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Meanwhile, in prehistoric Canada…..

No no, you don’t understand, moose really do get that big. Take it from a Canadian. I’ve seen that bullshit in person. Scary as all heck.

And that’s how people can die if they hit a moose. Seriously, one of our fears when driving in the country is having to deal with this scenario of a moose jumping out in front of the car.

moose are actual legit ice age megafauna; theyve been here since the ice age, they are old as fuck. they also are pretty terrifying and ive echoed this before but i went to wiki and “In terms of raw numbers, they attack more people than bears and wolves combined” and “ In the Americas, moose injure more people than any other wild mammal and, worldwide, only hippopotamuses injure more.”

like, fuck off with that

I was dog sitting a dog once who insisted she had to go out in the middle of the night it was an emergency, so I took her out. Suddenly she starts pointing and barking and I look up and can just make out the outline of a HUGE moose. I’ve been accidentally face to face with a black bear and that scared me less than being up close with a moose. I’m 5 foot so imagine staring up at an animal several feet taller than you that is debating charging the dog who’s leash you are holding. I was terrified as I grabbed the dog by her collar to get better control over her and backed up slowly til I was out of line of sight and bolted for the house at a dead run. Did you know most Canadian lake monster stories come from people seeing moose swimming? They are massive animals.

They are massive and they charge. I get so scared when tourists are all “oh yeah, we got out of the car to get a closer look and, ya’ll have some mighty impressive animals around here.”

Yes, yes we do, and they have mighty tired guardian angels because moose can, and do, charge at people.

I’ve always said that moose hunting season is the one time of the year we’re allowed to fight back.

Someone my mom worked with died hitting a moose on the highway. Their eyes don’t reflect light. In the dark they are literally nothing but a big slightly darker shape in the night.

Roughly every year in the town I grew up in, a cow (moose) and her calf will wander through downtown. Maybe once or twice. If she’s aggressive enough, the local Mounties will escort her through to keep idiots away.

ooh wait let me tell you more about moose!

So when they drink, they drink a lot. A nematode called Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, also known as brainworm or moose illness, has its larval maturation stage in water slugs or snails. When the moose drinks, it accidentally eats some of the nematode larvae. The larvae work up to the brain and spinal cord and grow there.

P. tenuis causes brain damage in moose, which leads to strange behavior like walking in circles, tilted head, etc., but most frightening is the lack of fear of humans. There are tons of accounts of people meeting “crazy moose” who suddenly attack out of nowhere.

Eventually P. tenuis ends up killing the moose. There’s been a major decline of the moose population because of it.


Fallow deer by Pim leijen on Flickr.





There’s a lot of misconceptions that go on about animal use in research, animals in zoos, etc. I won’t get into the agricultural part because I don’t know enough about it (and yes, the agricultural industry has a lot of problems) but if I can refute some of the other claims, I will.

1. Do you know why we have shampoos, cleaners, and other substances that we can use safely around the house? It’s because we have tested the substances on animals. When a new product gets developed, whether it be for human or animal use, it gets tested before it goes into the market. “Don’t get shampoo into your eyes” no shit, but the people who developed the shampoo needed to know if their product would blind you if it accidentally got into your face. In addition, the study he is referencing is that stupid picture of the rabbits that was taken decades ago, well before there were guidelines and laws in animal research. If you look up rabbits in animal research on google (don’t, seriously), all the pictures are old and show horrible conditions that are ILLEGAL IN ALL AMERICAN LABS. And legality in a lab is necessary if a researcher wants any funding. In addition, nobody in a lab will look at an animal in pain and think it’s okay. Nobody. I find it astounding that the public thinks that people who work with animals in a lab actually enjoy hurting animals. That is the most toxic, vile thought process I can imagine, and I think it comes from the idea that anything not animal rights is lumped into animal exploitation, when actually in between those two designations is animal welfare, which is where animal research falls.

Animal rights (PETA)——Animal welfare (labs)—-Animal exploitation (crazy people)

2. First off, the likelihood of anybody doing LD50 testing on dogs, much less for substances that are already established to be toxic, is extremely low. You’ll notice that most of these pictures involve cute, cuddly animals, and completely ignore the majority of animals used in research, mice and rats. This is a blatant shock tactic to win the most support, and it is embarrassing that so many people are duped by it. Those dogs can be inhaling anything, i.e. an anesthetic for surgery. Again, that picture shows outdated technology, and is likely not even applicable to the caption. In addition, to throw a cold, boring economic explanation in, research animals are extremely expensive. One transgenic mouse can fetch $1000. A regular cat? $1500. If you think that researchers are killing off animals for fun, or allowing them to get hurt, you are sorely mistaken. Even allowing an animal to experience a moment’s pain during a study requires permits acquired by the FDA that are almost impossible to get, and for good reason. (Why is that even allowable? you ask. There are people who suffer from chronic pain. Finding a cure for those diseases often means that the animal be in pain.)

