Saturday, May 15, 2010

Animal portraits



In general, art of animals is not exactly a respected art form. Animal portraits, in fact, are looked down upon. When most people think about an animal portrait, they picture those dogs playing poker. They are widely known as the most iconic cheese ball art in the world today. Nonetheless, getting a portrait of your animal can be a very touching thing for some people. Although an animal portrait is not for every pet owner, In might just be for you.

I have to confess that I did not set out to be an animal portrait painter. Although I have always enjoyed drawing and painting animals, my aims were originally more artistic. However, animal portraits allow me to make ends meet, paying my bill well practicing my arts. For an artist, there is no greater goal. It is true that not every animal portrait that I paint is a masterpiece, because not every animal portrait that I paint is something that I want to paint. Nonetheless, in general I really enjoyed painting animal portraits. Animals have so much life and such expression.

Something that many people don't see is how much life there is behind the eyes of your average pet. This is what I try to capture in animal portraits. Often, people think of their pet animals – although they are beloved pets – as little more than objects of affection. Few people think of animals as people, and some people don't even think of them as quite alive. These are the misconceptions that I try to cure with my animal portraits. Animal pictures, and pictures in general, have a certain power to them. Even photography can really capture the imagination and make you see the humanity in eyes that you have never looked at closely before. That is the beauty of animal portraits.

I would go as far as saying that making a good animal portrait is more difficult than making a good oil painting of a person. You see, people have so many expectations when they look at animal portraits, and most of them are negative. Unless you can do something that really stands out and strikes them, they will see your animal portraits as clich├ęd, boring, and dull. In order for them to look exciting, they have to really sparkle. That is my goal – to make animal portraits that sparkle. If I can do that, I can do anything with my art.  Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Book & CD (Read Along Book & CD)

Cow Milk & Soy Milk , which one the better ?

Many people are turning to soy milk because of allergy to lactose, which is the main carbohydrate in milk. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the milk?
Lactose, the primary carbohydrate in cow's milk can cause digestive problems in some people. People who are intolerant (no tolerance) to lactose by a deficiency of the enzyme lactose, which is needed to digest lactose.
This makes people with an intolerance for gas production, bloating and diarrhea after eating some form of dairy cows.
Soy milk is a substitute for people allergic to cow's milk. Technically, the soy milk in the milk than cow milk, but juice made from soy. Soy milk is also popular with vegetarians, because the basic material of plant origin.
Today there are more people consciously choose soy milk instead of cow's milk for health benefits it offers. But the benefits of soy is still a debate, but it is generally accepted that a large number of compounds containing soy milk are very healthy.
The debate over soy milk and cow's milk
The major difference between soymilk and cow's milk is the source, ie plants and animals.
As mentioned Steady Health Friday (14/05/2010), one cup soy milk is not enhanced (still pure, and yet they are enriched) contains about 7 grams protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 4.5 grams of fat and contain no cholesterol.
Although soy milk contain vitamin B, but this milk is not a source of vitamin B12 and not provide a significant intake of calcium.
Since soy milk instead of cow's milk producers have offered versions of soy milk that is fortified with calcium with vitamin E and B12, vitamin D and other nutrients.
While milk provides carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats. Any cow milk contains 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs per cup. There is also a rich source of other nutrients.
A cup of cow's milk has 30 percent of daily calcium needs of adults and about 50 percent of vitamin B12 and riboflavin. Often fortified with vitamin D for calcium absorption to facilitate, and also of vitamin A. Thus cows considered a complete food.
The advantage of Dairy Milk Cow
Dairy cows experience the process of pasteurization, this is a process in which milk is heated, kills bacteria, enzymes and proteins are not profitable.
Cows' milk is rich in enzymes and contains basically the 22 essential amino acids, including phosphate, which is essential for calcium absorption.
tunban raw milk has many health benefits and is the best source of calcium.
Milk is a source of vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which is an important vitamin that is hard to find sources of non-meat. And it also contains enzymes IgG (Immunoglobulin), vitamins A, B and C.
The study also shows that the milk of dairy cows also make enzymes and antibodies to milk less susceptible to bacteria. Lipase is also present, the digestion of fats easier.
Another advantage is that milk CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) or contain conjugated linoleic acid, which is observed in the fight against cancer.
The benefits of soy milk
The benefits of soy milk, is undeniable. However, there was a lot of people who care about the proportion of soy milk with cow's milk measured.
Soy is rich in protein, and because it is made from peanuts also contain more fiber than cow's milk.
The biggest advantage is the isoflavones in soy milk. These are chemicals that resemble the hormone estrogen. Isoflavones related to health and is responsible for the prevention of various cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and many other diseases.
Soy milk. Soy milk is 2 percent less fat than cow milk, but contains no cholesterol.
Because soy milk with peanuts, milk contains about 9 times less saturated fat than cow milk. In addition to the soy milk is 10 times more fatty acids than cow's milk, which is a healthy fat.
cholesterol-free soy milk. Moreover, lowering LDL cholesterol soy Kyi, while the rates to increase the milk cow of LDL cholesterol. Soy milk offers extra protection for the liver with phytochemicals, abundant in soy milk.
Soy contains four times the amount of thiamin (vitamin B1) and almost double the amount of niacin (vitamin B3) compared to cow's milk. Soy milk contains more magnesium, copper and manganese in milk.
Soymilk also contains 42 times the amount of manganese and cow's milk. Manganese is necessary for bone formation. People with anemia requires manganese for iron storage.
Research has shown that men who drank two glasses of soy milk a day 70 percent less prostate cancer. There is no similar conclusions about people who drink cow's milk.
Weaknesses soymilk
The major drawback is the lack of soy milk contain calcium, which is only about one fourth of calcium from dairy cows. Many manufacturers of soy milk to add calcium to their products but studies show that it is not as healthy as natural calcium.
The nine key amino acids in the protein are necessary for life, cow and soy milk contain nearly identical amounts.
Grams of milk, the fifth amino acid is more important than soymilk. As one of the nine essential amino acids methionine, can be a triumph for lovers of cows. Cow's milk contains twice as much soy milk instead of methionine.
Soy contains riboflavin, about 60 percent lower than milk from cows. Riboflavin is an essential vitamin, but also in some cereals, nutritional yeast, green vegetables, beans and wheat. Therefore, instead of cow's milk for riboflavin resources needed for the people who eat a balanced diet.
Women who have breast cancer may need to increase the consumption of soy protein to reduce, as several studies have examined the possible dangers of a too high intake of soy highlighted.
Another study published in the journal Human Reproduction, shows that 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter of semen after eating a serving of soy-containing foods every two days.
But keep in mind, the two types of milk that is not administered to infants younger than one year. Breast milk is the food and beverages for babies, because all sources of nutrients needed for growth and development is included in breast milk.
 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Does Your Cat Eat Strange Things?

