Sunday, November 27, 2016

Where to go for Information on Heart Disease

I selected (Links to an external site.) which is by the Center for Disease Control. I selected it for its modern methods of research, the fact that it was the best one of the many websites I viewed and it is good quality. We use the Center for Disease Control in many of the classes I have participated in. They are excellent and have up to date information that is precise and well researched often with their own laboratories, they provide information to the professional fields, and of the websites I read through they had a very comprehensive website. This website selection was because of its trustworthy source, common cited use, thorough research, ease of use and quality of information. I think the presentation is easy to understand. You can always print information material from the Center for Disease control’s website which I really like.
The Center for Disease Control operates 24/7 to protect America’s health, security and safety. Diseases are researched, the security of the nation is monitored and the CDC helps protect against these and other concerns. They have advanced laboratories and computers to monitor health. They track disease. They help with medical care and nurture health. They fight diseases in other countries to prevent them entering the United States. The Center for Disease Control is very reliable providing up to date information on a variety of health concerns.
The Center for Disease control is recognized worldwide for its contributions to research and education.  They have lots of information on many subjects some of which overlap. They are about health concerns, toxins, environmental considerations and more. It is a go-to website for many professionals. Since they do a lot of research they are considered primary source on many subjects. They provide resources to other links and organizations. They have lots of programs and run informational programs as well. They are involved with education. They monitor diseases and toxins and other health concerns. They have laboratories and fund research.
On this website, it says that heart disease refers to many conditions. It has links to information on coronary artery disease, heart attacks and other related conditions. There are factsheets you can download too. It points out risk factors like smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, age and family history. Some of these factors can be controlled.  It mentions that healthy diet, healthy weight, physical activating, not smoking/using tobacco and limiting the use of alcohol can all help to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar level normal to lower the risk of heart attack or heart disease. Heart disease kills more than 600,000 people a year and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Education material is available on this website for patients and professionals. Links to Journal Articles are reliable and have some recent up to date information available.
I recommend this website for its education, reliability and more. On the website: (Links to an external site.)it provides tips on practicing health living and integrating them into habits and how to treat and prevent medical conditions. This website provides information on heart disease, the risk factors, how you can prevent heart disease, statistics, educational information, journal articles and even a quiz to test what you know. You can also sign up for email updates. You can explore the rest of to find out more information on other conditions.

Eating Disorders: Concerns with Food Purity, Effects on Pregnancy and how Post Traumatic Stress affects Eating Disorders

Anorexia is when you starve yourself to loose weight. Binge eating is characterized by eating a lot. Bulimia is when vomiting, laxatives and/or weight loss are used.  

Lets take a look at some articles from the National Eating Disorders Website....

Kratina, Karin. Orthorexia Nervosa.

I selected one on Orthorexia and I found it very interesting since I know a lot of people who do it. It is interesting because I know some people who fast and eat very healthy and get upset because of their lifestyle. I have flipped in and out of this kind of lifestyle myself. I have been in religious organizations which taught some methods of fasting and said they were good. I know now how dangerous some of the fasts were (especially week long orange fasts) which may have been particularly unhealthy. Eating healthy is good, but some people have obsession over food and it becomes unhealthy. They think often about the food, its purity and quality as well as being very rigid.

There is self-punishment and self-esteem issues in regard to food. It can be dangerous physical, crowd out other things a person is doing and is interested in as well as causing social issues. Dr. Steven Bratman coined this term and it is not for an eating disorder officially but is very similar to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The obsession is about eating healthy though, not about thin-ness and weight loss. IT may at first be health motivated but it can also be motivated to prevent poor health, to control, for spirituality, for improving self-esteem, to try to attain thin-ness to get away from fears and to use food for identity creation.

There are a series of questions asking if you fulfill any of the criteria for this and how it affects control and self-esteem. The diet can actually be very unhealthy with self-imposed nutritional deficiencies. There are social problems that are more likely to be obvious than nutritional. Isolation because the food is what they plan their life around takes up much of the time and can no longer eat intuitively. They don’t know when to recognize they are hungry, determine the amount of food they need and how much it takes to get full and when they get full. They often find difficulties with diet due to the lack of natural eating. It can become consuming and make life difficult.

It can reduce the quality of life. If a healthy diet is taking a lot of time and attention in your life if you deviate and have self-esteem and guilt issues and use it to avoid life and keep you isolated, it is a problem. It is hard to recognize since the society presses for healthy eating and being thin. Motivation is hard to pin down since it has many sides. The orthorexic needs to admit there is a problem and determine how the obsession began. They then need to become flexible eating. They need to work through emotional issues. They need to be less dogmatic regarding food and eating.

It is not a condition a doctor will diagnose but can require professional help to address it. They need to recognize and understand eating health and that food does not make you a better person. They basing of self-esteem on diet quality is not rational. Identity needs to shift to a focus on the person who loves, works and is fun not “the person who eats healthy” and they will find that although food is important there are other things that are more important.

Next, I read about Pregnancy and Eating disorders. A child needs the appropriate food for a fetus to be able to live and thrive to eventually be born and survive. The child needs the building blocks to make up the body. Eating disorders need to be taken care of to ensure the mother is psychologically and physical able to have and take care of a baby.

When a woman is pregnant, her body drains her to fuel the fetus. If there is not enough, the woman can become malnourished with causes serious health issues including exhaustion and depression. A woman can gain 25-35 pounds when pregnant which is important and can be scary to women with eating disorders. Some can do it as a “sacrifice” and do well and cope, while others become very depressed and most women fall in between.

Women and children are at risk. Women risk postpartum depression, nursing issues, labor issues, premature birth, depression during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, cardiac irregularities, dehydration and poor nutrition.

Children born underweight have poor development difficulties perinatal and feeding issues, respiratory issues, low birth weight for their age and premature birth. Eating disorders should be taken care of and women should have medical and psychological help and are considered at risk.
Women should be honest with health care providers, have extra appointments, talk to a nutritionist, take counseling, go to a support group and potentially take exercise class for perinatal. There are parenting skill, child development, childbirth and pregnancy classes that will be helpful. Weighing should be done but can be done without the mother monitoring by the doctor. Obsessive compulsive problems should be taken care of as well as severe depression. A schedule should be on the pregnancy schedule and therefore stressors should be reduced.

The final piece I read was on how trauma and post traumatic stress disorder affect eating disorders. Violence and other trauma can cause psychiatric disorders including eating disorders. Bulimic symptoms are particular common. Stress is overwhelming and can cause dysfunction, disease and distress. When there is too much stress it is traumatic which refers to event, experience and effects as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There are people who may be at more risk such as having psychological or biological and depression issues. Different people cope differently so for some people what is traumatic to one may not be traumatic to someone else.