Laboratory animals are some of the most underappreciated animals in America. These animals take part in life-saving research, not only for humans, but for animals, too. Taken a Tylenol? Animal research allowed that to exist. Gotten a vaccine? Same thing. Does anybody here know the story of finding the cure to Tetralogy of Fallot? No? It’s a heart condition that affects thousands of newborns. Before animals were used in researching a fix, those thousands of babies just died. There was no way to fix it. How about all those new studies finding reasons and cures for Parkinson’s? Dementia? HIV? Epilepsy? Diabetes? They were studied in animals, first, so that we save more people, and animals who suffer the same diseases. Do you give your dog Frontline? Heartworm medication? Did it get its rabies shots, or FIV shots? All those medicines and vaccines were developed working with animals. Do you buy pet food? Do you take your pets to get groomed? Animal research made sure the food was safe, the shampoos were safe. These animals, these researchers, are here to make the world safer.

There is a mantra, the Three R’s of animal research. Replace, Reduce, Refine. Replace is to replace the use of animals whenever possible with alternative techniques, such as stem cells or cell cultures or computer models. Reduce is to reduce the number of animals to the minimum. And refine is to always strive to refine techniques so there is absolute minimum animal discomfort. These animals live better lives than most American pets. And this is not even getting into the European practices, which are years ahead of us in excellent animal care.

But why haven’t you heard about all of this? Why is it that when you look up animal research, you get only horror stories? It’s very simple. Animal rights groups such as PETA are funded by well-meaning people who think they are helping animals, and subsequently the groups have millions of dollars. (Note: PETA kills 82% of the animals it takes in every year, and that is a conservative quote.) Animal welfare groups, such as PSBR, are much less known and have much less money. PETA goes into schools and throws propaganda at young people, indoctrinating them into their radical group. This makes animal welfare groups much less able to go give talks. And the scariest part, the one that is the most important, is that PETA (and more notably ALF and SHAC) are violent activist groups. They have gone to colleges saying that they will pay $100 for the names and addresses of students working in the scientific field, and when they get those names, they threaten and harass the students until they drop out. They have hit lists. They find scientists’ information and threaten them, threaten their children. Scientists are told by their “elders” in the science world to never talk about their jobs in public, or access animal rights websites at work, or wear their ID badges that identify them as a worker at a research lab because we can get killed by people. And it’s prevalent enough that it is a common practice to stay silent. So that’s why people don’t know about animal research: we have been terrified into silence due to threats against our well being by people who honestly do not know the levels of care and adoration that animals receive in a lab. PETA has funnelled money into law schools to get their representatives there as teachers teaching the future lawmakers of this country. They have threatened so many transportation companies that there is literally only one airline that ships animals anymore, and the main ground-based company stopped too so now researchers have to pay exorbitant prices to hire private shipment options. What does that have to do with anything? Well, if the cost of the research is driven up, so is the cost of the final product. Why do you think medicines cost so much? They’re playing the game, at the cost of people’s lives. Scientists aren’t working for money, we are working to make life better, and to understand truth.

Anybody who thinks they can live not ever using something that has come about due to animal testing is conceited and rude. And denying people the things they need to survive (i.e. any medication for anybody who is ever sick, whether it be a short sickness or a chronic, debilitating disease) due to your own misguided morality is one of the most depraved things I can think of.

Respect the animals that have given their lives to make yours better. Because the scientists? We respect them. 100%.

As for zoos, people seem to have a very romantic idea of how it is to live in the wild, with a short lifespan and no idea where the next meal or predator will come from. Zoos provide an opportunity to observe animal behavior and to protect endangered species. Zoos provide educational outreach programs that give the public, both young and old, information on things they might not otherwise understand. Knowledge breeds respect, and if more people respect animals, fewer will be mistreated. The zoos in America follow strict laws on animal enrichment and enclosures, and again, the people who work at zoos love animals. The pictures in this post look like they come from zoos in SE Asia or China, where animal care is… unimportant, to be generous. (Note: I went to the Beijing zoo myself. It was horrible.)

Please, educate yourselves before you go spouting off hatred.