My catTony likes to eat tortilla chips–a little strange, but not nearly as odd as her taste for tape, preferably of the scotch or packing variety. Old Serena loved broccoli…but not as much as she loved licking photographs. I’ve yet to meet a cat that wasn’t a little quirky, but eating tape and photographs? Although I attributed these habits to the animal-based ingredients used to make the tape’s glue and the gelatin in developing photos–I also had a nagging suspicion that I might be justifying some obsessive behavior in my pets. Although I think it’s amusing in that special kitty kind of way I have to wonder: is it normal for cats to eat strange things?

As it turns out, just like humans can manifest a disorder called pica (whereby non-nutritive items like dirt and clay are eaten) so do cats. And it can be pretty common in our feline friends.

In addition to tape and photographs, there is an abundance of other odd items that many a cat find irresistible: shoelaces, paper, plastic grocery bags, houseplants, shower curtains, even electrical cords. Yikes. And I am sure there is a whole of host of other strange things that cats find appealing to the palate. But why? Often times it’s nothing to worry about, but it turns out that pica has been associated with a number of diseases including feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus–a veterinarian should examine any cat with unusual eating habits. Here’s what a vet will look at when presented with a cat pica case:

Dietary deficiencies. Some cats will eat their cat litter if they’re anemic. This makes sense, as in the case of human pica the cause is quite often a mineral deficiency.

Medical problems. Cat pica is also associated with feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, or it may be triggered by conditions like diabetes or brain tumors.

Genetic predisposition. For some cats, pica might just be in their genes. For example, wool sucking, sometimes a precursor to pica, is seen more frequently in Siamese and Birman cats (More on wool below.)

Environmental factors. Is the cat bored or seeking attention? Maybe he needs more mental or physical stimulation. Behavioral reasons for pica can include boredom, attention-seeking, attractive scents, hunger, and learned behavior

Compulsive disorder. Once other possibilities are ruled out, some pet behavioralists start to look into the possibility of compulsive disorder.

A related behavior that is often seen in cats is the desire to suck on wool–and although this is often lumped together under the umbrella of cat pica, it seems to me to be of a slightly different nature. Nursing on wool seems more of a nursing behavior similar to kneading. To back me up, Arnold Plotnick MS, DVM, ACVIM, ABVP of Manhattan Cat Specialists says that “Wool-sucking is a commonly described abnormal ingestive behavior in cats. Wool-sucking, however, is a compulsive, misdirected form of nursing behavior and technically should be distinguished from true cases of pica.” He continues that “the younger a cat is weaned, the stronger its drive to nurse, and the more likely the cat is to suck on wool–or its owner’s arms, earlobes, or hair. Although some cats may only suck on such fuzzy items as wool, fleece, and stuffed animals, others progress to actually eating these fabrics.

Treatment. Treatment is really just a matter of deterring. It’s important to determine if there is an underlying cause to your cat’s preference for eating non-food items. After your cat’s good health has been established, try these tricks to help keep your feline from getting into trouble by ingesting potentially dangerous items.

* Remember to keep no-no items like plastic, tape, clothing, blankets, houseplants and electric cords out of the reach of your cat.