There are two kinds of coping. Avoidant coping involves self punishment, self defeating and has a negative medical effect. Active coping involves problem solving and has better results medically. People with eating disorders are vulnerable to stress. There often have more than one disorder. They are more likely to think someone is thinking bad of them or see hostile or threats. They may be more anxious and fear loss of control. 

There are other issues that also may be involved with issues around change inhibition, anxiety, coherence, seeing the bit picture and sensitivity. Post Traumatic stress disorder is often involved nad include re-experiencing traumatic symptoms, hyperarousal symptoms, avoidance, symptoms and having mood or thinking issues when considering the traumatic event and it is chronic. Ten years after no treatment, those suffering still often have the disorder and may develop new ones. They are often used to numb trauma and reduce anxiety about he trauma. To be treated, they need to have both conditions treated. Therapy is necessary as is communicating and working with friends and medical individuals.

Work Cited

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

European Domination of the Americas

European’s sought global domination, which not all regions sought. Geography may have influenced when and why Europeans left. They were in search of gold and glory. They were seeking fame and fortune. They were going into regions to seek gold and other items. They were often from rural areas, such as Pissarro, and through conquest they are remembered as warriors and great conquerors. Spaniards invaded Peru and taken control of the area.

The powerful Inca underestimated Europeans. They thought they were wearing cooking pots on their head. They thought since the Europeans were sending gifts that they were being friendly. The Inca people thought the Europeans were lesser people because they wore the pot and did not use it to cook. They did not realize that the Europeans were very well armed with very advanced weaponry including gunpowder where Europeans made them light and useable. Rudimentary guns were terrifying and though they were awkward, took a long time to load and may not have been reliable, the dangerous guns were loud with a powerful smell.

Some areas were secluded and did not have access to communications with other groups. Other regions were in less secluded areas which allowed the to other technologies like animals, writing and more. When the people arrived with animals and goods they were believed to be Gods. Guns sounding like thunder reinforced this belief.

Smallpox virus would infect thousands of Native Americans. They had no resistance, so they would grow very ill from it. They would get a rash with blisters that would eventually burst, infect and kill. It is highly contagious. It hit even the Inca Empire. It decimated the populations. This would make it easier to conquer. Europeans were exposed to the animals and pets. The zoonotic diseases immunized European populations over 10,000 years. There were as many of or not the same resistances in Native American populations.

Whole populations were immunized this way in Europe, but this immunization did not take place in Native American populations. This meant that the diseases spread rapidly and lethally. They did not have the physical contact with farm animals. Llamas are not kept the same ways as Europeans keep animals, so the animals were in a unique way, more sanitary conditions. The worst diseases were originally from Eurasia and Africa and so they spread globally.

They had weapons, metalsmithing, horses, advanced combat techniques and more. They had resistances, immunities and carried a variety of diseases from the animal handling they had. They came from regions where they had plenty of time to adapt to the diseases. The people in the America’s had not had time to adapt to those diseases. They had draft animals. They also had a variety of goods they had already had access too. This created a novelty when they entered areas. This provided an opportunity to trade. There may also be disputes over trade.

In the new world all the farming had to be done by hand since the llama was the only docile stock animal they had though they didn’t really use it for farming purposes. They worked by hand therefore could not produce as much as Europeans.

Horses were a sense of awe and power. People thought them amazing to be carried by animals and though they were part human and part horse (beast). This meant they thought they were gods. Horses provided transportation, food and draft. Horses were able to give them speed. The advantage of being in horseback provides instant protection against people on foot. Horses meant that draft such as large farming and lumber could be conducted. Large amounts of food could also be transported along with other supplies.

In Europe, the horse provided the key for moving large items which would go into the creation and production of metal and shipbuilding objects. This powerful backing from their homeland would give them the ships to get there, the horses to carry their generals, the weapons for their armies, the training for their warriors and the food to feed them. Other animals such as goats, cattle and more provided some of the same advantges such as food, milk, textiles, advantages in farming and more.
Horses meant that their riders were mobile and in control of the land that they inhabited. Horse based combat was also exercised. Different regions developed different combat styles, and the Spanish horse combat style is very advanced and gives the rider unique techniques. They were good for working with bulls and translated well to combat. Horses were intimidating to their riders’ enemies.

They had access to good quality steel weapons while the Inca people were still using Bronze for instance. The fertile crescent is where metalworking started, and so they got it early on from the Fertile Crescent and used it to advance their weapons and create armor. Weapons like swords were advanced into thin blades like rapiers and Toledo blades. This was because of the quality of the blade and the metal as well as how pliable it was. Forging is a sophisticated and advanced form of training (I have made a few things but only the basics of armor).

There are a variety of negative outcomes from the conquest on the Americas. Huge civilizations were lost to conquest. Many artifacts were lost forever. There are Native American bodies which were exhumed and taken into possession by other organizations and groups. Gold from the Americas was taken back to Spain. They sent more people and eventually other countries would begin to move in. The Colonization of the Americas would be done by many countries who disregarded the rights and liberties of the people who originally lived in the regions. They would often do mass killings to remove entire groups from the region.

I see these as negative outcomes. I think that there are plenty of regions that were able to learn and adapt to the modern world without suffering through conquest. But many of the things that were created due to European rule over the Americas may not have happened or happened as early as they did. Different technologies may have been developed though. Sadly, we will never know what could have happened, but we can surmise what are some of the things that could have occurred. This region would be likely under control of one of the local groups.

In the region I am in that means that there would be Miwak, Suisun, Patwin, Pomo and Wappo in these regions. I am fine with that and I consider that positive. Native groups would be larger, not restricted to reservations and possess all of their original freedoms as well as rule themselves.

Langlois, Bertrand. "The History, Ethnology and Social Importance of Mare’s Milk Consumption in Central Asia"

I will be examining:
Langlois, Bertrand. "The History, Ethnology and Social Importance of Mare’s Milk Consumption in Central Asia". In the Journal of Life Sciences 5 (2011) 863-872, October 30, 2011.