If anybody has any questions, just ask (politely, please). I want people to learn things. (Impolite asks will be ignored; we are all capable having discussion here.)

Thank you for such an informative reply. I’m glad to hear most of the things you mentioned (however, I do doubt that every scientist respects and empathises with animals in their care, but I’m happy to hear that the ones you know do, at least), and I do know PETA is just as bad, if not worse, than many of the people and organisations they have a problem with. But, just because we have begun treating animals better, and thank goodness, doesn’t erase the past or the fact that many people still mistreat them (not just researchers).

I also am not one who believes animals are “lessers” who are to be used so that humans can have it easy?? They are our equals in spirit, in feeling, and in their capacity to experience pain and agony, I think, and I’d much rather we use volunteers or criminals than animals who get no say in the matter (expensively priced as they are or not).

Animals are abused daily by people who do not respect them and have no empathy, and exposing people to images such as these, outdated or not, awakens their hearts for the animal’s struggle. Even if 1% of labs are inhumane towards animals - that is too much. .01% would be too much.

I also noted that you dismiss the zoo allegation because America & Europe don’t do what Asian countries are doing - well, this isn’t just for American/Canadian/European eyes - this is for Asian eyes, too - we’re trying to spread this message across the world and it is a matter of significance that we improve conditions everywhere, again, not being satisfied just because animals are treated well “here” and “here”, but continuing on until it is the norm that they be treated with respect and as humanely as our own children and friends, everywhere.

Thank you for your contribution to my post, and I hope I didn’t come off as rude, I want the world to have a comprehensive knowledge of this issue and I believe what you have to say is worth hearing as well!

And thank you for the wonderful, polite reply! 

Yeah, speaking in absolutes leads to falsehoods but I think that saying “most people in science love working with animals” leaves a greater margin of people who dislike animals than if I say “all.” You’re right.

I also agree that animals are not “lessers” to be used to make our lives easier, but animals (and people!) have contributed to making lives possible for sick people and animals. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to do testing on anybody but unfortunately we do, at least until technology can come up with a viable alternative.

I have seen more animals abused at the hands of non-scientists than I have ever seen in a lab. 

I addressed the zoo thing as American- and Euro-centric because it’s written in English on a site with a large amount of America/Euro people. I have seen a lot of outcry against zoos in the Americas/Europe and not a lot of outcry against zoos that are worlds worse, and it’s frustrating when people lump all zoos together, regardless of their benefits, as an evil institution.

Thank you for reblogging my response, it means a lot to me! I really, truly love animals, both in their pure, wild state, and as partners to humans.


The Happiest Animals in the World

that tiger’s doing a Flehmen response! heeee


Photographer Matt Binstead captured these stunning photos of a TINY harvest mouse as it clinged to a dandelion blowing in the wind in the British Wildlife Centre in Lingfield. [Article]

oooohhh myyy godddddd so cute *_*






I went looking to see how accurate to the colors those photos actually were, and then I got distracted…



More animal cruelty in Sochi for Russia’s Winter Olympics: After two orcas were kidnapped from the wild to display at Sochi, stray dogs will now be rounded up and killed so they don’t “spoil the atmosphere for tourists”

  • Private company believed to have been hired to rid the city of stray dogs
  • News comes after officials appeared to back down on extermination plans
  • Owner of company hired to kill strays says they are just ‘biological trash’
  • He reportedly plans to use traps and poison to kill the homeless dogs

The city of Sochi has hired a private company to kill as many stray dogs as possible before the Winter Olympics, it has been claimed.

Describing the animals as ‘biological trash’, the owner of the company has reportedly admitted being tasked with using poison and traps to rid the city of stray dogs before thousands of tourists and competitors arrive for the Games’ opening ceremony next Friday.

The news will anger animal rights campaigners who thought Sochi officials had abandoned plans to exterminate the stray dogs following widespread protests last year.

Speaking to ABC News, the owner of Basia Services extermination company Alexei Sorokin claimed the animals were a realistic threat to the Games.

‘Imagine if during an Olympic Games a ski jumper landed at 130KPH (80 MPH) and a dog runs into him when he lands. It would be deadly for both the jumper and the stray dog,’ he said.

Describing his work as a public service to prevent ‘an epidemic of rabies’, Sorokin added: ‘I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs’.

Although he denied suggestions of animal cruelty, Sorokin admitted his company mainly uses poison and traps to kill the dogs, before adding: ‘Let’s call these things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash’.

He also reportedly claimed that Basia Services were called in only after a city-backed programme to have the stray dogs adopted failed to attract interest.

