Category: Food

Yet another dog food recall!

This time the same provider; Sunshine Mills.

Here’s me admitting that yesterday’s post was a little late and, bingo, into my email inbox yesterday came another food recall.

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Sunshine Mills Recalls Multiple Dog Food Brands Due to Aflatoxin

September 2, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of multiple dog food products due to elevated levels of aflatoxin that are potentially above the acceptable limit.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities.

What’s Being Recalled?

Here are images of the products affected by this recall:

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Here are the lot codes and dates of the products affected by this news:

What Caused the Recall?

The potential for aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit in these products was discovered by routine sampling performed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry showing that a sample of a single 4-pound bag of one lot of the product contained elevated levels of aflatoxin.

No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Sunshine Mills, Inc. pet food products are affected by this announcement.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of these products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.

About Aflatoxin

Pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

The affected products were distributed in retail stores nationally.

Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.

There are no other Family Pet, Heartland Farms, or Paws Happy Life products or other lot codes of these products affected by this precautionary recall.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. Customer Service at 800-705-2111 from 7 AM to 4 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday… or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com for additional information.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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It was very kind of Emily Blunt to leave a message in response to yesterday’s post. This is what she said.

Thank you SOO much for posting this. I work in veterinary and there are recalls like this EVERY day and nobody knows.

That makes it all worthwhile! Thanks Emily!

Sunshine Mills recall

Yet another dog food recall!

This came in 9 days ago. I put it in my ‘blog’ file and then got waylaid by other stuff.

Here it is:

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Sunshine Mills Recalls Nature’s Menu Dog Food

August 24, 2020 — Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of Nature’s Menu Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken and Quail because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

What’s Being Recalled?

The recalled Nature’s Menu dog foods were distributed in retail stores nationwideand can be identified with the following UPC 7015514363 and UPC 7015514365.

The product comes in a 3-pound bag with the following lot codes:

TE1 20/April /2020, TE1 21/April/2020, TE1 22/April/2020, TE2 20/April /2020, TE2 21/April/2020, TE2 22/April/2020, TE3 20/April/2020, TE3 21/April/2020, TE3 22/April/2020.

The product comes in a 13.5-pound bag with the following lot codes:

TB1 20/April /2020, TB1 21/April/2020, TB1 22/April/2020, TB2 20/April /2020, TB2 21/April/2020, TB2 22/April/2020, TB3 20/April/2020, TB3 21/April/2020, TB3 22/April/2020.

There are no other Nature’s Menu® products or other lot codes of the Nature’s Menu® Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail affected by this precautionary recall.

No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported to date.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What Caused the Recall?

According to the company…

The potential for contamination was noted after the firm was notified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture when a sample of a single 3-pound bag of the product was collected and tested positive for Salmonella.

The firm conducted testing of multiple samples of the same lot which all tested negative for Salmonella.

Salmonella may not be evenly distributed throughout a lot which is why it could have been found on one sample and not on multiple other samples of the same lot.

However, out of an abundance of caution, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of the above-referenced lots of Nature’s Menu Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken and Quail in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.

What to Do?

Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.

Consumers who have purchased Nature’s Menu® Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail from the recalled lots should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. customer service at (800) 705-2111 from 7 am to 4 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday… or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com for additional information.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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As always, please share this if you can!

That ‘D’ word

And I don’t mean dog!

Still continuing with another dog-free day because this is a supremely important topic: Dementia.

I’m well into my 75th year and have poor recall. I do everything to fight the loss of memory. We are vegan, or technically pescatarian, we both go to the nearby Club Northwest twice a week and I ride my bike every other day.

In the current issue of The Economist magazine there is a special report on Dementia:

As humanity ages the numbers of people with dementia will surge

The world is ill-prepared for the frightening human, economic and social implications

Recently we took delivery of a REDjuvenator because it holds out hope, and is claimed, to offset the more disastrous aspects of ageing.

It’s early days but there are indications that it is doing some good.

So it was with great interest that I read the other day the following article and even more grateful that it comes with permission to republish.

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Does forgetting a name or word mean that I have dementia?

Your medical team should determine whether you have dementia or just normal memory loss due to aging.
Fred Froese via Getty Images

Laurie Archbald-Pannone, University of Virginia

The number of cases of dementia in the U.S. is rising as baby boomers age, raising questions for boomers themselves and also for their families, caregivers and society. Dementia, which is not technically a disease but a term for impaired ability to think, remember or make decisions, is one of the most feared impairments of old age.

Incidence increases dramatically as people move into their 90s. About 5% of those age 71 to 79 have dementia, and about 37% of those about 90 years old live with it.