Langlois explains that the origins of the domesticated horse are difficult to pinpoint, as is the time of domestication. When the horse is domesticated, it is firmly documented 10,000 years ago but Langlois cites the use of halters in cave art depictions of horses. Additionally documentation is presented on the horse as being presented as a milk and meat animal in Botai, in Kazakhstan, near Mongolia. Signs of domestication are found and later, this would develop into chariot and harness use. Langlois goes on to explain that riding the horse is originally from the steppes of Kazakhstan .
In addition to harnesses, other horse based technology would come out of these regions to become instrumental influences on world history. To ease riding and mounted combat, they created the tree saddle and most likely wooden stirrups. They also developed good composite bows for riding and using from horseback.  In some regions, riders would instead learn the lance instead of bow. These forms of riding and combat would later influence other cultures and regions who would adopt these weapons, horses and technology.
Do to a scarcity of goods horses were domesticated in roving herds and people followed them. There are also customs discouraging the preservation of food for winter to avoid being more like agricultural groups. Animals are born and raised for resistance to the elements, such as the terrible cold and lack of food. Usually, these animals are horses, but some regions specialize in other animals more adapted to the specific location. Efforts are made to preserve nature and make minimal impact and locations are observed.
There are evaluations done based off their Nomadic farming called “zhud” which are crisis which can strike, such as over grazing, regions icing over and drought. They disperse from regions of zhud and seek to minimize the effects on the land. Animals which prevent overgrazing yet are good at grazing are favored. Religious discrimination exists among animals, with a favoritism to warm muzzled animals such as horses (rather than cold muzzled animals like camels, goats and cattle) for its ability to discriminate when grazing. This makes the Mongolian horse and efficient meat animal for the region with good adaptions. It was also a good war and combat mount.
Mongolian horses are honored and they have many things made of the products and animals are evaluated on their ability to give milk. Airag is made from mare’s milk. Mare’s milk is considered consecrated and magical. The Airag is also used in rites and rituals like the mare’s milk. It is also used as medicine. Horse milk is like human milk in it being lightest and aqueous with high lactose and low fat. They may help prevent the tissues of the intestinal epithelium from infections and tumors with fat globules. The milk has some elements to help with tissue repair and is similar to the human composition of 1:1 protein ratio in milk and so cannot be used to make cheese. The casein is beta-casein with a little alpha-casein and almost no kappa-casein, which may be why it is hypoallergenic.
Although some regions are commercially milking horses in larger scales, it may not prove to be economical in other regions in the long run. The commercial making of horse milk based drinks are heavily monitored. It is difficult to purchase and more likely to just be readily available handmade in the steppes rather than commercially.

Although the horse’s milk has been very valuable for a long time it is not likely to be commercially available. It is still nutritionally similar in some ways to a human milk and is hypoallergenic. It cannot be used to make cheese along yet it has many health benefits. It is also ecological. However, for those vulnerable to lactose, the milk is higher in lactose than other mils although infant may digest them well. Education is important as the cultures are surrounded by globalization and move away from traditions.

Plants are Cool

 Plants have adapted as they compete for resources, space, light, food and water, temperature, weather/seasons, a balance of nutrients, try to reproduce and battle predators. They have found ways to create toxins, hunt prey, deceive other animals and more. The movement and growth of plants takes place slowly so we do not always notice them. Bristlepines are the oldest living things on earth. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant, growing to 30 meters in 90 days. 

Forest canopies restrict the growth of plants below them. Some plants have adapted to ways to climb larger trees as scaffolding to reach the tree above the canopy so they can get enough light to flower. Some plants grow in the tops of other plants. Sundews, Venus flytraps (I have one which is flowering), and other plants catch prey. Sundew use a sticky dew like substance to hold prey and roll over prey to harvest the insects for nitrogen. Venus Flytraps envelop prey in mouth like leaves that trap the prey in cages. We had pitcher plants in Oregon when I was a child, and I saw it capture prey in vase like folds along the stalk. Some plants adapt to coexist with pollinators like bats, insects and birds to help transfer pollen to ensure that the plants are pollinated. 

Some plants use defense mechanisms that poison, drown or trap predators like caterpillars and insects. Milkweed creates a unique defense mechanism that uses a sticky substance to drown and trap monarch caterpillars so only 1/3 of caterpillars make it past the first day. Caterpillars that live carefully cut off the main veins supply of latex to the leaf so they can eat without being harmed. The Heliconia has bright red leaves with tiny flowers on them. It guards nectar and the purple -throated harib hummingbird is the only bird that can get at it. The plant rations it, and forces the bird to make multiple visits to multiple flowers which it will force the bird to defend from predators as well as be a pollinator. 

Some plants find neat ways to transfer seeds, such as the Brunzigia, which creates a flower stalk that when tried will roll across the windy landscape when pushed by the air, widely dispersing the seeds. Some plants give their seeds wings.  Some defend themselves from weather conditions (and sometimes predators) with resins and the shapes of their leaves. Mangroves find ways to survive in high levels of salt water by using specialized roots with pores that help to provde the plant with respiration and filter salt. Extra salt is released by leaves which help to contribute to the ocean ecosystem as a food source. To react to seasons, broad plants develop leaves that shed in autumn, and pine trees develop antifreeze in their waxy needles.

Works Cited

Attenborough, David, W.W., D.D. December 2009. Plants. In P. Spillenger, Paul. Life. Britain: British Broadcasting Corporation. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pleuropulmonary Blastoma (PPB) a rare childhood cancer

I selected Pleuropulmonary  Blastoma (PPB) because it was requested by someone close to me so they could learn about this cancer. Their brother passed away from this cancer in 1982. Pleuropulmonary  Blastoma is rare and hard to detect, therefore it was not discovered until the autopsy was conducted. There have only been 450 cases world wide since it was first defined, with 25-35 cases/year in the United States and only came under scrutiny in the mid 1980s. It was explained to me that he had been to a variety of doctors and specialists, but they had been unable to find signs of the cancer. After family volunteered information, my research revealed that he had many of the symptoms of the cancer, but it can be mistaken for many things. In this example, for instance, the confusion was made with the diagnosis of heart murmur. It was discovered he had an enlarged heart, but it turned out to be a symptom of Pleuropulmonary  Blastoma. 

Due to the rarity of the condition it was not caught in time. Since then, technology has gotten better and treatments have advanced. No one knows what causes it, and in many cases, the family members are completely healthy and there is no family history of PPB. However, in 2 out of 3 patients, there is a mutation of the DICER1 RNase-lllb gene which is a germ line mutation inherited by 80% of patients from a parent.

Pleuropulmonary Blastoma is a rare cancer which appears most commonly by 5 years old and begins as a cystic abnormality in the lung as the lung begins to develop in utero. It is a primary neoplasm of pleuropulmonary mesenchyme. Mesenchyme is mostly mesodermal embryonic tissue which begins to develop into skeletal and connective tissues (this includes the blood and lymph tissues). This cancer affects the lungs and the area inside the chest cavity. It may be more common that the disease appears on the right side (54%) rather than the left (37%). The disease is bilateral with both sides having PPB or PPB on one side and lung cysts on the other side (9%). It has been shown to metastasize into the brain (15-25%), bone (6-10%), liver (2-4%) and other organs depending on the study. Males are about equal to females in occurrence. 

