Could we become like those humans in the movie Wall-E, unable to walk because of weak skeletal structure? Although it seems unlikely, it doesn’t seem like entirely impossible if we consider how we live our lives now. The primary contributing factor that led to the humans’ condition in the movie was convenience. There were machines that did everything for them, so they stopped being physically capable of doing much at all.
If you really think about, that doesn’t seem too far off from where we are. If you take a look around you, you’ll see that convenience already drives almost everything.
There are a range of factors that contribute towards cruelty to animals. While countries around the world stand against it to varying degrees, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it will ever come to an end.
Here are some of the factors that contribute towards animal cruelty
- Different countries have different laws concerning animal abuse
Some countries around the world address have relatively rigid definitions of what constitutes animal cruelty. But, what’s considered abuse in some countries is considered part of the cultural heritage of others. Think of ritual animal sacrifice practiced in Africa, even in the suburbs of some major cities.
If you’ve seen Into the Wild you know the difference between a tramp and a hobo. In the movie, Alexander Supertramp (the name he gives himself) leaves behind the burden of capitalism and embraces his inner anarchist. He’s also running from personal difficulties, but you get the idea. The kid had money, a degree and a car and what he couldn’t burn he left next to the road.
Tramps are different to hobos and bums, according to anarchist Ben Reitman, who was a part-time tramp and died in the early 20th century. The long and short of it is that tramps choose to be homeless.
The human brain is stranger than you might think. We tend to group people into categories such as “normal” as opposed to “crazy”, “rude” as opposed to “nice” or “motivated” as opposed to “aimless” to make more sense of the world. We all come up with these concepts, whether we are aware of them or not, to help us discern between what we want in our lives and what is best avoided. This is a good thing. On the downside, it can make us prejudiced against certain people after a very brief interaction with them. Many will ask “what’s normal anyway?” And I’m glad you did as the answer is weirder than you thought.
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Things you didn’t know are influencing your thinking
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These are the words of Jen Feuerstein, a former caregiver at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in the US. The unethical treatment of chimps in Africa and abroad should be addressed, but few even know about it.
In recent years the supply and demand of chimpanzee meat has escalated because of deforestation, which makes it easier for hunters to find them. The closest relative to humans, they are intelligent beings with intricate social lives and emotions. Jane Goodall’s Chimpanzee Eden near Nelspruit is a sanctuary for chimps that have been rescued from the meat trade, circuses, medical research facilities and the illegal pet trade. In fact, chimps’ lives in Africa are endangered to such an extent that there might not be any left in the wild within the next ten years.
Lady Gaga has been dragged behind the media wagon by her blonde wig for a variety of reasons. And I’m not saying that she didn’t ask for it. Her shock antics demand everyone’s attention; she’s been chastised by everyone from Christians to the gay community. But, in the grand scheme of things, it does seem like she is using her influence to better the lives of her Little Monsters, as she calls them.
The newest addition to her list of media achievements is reaching 20 million followers on Twitter. She communicates with her followers in a personal way, giving them extra attention and asking for responses to her questions. And then she listens. Granted, she can’t reply to every tweet or Facebook comment, but she does seem to be clued up about the needs of her followers. Something all great brands do.
Gerd Ludwig’s “Long Shadow of Chernobyl” project is a series of photographs depicting the town of Chernobyl, Ukraine and its surroundings at different times since the disaster. Ludwig went to the town for National Geographic Magazine in 1993, 2005 and 2011. The disaster occurred on 26 April 1986, when a systems test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant went wrong, causing an explosion and fire that released large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere.
The town of Pripyat is closest to reactor number four and its 50 000 residents were evacuated after authorities eventually told residents that they were in danger, it was 36 hours after the disaster. People left behind all their possessions as the fled. Ludwig’s photographs capture the haunting emptiness of the town that was once bustling with life. Plants grow over some of the dilapidated buildings and gas masks litter the floors of others.