Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Lost Pets

It's a bone of contention among animal liberationists, and therefore to some extent myself, wimpy mere lacto-ovo-vegetarian that i am, that different species respond differently to the same substances.  It's said, for example, that it was a lucky chance that Alexander Fleming chose not to test penicillin on guinea pigs as it's highly toxic to them and that would have halted antibiotic development, although apparently there was interest in garlic for the same purposes a decade or so earlier and later there was research into phage therapy, so it might just have meant a different history rather than a worse one.

Anyway, what this means is that many of the things we can eat safely as food are poisonous to cats and dogs, which are remarkably distantly related to humans compared to most other mammals.  Also, many things are poisonous to both us and them, but unlike them we learn through language and can pass on information, and as a result are less likely to eat mistletoe or holly.  Tonight's video then, yet to be published:

This is just to warn people about things which are poisonous to dogs or cats.  Namely, onions, antifreeze (mentioned in the description rather than the video in order to avoid getting less focussed - more on that in a minute), chocolate, raisins and xylitol.  That also suggests that other related or otherwise similar plants are also toxic to them, namely:

  • Onions - garlic, leeks, ramsons (wild garlic), scallions, chives and shallots, all in the genus Allium.
  • Chocolate - coffee, mate, holly, guarana and cola nuts, all high in xanthines, which are caffeine-like substances.  Oddly, this seems to mean that although holly is poisonous to both humans and these carnivores, it's for different reasons.  Holly is toxic to us because the saponins cause anaemia.
  • Raisins - grapes and sultanas.  This is a bit obvious but probably worth stating.
Here's the description:


Many foods safe for us are dangerous to cats and dogs.  These include raisins, chocolate, onions and chewing gum.  At Christmas, they're particularly vulnerable so watch out and keep them safe.

Keeping out of the TMI zone, where i usually make my home, the dangerous foods are:

Chewing gum which contains xylitol, recently found to be toxic to dogs.

Just because a cat or dog has eaten some of these foods before and seems to be OK, that doesn't mean it is.  The poisons can build up in their bodies and the next onion, piece of chocolate or whatever can be the one which kills it.

Also, remember that holly and mistletoe are also poisonous to them as they are to us, but unlike us they are more likely to ingest them accidentally.  Antifreeze is another one, but it probably won't be an issue.

The reason the poison can build up lies in the difference between us and carnivores.  We are accustomed to eating large amounts of plant food.  Animals tend not to be poisonous in themselves when eaten.  They can contain dangerous bacteria such as
Clostridium botulinum, or they can themselves be poisonous because they contain venom, which is however a protein and therefore actually edible - it just needs to be kept away from the bloodstream while active.  This is particularly true of the land and freshwater vertebrates that dogs and cats tend to eat, although they do eat the plant food that their prey eats if they eat the whole animal, as they would in the wild.  This means that their livers are not as good as ours at detoxifying the substances in their food.  Also, one way in which the liver deals with poisons is to make them more water-soluble so they can be excreted via the kidneys.  If an animal can't do this, the poison will build up in its body until it can easily be killed by rather a small dose of the food it's apparently eaten safely before.

Therefore, please keep pets away from the foods i mention over Christmas, and in fact all the time.  Like us, they may not know what's good for them.

A couple of comments about making this.  One is that for once i've tried to leave the "too much information" zone i spend my life in out of concern for saving the animals, so i've only gone into more detail later, and also missed out certain things such as antifreeze (which is also poisonous to humans), just for the sake of communication.  This is quite difficult for me to do but i need to practice it if i want to communicate.

The other point, which also concerns communication, is that i've tried to speak up due to the very quiet audio.  I am aware of the problem and the ultimate solution is to get a microphone.  Ironically, the previous camera had a better mike ("mic"?) although the quality of the video was much lower.

The stills in the video are:


Views went up again:

That's an increase from 267 to 284, so almost two gross views a day.  The 2012 video is still picking up views too, and most of the views of the mistletoe video have occurred in the last nine hours, though neither of those phenomena are recorded on the chart because they occurred since the day before yesterday - YT stats are weird.  I also realised today that the "301" phenomenon seems not to apply to the uploader, only to the general view, something i never hung around long enough on the Other Channel to observe.  The Other Channel is very much a "hit and run" thing:  someone asked for advice on it over a week ago and i have yet to respond.

Once again i have to achieve a balance between detachment and concern at the reduced increase.  Is that going to become a decline?  Also, i'm not picking up subscribers very fast compared to the increase in views, meaning that this may all be "one hit wonders".  I need to make some kind of link between the videos which rewards subscription.  To some extent this is in the playlists, which incidentally are as follows:

  • The Twelve Days Of Christmas (under construction, the current series):https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGWy7AFv1dkKEhLMtjdQLGCRS4IHc7c_n&feature=view_all
  • Really short videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGWy7AFv1dkJ8zGW1QjxGMR0kCYEucYfk&feature=view_all
  • Police - this is just a silly private list of "Jazz Police", the Vegan Police scene from Scott Pilgrim and "The Dream Police" (no link because it won't work for anyone else, but that's all it is).
  • Tour Of The Solar System - these are annotated movies from Celestia, one of which has an in-joke about the Other Channel in it.https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGWy7AFv1dkJm05RueK29xdVcgZN4IZ0w&feature=view_all
  • From handsonisbetter -  everything on the other other channel, which has been abandoned and whose password i've lost.   The HE-AL time capsule video is on here.  The reason it's been abandoned is mentioned in "My video deletion policy - please watch".  Incidentally, the current channel no longer has that problem:
  • Videos related to the Other Channel - strictly speaking the "meggings" video belongs here too, which is more in the spirit of the Other Channel, which probably explains its success.
  • Herbalism - this will get a lot longer and is probably one of the more worthwhile bits of content on here - possibly the pets video belongs in here too:
  • Home education - not the nuts and bolts of the curriculum so much as issues around this thing that we do, whatever it is:
  • Epic - i have no idea why that's there - it's just one hour-long video of "epic" music, so it's not even a playlist.  Really not worth posting either.
One more thing:  i'm thinking of starting a Facebook group on the channel.  Any thoughts?