Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Interviewing Local Farmer: Jon Flyer

I interviewed Jon Flyer to get his take on farming. This man has been a farmer for just a short amount of time. Most farmers were raised in the ranching business whereas Jon decided to pick it up when moving to Humboldt County from Los Angeles. They claim that they have too many animals to truly give them proper attention, so it seems that they should not be able to have as many animals as they do. Interviewing this small town farmer will give us a view of what it's like being a new local farmer vs a factory farmer, who hold the stereotypes of being inhumane and not giving proper care to their animals.

How long have you owned your ranch?
We bought this december 28th 2007

Why did you decide to buy your property and become a rancher?
Because I feel that people have lost touch with how to survive without modern conveniences. I felt I had nothing left to teach my children because I’m a trained burac.

What is your favorite part about being a rancher?
Seeing newborn cows, teaching my family, and learning with y family. Fresh eggs, yummm.

Have you ever had an incident that worried you with the health of your animals?
Everyday. Because I don't know enough. If the cows look at me sideways I think something's wrong with them. I think the worst one was when they had to pull the dead calf out in pieces; that was gross.

How would you describe your relationship with your animals?
I think were partners, they grow, I eat… them. We’re partners. But we treat the mama cows very good and care for our bees, I do think the horses are a waste though. But we are partners. I need them and they need me

What animals do you raise and how do you benefit from them?
We raise cows right now, we run cow calf beef combo. It's a beef operation, so we sell steers and bees make our honey. We have our chickens that lay their eggs and we eat them.

Have you had animals that you've gotten rid of? Why?
We have raised sheep, but they were a lot of work and really stupid. A lot of maintenance needed with no buck for the bang. Goats are too smart, they're great escape artist and I was tired of chasing them around. Pigs were also too smart. I just couldn't look them in their eye because they were being raised for meat.

Have you had a unforgettable moment that changed the way you thought, or felt about the animals you care for?
I’ve had a few of those. Seeing a cow from birth to taking it to the slaughter yard is very hard for me. Also, slaughtering our meat birds. I do the killing, and looking them in their eyes when they're choking on their own blood is very hard. Also when the white flies attack my beautiful vegetable garden, it drives me crazy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

*Could Animal Abusers Become Cold Blooded Murderers?

The article titled “Do Mass Killers Start Out by Harming Pets?” by Gail F. Melson Ph.D. speaks greatly on the correlation between animal abusers and killers. This has been a question asked many times and is a very controversial subject. Theres many things that lead to the harm and abuse of other creatures. Animal abuse is seen in young children and many adolescents. Although many young children will pull a cat's ears or tails just out of curiosity, there are other children who will do much more than that when you're not looking. Kids who grow up around abuse or who have mental health issues are much more likely to abuse. A study done by Ascione assessed 1,433 children of abuse, ages 6-12, and from that study 60% of those children had reported abusing animals before. Although the overall percentage of kids who purposely harm animals is only about 5%, it could help us catch early dangerous signs in other and our own children.

Kids who abuse animals are much more likely to live a life of abusive and murderous crime. There has been countless stories of kids who have done unimaginable crimes and it all started with harming or killing a pet or animal. According to the article, “On Oct. 1, 1997, Luke Woodham, a sophomore at Pearl High School, in a suburb of Jackson, MI, stabbed his mother to death and then opened fire on classmates with a hunting rifle, killing two girls and wounding seven other students.  Investigators later found Woodham’s account of his torture and killing of his pet dog Sparkle, which the boy described as his first kill.” This is just one story out of many that proves that abusing animals can lead to much, much more. That means that events like these can be completely avoided by simply not ignoring your child when you see them being too rough with people or animals.

I, myself, do strongly believe that animal abuse can lead to larger crimes such as these. Animal abuse is all about wanting power and wanting to feel greater than something; and when that gets old or boring, what else are those people left to do? This is also a great reason why there should be greater laws against animal abuse. The article states that, “Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo (the “Boston strangler”), David Berkowitz (the “Son of Sam”) and Carroll Edward Cole, a serial killer accused of 35 deaths, all recounted animal torture as their first violent act.”. People such as them could have been locked up and could have been known to be aggressive if we simply made abusing animals a bigger deal; as it should be. Noticing and stopping animal abusers can help us prevent and stop killings; so why would we not do something to bring more awareness to this?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Emaciated Dog Blacks