There are three forms of the disease defined by the lesion which are normally found at certain ages. Type I (cystic lesion) occurs most often at ages 0-28 months (median 10 months), Type II (cystic and solid lesion) most often ages 15-64 months (median 34 months) and Type III (solid lesion) at ages 31-147 months (median 44 months). Recently they defined Type Ir, a regressed form of type I which did not evolve to be malignant and differ from other lung cysts. 

Symptoms may vary by type but in general including coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, upper respiratory tract infection and pneumothorax (air leaking into space between lung and chest wall). Symptoms for type I Pleuropulonary Blastoma are respiratory distress and lung cysts. Symptoms of Types II and III PPB are fever, chest or abdominal pain, dyspnea, cough (bloody cough) or respiratory compromise. Other symptoms include malaise, anorexia, pleural effusion and pneumothorax (the latter presenting with Type II disease). After being presented, many patients need to be put onto respirators within days. Some patients do not have any symptoms or only a few of them. 

There is a condition in family members called 'PPB family tumor and dysplasia syndrome' (PPBFTDS). This means that children with PPB and family members may also have PPB, cancer, dysplasia (abnormal formations of normal tissue), cysts or tumor growths. Other forms, including the regressive type Ir, may progress into other forms, such as type I into type II or III. Due to the relationship between types, it is believed one may develop from the other (such as type I developing into type II or III), or types II and III develop from unoperated lung cysts that already exist. As our technology gets better, we have been able to find more advanced stages in younger patients. On the other end of the spectrum, it has also been found even more rarely in teens and adults.

Pleuropulonary Blastoma is very rare and difficult to diagnose, and often mistaken for other diseases such as pneumonia. When a cyst is found, multiple samplings of the cyst wall must be taken to determine what it even is. Most cysts are found by accident if they are found at all. Most are diagnosed by biopsy. Using x-rays, MRI’s and CAT scans can indicate cancer, but only the biopsy will determine the diagnosis which is often unexpected. It must be caught early, with the first type being the most curable but there are cures and treatments for the other forms. Most cases can now be cured if caught in a timely fashion, but the only way to catch it in time is to take in your child when they present any of the symptoms. Once a diagnosis is made, patients should be tested for other tumors and issues and to see if it has spread. DICER1 syndrome is often found in concurrence.

The most common treatment is surgery with chemotherapy. Surgery is always conducted unless the tumor is inoperable or too large. If it is too large, chemotherapy may be applied to make it smaller so surgery is possible. A chemotherapy regimen is then often conducted. It is often found in correlation with DICER1 syndrome

For a good one-stop resource I selected the Pleuropulmonary Blastoma Registry due to its complex information, link to appropriate educational sources and high quality and volume of information. It is also pretty much the only place to find such detailed information I found online since this rare disease does not get much information provide on the other cancer informational websites which are not specifically devoted to Pleuropulmonary Blastoma. It is referred to by most of the websites, videos and webpages I read and is considered a valuable resource.

The website is run by the  International Pleuropulmonary Blastoma registry. They have been documenting Pleuropulmonary Blastoma for over 20 years. The biology of the disease and its treatment was collected and distributed by this registry. They collect cases and ask that all families and family members come forward for documentation of cases, genetic testing and more information regarding this rare disease. Since they are close to finding additional treatments, individuals and families are urged to share their information and DNA with researchers to confirm the DICER1 syndrome and other correlations.

Works Cited

International Pleuropulmonary Blastoma registry. 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Toxoplasmosis gandii: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and cancer

Toxoplasmosis gandii is a single celled parasitic protozoan which is an obligate intracellular parasite. It can infect warmblood animals. Felids are their primary host which allow them to sexually reproduce. It’s the most common parasite in countries which are still developing. This means that 30-50% of people throughout the world are infected, many of them chronically. In fact, 84% of the people in France are infected with this parasite. It has been shown that it has an effect on the brains of rats, and now they find it may affect humans as schizophrenia. It may affect humans in similar ways it affects rats. It goes through several life cycles:  Tachyzoites (multiply in a host), merozoites (multiply in a felid for sexual reproduction), bradyzoites (slow division into cysts) and sporozoites (within occysts). Exposure to felids, felid waste, felid waste in food, substrate, contaminated soil and more may get an animal sick, and a human as well!

By far my interest in is Toxoplasmosis gandii. This is primarily because I grew up with cats and despite the fact that most people do not test for this it  could be in a large population. It can be spread in contaminated food/meat, contaminated water, contaminated soil and it can be spread in feces. It operates in an interesting way and its effects are fascinating if not a little horrifying. Despite its effects on humans, many people don’t know about it. It is interesting that the younger/teenage group is what showed evidence of schizophrenia correlating with toxoplasmosis gandii antibodies being currently present and being around cats, and it had a lower appearance among adults in a 30 study review. In that same study though, half of the people showed a correlation to the parasite antibodies and to the current presence of cats.

I found the time of exposure to be of particular interest. Such as seeing the effects of congenital infection of the Zika Virus to be an indication of the effects of viruses and other pathogens on unborn children. Would this early exposure time, such as while still in the mother have an effect like this? We know that toxoplasmosis gandii can cause problems in pregnancies, in addition, its effects on post birth conditions and some other early conditions are documented in many kinds of animals. Scizophrenia is interesting, in that for some it may show up in someones 20’s, is  this an indication of infective age? Does this imply that some effects from a disease may take a certain amount of time for the parasite’s effects to show in a host, or is it only then that it manifests and it  could have been present in a host?

Learning that feral and neighborhood domestic cats use public sandboxes to defecate in may spread the disease. Worse of all, will it deliver the disease at a time which will effect children at a vitally developmental age for the brain. As we learn that the first five years are integral to brain development, does this give an indication of when some early brain issues could begin due to exposure? Surely this is supported by some of the potential findings. This is that early childhood exposure to cats is more likely to be a problem than adult ownership of cats. Are their early signs? I have several friends who are schizophrenic, and I know they all have early exposure to cats. Of course, cats are a common pet. Most people do not have them tested to see if they have toxoplasmosis gandii.

According to E. Fuller Torrey, Cats carring the parasite may risk infecting people with this parasite which he believes may be responsible for some cases of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Although they have a lifetime approved live vaccine for sheep called Toxovax (MSD Animal Health), there is no human vaccine. We countinue to see what effects it has, and it has been documented as giving issues to young children. IT can be passed congenitally, and has been well documented in sheep and rodents. The parasite was found in a cesarean section infant girl showing with seizures and  lesions. There are 17 known species of felids which can spread oocytes and they are the only creatures that can spread this way. According to some behavioral studies, it is found that it affects men and women differently when measured with the Cattell’s Personality Factor Questionnaire. In people who are immunocompromised, they may be vulnerable to Toxoplasmosis Gandii. In addition, if they become ill, it may reactivate tissue cysts, re-releasing the parasite once held at bay by a stronger immune system. As the immune system declines, the parasite reproduces and puts the individual at more risk. Or could it be the other way around?

