Cropping And Bobbing Out Cruelty

Cropping And Bobbing Out Cruelty

Your dog was born with ears and a tail, leave it that way...unless you're just too vain.
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Does the above image disturb you? It should. Imagine the pain and discomfort the pup whose tail lies mutilated on the newspaper next to him or her feels. No choice, no say in what happens to their body, and no understanding of why their tail was just snipped off with a pair of scissors, or some other pruning utensil the breeder felt like using, maybe even gardening sheers.

The act of shortening or removing a dog's tail is referred to as docking or bobbing. Tails are most frequently docked shortly after birth with the belief that soft tissue, nerve endings are not yet fully developed so less pain will be felt. The tail is an extension of the backbone and houses anywhere between four and seven pairs of nerves and nerve endings. So, the idea that tail docking is painless is absurd, especially since the procedure is performed using absolutely zero anesthetics. Plus, however short lived the pain may be, dogs can suffer from phantom pain and even develop painful neuromas, or nerve tumors, on the end of their tails. Not to mention the possibility of infection, and long lasting socialization handicaps all in the name of owner vanity.

In a 1996 paper published and researched by Robert Wansborouogh, Wansborouogh explains the disadvantages a dog with a cropped tail faces. A dog's tail is used as a mean of communicating various and vast emotions not only to humans, but to other dogs as well. By shortening or eliminating a dog's tail, you are essentially taking away one of their only tools which enables them to convey emotions like fear, playfulness, caution, aggression, happiness, etc. Many people believe if a dog is wagging its tail, it must be happy. This is simply not true. The direction of which a tail moves conveys more than just happiness: happy dogs move their tails to the right whereas unhappy or fearful dogs will wag their tails to the left. Remove the tail and this indicator of emotional status is gone.

By docking, or bobbing, a dog's tail you are essentially making it more difficult for a dog to interact on a successful social level with other canines as well. This was proven by UVic Biologist, Tom Reimchen, in 2007. Dogs with docked or missing tails are often approached with hesitation or caution by other canines, as their social cues can not be effectively read. It can even result in a less social dog with social anxiety based aggression or fear.

Not only are tails used as an emotional compass for both dogs and their handlers, but for some breeds, they are essential for balance, running or even swimming as they are often used as rudders while in the water and I don't want to hear this malarkey some people spew justifying tail docking as an attempt to prevent possible future injury. To this day the majority of Boxers born have their tails docked at birth in the hopes to prevent future injury from enthusiastic wiggling and wagging. Research has proven this ideology to be false. The truth is 80 percent of dogs whose tails are left as nature intended them, including Boxers, never injure their tails and the other 20 percent of dogs who do, well, their tails heal with little to no medical intervention and rarely need to be amputated or shortened because of said injury.

Tail mutilation, or docking, is banned in several countries including Canada, Australia, and the UK however, currently in the United States the practice of docking and or Cosmetic Otoplasty, or ear cropping, is unregulated and not controlled. New York and Vermont have considered legislation to ban the practices, but as of today, neither state has followed through. This simply means ANYONE can take a pair of scissors or a knife and cut a dog's ears or shorten their tail. They don't have to be a medical professional, or someone with training or certification. That is truly terrifying.


Cosmetic Otoplasty used to be performed with the ideology that by removing the pinnae or auricles, the externally visible flap of the ear, the owner would be reducing or eliminating the possibility of ear infections in the future. Much like tail docking, research has proven this thought process to be unfounded. There is no scientific proof or medical advantage to cropping a dog's ears, it's purely cosmetic and the fact is dogs who are most prone to ear infections like Poodles or Cocker-Spaniels, don't have their ears cropped to begin with. In fact, the act of cropping a dog's ears is more likely to lead to infection, the very thing it's meant to prevent.

Ear cropping is done today as a means to perpetuate stereotypes of certain breeds. A Pit Bull or Doberman looks all the more fierce with cropped ears compared to their natural floppiness. The fact is, tail docking and ear cropping are a choice. There is no medical or physical advantage to the dog. In many nations, it's considered illegal animal abuse, yet somehow, here in the United States, it's not even regulated.

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not condone either of these acts and takes the stance that they are purely cosmetic and therefore pose unnecessary risks to the dog(s).

Please don't put your dog through the pain and discomfort for your vanity because you can't or don't want to accept the way they were born naturally.


Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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10 Reminders Of Just How Easy It Is To Live Sustainably

Being eco-friendly and loving mother nature can be a lot easier than it may seem.