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a great organization that focuses their work on saving and caring for abused or neglected animals. They go into the most disgusting places to save animals; and many times the animals don't trust them and react harshly. Even though they know the risk of their job, it doesn't stop them from helping one bit. Awhile ago the Gwent police called RSPCA after they had busted a man for drug related conditions. The police stated that there was a dog in very poor condition that they needed to pick up. When their team got there the had to cover their noses and mouths because the smell was that unbearable due to the week's worth of dog urine and faeces all over the house. His name was Blacks, an 18 month old brindle greyhound. They were able to coax him out of the house where they then got a good look at him. In the article they wrote, “He was shaking, timed and very unsteady on his feet. Shockingly every bone in his body was protruding including his ribs, hips, spine and backbone.”. He weighed only 32 pounds when a normal male greyhound should weigh anywhere from 60 to 88 pounds. This poor dog was barely ½ the weight he should have been. Luckily this dog had a great appetite, and was ready to eat as soon as he could. Within just one month he was up to 50 pounds.

There's nothing more that I love then a happy ending; and luckily this story has one. I can't imagine owning an animal and neglecting them as so. People can be so irresponsible it's unbelievable. Just in the past 10 years the Animal Legal Defense Fund has found that 30% of their cases go back to animal neglect. The owner of this dog tried to tell the po;lice that his friend was supposed to be watching his dog; but then couldn't identify who his friend exactly was. With all evidence going against the man, he was found guilty. He faced four weeks imprisonment and wan no longer allowed to have an animal for 10 years. More stories like this should be told so people will be too scared to neglect their animals and instead give them up. Blacks was renamed Dash and with his new home he's happier than ever.

Negative Image and Stereotypes towards pit bulls.

Guest blogger this week is Liana Hetticher.

The way a dog is raised is the way the dog will act. “According to the ASPCA, 1.2 million dogs in shelters are euthanized each year. Different studies show that 800,000 to 1 million of these are pit bulls.” People often blame the dog its behavior when in all actuality, it is the owner and trainer you should be blaming. If a pit bull, or any dog for that matter, are raised in a friendly and safe environment, then the dog will not see a need for aggression unless shown otherwise.

In Montreal, Canada, a city wide ban on pit bulls was put into place. A new city council meeting was organized for December 14th, 2016. In this meeting they will discuss the ban that was put in place, and instead, discuss bylaws.

This is a list of the top ten “dangerous” dogs. Notice that number one is a pit bull. Pits’ are often identified as the most dangerous and vicious dogs, most of the time, they are actually very temperamental and loving dogs. They have to be raised correctly though; just like any other dog. The last dog on this list is an Akita, they are equally as loving if raised right. Stop blaming the dog and take a step back to observe the owner’s behavior.

Before you get a dog, especially a dog with a hyper personality. Do not get a dog of this breed, and just expect it to behave and get along with every dog and person it meets. You need to socialize your pit bull, you need to reward more than reprimand, as a puppy, they only have about a 5 second attention span. Try and reward and praise your pit bull as a puppy and their good behavior will continue on into adulthood where they will mellow out, within one to two(1-2) years of age.  

The problem is not the breed, the problem is the owner/trainer. If you raise a pit bull to be aggressive, if you purposely dock their ears to look “badass” as many would say, if you hit, talk down, and reprimand your dog more than you reward it, you will have a very aggravated dog on your hands. If you nurture your dog, if you love and show affection, if you reward and redirect instead of reprimand when an accident happens or it does something wrong, you will have an understanding dog to work with. Pit bulls are very smart animals, they will understand what you are saying, they understand the tone of your voice. They want to please you, they crave your affection. Your dog may just be a small aspect in your life, but to them, you are your dog’s entire world. They rely solely on you for comfort, food, safety, and love. If you fail to love your dog, your dog will fail to love in life.

Passion Post: Pit Bulls
Something that drives me crazy is the way that people can be afraid of certain dog breeds. Many people say that pitbulls are vicious dogs who can't control their tempers because they've been bred to fight. It doesn't work that way. That's like saying every generation of your family. Or my family, all have the same temper and all have the same amount of aggression. Just because one dog was raised to fight doesnt mean its puppies will grow up and want to fight also. It's in the way you raise a dog that makes all the difference. As a owner, it's your job to teach them right from wrong. All puppies love to chew and bite but if you reprimand them they will soon realize it's wrong; it's the same process of potty training them. Animals want to be loved just like any other creature; and that's exactly what they deserve. There are 12 states who have wanted and tried to ban pit bulls, when the real problem is actually the owner. I have 3 pitbulls and they are the sweetest, most loving dogs you could wish for. Now of course they are protective, just as every good dog should be. They are only aggressive when they need to be and that's because they were raised right. If a dog attacks you, you must have been doing something wrong; or maybe it's just how the dog was raised. It's wrong of us to blame this problem on one breed of dogs like they can't be controlled when I’m sitting here saying they can. Not only am I saying they can but they are, in many homes and families. For dogs to loose their lives due to uneducated and careless owners who didn't take the time to train them is wrong. We need to take a stand and educate instead of euthanasia, and teach rather than remove.
Passion Post: Animal Abuse
By, Rickiyah McGrady

