Author Archives: lifeasacollegevegan

The Delicacy of Bears

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Mishka

Mishka, one of the lovely and adorable WW bears

Last week, I had the privilege of tagging along with the bear enrichment team at the Wildlife Waystation. While the bears were in their catch cages, we filled their main enclosures with all sorts of goodies – peanuts, nilla wafers, apples, honey-covered bread, pasta, cereal, carrots, and other forms of beary deliciousness that I’m forgetting.

We strew the goodies all around – inside boomer balls, on top of den boxes, in crevices and cracks, making sure that the bear would have to spend a good amount of time hunting for its treats.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I imagine a bear eating, I envision them going at it. Full face, teeth gnashing, paws flying and food splattering everywhere. Not exactly the prettiest picture.

But on bear enrichment day, boy was I was surprised! Bears are delicate eaters! Picky, even. Trust me, bears have taste. I watched as each bear headed first to the sweets, then the fruit, and last hit up the pasta and vegetables. The bears did not maul the honey-covered bread; no, they oh-so-gently licked the honey off of the bread, leaving the bun behind. And when it came to grapes, instead of just crunching their way through an entire bunch, the bears would pick each grape off, one by one, leaving the vine behind. I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure I could do that with my mouth.

The lesson I learned? Bears are not only creatures of force, they are also creatures of finesse. Apparently they make quite the refined dinner guest.

The Zebra Play

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A poem, dedicated to the Wildlife Waystation 🙂

 

zulu

The Zebra Play…

 

I have seen a zebra play,

I have seen a wolf’s legs leap,

I have heard a coyote bay,

I have heard the sheep herd’s bleat.

Have you seen the monkey smile?

Have you seen the parrot roust?

Have you heard the crow beguile?

Have you hard the llamas count?

I have known a slope of forest,

I have known a place apart

nestled in the mountains

and a valley of my heart.

Miss Foxy Needs A Home

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miss foxy 2

Meet Miss Foxy, a 4-year-old Pomeranian in need of a new home! Her current family has become financially unable to provide for her, so rather than leaving Miss Foxy to the horrors of the pound, they’ve teamed up with Life as a College Vegan to try to find Miss Foxy a new home/foster home!

Miss Foxy is extremely loving, very obedient, and full of spunk. She takes a little while to warm up to other dogs and would prefer a home without small children. She has a hot spot on her lower back but beyond that is spayed and in good health.

We’re trying to find Miss Foxy a placement in San Diego (her current location), Los Angeles, or somewhere in between. If you are able to help, please message Life as a College Vegan at mshockle@caltech.edu

Let’s work together to find Miss Foxy a forever home!

The Quill Writings

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quill writings logo

Happy 2013 y’all! As one of my first moves in the new year, I’ve created an author page on facebook! Since my writing is branching out from blogging into barding (poetry-writing) and novel(la)-writing, I decided it might be good if I consolidated and built up my readership. Hope you all enjoy the new avenues!

Visit Miceala’s author page here.

End Cruel Trapping!

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We already know that hunting is a cruel and generally unnecessary practice that despite millenia of usage has been a largely ineffective means of population control. However, there are some forms of hunting that are even more appalling than others.

In this case, I’m talking about trapping.

trapped coyote

“Modern” trapping methods haven’t changed much since the 1800’s. Jaws-of-life-style traps clench the limbs and life of animals in their grasp, leaving animals to die slowly of exposure and injury-related complications. Animals are left to die while their wounds fester and while scavengers come and pluck them alive.

trapped coyote 2

How do we know this? Jamie Olson, a Wyoming-based trapper for the USDA and APHIS, recently released photos detailing all of these practices – because he’d done them. Olson not only left his traps unattended, leaving animals to slowly die a long and painful death, but also let his hunting dogs maul some of the animals they found – including a coyote that was still alive. Photos from his report can be seen here.

These horrendous practices need to end.

Please, speak up and speak out. Demand that so-called “wildlife protection” agencies actually do their job and least take steps toward harm-reduction. Please send polite comments, such as the letter below, to:

Sample Letter:

Dear  (Administrator’s Name Here),

I am writing to urge you to take action against illegal trapping as well as to take appropriate action to end cruel methods of legal trapping. Current methods allow for egregious violations and flat-out animal cruelty cases. For example, even Jamie Olson, Wyoming-based trapper for the USDA and APHIS, allowed his hunting dogs to maul half-alive animals, left his traps unattended and unchecked, resulting in animals being scavenged and wasted.