There are some interesting correlations between brain cancer rates and toxoplasmosis gandii. In fact, the countries that are highest in toxoplasmosis gandii, are also highest in brain cancer rates, at 1.8 times more likely in the 37 countries studied, according to Discover magazine. This may be due to sanitization techniques, other illnesses, natural reproduction of pathogens, distribution of pathogens and vectors, the medical services available to people, as well as the technology available. Although this tells us there may be a correlation, we may not know what that is yet. However, since the parasite is known to affect the brain, it is something to consider.

Since the parasite prevents the cells from killing each other, and it also creates mild inflammation these are both hallmarks of cancer. This means it is potentially involved in the development for brain cancers. The parasite lives a long time in the brain, and it takes a long time for brain tumors to develop. American researchers found the most common glioma brain cancer, astrocytoma is very likely to have the parasite. This is contraindicative of Australian findings where they found the brain parasite meningioma is likely to have a link to the parasite.

Could it be subgroups of the parasite which are more likely to cause certain cancers depending on the parasite strain? Could certain parasites be prevalent in some regions rather than others? There are many infections known to cause cancer…is this another one? The EBV virus causes lymphomas, and HPV and Epstien Barr are also known to cause cancer. The problem with finding this correlation, is that it is expensive and difficult to prove with some information countering findings. Additionally there are about 120 types of brain cancers. There’s nothing yet to support these findings though, and they haven’t had much study.

For the most part, people who own cats are not more likely to have brain cancer. It comes from sources other than cats however, which makes the parasite difficult to trace. In fact, some studies show it may influence the destruction of some cancer. It stimulates cytotoxic T cells, used by the body to fight cancer (is that a sign on its own). This helps the body fight other cancers. CPS a Mutant version developed to fight cancer has promising results in animal trials and it cannot reproduce on its own.

“Avoiding Childhood Exposure to Cats with the the T. Gondi parasite may reduce schizophrenia risk”

Pet Theory. Do Cats Cause Schizophrenia? by Stephen Mihm. The New York Times Magazine on the Web.

Toxoplasmosis Gandii. Wikipedia.

A Report of Two Cases of Cerebral Toxoplasmosis in Leukemia Patients.

Is the parasite Toxoplasma gondii linked to brain cancer?
By Ed Yong | July 26, 2011

Good News: Your Cat Won't Give You Brain Cancer. Live Science.
by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor   |   August 21, 2012 07:01pm ET

Could cat feces help cure cancer? Written by Honor Whiteman. Published: Sunday 20 July 2014.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Caregiving Services in the Business Place

Caregiving responsibilities are not just for those with children, but also those who need to help with an elder. People who have to help with both, are called the “sandwich generation” and often have to juggle work, parents and children. These needs stress the employee, and may lead to a variety of results such as increased absenteeism, health problems, substance abuse, stress, strain, less productivity and issues with job satisfaction. When an employer shows care and commitment to an employee’s personal life, it increases employee retention. Since it increases moral, lowers stress and increases productivity and work quality, it helps the company excel against competitors. When employees have to modify their work schedule or quality due to their other responsibilities, it causes hidden costs.

Many companies explore options to help allay these costs. Some companies provide flex time, child care support or elder care support. Some companies have job sharing agreements between employees. If this is done, there should be a division of work and goals must be measurable and set. Many employers do have cross-trained employees. Some have compressed work weeks. They may have a variety of options of leave (sick, family, personal and vacation). Sometimes, this is through telecommuting (not always an option in the veterinary services) or relocation policies if necessary.

Some companies provide benefits, such as flexible plans, tax benefits, insurance or employee assistance support. Some companies provide services such as education on caregiving, community involvement, resources on caregiving as well as some direct services (such as on-site care centers, adult day centers, subsidiaries, vouchers, discounts for care, respite, sick/emergency care, after school programs and concierge services). Employees should be trained to be family friendly and supportive. organization policy should be set and managers should be trained to be family friendly.

Understanding Staff

For Theory in a Business class we were asked to envision ourselves as supervisors and what would we do to learn more of employees...

I would begin by learning the names and details of the people I will be working with. I would make a detailed list of who I am working with, organize it into a structure and list information such as name, job position, specialized training and more. I have often studied what I can on a website regarding any employer or coworker before I begin working. this gives me a good, firm ground to understand what each of the employees can bring to the table. 

Knowing more about your own supervisors and what they do to contribute to the team is important. Learning everything is important. Learn how the management works, learn who to talk to about particular subjects and more. Learn about the company and any classes you can take. Understand and read the human resources information and keep it handy. Review personnel files, read resumes, reviews and gain an understanding of their goals. It is good to work out arrangements with a mentor to guide you through any issues that may arise. Since your new focus is getting others to succeed and the job is no longer focused just on you, you have to provide the tools for them to excel. This point should be about education.

Take the time to learn about others and find out what their goals are. You need to see what they need more training in order to excel. You have to ask them questions to find out where they want to go in their job. You need to ensure they will perform very well which will help you out in the long run. You must let them know that you are open to their opinions. They need to know you will listen. You should either have an open door policy or outline your office hours that they can meet with you. Find out what they like about their work and what they would like to change. Understand them and find out what you need to do to organize the team.

As a manager you should be on your best behavior, be well dressed and prompt. You should ensure that you don’t ignore your supervisor so you have to outline what you and the team want to do and how they relate to your boss. Meetings are important. you should have one meeting initially to help organize the team, and you should have meetings with the boss. Smile and greet everyone, develop a good working relationship. Ask questions that reveal what is important to their lives. Listen well and interact with them. Be positive and look forward to what you are working with..

Use positive comments. When people come to you with complaints and issues, make sure that you address them and listen to what they are saying so that their frustrations are brought to light. Make sure you know and understand what is good and effective in the workplace. Find out what people want in order to work hard. Some will be valued and feel validated when you issue praise. Work directly with the staff to understand what they are dealing with on a day to day basis. Finally, when you leave be cordial and say goodnight and ensure that you thank everyone. Have fun and make sure that you are working closely and positively with your staff.

Presenting Your Professional Skills

I would begin by providing a list of the classes and an overview of what the instruction was in a binder. I have printouts of much of what I have done work on, and I would be sure to include that, with a skills list. Today, many resumes have a skills section, but since the skills list is so long for a veterinary technician, it may be more appropriate to summarize them into sections. I would be sure to speak to the veterinarian and let them know of my skills.

I would take the initiative to volunteer to take over work when it is something I have been trained in. I would work out with the veterinarian what qualifies as “technical skills” that the technicians are trained in. This would help simplify the process.  Being present when needed and willing to help is vital. Effectively helping in as many situations as possible is important. It is good to provide documentation of your training, such as a class list, certificates and degrees. It is good to print out a “manual” of projects from training.

