Gay Marriage – A success!

I was very pleased this week to find out that the plans to legalise gay marriage had been approved. All I can say is about time!

Now I expected many Tories to oppose the bill but I was extremely shocked to find out that many Labour and Liberal Democrat MP’s also opposed it and that the list included both my MP (Joe Benton) and the MP in Southport (John Pugh).

I just want to say how angry I am that both of these opposed the bill. I am going to be writing to both of them just to tell them how disappointed I am.

To find out who else voted no or abstained have a look at this link – http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/02/labour-and-lib-dem-mps-who-voted-against-gay-marriage-full-list

All in all though we have a cause for celebration! Let’s hope for rainbow themed weddings up and down the country!

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Uproar about eating horse meat… why?

I’ve been reading the news that horse meat has been found in burgers being sold in Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland and the uproar it has caused.

I’d be the first person to say that horses should not be eaten. Then again, I say the same thing about cows, chickens, turkeys, lambs and pigs (not to mention fish and seafood). What I don’t understand is why people are so annoyed that there is horse meat in their food when they are eating a processed patty of dead animal on their burger buns anyway. What’s the difference between eating cow (which, by the way, is probably the grizzly horrible bits of the cow that nobody wants seeing as these are value burgers) and eating horse?

Just my mini rant for the day. What do you guys think? I’d love to hear from a meat eater about why they feel this way!

Harvesting Spider Silk

I watched a video this morning on The Guardian website where a group of people have perfected extracting silk from a spider of the species Nephila edulis. The video can be found here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2013/jan/12/fritz-vollrath-spider-silk-video.

My first reaction to this was disgust as I thought the spider had been killed. It turns out the spider was not dead but just sedated with carbon dioxide. My second question was what possible reason could there be? Fritz Vollrath is the scientist behind these experiments. He says that he would use the silk for medical reasons “for anything from knee replacements to heart transplants”.

My only worry really is that nowhere does it mention whether the spider is in discomfort (which it obviously would be) and what measures have been taken to minimise this. As a Zoology graduate I know that this will probably have been considered and measures will be in place. I think these should be explained in the video or article.

Another thought springs to mind. The number of people who hate spiders means that if these spiders were being treated badly the sympathy level would be extremely low. It seems that animals must be fluffy and cute for people to react to their pain. I myself consider all animals to be of equal importance and think that no animal should be caused discomfort or pain for our benefit.

What do you think? Should animals be used for human benefit or do they deserve more respect?

Evolution and Big Bang are lies from hell?

Reading the paper today I learnt about this video:

This is Paul Broun who sits on the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. 

Is it just me that finds this really scary? I’m starting to view some religions as huge cults that nobody seems to mind. I have been known to say that catholic schools have some benefits and that religion helps some people when nothing else can. I still believe these things but I cannot believe that people are still passing off science as “lies from the pits of hell”. There is so much evidence that the world was not created in 6 days and if I did fancy believing in something that there was no evidence for I would definitely prefer the flying spaghetti monster to god.

That’s it, the end of my rant. Thank you for reading!

Genetically modifying cows so they produce allergy free milk?

I mean seriously? I thought this was a joke when I first read about it in yesterday’s newspaper. 

For a start I think drinking cows milk is really weird. I know that most people do not agree with me but drinking another animal’s milk is just not natural. That milk is produced for calves not for human babies (or human adults for that matter). Would you drink milk from a cat or a dog? I didn’t think so.

I have to look at dairy farming from an animal cruelty point of view as well. Many people say that milking a cow actually helps the animal because if you didn’t get rid of the excess milk in the cows body then it would be in pain. I’m not buying it. Cows (like humans) produce enough milk to feed their calves. Have you ever wondered why cows constantly produce this milk? Calves are taken from their mothers when they are born, causing stress to both individuals. Female calves are either killed or kept to grow and be dairy cows. Male calves are put in stalls so that veal can be produced (a whole other animal welfare issue). All this so we can have milk in our coffee.

Anyway, I digress! The reason scientists are genetically modifying cows is that many children are allergic to certain proteins in the milk. I do not find this a very good reason to fool around with a cow’s genes. There are a whole range of milks out there that are not only free of these proteins but are better for both the environment and the animal. Off the top of my head there are soya, almond, hazelnut, coconut, rice, oat… the list goes on. 

Apparently the genetically modified milk actually contains more of the other proteins found in milk which are also harmful to a large percentage of the population. Another reason why it is a waste of time!

Surely it is more beneficial to encourage people who cannot digest milk to drink a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative which will cause them no harm?