I ask you to look into the grievances caused by current trapping practices and to take quick disciplinary action against violators and to pass the necessary reforms.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

(Your Name Here)

Tales of An Early Morning

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Tales of an early morning kindle

Good morning everyone!

So, I’ve published my first e-book! It’s called Tales of An Early Morning, a collection of poems and short stories. The book is, of course, dedicated to the Wildlife Waystation, and all royalties from the book’s sales are going to support the Waystation!

To find out more, go to my new writer’s blog, The Quill, and check out the post on Tales!

The Dogs

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Xen, the handsomest dog I know!

Xen, the handsomest dog I know!

This past Wednesday, my life went to the dogs.

In a wonderful, fantastic, completely good kind of way. You see, I went back to St. Louis to visit my parents last weekend, and my flights back on Tuesday were delayed and cancelled and all sorts of nonsense. Long story short, I got stranded in Los Angeles. I wasn’t entirely unhappy about that.

I ended up staying the night and spending the next day with my lovely and inspiring friend, Dana, another fellow Waystation volunteer. I spent a good chunk of Wednesday morning walking her two ridiculously awesome dogs, Xen and Annie. It ended up being shockingly eye-opening.

Annie. Such a cutie pie!

Annie. Such a cutie pie!

The last time I walked the dogs, I wasn’t in that great of a place. I’ve spent the past few months in treatment for an eating disorder and depression, and holy cow has it made a difference. The last time I walked Xen and Annie, I was weak and faint and broke a sweat after only walking a few yards. The dogs I’m sure could tell what kind of state I was in and slowed down to keep pace with me. But Wednesday, when I walked them, there was no mercy when it came to speed – which was fine with me. Moving along together at a strong and steady fast-paced stride, the dogs and I completed our normal route in half the time it had taken us before. Fueled by a happiness high, we went even farther and even longer than usual. It was amazing, seeing how much Xen and Annie were in tune with my own health, and how clearly and eagerly they celebrated its return with me. I am constantly stunned by how aware animals are of information about humans that we ourselves are often so out of touch with.

Apparently, sometimes, it’s okay to let yourself go to the dogs 😉

Project 4 Awesome

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So, the Wildlife Waystation has entered a contest called Project 4 Awesome. If we’re one of the five winners, then we get to share in the funds – which are much needed!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to Project 4 Awesome and vote for Wildlife Waystation, because it saves animals, helps people, and overall decreases the world’s suckiness!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

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Remember, with domestication comes more than just a cute nose and wagging tail – reliance on human beings comes along too. Unless all of you happen to be lucky enough to live in lovely Southern California (and even if you do), an outdoor pet is at risk for hypothermia and even frostbite.

Prevention is the best way to treat either. Sure, your pet (most likely) has fur, but fur only goes so far in combatting extreme winter weather. Domestic dog coats just aren’t what their wolf ancestors’ coats used to be. So add on the layers! Heating pads in dog houses, extra blankets, even those slightly torturous dog sweaters are all justified this time of year. If you have an outdoor pet, make sure to get a heated water bowl or otherwise continually replace the water so that it doesn’t just turn into a useless ice block. Proper hydration is just as important in the cold as it is in the heat.

Know the signs of trouble, too. Piloerection (aka goosebumps), pale to black-ish skin, shivering, and weakness are all signs that hypothermia and frostbite could be setting in. If you want to be super scientific about it, a rectal temperature below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit for dogs is a sign of trouble.

So what do you do if your pet does happen to fall prey to Jack Frost? Blankets, blankets, blankets! And the vet. Most definitely the vet. A veterinarian will know how to best analyze the extent of trouble going on and have the most comprehensive resources to help out your pet.

Of course, I recommend that you consider letting your outdoor pet come indoors for the cold weather, even if just at night. Even if your companion is hardy enough to protect against the most dangerous outcomes of nippy weather, it’s still not fair to make your pet deal with the discomfort of extreme conditions. You wouldn’t want to sleep outside in the winter, even if you had a parka, would you? No? I thought not.

So remember, this Christmas season, your pet’s best gift and defense against the cold – is you.