In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Frontiers of Zoology: Chupacabras SOLVED

In-depth, insightful, and very interesting, and goes way beyond the pop culture, pedestrian, and  non-esoteric attempts by skeptic Benjamin Radford:Frontiers of Zoology: Chupacabras SOLVED, by Dale Drinnon.

There's much there, and this is just a little bit from Drinnon's post:
For the most part, the traditional creatures later being CALLED chupacabras in Mexico are referred to under the blanket terms of 'Nahual' or 'Nagual.' This was originally the name of an Aztec magical practitioner and healer but more usually means the same thing as witch or demon any more. The term 'Brujo' is also used. The idea behind Naguals originally was that they had certain animal totems, which granted them powers and allowed the practitioners to assume animal form - any of a number of different forms. I suppose even hairless coyote would count. So more recently the term includes shapeshifters in general AND the totem power animals as well. The name also has a more positive meaning of protective spirits in animal form. In the case of the reptilian chupacabras, I am not certain as to what the native name of the totem power animal supernatural lizard originally was, but different recent references call it the King Lizard or King Iguana, Dragon or Dragon Lizard, Cipactli and possibly Chan. 

I chose the above because it resonated with me: totem animals, Naguals, shape-shifters. Note Dale's remark about shape-shifters: "...allowed the practitioners to assume animal form ... I suppose even hairless coyote would count." Interesting take, given the number of hairless canine creatures seen, and all too often killed, that fit this description. I've always looked at the two types of chupacabra from a more social-folkloric perspective concerning the way language (names and labels) change. But Drinnon's theories go further, and deeper, presenting us with a parallel esoteric, or living myth via symbolism in the shape of a chupacabra.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flesh Eating Equines?

Haven't read the book, don't anything about the premise. Here's some from the blurb:

There is widespread belief in a warm and comforting story which states the horse is a gentle herbivore. What if a Rosetta Stone had been found to unlock the dark secrets of the horse's past? An international multi-million dollar industry serviced by horse whisperers, glossy magazines and popular culture preaches that horses are meek prey animals who fear predators. What if evidence demonstrated horses have slain lions, tigers, pumas, wolves, hyenas and humans? Contemporary writers have successfully airbrushed murderous and meat-eating horses out of literature. What if Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes and Steve McQueen provided artistic evidence to refute that claim? Thanks to global equestrian amnesia, the crucial role played by horses in recent history has been lost to mankind. What if testimony revealed meat-eating horses had been used to explore the Poles and photographs had been discovered of Tibet's blood-eating horses? Deadly Equines is a revolutionary departure from equestrian romance. It is a fact-filled analysis which reveals how humanity has known about meat-eating horses for at least four thousand years, during which time horses have consumed nearly two dozen different types of protein, including human flesh, and that these episodes have occurred on every continent, including Antarctica.

I don't know much about horses -- I'm not a horse person and while I think they're beautiful animals and I wish them no harm in any way, I admit I'm afraid of them. The book seems almost like a put-on. Yet a brief bit of searching does reveal some interesting things about meat eating horses. Like here. But mostly, searching revealed more links to places that insist horses do not eat meat, or sites discussing the ethical and health pros and cons of humans eating horse meat.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Binnall of America: White Haired Guardian, Animal Ally

My new Trickster's Realm column is now available at Tim Binnall's site:White Haired Guardian, Animal Ally.

Baptizing the Animals

The other night elements in the dream shifted a bit. I’m on a hill and decide to shoot at a bottle on top of a tree stump that’s sticking up out of the river. I aim a rifle, shoot, and hit it right off the first time. I’m pretty surprised I hit it, and even more surprised I wanted to in the first place. I kind of wonder, what am I doing with this gun? I don’t like guns! Then I see a man enter the water and hold down what at first I think is a cat, but becomes a black panther. Beautiful animal, but silent and moving so gracefully. I worry it’s dead, or drowning, yet the man’s intent doesn’t seem to be of harm. More like he’s performing some kind of ritual. Then the black panther turns into a large black and brown dog. Again, very very beautiful, and large, and I worry about it’s safety but the man doesn’t seem to be about harm. It’s some kind of message; some sort of ritual.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stephen Wagner: Skinwalker in Idaho

Stephen Wagner at on a skinwalker story from Idaho: Skinwalker in IdahoAlso links to other similar stories.

