we don’t do anything about the contamination.
We, humans, cause the extinction of a lot of species only by living, but this can be changed. We have to live together with the animals. I once heard someone saying “it’s not our world, we just borrowed it” and I think that is the truth.
I think something important to do is to educate. We need to teach people and especially children about what is happening right now. If people do not know about the problem, they can’t do anything, but it’s also the job of our governments. How do people still sell furs and skins of all these endangered animals without being punished for it? Another thing which helps, is ,of course, the support for several organisations which work on this problem. Support can mean financial for those, who either don’t have the time or the will to go to the affected places where help is needed, but volunteer work is also support. Not only do you help, but you also experience beautiful countries and learn something about our world, the different cultures and also about yourself. “Work” doesn’t always mean it’s not fun.
It’s not that difficult to change something, so why isn’t there a change going on? – Ask yourself.
Plastic Trash – One of the Main Causes of Environmental Pollution
Lina Steffens, Germany
About eight million tons of plastic trash end up in our oceans every year, which is affecting the wildlife in the ocean and on the coast. Annually, about 100,000 marine mammals die due to plastic pollution and millions of birds and fish mistake plastic debris for food or get stuck in them. Along the shores, thousands of bird corpses rest on the beach with their stomachs full of plastic trash. From whales, sea lions, and birds to the zooplankton, plastic is greatly affecting marine life, and those who suffer most are the animals.
Why is the consumption of plastic so tremendous? It is lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong and inexpensive, qualities that make the use of plastic in different areas of industry and production very attractive, which leads to an over-consumption of plastic goods such as plastic bags, packaging, straws or bottles. Coupled with littering and polluting, plastic represents a danger for nature, our environment and the animal kingdom.
A plastic bag takes about 10-20 years to decompose, while a plastic bottle needs about 450 years until it’s completely decayed. If you imagine the amount of already existing plastic trash, and the amount that is added daily, the likelihood to eliminate it from our oceans completely seems impossible.
One of the main problems is recycling, or the fact that many people are not aware what proper recycling, and the conscious use of plastic goods could change. Different types of trash are usually put in one bin together, regardless of the possibility to help saving the environment by just separating it. Bags, bottles and packaging are often dropped on the ground where they start polluting the environment.
Each and every person that consumes plastic goods daily has to rethink their use of it. Even small changes of the amount we use and how we recycle it can make a big difference. Separating our trash, recycling plastic, minimizing the use of plastic or the use of biodegradable plastic can help. There is no way to undo it, but we can prevent the worldwide problem from getting worse.
Japanese Have a Low Tolerance for Alcohol
Rikako Fujita , Japan
Generally speaking, Japanese are not strong for alcohol. We can drunk quickly. On the other hand, people from Europe and Latin is really strong. Sometimes, I see them drinking wine straight from bottle. If Japanese do same thing, we will die by acute alcohol intoxication.
What is Acute Alcohol Intoxication.
As a result of examining the genetic information of Japanese people, it was found by RIKEN which is Japanese science organization. That “evolution” has occurred for thousands of years to increase the number of people with weak constitution to drink. Although detailed cause is unknown, weak constitution of alcohol seems to have worked advantageously for adapting to the environment for some reason. It announced to the English scientific journal Nature Communications of 24th.
Two types of metabolic enzymes, “ADH1B” and “ALDH2”, are involved in the alcoholysis in the body. Each enzyme has strong and weak types, with 75% of ADH 1 B and 25% of ALDH 2 being weak in Japanese. On the other hand, Westerners and others are known to have strong types for most two types.
Analysis of the total genetic information of 2200 Japanese people revealed that there are many mutations that are rarely found beside genes that produce weak type enzymes. When genetic information is inherited to offspring, it indicates that the mutation accumulated without being lost together with this gene, and it is considered to be one of the evidence that having a weak type of enzyme worked advantageously. They also found that Japanese with weak type of enzymes increased over the past 100 generations.
This is why, Japanese have a low tolerance. When Japanese drink with friends who is from foreign countries, they must care about amount of alcohol. They DO NOT drink same like friends.