Technicians need a lot of training. Some skills must be demonstrated, while others need to have a hand’s on skill level. Technicians normally have training in office procedures, hospital procedures, pharmacy, pharmacology, nursing, anesthesia, laboratory procedures, imaging, laboratory animals, knowledge of surgical nursing and training in animal care and handling for a variety of species. I would read veterinary books and magazines to keep the information and training I have up to date. I would attend seminars and training events when possible and share my findings with the veterinarian and other staff if they were interested.

I would first organize all of this, and a private presentation with the veterinarian if possible. It would be an opportunity for me to discuss what I can help with and what specialized skills I have training in and can work with. When presenting to the veterinarian, I would be sure to have all the information organized so the meeting goes quickly and effectively with a good impact. Knowing that veterinarians are busy, I would provide as much information as quickly as possible without overwhelming. Providing a potential list of how it would monetarily affect businesses may be helpful.

Workplace Bullying

Bullying and horizontal violence need to be addressed by all members of the workplace. If I should witness something like that, I would stick up against the bully. If someone were to gossip, I would walk away. I understand that I should communicate with management so I would do that immediately. I would offer my skills to the employee to help them learn

There should be a workplace culture that supports the staff. If there are issues that allow the horizontal workplace to exist, they must be eliminated. It should first be recognized and acknowledged that there is such violence occurring. The management should be encouraged to continuously integrate the culture of cooperation and if there are any issues of horizontal workplace, they should be addressed. To ensure this is possible, I would communicate if I see any issues. There should be ways for staff member’s to effectively communicate what is happening to them. It would be management’s responsibility to post a statement addressing how people should act. All members of the staff should be talked to by the management to see that they understand the issues and that any occurrences are addressed. All staff should be provided the same opportunities to learn and grow. Staff should also be provided training on how to eliminate lateral violence.

Understanding that these are some of the basic guidelines, and what kinds of issues could happen from horizontal workplace, I would strive to do what I could to help resolve the issue/. I would name the issue, such as using the term “horizontal violence” in reference to the situation. Raising the issues at staff meetings may break the silence, allowing people to come forward. Asking the workplace if they have a method for handling the issue is important. If they do have a method, there should be a distribution of information. It has even been recommended to journal the situation. It is important to keep track of problems and how it is mentally affecting me and the other staff.

As a staff member, I could help reduce problems in this way by speaking up when I witness it, naming it for what it is and being supportive to the other staff. This can be as simple as counseling, peer support, meditation, exercise and more. To help with other staff, I could provide myself as a willing listener. It would be helpful in some situations to assist management by providing information. This can be simple enough, such as providing tips, such as what to do in the event of horizontal violence. Management should be made aware of the issues that can be caused from horizontal violence. If the violence is prevalent in the business, and it may be inflicted by management, then information must be addressed so that they understand how dangerous it is.

There are many problems and issues that can be expected from lateral violence. It could be high staff turnover, errors, low productivity, low self esteem and/or morale, disconnection, depression, insomnia or sleep disorders, anxiety and issues with relationships and more. These issues may even lead to memory dysfunction and activation of the brain’s circuit breakers. This could result in a perpetual form of disassociation which can cause forgetfulness and speechlessness. There are many aspects to how someone can react to the flight or fight response. Many people fear speaking out because they may be the next target or their job may be at risk. Post Traumatic Stress can also result.

I should also tend to myself, by ensuring that my needs are met. I can help reduce stress in myself through peer support, good nutrition, time out, sleep, meditation, massage, meditation and more. Self-caring behavior helps to reduce stress. I can manage myself in a self-aware way, helping to reduce any issues that could result from my activities. Counseling may be important and can be helpful support. I would want to gain confidence in my veterinary skills so I would read veterinary texts and manuals.

Management needs to be aware of the signs of workplace horizontal violence. Creating groups or cliques, gossip, intimidation, manipulation, harassment, exclusion and other ways of making someone feel bad are all signs. If there is a lack of respect, it goes into a downward spiral. Employees may react angrily and lash out at their co-workers. Empowering employees often helps direct them and gives them more morale. This helps everyone to get along and may take the stress off other employees. When you go to speak to employees, you should be proactive by documenting violent situations and schedule a private meeting. If I were to witness such a situation, I would mention this to the person who received the violence and I would tell them to give specifics. They should be encouraged to leave emotions out of it, and only to detail direct facts.  

Pets as Presents

Pets as presents can be a good idea or a bad idea, depending on the potential pet owner’s experience, financial strength, health, commitment, desire/need/interest and more. Animals take a lot of time and money to support and some of them are more expensive than others and take more maintenance. Some animals are more appropriate than others for particular people or locations. I know people who have gotten every imaginable pet as a gift, sometimes it works out, and sometimes it does not. I have heard lots of stories of people who have given up cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and more because they lack one or more of the requirements of responsible pet owners.

It is best to ask a few questions of the person who will be getting the gift. You should bring up the time it takes to take care of a pet, the costs (food, health, grooming, pet care, veterinary care, boarding/housing etc). Some pets like fish or reptiles have special conditions (substrate, medications, vitamins etc.) that need to be met to remain healthy. It is a commitment, and you should discuss if the person getting the animal will be able to tend to the animal for the entirety of its life. The animal should match the lifestyle of the owner. Going over boarding, housing, special keeping conditions, dietary needs and more all fall into this category to some degree or another and will help determine if it is a good idea to get a pet as a gift. It is harder to keep a horse in the city, and most people won’t keep an outdoor iguana in a cold location unless they have special care facilities.

I have always found it best to talk to the person you will give the animal to. It should not be a surprise. It should not be a “replacement for a passed pet” when one has passed recently unless the owner is looking for a new companion. Sometimes getting a new pet when you are not ready can be emotionally hard and may cause some resentment. They also should understand it is a completely new animal with its own health, personality and history, distinct from the prior pet.

Remind the person of the needs the animal will have including accessories and basic necessities. Let them know that they may find the finances a little easier, and their heart a little lighter if they adopt a shelter pet rather than get a new one from the pet store or breeder. Saving a life is always important! Don’t forget they may have to invest in training or behavioral care of some sort. Encourage them to vaccinate, microchip and provide the animal the best life, sometimes that means getting someone a pet, and sometimes that means you are buying someone a stuffed animal.

Marine Mammal Protection act

The Marine Mammal Protection act provides protection to marine mammals. There are rehabilitation center sand rescue centers for marine mammals. Each area helps different species depending on what kind of animals are local to the region. The animals must be treated with care yet not handled much so they do not attach to humans. Staff and volunteers need to help the animals but may not handle them much. Last year, I rented and watched a video on marine mammal rehabilitation. In the video, they showed the slurry fed to the animals and showed the feeding progression just as detailed in the text. It was interesting.

