On this day, as it is “raining cats and dogs” here in the city, I started thinking about which pet is actually the better option. I know the Internet is obsessed with cats, and they can come off as pretty cute, but dogs have been regularly labeled as “man’s best friend.” I have never actually had a pet other than a small creature such as a fish or a hamster, but I have always been drawn more to dogs than cats. I guess my issue with cats is their air of indifference. Cats are great pets for people who have little space, but they seem to walk around like they own the place, and they often ignore the wishes of their owners. I know that cats can be affectionate at times, but I am used to dealing with cats that really don’t care much for people, unless food is involved. Dogs don’t come problem free, they must be trained well to avoid in home mishaps, and they can be too clingy at times. If a dog is not trained well it could be big trouble for its owner, as some poorly trained dogs have been known to bite strangers and ruin important documents. Even though there are negatives to both dogs and cats, the positives of well trained pet ownership far outweigh the negatives. To be honest I don’t think one is better than the other when it comes to cats and dogs, each of these creatures has their separate perks, but they are both known for being solid companions to their owners when they need them most. The great debate of cat or dog has no clear winner, and since it is so hard to look at this topic objectively, I think it is time for us to realize that these animals are equally as qualified to be the perfect pet.
I have always been an animal lover, and I have generally been intrigued by the plight of endangered and threatened species. It bothers me to think that there are entire populations of animals being destroyed before the general public gets a chance to see them in person. I understand that there are many conservationist groups doing all they can to keep these animals alive, but as long as these creatures are being hunted and ousted from their natural habitats, there is little chance they will exist 10 years down the line. The biggest problem conservationists have with protecting rare species is the fact that these animals are usually heavily desired on the black market. It is unfortunate that hunters and poachers fail to realize that they are doing irreparable damage to the planet, and completely depleting their own source of income. What it comes down to is greed, the people who want these animals hanging on their mantels are depriving the world of a species in the name of owning a trophy. In my opinion, the best way to save endangered species is to make a truly enclosed artificial habitat for them. I understand that the captivity of a zoo is not ideal, but nature preserves are not as secure as the could be, so the only way to actually keep these animals safe is to simulate the wild. It may take years to figure out the best way to keep endangered animals safe, hopefully with new methods being formed daily, these animals will be able to last until a more permanent fix is in place.
Yesterday’s blog about super heroes got me thinking about the upcoming super hero movie, Ant-Man, and that reminded me of the spectacular insect that is the ant. The ant is a bug that is both hated and admired for its industrial nature and ingenuity. While almost all people would consider ants pests, it has to be said that they are quite brilliant in their own way. Ants have the ability to make a living in almost any setting, and due to their codependent nature their species has been able to thrive and stay safe even in more hostile territories. Ants are the most common single animal on almost every continent, as they hold a disproportionate percentage of the total biomass in any given ecosystem, and that total is based only on the number of species we known to man. Humans can probably learn much about community interaction from ants, since they are so productive as a unit, but theses animals don’t communicate the way we do. I sometimes like to wonder what the world would be like if humans communicated like ants or other organisms. If we used chemicals and smells in order to convey our desires and needs, would we be more productive? I know as humans, we waste plenty of time trying to figure out what others are trying to say, but I guess that’s just one of the tradeoffs of being more complex than insects. I could probably go on and on about these bugs from their immense strength to body ratio to their interesting breeding methods, but the fact of the mater is I get pretty grossed out by bugs so I will leave it at that. Ants are amazing creatures with plenty of applications that are beneficial to mankind, and as long as they stay out of our living spaces, I’m sure more people would be able to form a respect for these interesting creatures.
I have always had an obsession with speedy animals, as a child two of my favorite animals where the peregrine falcon and the cheetah. Some would think I admired those creatures since they are the fastest animals in their respective planes of travel, but my admiration goes beyond speed. While the peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal, the cheetah has always been my overall favorite based on the fact that I was always a fan of wild cats. The cheetah is an endangered animal, that is found in the southern portions of Africa. The cheetah has been known to reach speeds of up to 75 mph, to put that in perspective, the fastest known human speed is 27 mph, which is about 1/3 of the cheetah’s pace. The fact that the cheetah is such as quick creature always lead me to wonder why it was ever listed as an endangered species, but its speed comes at a price. In order to have the ability to reach such high speeds the cheetah does not have the same power other predators possess, and even though they can catch their prey they often have to give up their kills to avoid fighting a more dangerous predator. The biggest threats to the cheetah today are other predators and lack of food, the cheetah gives birth to multiple cubs and since they are not often able to bring back meals for the cubs, many of them end up being prey themselves. The majestic cheetah has been somewhat revived by various acts of conservation and environmental protection, but due to different scientific aspects, many believe this animal will soon face extinction. The cheetah is my favorite animal, I would love to share my affinity for this great creature with my grandchildren someday. I just hope this animal can survive the next few decades, and with the help of humans, thrive for centuries to come.
I didn’t have much time to get to blogging today so I will just wrote a short piece about my opinion on trophy hunting. I have said before that I love animals, and that I love observing them in their natural habitats. While I love animals I have nothing against hunting in general, since it is at times necessary, but I am strongly against the act of trophy hunting as it is presently practiced. Trophy hunters target animals like lions and giraffes in an effort to keep parts of the animal as a prize. Most trophy hunters do no use the hunted animal for food or clothing, and many of them hunt endangered species. I understand that some people hunt for fun, and that hunting is considered a sport, but I can not endorse any behavior that could possibly harm an entire species. My overall stance on trophy hunting is that it is a hobby that some may enjoy, and I respect the right of these hunters to partake in what they love. I just think trophy hunting needs to be heavily regulated and policed, I would hate to see the world deprived of another beautiful animal due to the greed of man, and a desire to put it on a mantle.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an influx of coyotes into New York City. Coyotes have showed up in almost every borough, and are causing quite a stir in the city streets. I love animals, and I like seeing them naturally in their habitats, but it is always alarming when their habitats start merging with major cities. The case of coyotes in the city is alarming because they have been in New York State for years, but they have never had a reason to journey so deep into the city. Where I live, there are nature preserves and wooded areas, so the occasional coyote or dear sighting does happen, but in the heart of Manhattan this is unprecedented. My concern is that all of the new developments in upper New York are forcing these animals to find new homes, and a new food source. The city is rapidly changing, and while these new developments are creating short term construction jobs, they are possibly hurting our environment and causing harm to wildlife. Government officials need to reevaluate the locations where urban development projects can occur, because coyotes and other wildlife are not only harmful to themselves, but very harmful to children and pets. Hopefully this episode of coyote vacations to the city ends swiftly, with no injury to man or beast.