Santa Barbara Zoo Prepared to Evacuate Animals to Los Angeles Zoo If Necessary
By Gaelle Hebert, France
Facility reopened on Wednesday after a three-day of closure, and has trucks waiting in case the Thomas Fire burns into Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Zoo’s animals, including a giant anteater and her pup, have been kept inside during a closure due to the Thomas Fire. (Santa Barbara Zoo photo)
The Santa Barbara Zoo is prepared to transport its animals to the Los Angeles Zoo if the Thomas Fire were to roar down into Santa Barbara. The growing fire is burning above Carpinteria, but the Santa Barbara Zoo closed for three days due to the large smoke cloud and unhealthy air quality. It reopened Wednesday and offered free admission, parking and indoor activities after the closure.
The gorillas, big cats, condors and hundreds of animals were living inside their night quarters Sunday through Tuesday, while giraffes had access to their beachfront yard.
Zookeepers have been taking part in enrichment activities with the animals, playing games and giving them a variety of toys and treats.
Zoo is ready to roll if necessary.
“We have a number of large trucks in the parking lot and we have received offers of assistance from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and Santa Barbara Animal Control,” said Dean Noble, marketing director for the zoo.
Noble said staff hasn’t seen any health impacts on any of the animals.
“We have a very talented team of zookeepers,” Noble said. “It is easy for them to see when an animal is being agitated. We haven’t seen anything thus far that indicates an animal is in distress or not faring well.”
He said animals do a good job of taking care of themselves.
“Animals are generally very intelligent and good at looking after their own welfare,” Noble said.
Zoo staff members have been making closure decisions on a day-by-day basis.
Noble said as far as he knew, this is the first time the zoo has unexpectedly been closed.
He added that staff will have a variety of indoor activities available when the zoo reopens.
Noble said people who want to support the zoo should consider buying a family membership for themselves or donate one to a loved one.
Since the zoo staff members have been using a lot more toys and treats while animals are kept inside, the zoo will be asking the public for donations of cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and gently used/new towels, which they use for animal enrichment.
There will be a drop-off bin available at the front gate for people who want to donate items, according to zoo staff.
unday through Tuesday, while giraffes had access to their beachfront yard.
Should animals be used for scientific and commercial testing? by Stella, Germany
An estimated 26 million animals are used every year in the US for commercial and scientific testing including mice, rats, fish, birds, guinea pig, farm animals, cats and dogs.
They are used to develop medical treatments, determine the toxicity of medications, check the safety of products destined for human use.
In additon, to the torment of the actual experiments, animals in laboratories are deprived of everything that is important and natural to them.
They are confined to barren cages, socially isolated and psychologically traumatized.
Most of the torture is legal.
Legal tests include: burning, poisoning, starving, forced, smoking, mutilating, blinding, electrocuting, drowning and dissecting without painkillers. They also get cut open without any painkillers.
The reality is that the majority of animal experiments do not contribute to improving the human health.
AGAINST the scientific and commercial testing
Many organizations try to follow the three R rules to improve the torment of the animals using for scientific and commercial testing:
replacing animals with non-animals tests
using fewer animals to do research
emphazies the fact, that if companies are going to use animals for your research, they have to make sure that those animals are treated at the highest (ethical) level
Alternatives to replace animals in science:
- in vitro (test tube) test methods and models based on human cell and tissue cultures
- computer models and simulations
- stem cell and genetic testing methods
- microdosing (in which humans are given very low quantities of a drug to test the effects on the body on the cellular level, without affecting the whole body system)
Why is replacing animals in science much better than using animals for testing? Are there any advantages in non-animal testing?
Yes, replacing animals in science with different alternatives has several advantages.
It is cheaper, faster and companies can test more chemicals.
It is not only more effective for science, but also more reliable and more human.
PRO the scientific and commercial animal-testing
- Animals themselves benefit from the results of animal testing
- If vaccines were not tested on animals, millions of animals would have died from rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, infectious hepatitis virus, tetanus, anthrax, and canine parvo virus.
- Treatments for animals developed using animal testing also include pacemakers for heart disease and remedies for glaucoma and hip dysplasia.
