Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bitter Sweet

Tomorrow is the last day of classes this block before midterms. It'll be really nice to take the midterms, and get an idea of how I'm doing, but each 8 week block we get assigned to a new group. I've been really lucky with the people in my original group, and I wish I could just keep them for the next 2 years.

I toured a dairy a few days ago. For the most part, all the cows were really well taken care of, with one glaring problem - the flies. It wasn't the normal amount of flies you'd expect being around farm animals - it was big black clouds of flies. I felt the worst for the calves who were in tiny cages who couldn't get away from the flies. I don't know if I'll be able to get through all my large animal rotations without ending up vegan.

Speaking of dietary choices, Tyler and I have long talked about when I'm out of school, and we're financially stable about raising our own food animals. I don't really have a problem with an animal having to die to become food. I do have a huge problem with an animal suffering before it becomes food. We've thrown around the idea of raising a couple cattle, and paying somebody to come onto our property every year or two and slaughter one. It gets raised in a happy environment with lots of love and attention, it doesn't have to undergo the stress of transportation to a feed lot or slaughter house, and one cow would probably feed us (and whoever we could give beef to) for a year or two. We've thrown around similar ideas for chickens. Either we would end up with the peace of mind knowing that as carnivores, we were making the most ethical decision we could, or we would end up with a whole lot of pet cows and chickens once we got attached. Anyway, after the dairy tour, I think our plan needs to be ammended to either add some dairy cows, or get our dairy products through a co-op where we could inspect and guarentee the wellbeing of the animals involved.

And in kitten news, the kittens are doing great, with one setback. We've named them all: The calicos are Mr. Potato Hands and Mr. Viceroy Fizzlebottom, the tabbies are Private Peanutbutter Jr. and Spaghetti, and the more solid ones are Megahorse and Twinkletoes the Deathdealer. They've gained so much weight in just 5 short days! And despite nursing 6 kittens, Stegosaurous has managed to put on some weight - her pokey vertebrae that she was named for are slowly starting to disappear under a pad of fat. The only setback we've experienced is that today we went to check on them, and these stupid tiny black ants that we have here had come in through the air conditioner, and made an ant highway down the cord, across the floor, and were swarming the food and the pile of kittens. We moved the kittens and Stego to the bathtub temporarily, and spent about an hour vacuuming and re-vacuuming the floor. Once we were satasfied that all the ants had been sucked up, we put an ant bait thing in the window, and drew circles of cinnamon around the windows, a circle around the food, and a (wide) circle around the kittens. Hopefully we can stave off the ants without having to resort to anything poisonous - we can't really move the kittens to another room, as they all get too hot, or can't be seperated from the rest of the pets, and we don't want to fill their environment with toxins.

Next week is probably going to be stressful. I've got a 4-hour exam Monday, two shorter exams Tuesday, a 6-hour anatomy/histology practical exam Wednesday, another 4-hour exam thursday, and a short clinical exam on friday. If I don't update, its probably because I'm curled up in the fetal position with an anatomy book somewhere.

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