One thing I don't understand is how people can abuse animals. How can anyone look into the big sweet eyes of a innocent animal who just wants to be loved and physically hurt them? I feel as thought it's almost our duty to care and love for them. If they could speak to us things would be different; but since they can't it's up to us to be their voice. After all, they were here long before we were and we practically took what they had to call home. Humans are such invasive species and we build and build with no concern of the other species around us. Our population is growing at an exponential rate and we are doing nothing to slow it down. There is only one earth and to take everything like it's ours without realizing were hurting other species is so very wrong of us. We will use nearly any animals as profit and many times do not think of them as living beings. We put them in small cages and tanks they can barely move around in, just to put on a show. We pay to watch these animals suffer when we know where they really belong and that we’re wrong to enjoy is. We still do it.  Humans take advantage of the resources we are so lucky to have and don't give it a second thought. Can you sit for a minute and just think, how sad would it be to have children and have them never get the chance to ever see a giant panda, or a polar bear, or even a rhino, just because we are so wrapped up with our own agendas and we don't care what we take out, or what we have to do to get what we want. It's time for the human race to wake up and realize it's not all about us, and if we want to continue to think that way then our time on earth will be shortened.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I loved being a puppy. I loved my mom and my siblings. We would play all day long everyday and it was great. We had people too and they gave us anything and everything we ever wanted. When we all got a little older our people said they couldn't take care of us all anymore and that they would need to find us new homes. We were all really scared but we knew that it would be an exciting new adventure.

New families started visiting us and they were all so nice. Eventually my siblings started getting taken away and I was really happy for them but also really sad. Soon it was just me and my mom and she was always sad thinking about my siblings. I got to stay extra long with her and I cherished  every moment. One day a family I've never seen before came and picked me up and took me with them. It was weird because I never got to say bye to my people and they weren't even around to see me leave. My mom was so mad that it scared me. She was barking and growling and she was trying to bite them but they were so fast that she didn't get to them. I cried all the way to their home. They weren't as nice as the other families my siblings went with. They had young people who would hit me really hard and the older ones would sometimes kick me. They named me scratchers because I'd always be itchy. I was always outside in the hot sun and had no shade or water. Everything I ate I would have to get out of the garbage and run and hide so they didn't see me and get mad. I even made a hole in the fence and I would go out and the nice neighbors would feed me yummy food and it would make me so happy, but they never wanted to love me like my first people did.

One day a new family moved in across the street. I watched them through the fence as they put all their stuff inside. There was a nice looking girl with a little girl, two cats, and even a dog. They seemed so nice I was excited to meet them. I never saw much of them in the beginning because they stayed inside a lot of the time. One day when they came out they were playing in the front yard and I had join in the fun. They were so nice and rubbed my belly and even gave me snacks! They reminded me a lot of my first humans. The dog they had was really scary. He chased me all around the yard but I thought is was fun! That night when they went inside I slept on their porch hoping they'd let me in. I did this everyday for a week. One night they tried driving me home, but right when I got home my owners put me out back so I ran right through the fence back to their house. They put me back in the car and while driving me home I jumped out the window and sat on their porch until they got back. These people were good and I wasn't going to let them go.

They let me stay the night for the first time that night. The little girl was so excited she cuddled with me all night. I couldn't remember the last time I was that happy. They fed me and loved me like no others. I knew my old owners wouldn't care if I stayed here, they didn't love me like these people did. Everyday we’d go run outside, and when it was time to come in I would sit at the porch until they let me in. I knew that if I tried hard enough they would let me stay forever; and they did. They reminded me Samson and they even made my itches go away! I was so happy and nothing could ever beat this. Every night I’d play with the girl and then cuddle up with her and my new friends; the cat Coco, and the little dog Iggy. This family was perfect for me and I was perfect for them.