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We often make this whole sustainability thing seem like a rather complex issue that we, as individuals, have no reason to take action on. I'm here to tell you that even by just changing a few simple habits in your day-to-day life, you can make a lasting impact that saves our oceans and our planet's future! It's 2019 and it's about time we do something to give back to this lovely planet. Cheers to being eco-friendly and caring about mother earth, because she's pretty freaking great.

1. Invest in a reusable water bottle to use on the go

Amazon.com : Hydro Flask Water Bottle | Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated | Wide Mouth with Straw Lid | Multiple Sizes & Colors : Gateway

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Around 90% of water bottles end up decomposing in landfills rather than being recycled. If we all just make one small investment in a reusable water bottle that last way longer than one plastic water bottle, we can all make a difference together. Hydro Flask is one of my favorite brand of water bottles that lasts forever. Check out the wide mouth steel wate bottle with a straw lid above!

2. Buy a travel mug for coffee and tea

Amazon.com: Contigo Stainless Steel Coffee Couture AUTOSEAL Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug, 14 oz, White Marble: Gateway

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This is another small investment that can make such an impact in the number of cups that end up in landfills at the end of the day. At the very least, try to stick to compostable cups when possible on the go. Or, even better, purchase a travel mug like this pretty marble Contigo one to always have your drinks hot or cold wherever you are. Some coffee shops even reward you for this and give you a discount for bringing in your own cup!

3. Say NO to straws

Amazon.com: Reusable Bent Glass Drinking Straws, Set of 6 With 2 Cleaning Brushes,Shatter Resistant,BPA Free, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly, 200mm x 10mm (Bent 8'' x10mm, Multi Color): Health & Personal Care

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This follows the one above and is so important for the lives of our precious ocean creatures! It's one of the easiest things to eliminate by simply not using them or, buying a pack of reusable straws. Here are some of the ones I've tried – they work great on the go or at home!

4. Use less water!

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This may sound like a really simple one, but we often use water mindlessly and don't even realize how much we are wasting. A few ways to use less water include turning off the water when you brush your teeth, shortening your showers, not running the water while you wash dishes, doing less loads of laundry… the possibilities are endless!

Start by trying to be more conscious of just how much water you are using every day.

5. Turn off the lights when you leave the room

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Again, this one may sound incredibly easy but it's sometimes the easiest, most efficient ways to live sustainably that we forget to follow. Turning off the lights when you leave the room can have a huge impact on your electricity bill along with mother nature which helps you, too!

6. Try having one vegetarian day a week

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This is one that I am new to trying out recently and I am considering continuing to add more days during my week… will I be a vegetarian eventually? While it may seem drastic to give up meat for life, it's a small step in the right direction to commit to one meat free day a week, and I've found it reminds me of how frequently we consume it as well.

It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. If that doesn't convince you enough, each hamburger that comes from animals on ex-forestry ground is responsible for the destruction of fifty-five square feet of forest. If we all cut out meat one day a week, that alone can make a difference in our water usage and land conservation!

7. Use cruise control on the highway

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We often don't think of cruise control as having a significant economical impact, but as the driver of a hybrid (shoutout my Ford Fusion Hybrid – best car ever), it's crazy the difference it makes on your overall mileage.

Using cruise control regularly can increase your mileage by at least 15% and in doing so saves the environment from fuel emissions, uses less gasoline, and keeps more money in your pocket!

8. Reduce, reuse, recycle, duh!

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Okay, yes, duh! But seriously. It's so easy to say yes to single use plastics when we are constantly surrounded by them as alternatives that fit into our fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles, and we easily forget how impactful each piece of plastic we use is on our oceans and our planet.

Plastic bags are not biodegradable or recyclable and we should avoid using them whenever possible. Your local grocery store probably sells reusable grocery bags and most likely gives discounts when you bring them in to use instead of plastic bags. If this isn't an option for you, ask for paper instead of plastic.

9. Always recycle glass

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Glass is a product that often has misconceptions around whether or not it is recyclable, leading to unrecycled glass taking up to a million years to decompose. With the way things are looking in 2019, we don't have a million years to fix this whole love for mother-nature problem. Always make sure to recycle your glass! It can reduce related water pollution by up to fifty percent and related air pollution by up to twenty percent.

10. Spread the knowledge, share the love!

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It's one thing to hold yourself accountable to taking steps towards living more sustainably but why not hold others accountable, too! If you are living at home or living with roommates, create systems in your home that allow everyone to be on the same page – reduce, reuse, recycle.

To learn more about easy steps to living sustainably, visit https://www.50waystohelp.com/

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