Basia Services is one of Russia’s largest extermination companies specialising in dog removal, although an ever-worsening problem with strays has seen smaller business and even vigilante groups spring up across the country.

In the capital Moscow, there have been battles between animal rights groups and citizen ‘dog hunters’, who leave poison-laced meat in parks where stray dogs are known to gather.

Russia’s stray dog problem appears to stem from decades of animals being dumped on the streets when their owners realise they can no longer afford to keep them.

These dogs then breed among themselves, giving rise to a population of animals that have never been properly domesticated.

This is just the latest controversy to hit the Russian Olympics after homophobic rhetoric coming from Russia and banning gays from displaying affection in public. It also comes after news that two wild orcas were captured so they could be displayed at the Sochi Dolphinarium in time for the Winter Olympics.

adoptpets: I had already decided to not watch the Olympics this year after hearing about the killer whales being kidnapped for the Olympics, and I hope others will also decide not to watch the Olympics this year. I do understand how people could still justify watching them since you have already paid your cable bill or you can stream it for free on the internet so you won’t be supporting it with your money. For me, it is a person decision, as I can’t watch it knowing that killer whales sacrificed their freedom and sanity and dogs died painful slow deaths from poisons and traps so that people can be entertained.

I hope there are very few tourists though and Russia loses its money. I can’t pretend though that my country, the United States, has moral superiority on this issue. We have captive orcas here in the US, and we kill homeless dogs and cats everyday in the US. While most shelters use drugs that cause a painless death (though it’s still murder) gas chambers are still legal in something like 31 states. Animals suffer a painful and long death in gas chambers, and we don’t even allow serial killers do be killed that way.

I blame the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as they should have imposed a ban of culling animals for Olympic games. In Athens in 2004, they also had a large dog cull. Then they gave the games to China, which has the worst record on animal welfare.

And after the Olympics in Canada 100 huskies were brutally shot and stabbed to death by Howling Dog Tours in Whistler, British Columbia. Tourists would pay around £200 for a three-hour sled ride through the valleys surrounding the town.The two-person sleds are pulled by six dogs. But the company found it had too many animals when bookings fell following the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The man said he was told to cull 100 of his 300 dogs after a local vet refused to destroy healthy animals, and he could not find new homes for them. Previously he had put down sick dogs by taking them into the woods, giving them a meal and shooting them. But the size of the cull in April 2010 meant he had to kill the animals in full view of other dogs.

By the time he had shot his 15th husky, he noticed the dogs were ‘experiencing anxiety and stress’, the documents revealed.

At one point the man shot but failed to kill a husky called Suzie – the mother of his own pet dog. ‘He had to chase Suzie through the yard because the horrific noise she made when wounded caused him to drop the leash,’ the report said. When he managed to kill Suzie, he accidentally shot another husky which had not been due to be killed, but had to be put down.‘He also had to perform what he described as “execution style” killings where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them.’ The report added: ‘He described a guttural sound he had never heard before from the dogs and fear in their eyes.’ It also told how he had run out of ammunition when he was attacked by an injured animal, so had to use a knife to kill it.

The parent company of Howling Dog Tours, Outdoor Adventures Whistler (OAW), then took over full control of the Whistler tour firm. It is now company policy that animals are put down by a vet.

I do know that the public in Canada was outraged by this dog culling, so perhaps it isn’t fair to blame them for what a private company did, but it just goes to show how animals are killed for Olympic entertainment.
And in 2018 the Olympics will be held in South Korea. In South Korea, just like China, cats and dogs are electrocuted, hanged, beaten, and even boiled alive and burnt to death. Koreans mistakenly believe that the more the animal is tortured, the better the meat will taste and the more health benefits it has for humans. And if it is my guess based on the history of prior games, I’m sure they’ll be another large dog cull before the games to make the tourists feel more comfortable.

I wish I could enjoy the olympics this year but oh well




What people thank an animal should be kept in and what the animal actually should be kept in. (click the pictures)

Not based on personal preference, but observable fact. An animal kept in an environment that is too small is unhappy and stressed. This can absolutely lead to a short miserable life.

I see a lot of people, virtually every day, who have these preconceived notions about what an animal can live in. A hamster lives in a hamster cage of course, because the happy little hamster on the box says so! This cage is for finches, they even keep them in it at the store! My friend had a rabbit and it lived in that cage so I’ll get that one. This sort of dangerous socially accepted neglect is not just limited to bettas and goldfish. Mammals and birds are subject to it as well.

