Comment on Remembering Alika by A. Nelson

Her stealth and beauty were incredible. Loshy, powerful and graceful as he was, seemed almost clumsy by comparison. That time they decided to excavate the ice from the pond was hilarious! The time(s) they tangled with skunks – not so much.

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Comment on Remembering Alika by Pete Brosius

Thanks for sharing this. Great to see pics of Alika and Losh Muffin. Alika was certainly a “dog” apart. There are two things that I especially remember about her. First, the incredibly sly way she would disappear. She would slowly make her way to the edge of the field, and it was clear what she was thinking, so you would watch her. But she watched us even more intently, and the second our attention was diverted, she would be gone. Could never quite figure out how she could disappear so totally in such a split second of time. The other thing was her levitating jumps above the high grass in the field, followed by precision three point landings to catch “meals on squeals.”

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Comment on Remembering Alika by Alan Nelson

I remember a few amazing feats of Alika. We were on a walk and Loshi and Alika were both sprinting towards a pond, and there was a barbed wire fence in the way, and without breaking stride Loshi (German Shepard) ducked under the fence and Alika (wolf hybrid) at full canter jumped the three and a half foot barb wire fence. Once they got to the 1-2 inch ice covered pond, and broke through the ice, they both proceeded to pull huge chunks of ice on to the shore. It was amazing.

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Comment on Domestication and Home by Christina

To aid to your confusion of why domestication means home. You must consider that plants were also domesticated. By domesticating both plants and animals, peoples were able to acquire more permanent settlements (or homes). I believe Jared Diamond’s article “Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication,” would help to better answer your question.

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Comment on Deep Historical Perspectives: Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers by Story of the farmer and his son on a hilltop | Back to the Blue Ridge

[…] It’s a metaphor for an important life lesson as well as a representation of what life was like in the early 1900s. It’s a new favorite story. I love history and it’s meaning, read this post about our deep historical relationship to domestic animals from Spring 2013. […]

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Comment on Hokie students call on Virginia Tech officials to divest from Fossil Fuels by Roy Wright

From a 72-year-old prof in the great white north, a message of solidarity:
Your issues ARE all related, as we humans all are. You VT students
from all over the Commonwealth of Lovers [where i hav a daughter & her 2 sons],
from every State in the Evil Empire [from which, like ES, i have exiled myself for now],
indeed, from all around the world.. will bring your learning home with you;
not just learning, but UNDERSTANDING, and even WISDOM!

Together we CAN win against GREED and other thoughtless evils,
throwing water on Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, on Ayn Rand, on selfish bullies.
Like BM, we must stand up to tyranny, as did Antigone in pre-democratic Athens,
vilified by patriotic mind-slaves of the Archon, their dictatorial monarch.
Anarchists like Tolstoy and Kropotkin opposed the Tsar with the pen, not the sword.
So must we OCCUPY our WORLD, opposed to TYRANNY, to -ARCHY, not to all government,
above all not to consensual GOOD government wherever we can make it in town meeting!

So let’s wake up and stay alert and free, like Patrick Henry and Tom Paine.
Now past 1984, Orwell’s Oceania looks less and less like Huxley’s Brave New World,
and more like Murdoch’s Fox News Utopia. We CAN break out of our slavery,
we can CONSUME LESS from McDonald’s, BP, Smith & Wesson, Wells Fargo.
What would Jesus do? throw the money-changers out of the temple!
Read UNC’s Bart Erman, and the gnostic words of the Radical Rabbi-Teacher.
I reject the corruption of his message by Paul and Babylon.
Written too much, Yoda has. Love long and prosper. Sic. Out.

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Comment on Rats! by Mrs. Frisby and Mr. Templeton

Plenty of species kill their own kind, and I’ve read that ants and chimps, among others, will make the equivalent of war on each other. And to say rats have never done any good to anyone or for anything is to ignore the thousands, probably millions, of rats and mice that are killed for science and whose deaths have helped find important medical information about diet, medications, operations, genetics, and intelligence.

One person wrote in that spiders kill each other after “sexxing.” At first, I thought she’d written “sexting,” engendering visions of spiders I’d never before imagined. I guess they die happy.

Comment on Rats and Mice: Scientific Heroes by A. Nelson

This is such a rich thread! I wonder if there isn’t a way to think about how the future might be different from the past? While many (most?) people agree about how much animal-testing has benefited humans, my hope is that, going forward, animal testing will become increasingly rare and eventually (sooner rather than later) be considered as archaic as we consider blood-letting and leaching today. Changing the world and making it a better place for me means figuring out more ethically appropriate and sustainable ways of interacting with the creatures who share our destinies. I’m not sure what these new modalities might look like (although I have some inklings), but my hope is that they will be less costly in all kinds of ways.

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Comment on Rats and Mice: Scientific Heroes by Bill Libby

Rats have definitely contributed more than their fair share to scientific progress, but it’s a price that I think most of us will agree has yielded good results. But is it moral? Then again that’s why it’s a controversy, right? If one side was simply wrong it wouldn’t be a very good discussion topic.

Our world is full of exchanges, some fair and some not so fair, but it’s exchanges like animal testing that advance our understanding of the world and those are the critical ones I’d like to preserve. What would a world without animal testing look like? I think that’s the central question that people still making their minds up on this issue should ask. I simply don’t see a better alternative that still preserves our advancement, this is something that I see us always needing but hope will require less loss of life in the future.

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