Why Black Cats Need More Awareness

Why Black Cats Deserve More Attention

Black cats are like your personal mini Panther.

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Most people believe that black cats signal bad luck if you happen to come across them. This superstition is a big reason that a majority of black cats in animal shelters don't get adopted as frequently as other types.

In the Middle Ages, black cats became associated with black magic and the devil. Pope Gregory XI claimed that Satan could take the form of a black cat when walking the earth. The result was panic and slaughter of thousands of black cats over the following century. During the times of American colonization, black felines became associated with evil and witchcraft. This belief is also perpetrated in the media such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch owning a black cat named Salem. The association with witchcraft is also how the myth that cats have nine lives began. It was rumored that a witch had the ability to shape-shift into a cat nine times.

Because of the number of black cats in animal shelters, some have held events such as "Adopt Your Own Panther" in Nevada to make owning a black cat more appealing. Many black cats also come with lower adoption fees as well. Another reason that black cats seem to get adopted less, is sometimes their fur does not do well for photography and nowadays many people look for adoptable pets online and a bad picture or none at all can make a big difference.

Unfortunately, Halloween, which is just in two weeks, has also been a time when some people acquire pets—particularly cats —to use as living decorations or for displays of fun and sport, only to discard or abandon them afterward (as often happens with chicks and rabbits at Easter time). Accordingly, many animal shelters have taken steps in recent years to limit or eliminate the adoption of cats in the days leading up to Halloween by either deferring feline adoptions until after Halloween or by more carefully scrutinizing the prospective adopters.


While I instantly fell in love with my Siamese mix cat, Ollie, the next day my family went back and got our black cat, Cyrus. My younger cousin wanted a cat after I brought mine home and both are wonderful pets and absolutely love to hang out and play together.

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10 Things I Wish Animal Rights People Knew About The Livestock Industry

Get educated.
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So last week, I wrote an open letter to PETA, calling them out on their lack of salvation for the animals burned by the recent wildfires. I received a lot of attention for this article, both good and bad.

In reading the comments posted in response by animal rights activists, I discovered some things that just didn't add up. Amidst the insults and hypocrisy, there were just some downright stupid assumptions that these people see as facts. It's not their fault, they're just uneducated, so I feel we as an industry should try to get some truth out there.

So, here are 10 things I wish animal rights supporters knew about the livestock industry:

1. A 20-25 year life expectancy for cows is not realistic.

Just because some cow somewhere lived to be 25 does not mean that they would live that long without the agriculture industry. Most cows used for beef production live to be about 13-15 years old and die of natural causes. In sandy environments, cows live around 5-9 years because the sand degrades their teeth to the point that they cannot eat.

2. Livestock would mate and reproduce each year without the help of humans.

I kinda thought it was common knowledge that most species cycle monthly when they reach sexual maturity. When females cycle, they do their best to get bred. There's no forcing going on there. If they were left in the wild, they would still mate and reproduce causing inbreeding.

SEE ALSO: Don't Buy That Coverup: Boycott Animal Testing

3. Farmers and ranchers are not just upset at the loss of profit from these fires.

I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I read this, and then the second, and eighth. Farmers and ranchers are not only upset about the loss of profit, which is devastating, but also upset to see their animals suffer. Have you ever had to put something out of its misery? Watch a cow writhe around sluffing its charred flesh off, hear it wheeze, and watch a rancher put a bullet in its head out of pity, and I guarantee the sadness in that rancher's heart isn't about money.

4. All "momma cows" are not dairy cows.

There are hundreds of breeds of cattle out there. Some breeds have certain traits that are suited for different parts of production agriculture. Not every momma cow is milked by hand daily and her milk sold.

5. All dairy calves are not ripped from their mother and slaughtered moments after birth.

I don't know much about the dairy industry, but since it is up and running obviously there have to be live calves to grow into cows and bulls.

6. Beef cattle are not raised in close quarters.

The operations that raise beef cattle from birth are called cow/calf operations. These cattle roam over large pastures and fields most of their lives.

7. Sheep are sheared for their own good.

I cannot count how many pictures I have seen posted by animal rights organizations of mutilated sheep. That's gross and unless someone is a complete dunce with a razor, that never happens. Sheep will overheat with a full coat, or become matted to the point he/or she cannot move.

8. There is not enough cropland to sustain everybody in the world.

Oh man, okay so as animal rights activists you guys want us to let all the cows, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs roam at their own free will. You think we can all live off veggie-tales reruns and rainbows but that is not so. If all animals are roaming free, they have to eat too. So they need space, and the crops humans eat need space. IT WON'T WORK.

9. It's not all about the money.

Lol, yeah right. Have you worked in agriculture? The bank owns our asses.

10. It's not gonna happen.

You can go on your crusades, you can martyr yourselves. It's not gonna work. Meat will always be a necessity.

But mostly PETA people, get educated!

Cover Image Credit: Straight

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The Reality Of Cat Shows

Go in with an open mind, because cat shows may seem totally bizarre, but are incredibly fun and special.

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As a self-declared cat lady, when I decided to attend my first cat show I was hyped to pet all the kitties, and watch them do tricks, or show off their beauty. After attending a few, I know they're totally unique and amazing events that everyone should be attending.

Upon arriving, you will probably need to pay an entry fee, and maybe there's an area for donations for local animal shelters (yes, animal breeders support animal shelters!). You might be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of cats, as far as the eye can see. Having a game plan of cats to visit might seem fun, but just roaming and visiting is a lot more fulfilling, and you may discover breeds of cats you never knew you would love. Usually, cat shows will feature visiting areas for guests attending the show to view, and sometimes pet, the cats. As well as areas where cats are judged and given awards, sort of like miniature stages.

Visitor areas are pretty self-explanatory as you can roam around and look at the dozens of different breeds, of kittens and cats alike. The diversity will amaze you and the cats are all special and loved by their owner. Because cats can catch sicknesses while surrounded by so many other cats, it's important to sanitize your hands before petting, as well as asking the owner if you can pet their cat or kitten. Some may even let you hold their cat, but this would be rare and you shouldn't get your hopes up! While viewing cats, you may find some that are up for adoption and could find a new family member. Some cats are actually people's household pets, and are scored differently from a cat who was bred for its looks!

The competition side is where the cat shows get interesting. You can view any and all competitions, although there will be many occurring at a time. That's because cats will initially be ranked against the cats of the same breed as them, and within those breeds, by gender and color style. Winning best in the breed is the first step to becoming the champion of a cat show. Watch as owners get nervous and excited as the tiny plastic awards go up, showing which cat was victorious. Although all judges can be different, it's fun to see beautiful and friendly cats win awards and look pleased with themselves as their owner smiles with pride.

Later in the day or weekend, one cat will be chosen as the grand champion out of the best in breeds. Usually, fans can vote on their favorite as well, and award a special cat a top prize, although unofficial, for its cuteness and spirit. A hairless cat has won fan favorite at every show I attended!

Go in with an open mind, because cat shows may seem totally bizarre, but are incredibly fun and special. The group of people who participate will love to tell you about their amazing cat and let you in on cat show secrets. A place where cat lovers unite, what could be better?

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