Animals and Society: Feminist Ethics

I agree that the feminist ethic is more effective over the Cartesian ethic for the animal case. This is primarily because of the basics of the opinions of both lines of thought. I think since the feminist point of view takes more factors into consideration this is important. I think the more holistic, loving attitude of feminism holds better with the care and consideration of animals.
Cartesian logic sees animal and human bodies as machines. They try to take a open view trying to simply be logical. The feminist ethic may be more caring with a focus on the culture in the regards of caring and love. Cartesian Objectivism has justified animal abuse whereas the universal feminist view is gentler and with a less abusive history and past. Socially and emotionally complex, animals develop relationships that are strong and last. It emphasizes the qualities labeled as masculine in some ways.
Feminism may provide a more ethical kind point of view. Humans and animals have rights. It has the right to be happy and comfortable. Utilitarian animal rights may be more variable. Since in Cartesian point of view, there is not a whole distinction between humans and animals, these rights may be more ethical coming from a feminist ethic which may be more considerate of the animal.
Men have been known to exercises control over humans and animals that is less than kind. For the most part, many of the cruelties done to animals and women may be caused by men more often than women. Women have even been regulated and been used or compared to animals in some way. This dynamic is unique and puts women in a more unique position to emphasize the qualities of animals and their needs. Animals and women have been treated badly in the past, both have been treated as objects and a form of producer. Women have often looked into the Cartesian view and criticized the view of animals which mentions animals as “dead matter” and they were not thinking emotional creatures.

Animals and Society: Shelter Workers

My opinion did not really change. However, I did learn more about what they are handling or dealing with. I have considered shelter workers rather innocent and forced into the position. They are indeed there to ensure that the job is done. Many of them feel guilt as indicated by their actions and perspective which was shared in the text. I think that many people surrender animals for a variety of reasons. I don’t’ necessarily blame the person who is euthanizing them, but they are in the job as a position. They are willingly holding the position. For many it’s a guilty, stressful situation. People often give up companion animals and they care therefore the person conducting the euthanasia usually cares and may hold it against the person doing the surrender that they need to put the animal down.
I don’t think shelter worker would be a good job for me. It is a good job, with good pay, but its not the same as fulfilling your inner ideal. I want to help animals, for myself this would not be as helpful as other positions, although these are the positions normally available through county or city services. Government jobs are usually valued, however, this is a stressful guilt filled job. You often see these positons available which may be because of the stress and guilt making high turnover. IT could also be because more people may be surrendering animals.
Some people are homeless, some run out of money, lose jobs or lack the ability to care for an animal financially, emotionally or physically. Some animals get sick others get old, and many of these may be surrendered because the person thinks they cannot afford the animal and think that the person may be better off giving the animal up and it could potentially be saved by someone. This would certainly cause some workers to be upset. Some may see the reasoning, others may be less open in their judgment.
They may put the blame on the surrendered, this may be to help prevent emotional damage, allay guilt, and to this end there will e apologies, absolutions, justifications and excuses. People surrendering animals may blame adoption agencies for not getting homes. There are some that justify since the animal could not be kept as it was used to being, death would be more acceptable. Shelter workers blame others, often the surrendered. The surrendered often blames others too. Some blame the victim, as cited earlier about how the animal wanted to be kept, although this had not been substantiated. Sometimes animals are put down because they are not correctly potty trained, or have what the owner sees as a behavioral issue.

Animals and Society: Effects of Animal Assisted Therapy

I think that being with animals is very important and a part of human development. Humans have had animals a long time. At one point, in several cultures, the dependency was high. I know people who use dogs to guard, as watch dogs, co-workers, partners, friends, pets, family or even as a companion to assist in every day activities. It reduces anxiety, creates social support and other benefits that may directly help with increasing a one0year survival after a myocardial infarction. This is a powerful modifier that should be further looked in to. The animals that help us in our every day life are very important. Humans find that interacting with animals have many health benefits. This affects people in a variety of ways. There could be several reasons for this happening, which may be through altering psychosocial risk factors. Since the socialeconomic profiles of owners and non-owners were similar, other features were examined. It was found that pet owners had received perceptible and measureable health benefits. According to studies, analyzed risk factors revealed pet owners were exercising more but eating out more. However, their  systolic blood pressures, triglycerides and plasma cholesterol were lower. Pet owners were found to live a year longer. Further study indicates the horse rider finds themselves flexible and stronger. Horseback riding puts you in a better mood. Reduce high blood pressure by petting a cat. New studies indicate interacting with a dog makes you need up to 50% less pain medication (Blake Clinic) when recovering from a surgery.
Cortizol is a stress hormone which has repercussions on your health and may be indicated through certain disorders or diseases. Animals assisted therapy helps to reduce this stress hormone reaction. Oxytocin and dopamine are healthy and good hormones to have in your system. Interacting with animals increases dopamine and oxytocin. Animals have proven to be helpful to many people in many ways. Some animals help people with everyday tasks, some are pets, others are income generating animals while others are work-animals. Despite studies, they have had a limited impact on the scientific study of the subject. This may be a result of the lack of asking this on a questionnaire.
This means to me, that further research would certainly pay off. It would improve investigation into the area and really make sure that people understand animals provide a valuable asset to all of us. I think that animals are a vital part of everyone’s lives in many ways. We may eat from them, live with  them, see them every day or wear objects made from their textiles. I think that leaing more about animals and how they affect humans is important to understanding ourselves better. I think it helps to understand how animals affect us for our sake as well.
I would recommend people keep pets. It encourages them to exercise and to enjoy animals more. There are health benefits to be had! There are some people that having animals for may not be the answer. Some people don’t know how to take care of an animal. Other people may gain confidence, empathy, strength, health, live longer, live more productive, stress free lives. Animals help us in a variety of ways, and recognizing how much we are intertwined with the many species of this world helps us recognize their value to this world. It is not just in how you can use, eat, or use the products created by an animal. All milk, eggs, leather, pets, companions, coworkers and riding partners aside, animals are deserving of the recognition.

Animal Assisted Therapy: How Pet Therapy Works

Carrier Clinic (Links to an external site.) Blake Clinic.