* Provide alternative items to chew or eat–Food-dispensing toys, tough cat toys, or pieces of rawhide can be used to redirect your cat’s chewing behavior to more appropriate and safe items.

* For cats that snack on houseplants, fill small flowerpots with grass or catnip as an alternative. And did you know that birdfeed can be used as a safe source of plant seed?

* Provide structured play. Many cats chew on household items out of boredom. Offer interactive toys and dedicate some time each day to play with your cat.

* It may help to boost the fiber in your cat’s diet. In addition to adding more dietary fiber, high fiber foods usually contain fewer calories. Your kitty may be able to satisfy his craving to eat more while still maintaining his weight. (Talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet.)

Does your cat eat strange things? I recently wrote about why cats leave “gifts” and the comments were fascinating. I expected tales of small trophies–but socks from the neighbor’s house and live opossums? Wow. I bet you have great stories about your cat’s odd (or not so odd) eating habits. Leave a comment below and tell us what strange things your cat likes to eat.Traveling With Your Pet, 12th Edition: The AAA Petbook

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Cats Play With Water ?




In spite of their reputation for tolerating only dry land, many cats are actually water lovers. Some like to play in standing water, whereas others are fascinated by running water and perfer to drink from a faucet. In The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey, 2007), pet writer Arden Moore writes that there are many theories as well as urban legends about this behavior, but no one knows for sure. This attraction to running water may reflect an adaptive behavior from a wild past. Perhaps because running water has fewer contaminates, many wild animals prefer to drink from streams rather than ponds.
Water bowl splashing could also be attributed to the need to test the water to make sure it’s safe. The paw pad represents one of the most sensitive areas of a cat’s body. A cat may scoop water with her paw to check for possible “dangers” in the water or to test the temperature. Cats’ long distance eyesight is superb and they see anything moving easily, but their close-up vision is somewhat weak. They rely on their noses to sample food and paws to test water. And they may be partaking in a little fun and enjoyment seeing the mini-ripples their paws create in the bowl.
Make sure that you provide your cat with fresh water every day, even if she makes a mess. Offer her more than one bowl in your home. If you don’t mind her perching on a bathroom sink, leave one with a few inches of water for her to play in during the day. You might consider an inexpensive automatic water dispenser that trickles water continuously. Many cats find them irresistible. These are readily available at pet supply stores and through catalogs.
Another idea is to take a one-gallon plastic jug and cut a hole about two inches from the bottom. Make the hole just a bit bigger than your cat’s head (don’t forget to allow for her whiskers) so that she can reach in for a drink but can’t splash too much water on the floor. If she pushes the jug around, you can attach it to a wall.
Does you cat play with water? Does he splash in his bowl or drink from the faucet? Share your cat’s water tales with us in the comment field below.
Happy “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day!” Yes, it’s true–a holiday that is both a question and a celebration! This particular question/holiday is the creation of Thomas and Ruth Roy, under the name of Wellcat Holidays & Herbs and brings to mind any number of ways to celebrate your companion pets. But mostly it’s a day to sit back and ponder the age-old question: what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs?!
Some animals other than humans do have opposable thumbs. Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans have opposable thumbs. Many of these primates also have toes on their feet that perform like an opposable thumb; these “opposable toes” are used in climbing trees. Opossums have toes on their hind feet that help them grip branches and climb, while giant pandas have a bony portion of their wrist bone that they use like an opposable thumb to grasp bamboo when they eat. Polydactyl cats and dogs, those with more than the usual four toes, may exhibit extra dexterity, but they don’t truly have opposable digits.
Nonetheless, we’ve heard of a cat who can turn door knobs and a dog who can change the remote control–imagine what one of these handy pets could do with the addition of an opposable thumb? We know that Care2 members have especially extraordinary pets, and we want to know what special tricks your companions can perform. And tell us what you think they could achieve if they really did have opposable thumbs?!
2. What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day

Happy “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day!” Yes, it’s true–a holiday that is both a question and a celebration! This particular question/holiday is the creation of Thomas and Ruth Roy, under the name of Wellcat Holidays & Herbs and brings to mind any number of ways to celebrate your companion pets. But mostly it’s a day to sit back and ponder the age-old question: what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs?!
Some animals other than humans do have opposable thumbs. Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans have opposable thumbs. Many of these primates also have toes on their feet that perform like an opposable thumb; these “opposable toes” are used in climbing trees. Opossums have toes on their hind feet that help them grip branches and climb, while giant pandas have a bony portion of their wrist bone that they use like an opposable thumb to grasp bamboo when they eat. Polydactyl cats and dogs, those with more than the usual four toes, may exhibit extra dexterity, but they don’t truly have opposable digits.
Nonetheless, we’ve heard of a cat who can turn door knobs and a dog who can change the remote control–imagine what one of these handy pets could do with the addition of an opposable thumb? We know that Care2 members have especially extraordinary pets, and we want to know what special tricks your companions can perform. And tell us what you think they could achieve if they really did have opposable thumbs?!