What people don’t realize is that almost all commercial or common cages are completely unacceptable as homes for what they are marketed for. Those guinea pig/rabbit cages? Garbage. Those tiny finch cages? Torture. That cute technicolor hamster cage? A gimmick.

All animals need a certain amount of space for enrichment and general well being. That does not mean the cages someone is trying to sell you. It means the cages that are best.

And to all those people who are thinking “Well I had a hamster in a cage that size and it was fine.”


You have only observed your animal. You have only observed the animal in a confined space and most likely showing signs of distress or behavioral problems. But you interpreted it as normal because that is all you know. You haven’t seen rabbits in appropriate sized cages. You haven’t seen parakeets in appropriate cages. You haven’t seen a hamster who is happy.

Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined hamsters. (The same applies to mice, gerbils, and rats):

  • Biting the cage bars
  • Obsessive digging
  • "Laziness" (lack of foraging/exploring)
  • Aggression
  • Pacing
  • Running in circles
  • Obesity

Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined rabbits:

  • Biting the cage bars
  • Running in circles
  • Bouncing off the cage walls
  • Aggression, irritability when being held
  • Cage aggression
  • Constantly banging toys/decor around
  • Obesity
  • "Laziness"

Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined guinea pigs

  • Biting the cage bars
  • Banging their water bottle on the side of the enclosure constantly
  • Aggression toward other guinea pigs or you
  • Obesity
  • "Laziness"

Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined parakeets

  • Feather plucking
  • Aggression to other parakeets
  • Pacing
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive behaviors (constant singing into a corner, going from the same perch to the same perch over and over again)
  • Fearfulness

Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined finches

  • Aggression to other finches
  • Flight tracing: Going from one perch to another in the exact same spot the exact same way over and over again
  • Obesity

Animals are more complex than people give them credit for. They to do all of the natural behaviors they’re built to do. Exploring, foraging, playing, hiding, interacting (or not interacting) with another animal, etc. All of this is taken from them in cages like the ones above.

People need to educate themselves about an animal before getting one. It’s a thought that’s been said a million times over and yet nobody actually does it. The reality is people who want a hamster/guinea pig/rabbit are not going to sit down and read ten articles and three books waiting 2 months while they set everything up unless they are already enthusiasts who are willing to put that much into their pets. I can say from experience that over 80% of the people who buy pets buy them to make their kids happy with no regard to what the animal needs. What is most important to them is getting a present for their child regardless of any consequences that decision comes with.

So we have to try and get this information out there. We have to try and make THIS the general knowledge about these animals.

Resources and very good reads for anyone who has or wants any of the animals listed here. I’ll add more when I find them.

Rabbits: X X X 

Guinea pigs: X 

Hamsters: X X X 

Finches: X

Parakeets: X 

This is very important. i have seen so many animal live unfulfilled and short lives because of this.

Some additional notes from your friendly neighborhood Ethologist:

It should also be noted that many abnormal behaviors like

  • Repetitive motions / locomotor stereotypies (pacing, rocking, obsessive digging, spinning, hopping, flipping, etc) 
  • Self-directed behaviors (self-plucking, over grooming, self clasping, self biting)
  • Self-injurious behaviors (self directed behaviors to the point of bleeding or other injury that requires medical attention)

are not only a symptom of current housing enrichment conditions, but are often a result of negligent / restrictive rearing conditions! 
If your pet has been weaned to early, isolate raised, peer raised (as opposed to mother raised), or undergone similar early life conditions there is a HIGH PROBABILITY that they will exhibit abnormal / manipulative behaviors as adults, EVEN WITH the best environmental enrichment and social housing conditions. 

So please please please keep this in mind when looking at breeders / vendors for your pet. Ask them questions, talk with other customers about their pets from _____ place, and ask to see the conditions your prospective pet is raised in. A good breeder/institution will be proud of their hard work and animal care quality, and generally are quite happy to answer your questions. 

Also, when shopping for your pet’s enrichment devices (i.e. the fun things you add to their housing), make sure to do some research on the species. In order for enrichment to be useful, it needs to be relevant to the animal’s species (and personal) characteristics. A little bit of research can help you promote your pet’s naturalistic behavior and promote their psychological well being.

Sources: x, x, x, x, x, x

Most of those symptoms sound like the current lifestyles of me and many of my friends.

Another note, never keep your rabbits off the ground (I did…) in a “traditional hutch.” It stresses them out since they’re ground animals. And if you have multiple rabbits. don’t house them vertically since they have dominance issues based on if other rabbits are above/below them.

Posting this everywhere because it is so beautiful. And so miserably true.