- Animal testing has also been instrumental in saving endangered species from extinction, including the black-footed ferret, the California condor and the tamarins of Brazil.
by Katharina Coenen
Veganism is a type of vegetarianism diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many Vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. They also don’t wear particular types of clothing, such as leather, fur and wool.
Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself. That is, the word vegan can be an adjective used to describe a food item, as in, “This curry is vegan”, or, it can be used as a noun, as in, “Vegans like cookies, too.”
But why would you choose to become a vegan ? They are many reasons. Let’s have a look.
Animals are a constant part of our lives. We share our houses with them, our beds, and we even consider them to be members of our family. While they may not be able to speak our languages, we value them highly. We interact with them and we often turn to them for emotional support. When they pass away, we mourn them.
We also believe that they enjoy being alive as much as we humans do, as they enjoy the company of others. Yet for other animals we stick forks and knives into their bodies and wear their skin as clothing. Is that morally right ? Maybe you think it is wrong to act violently against dogs or cats, but why do we think this? Animals around the world are dying just because we want to wear their skin, eat them or their products.
Some of us try to defend this by purchasing products that are marketed as “humane” or as produced “ethically.” However, these words are meaningless and actually do very little to give animals a better life. In any case, these terms comfort the public to believe it is okay to exhaust animals simply because we enjoy using them. We can change this social affliction and respect life by going vegan.
Consuming a plant-based diet also has significant benefits for our environment and health. Many studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables can dramatically change rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Raising animals for food is also the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment. In the rain forest, areas as big as soccer fields were cut down and used for growing soy beans for industrial livestock farming. Many rare animal species are in danger of extinction.
Personally i decided to going vegan. For me, its the next logical step, after being a vegetarian for over six years, to do the best as you can to help our environment and to reduce my ecological footprint. I never felt so happy with myself. 🙂
Dogs for People with Challenges
By Luca Wislsperger, Germany
For many years people had to go through difficulties and had to struggle with doing certain tasks or activities by their own, but now they can have a support dog.
Emotional support dogs are dogs that provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are. They are meant only for emotional stability and unconditional love.
There are 2 different types of support dogs:
One kind is the emotional support dog which can assist with various kinds of mental and emotional conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder/mood disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts/tendencies.
The Therapy dog which provides affection and comforts to individuals in hospitals and nursing homes. It is also used, as you can guess, for therapies so the clients have certain lessons together with these dogs to cure different types of diseases.
The second one is the service dog that is helpful for people which are limited by their disabilities so they function as an assistant for performing a normal life.
Have you thought of making your dog a service, therapy or emotional dog?
Some people say that the dog is the humans’ best friend. Whether or not this is true, it is certainly a fact that dogs can provide a lot of help and companionship for those with disabilities. If you have been wondering how to make your dog a service dog, an emotional support dog, or a therapy dog, there a lot of companies like “USA Service Dogs” that help you to train your dog to these kind of assistant.
Here is a link to a website where you can train your own dog: https://zoomroom.me/portal/own-your-own-zoom-room/?utm_campaign=1045189562&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=247365016752&utm_term=%2Bown%20%2Bdog%20%2Btraining&adgroupid=58184426624
How much does a service dog cost?
The price range for a service dog can be anywhere from $3,000 to train it personally to as much as $35,000 if you use a popular and expensive organization.
It generally takes 1–2 years to train a service dog. The dog must be trained to mitigate your disability and must behave appropriately in public to avoid being removed. This means there are two main facets of service dog training: first of all public access behaviors and secondly disability-related work and tasks.
There is also another type of support dog. It is used for environmental catastrophes like the heavy mud slides in Montecito the previous month.
For this disaster the firefighters use highly trained search dogs, most of them were schooled by the “National Disaster Search Dog Foundation”, located in Santa Paula.
It’s a private non-profit organization where the dogs are trained for about 8-10 months. Afterwards they can tell you if a body is either still alive or dead. Furthermore, they can differ between a live body and fresh clothes. The dogs which are only trained to detect dead bodies are called “cadaver dogs” or “HR” which stands for human remains dogs.