Animals and Society: Profit and Oppression

I think it is certainly possible for companies to think that way and to enact a more humane treatment of animals. I don’t know that numbers can speak that way, to indicate how this would effect the business (since morality does not always accrue currency directly). I am not sure how effective it would be at measuring it. If we came up with a system which allowed for the kind care of animals included in the “corporate information” that could be a start. I think that helping to bring awareness of what parts come from animals, and a concern from where things are originating from. Being familiar with a source helps track this down, knowing where you get the animal based resource, and being familiar with where things are coming from and the process. In general, having everyone be more educated will help give some insight as to concern for people that may move past just a desire for profit. Either way, education will sway some individuals.
I think there are several ways in which people can help look into the safety of animals in production. California, for instance, has laws that limit how you care for some livestock. There are strict regimens on food regulation and medicine regulation which require that the produce should be guaranteed safe. Some of these laws can be expanded to include more inclusive and good care for animals. Education is one thing that helps, for instance, there are resources that are usually local and free to help educate the public and corporations. I think even just helping others to know this may lead to a greater understanding of good animal care.
I think that education may be one of the only ways to help expand peoples awareness of how animals should be treated and how they feel. Although some may be deeply ingrained, there is a growing awareness of other animals and how they think, act and feel. It is true, that in the past, humans have had a tendency to oppress other parties, but I think now we are beginning to see an exponential growth in human awareness of other animal thoughts and feelings. Anthropocentric views are ingrained in many people, but I think that this is once again, beginning to adapt. Its not just anthropocentric views that flavor human opinions though. As the text mentions, racism, sexism, elitism and capitalism have all effected animal lives. Among various other factors, these close-minded views have begun to loosen. As we explore science, we lean more about the animals and how each one is phenomenal in its own way.

Animals and Society: speciesism versus racism

here are some major similarities and differences between speciesism versus racism. First of all, this is specifically referring to slavery under some of the circumstances. In slavery as seen in the United States, which is considered racial, but it contained members of many cultures and races. The similarities are that both parties had restricted freedom of movement. There was a loss of social freedoms and choices. They experienced the pain of loosing someone who was close to them, such as a family member or lover. They have been hunted, tormented and injured. They are both objectified. They are treated as property, as if they do not have feelings., as if they are not individuals. They have been physically defeated. They have been mentally defeated. They represent that any oppression encourages other forms of domination. It make s another party “oppressible.” 
The slavery dynamic is still seen in animals, but the similarity between early United States slavery treatment and animal treatment has varied. It actually took some time to adapt the human to respect both parties well at all. Both parties had, at one point, and in some cases, been put into sexual slavery (including forced breeding) and a variety of forms of other work, like transportation, ploughing, agriculture and more. They have born chains, both have received abuse from humans, they may be harmed and their views are seldom considered. The treatment of slaves in America and other regions varied just as the treatment with animals. Culture seems to impact the reaction to both situations. 
As for differences, there are many and they really make you think of who is being affected, how long, why and to what degree. Animals are experimented on in labs, they go in factory farms, are kept as pets, suffer in the wild or are abused. There are humans that are oppressed, but those are primarily regional or on a smaller scale, simply because there are more animals of all species. Many of them are abused, or are “enslaved.” Many of them go through sexual slavery (breeding) to this day, which is rarely seen among human interaction and serves a different purpose sometimes.” 
For the most part human slavery was focused on a racial, sexual or class specific role. This was sometimes people force-imported from Africa, but it included people from many regions, including indigenous Americans. However, the slavery of animals crosses species barriers and pretty much is open to anything but a human. Automatically not being human gives you less rights in this view. And, on top of that, it is considered that animals are lesser, have no rights, are less intelligent, are able to be killed. It was a rare thing to kill a human. Slaves were treated badly, and there were cases where it happened, but for the most part, they were not made into stew like the lamb. Some animals are made and bred to be killed. 
Humans have people fighting oppression everywhere, and some people who defend those who are oppressed, but it does not always help. The same holds true when petitioning for human rights, and though now we have grown wise to what humans are and that we are all one big family, we have yet to accept animals into our family. The bias toward mammals or toward land-dwelling beings is present in some humans. Some humans have NO respect for fish, for instance, or for squid, or octopuses. Everyone has a different opinion, but we don’t treat humans like animals are treated, and though there were similarities, most of the time, humans were kept under better conditions. Sometimes though, they were kept caged, chained, in mass confinement, in bad conditions, in the cold, or in filth. Animals are still kept in these conditions, humans are not. Some processes, like the veal production process are cruel. Some people point out foie gras is cruel. We use cruel equipment and treatments that are still used on animals in our domination of them. Currently, animals still are being oppressed. 

Animals and Society: Animals as Surrogates

Women who are suicidal due to their abusive relationships may live longer and try to live for their pets (Fitzgerald). Animals are supportive and in some cases keep them together and kept them going through abusive situation. Social support was given by pets. They did not end their lives because they were loving to their pets. They provided unique social support to abused women, providing a barrier against suicide. The importance of pets to prevent the loss of life should be recognized (Fitzgerald). They are protective, companions, family members, surrogate family and more. THey provide security, in some cases literally, jumping out to protect someone. They provide mental strength by being a listening here, a helping paw and a friend. The animal can also be a surrogate child, work companion, worker, guardian, companion, friend, exercise partner, competitor and more. People enjoy animals in a variety of settings. They can be coworkers even. Sometimes they are your survival. They can be allies when there are few other people around.

In International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Research: A Sociological Analysis of Animal Abuse, Clifton P. Flynn recognizes the human-animal bond as being vital. Animals provide a place of defiance for animals. There is also a dark side, humans abusing animals. Sometimes people are inconsistent with opinions toward animals. Sometimes this may lead to periodic abuses. Some people enjoy exercising their power over animals, and in some cases also women.  Animals may be seen as children or as family members by some people. They may stay in abusive relationships to prevent harm to an animal. Protective animals may be killed by an abuser.

When I was running a children’s program a few years ago, a woman we had worked with came up saying that someone was claiming her dog. Long story short, we found that a woman had been kidnapped in the area. She had been held hostage for a year underground. She had been lured out through the internet and was knocked out and drugged for a long time. She had brought her dog out. The dog tried to protect her one night while she was being tortured. The man struck the dog on the head until “dead” with a shovel. It was done in front of her, when he then told her he would do the same to her unless she continued to submit to his perversions. The dog was buried in the back. Later in the year, she was able to break out and get to help. When the police came she was saved.
She had no possessions though, everything she had was taken, so she stayed in the area. Later, she saw the dog, which it turns out, had been her dog. The woman who found the dog said she had discovered it covered in mud. It had been very sick and she nursed it back to health. The dog was never very healthy after that. However, the woman who had survived said it was her saving grace that he lived. She lets the family keep the dog since the dog’s finder’s son is deeply attached, but the prior owner has visiting rights. She related that she was fearful for the dog. She had lost hope when the dog died but still took her first opportunity for escape.

“They Gave Me a Reason to Live”: The Protective Effects of Companion Animals on the Suicidality of Abused Women. Amy J. Fitzgerald (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Research: A Sociological Analysis of Animal Abuse. Clifton P. Flynn. Univeristy of South Carolina Upstate.