JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Animals just want to have fun, survey finds…

From tickling to playing catch, animals do some things simply for enjoyment

Cow Takes Time To Smell the Flowers

Connie Pugh / Farm Sanctuary

A cow takes time to smell the flowers at the Farm Sanctuary, an organization that rescues abused/neglected farmed animals. A new survey suggests that animals experience happiness for happiness’ sake. 

From tickling to playing catch, animals engage in certain behaviors just for fun, even enjoying sensations that are unknown to humans, concludes an extensive new survey on pleasure in the animal kingdom.  

The findings, published in the latest Applied Animal Behavior Science, hold moral significance, argues author Jonathan Balcombe. He believes scientists, conservationists and other animal rights activists should not overlook animal joy. 

“The capacity for pleasure means that an animal’s life has intrinsic value, that is, value to the individual independent of his or her value to anyone else, including humans,” Balcombe, a senior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explained to Discovery News. 

He determined animals experience happiness for happiness’ sake related to play, food, touch and sex. Observations of herring gulls in Virginia, for example, found these birds play “drop-catch,” tossing clams and other small, hard objects as though they were baseballs, just for pure enjoyment

In terms of food, green iguanas go to great lengths to find fresh, leafy lettuce, even when supplied with ample amounts of more nutritious reptile chow. Studies on other animals indicate some foods, independent of their nutrition levels, cause animals to release pleasure-producing opioids in their bodies. Language-trained apes and parrots have even told their owners they loved or hated certain edibles. 

Pleasure itself can be the end-all reward, as “regardless of the evolutionary benefits of a behavior,” he said, “animals often do things because they are rewarding.”  

“I doubt that a monkey thinks, ‘If I eat this fig it will sustain me,’ but rather, ‘Ooh, yummy, a delicious fig!'” added Balcombe, whose book “Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasures” is scheduled for release next year.  

Regarding touch, a human might go to a spa for a mud bath and massage, but nature creates its own “spas” for hippopotamuses (hippopotami… for the record) at freshwater springs in Kenya. There, wallowing hippos gather, moving in and out of “cleaning stations” where multiple fish species congregate to nibble hippo parasites, loose skin, fungal growths and more.  

The hippos “deliberately splay their toes, spread their legs and hold their mouths open,” often becoming “so relaxed during these spa treatments that they would sometimes fall asleep,” Balcombe recounted.  

Sex isn’t just for procreation, the paper further suggests.  

“Oral sex that appears purely for pleasure has been documented in goats, hyenas, various primates, manatees, bats and sheep,” said Balcombe, who added that homosexuality is practiced within at least 300 species. Masturbation, even among certain birds, has also been noted.  

Animals also may experience pleasures that go beyond human senses. Electric fish seem to enjoy giving each other stimulating charges, for example, while dolphins use “low-pitched buzzing clicks” near their genital areas, which “appears to be a way of giving pleasure to another.”  

Martin Stephens, vice president of Animal Research Issues at The Humane Society of the United States, told Discovery News that discussions of animal pleasure are often left out of science, with the emphasis instead going to negative experiences, like pain and stress. The two extremes of the feeling spectrum shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, however.

By Jennifer Viegas – Discovery/MSNBC – Pets

Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Molly the Cow – May Get New Home After Slaughterhouse Escape

City Room | Blogging From the Five Boroughs

Molly the CalfHiroko Masuike for The New York TimesMolly, who escaped from a slaughterhouse in Queens, got a reprieve and is staying at a Long Island organic farm.

Update:  Molly the calf seems to have escaped the slaughterhouse permanently.

On Thursday, the heifer — who evidently escaped from a Queens slaughterhouse on Wednesday before being corralled by police officers — was loaded on a trailer at a Brooklyn animal shelter and transported to her new home: a 60-acre organic farm in Calverton, in Suffolk County, where she can romp with a steer named Wexler and munch on organic hay.

“She is here with her new boyfriend,” said Rex Farr, who owns the Farrm (that’s the spelling) with his wife, Connie. He fed and watered Molly after she arrived at the farm — about 15 miles west of the Hamptons — on Thursday afternoon, and said he planned to leave her and Wexler alone to get acquainted in their small, grassy pasture.

“She can eat some good organic hay and hang around with a lot of her friends,” Mr. Farr said. “She can eat and sleep for the rest of her life. She is not going anywhere. The bottom line is she will have a very good home.”

In addition to organic vegetable farming, the Farrm takes in rescue animals, such as the six crates stuffed with young chickens that fell from a truck on the Tappan Zee Bridge last year; the pony from a 4-H club that lost financing and Wexler himself, who is about 5 years old, has no horns and was given to the farm after a private school closed its animal education program. There are goats, burros and other animals.

Molly escaped her fate on Wednesday afternoon when she was being unloaded at the Musa Halal slaughterhouse on Beaver Road in Jamaica, Queens. She broke through a fence that is put up as a passageway between the truck and the cow pens. She then dashed to freedom, with some of the slaughterhouse’s employees in pursuit, and went about a mile through urban streets until she was captured by police officers in a fenced area between two houses. She spent the night at an Animal Care and Control shelter in Brooklyn.

Richard P. Gentles, a spokesman for the animal control agency, said Molly had been seen by a veterinarian who estimated her to be less than a year old and between 300 and 400 pounds. She escaped when she was being unloaded at the slaughterhouse.

She was signed over to the agency by the owner, he said. “Maybe he is being altruistic,” Mr. Gentles said.

 

Molly the Cow May Get New Home After Slaughterhouse Escape

 

NEW YORK (AP) — A cow nicknamed Molly who escaped from a New York City slaughterhouse may have a new lease on life. New York police said the all-black cow got out from Musa Hala, Inc. about 1 p.m. Wednesday, a slaughterhouse where animals are butchered according to religious restrictions.

She wandered nearly a mile before she was corralled and captured by Emergency Services Unit officers. She was darted and delivered to the city’s Animal Care and Control, where she was nicknamed Molly.

Officials there are looking into whether Molly the cow can be placed at a farm sanctuary to live out her life or if she must be returned for slaughter. It depends on whether anyone comes forward to claim her. Animal care officials said a handful of cows in the past decade have escaped to the city streets.

Source:  Associated Press

May 8, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment