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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/12/16

News that Brings Smiles and Tears to this Animal Lover

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Message Suzana Megles

I often think about Dr. Weil's advice to occasionally observe a "news-fast". Yes, we are often inundated with news from many places -- from TV, the Internet, and newspapers. I often become saddened by what I hear and read from these mediums, but then I guess the good things balance out the bad. Here are some samples of this dichotomy of "tears" and "smiles".

Tears -- from the Daily Mail: "He waited for you said the scathing letter from an animal rescuer who slams the 'heartless dirt-bag' for abandoning dog named "Banjo" at the side of road. The loyal pooch stayed there for a week!" It took a lot of coaxing for the rescuers to persuade one year-old "Banjo", who was abandoned by the side of a road in California, to come to them. Finally after hours of trying the rescuers managed to get Banjo into their rescue van. Banjo had been subsisting on sticks for food. This horrible diet could now be remedied. You can read the full article and Officer Rapozo's scathing letter to the "callous owner who left Banjo for dead" in the Daily Mail. Banjo's plight, his rescue, and Officer Rapozo's letter have been viewed 1.1 million times. God bless Officer Rapozo and the others who reacted compassionately to another living creature. Smiles.

Smiles -- I have been waiting for a long time for the Environmental Protection Agency to finally admit that the world's most popular pesticide is killing off our bee population. It is 20 late for the EPA, but still better than never. I am not impressed by most government entities and the EPA belongs in this category. The EPA should have been alarmed at bees dying in record numbers a long time ago, but it is only now that they have recognized the horrible impact of a commonly used neonic pesticide (imidacloprid), which the EPA finally admits is at least "partially to blame" -- Partially to blame? Even now the EPA is "partially blind" and refuses to see the facts. Oh, how I miss Rachel Carson, a pioneer of environmentalism that helped to establish the EPA and the ban on DDT and other deadly pesticides. Our government no longer has anyone who even comes close to her in recognizing the terrible harm that pesticides are doing to the environment and the bees. What would we do without the bees whose important job of pollinating our crops is incalculable for our food production needs? Tears.

I am also proud that I do not use harmful fertilizers and pesticides on my lawn and garden, such as Roundup which is manufactured by Monsanto. These toxins and poisons are so wrong to use. There is nothing important about a "beautiful" manicured lawn fed with harmful insecticides and pesticides. I much prefer a lawn dotted with bright yellow dandelions and beautiful natural "weeds" that are produced by Mother Nature. Now I am working on helping butterflies by planting their favorite food milkweed in my rose garden. I so miss seeing butterflies, lady bugs, bees and praying mantises that used to be abundant in my childhood garden, when my Slovak mother was the gardener. Smiles.

Tears -- You won't believe this caption: "Hawaiian man beaten and pepper sprayed by police for praying over a seal on the beach." Jamie Kalani Rice says he was on Nanakuli beach when he noticed a seal lying on the beach. He thought the seal was injured or dying and knelt by him on the sand. He began chanting to heal the seal, and as part of the healing ritual, he took some sand and rubbed it between his hand and on his body. Someone foolishly decided that this was a police matter, and that's when the problems began. Although there was a posted sign saying "Do Not Disturb the Seals", Rice was obviously only trying to help the seal with his prayers. The event is videotaped and it sadly ends with police officer Ming Wang following Jamie Rice. After some words between Jamie Rice and Officer Wang were exchanged, Officer Wang pepper sprayed Jamie Rice. When the pepper spraying had little effect on Jamie Rice, Officer Wang then took out his baton and began beating Jamie Rice on the legs, arms and his head. Officer Wang then handcuffed and arrested Jamie Rice. A good man was brutally beaten and unjustly arrested for trying to perform a kind deed. Jamie Rice's prayers may well have helped for his healing ritual seemed to work. The seal was last seen moving off the beach. Smiles.

Smiles and Tears -- Later today I saw an encouraging article in the Washington Post entitled "Suspended USDA researcher alleges agency tried to block his research into harmful effects of pesticides on bees, butterflies." I now have to retract my earlier statement in which I wrote we presently have no environmental scientists of Rachel Carson's caliber: Yes we do. His name is Jonathan Lundgren, and he is being censured much like Rachel Carson had been for writing about the harmful effects of pesticides on bees and butterflies. I am so disenchanted with the Department of Agriculture and the EPA. It's too bad that President Obama and our representatives in Congress are not disenchanted as well. In my opinion, we have government agencies that are not doing enough good for our nation. "Tears" for the lack of concern our government has for the environment. "Smiles" for Jonathan Lundgren.

Tears -- I love dogs unabashedly. So the news about Jethro, a K9 officer for the Canton, Ohio Police department was especially disheartening. The Canton police had responded to a burglary at a Fisher Food grocery story. The suspect was still inside the store, and as Jethro approached the burglar, he was shot multiple times and struck in the face, shoulder, and neck. The officers returned fire and the suspect was shot in the leg and transported to a local hospital. Jethro was taken to the Stark County Veterinary Emergency clinic. The wound to his muzzle caused serious brain swelling. Unfortunately, Jethro took a turn for the worse and lost his life. His police partner and other officers were with Jethro to comfort him when he died. Smiles.

Every day you and I read posts or hear news which either brings smiles or tears; or both. Let's hope that we find many, many more which will provoke smiles rather than tears.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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