I woke up some time between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. to hear very deep breathing. At first, I thought it was my dad or brother, but then it got louder and closer. I finally got enough guts to get up and investigate, but I wish I hadn't because the mere thought still scares me. I saw the wolf 10 feet away from me eating the remains of a deer. When the wolf saw me, it sprinted into the bushes. I expected to see the wolf come out the other side, but instead the fur-covered Indian walked out!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Research on chimpanzees must end -

"The real question at issue here is not whether imprisoning and experimenting on chimpanzees is scientifically useful to humans or not; it is whether doing so is right to begin with.~ Justin Goodman; "Research on Chimpanzees Must End"
Chimpanzees are social creatures. They have culture, they have emotions, feelings, care for their families... the following is very difficult to handle (I cried when reading this) but neccessary to know in order to help change the U.S. practice of experimenting on chimpanzees. The U.S., as the article points out, is only one of two countries who do so.
As a result of having to endure the terror and pain of having their bodies routinely violated for experiments and the loneliness of their tiny, barren steel-and-concrete prison cells, many chimpanzees exhibit abnormal behaviors indicative of depression and post-traumatic stress. They suffer from symptoms including social withdrawal, anxiety and loss of appetite. They pull out their own hair, bite themselves and pace incessantly. I recently met a sanctuary-living chimpanzee who spent years being tormented at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention and other government laboratories. His medical records show that on several occasions, he almost died during experiments, only to be revived and tormented further. Years later, he still has violent screaming fits several times daily, during which he scratches and tears into the flesh on his head and chest. This is the real legacy of chimpanzee experimentation in the United States.
Research on Chimpanzees Must End

Texas Approves Aerial Hunting of Pigs and Coyotes | Care2 Causes

Wild and feral hogs are a problem in Texas, and that state has come up with a solution: legalizing aerial hunting killing of hogs -- and coyotes, as Care2Causes reports.:Texas Approves Aerial Hunting of Pigs and Coyotes | Care2 Causes

The language used (twilight language, subliminal controls, etc.) is interesting. Example: the bill, signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, is called the "pork chopper bill." Adding to the gratuitous innate blood lust factor is the annual "Get the Hogs Outta Texas”" event slaughter, in which "where the top five hog-killing counties win a total of $60,000 in grant money."

While this new law isn't exactly one that falls into the canned hunt category, it is interesting to point out that Texas has over 750 canned hunt sites, according to Advocacy for Animals.  

At least there are 20 states that either ban canned hunts outright, or have restrictions on them. Oregon, where I live, is one of those states. It bans canned hunts, but sort of. You can kill if you are "hunting" the animal in order to eat it as long as it's not an exotic animal.  Little solace, but it's something.

It is unlawful to hunt, kill, or attempt to hunt or kill, exotic mammals (as defined in OAR 635, Division 56) or game mammals (as defined in OAR 635, Division 45) held or obtained by private parties; however:
(1) Any person may slaughter such an animal for meat, leather, or fur production;
(2) Any person may euthanize such an animal for scientific, health, safety or other valid husbandry concerns; and
(3) The department's Wildlife Division Director may authorize any person to hunt or kill such an animal if the Division Director determines it would be in the best interest of sound wildlife management. The Division Director may impose conditions on such authorizations.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 496.012 & ORS 496.138
Stats. Implemented: ORS 496.012 & ORS 496.138
Hist.: DFW 26-1999, f. & cert. ef. 4-26-99
OAR 635-064-0010, OR ADC 635-064-0010

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Giant red crabs invade the Antarctic abyss

Three years ago, scientists predicted that giant red crabs (King Crabs) would invade the Antarctic within a hundred years. Their prediction was too conservative; the crabs are already in there:

Giant red crabs invade the Antarctic abyss - environment - 07 September 2011 - New Scientist: They are laying waste to the landscape. Video footage taken by the submersible shows how the crabs prod, probe, gash and puncture delicate sediments with the tips of their long legs. "This is likely to alter sediment processes, such as the rate at which organic matter is buried, which will affect the diversity of animal communities living in the sediments," says Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, whose team discovered the scarlet invaders.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More exotic snakes seized in Longview

One city in Washington state is coming down on people who think snakes are pets. Boa constrictors, alligators, etc. considered exotic animals and you need a license to keep one. Many of the "pet"owners in the article are males in their twenties, thirties, who, according to the article, would normally have had pit bulls in the past. In one instance the snakes were removed from the home because there was a five year old child in the home.

How happy can an animal be that is kept in a large glass box? And it wants living food for, not a frozen rabbit. Yet feeding it live animals is also abhorrently gratuitous. Snake, young males, hmmm. Calling Dr. Freud.

More exotic snakes seized in Longview

Cougars in the Park

Local news reports a cougar sighted near Spencer's Butte park, a popular hiking area (and, local lore goes, somewhat of a UFO hot spot) -- there are rattlesnakes up there, and the occasional cougar report. I can see the Butte if I walk to the corner of my street... not far from me at all. With video and photo.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines - Yahoo! News

They say it's 21 feet in length. Plans for the animal: the "star attraction" in an ecopark.

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines - Yahoo! News:

Elorde said the crocodile killed a water buffalo in an attack witnessed by villagers last month and was also suspected of having attacked a fisherman who went missing in July.
He said he sought the help of experts at a crocodile farm in western Palawan province.
"We were nervous but it's our duty to deal with a threat to the villagers," Elorde told The Associated Press by telephone. "When I finally stood before it, I couldn't believe my eyes."
After initial sightings at a creek, the hunters set four traps, which the crocodile destroyed. They then used sturdier traps using steel cables, one of which finally caught the enormous reptile late Saturday, he said.

Image source: French Factrice (visit this site, it's full of vintage goodness, including a film clip from the 1940s of a children's alligator farm.)