Older people may worry about their own loss of function as well as the cost and toll of caregiving for someone with dementia. A 2018 study estimated that the lifetime cost of care for a person with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, to be US$329,360. That figure, too, will no doubt rise, putting even more burdens on family, Medicare and Medicaid.

There’s also been a good deal of talk and reporting about dementia in recent months because of the U.S. presidential election. Some voters have asked whether one or both candidates might have dementia. But, is this even a fair question to ask? When these types of questions are posed – adding further stigma to people with dementia – it can unfairly further isolate them and those caring for them. We need to understand dementia and the impact it has on more than 5 million people in the U.S. who now live with dementia and their caregivers. That number is expected to triple by 2060.

First, it is important to know that dementia cannot be diagnosed from afar or by someone who is not a doctor. A person needs a detailed doctor’s exam for a diagnosis. Sometimes, brain imaging is required. And, forgetting an occasional word – or even where you put your keys – does not mean a person has dementia. There are different types of memory loss and they can have different causes, such as other medical conditions, falls or even medication, including herbals, supplements and anything over-the-counter.

Older people wonder and worry about so-called senior moments and the memory loss they perceive in themselves and others. I see patients like this every week in my geriatric clinic, where they tell me their stories. They forget a word, get lost in a story, lose keys or can’t remember a name. Details vary, but the underlying concern is the same: Is this dementia?

A doctor looks at images of a brain scan.
Your doctor may want to do a brain scan to determine if there are any issues.
Andrew Brookes via Getty Images

Normal memory loss

As we age, we experience many physical and cognitive changes. Older people often have a decrease in recall memory. This is normal. Ever have trouble fetching a fact from the deep back part of your “mind’s Rolodex”? Suppose you spot someone at the grocery store you haven’t seen in years. Maybe you recognize the face, but don’t remember their name until later that night. This is normal, part of the expected changes with aging.

What’s more of a potential problem is forgetting the name of someone you see every day; forgetting how to get to a place you visit frequently; or having problems with your activities of daily living, like eating, dressing and hygiene.

When you have troubles with memory – but they don’t interfere with your daily activities – this is called mild cognitive impairment. Your primary care doctor can diagnose it. But sometimes it gets worse, so your doctor should follow you closely if you have mild cognitive impairment.

You want to note the timing of any impairment. Was there a gradual decline? Or did it happen all of a sudden? This too you should discuss with your doctor, who might recommend the MoCA, or Montreal Cognitive Assessment test, which screens for memory problems and helps determine if more evaluation is needed.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists problems in these areas as possible signs of dementia:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Communication
  • Reasoning, judgment and problem solving
  • Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision

[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]

More severe issues

When memory loss interferes with daily activities, see your doctor about what to do and how to make sure you’re safe at home.

There are numerous types of severe memory loss. Dementia tends to be a slow-moving progression that occurs over months or years. Delirium is more sudden and can occur over hours or days, usually when you have an acute illness. Depression can also cause memory changes, particularly as we get older.

A computer illustration of amyloid plaques, characteristic features of Alzheimers disease.
A computer illustration of amyloid plaques among neurons. Amyloid plaques are characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease.
Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Dementia and other brain issues

Alzheimer’s dementia is the most common type of dementia, followed by vascular dementia. They have similar symptoms: confusion, getting lost, forgetting close friends or family, or an inability to do calculations like balance the checkbook. Certain medical conditions – thyroid disorders, syphilis – can lead to dementia symptoms, and less common types of dementia can have different kinds of symptoms. Alzheimer’s has a distinct set of symptoms often associated with certain changes in the brain.

Focusing on safety and appropriate supervision, particularly in the home, is critical for all people with dementia. Your doctor or a social worker can help you find support.

It’s also important to be aware of two other things that can lead to decreased mental functioning – delirium and depression.

Delirium, a rapid change in cognition or mental functioning, can occur in people with an acute medical illness, like pneumonia or even COVID-19 infection. Delirium can occur in patients in the hospital or at home. Risk for delirium increases with age or previous brain injuries; symptoms include decreased attention span and memory issues.

Depression can happen at any time, but it’s more common with aging. How can you tell if you’re depressed? Here’s one simple definition: when your mood remains low and you’ve lost interest or joy in activities you once loved.

Sometimes people have recurring episodes of depression; sometimes, it’s prolonged grieving that becomes depression. Symptoms include anxiety, hopelessness, low energy and problems with memory. If you notice signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, see your doctor. If you have any thoughts of harming yourself, call 911 to get help instantly.

Any of these conditions can be frightening. But even more frightening is unrecognized or unacknowledged dementia. You must, openly and honestly, discuss changes you notice in your memory or thinking with your doctor. It’s the first step toward figuring out what is happening and making sure your health is the best it can be.

And, as with any disease or disease group, dementia is not a “character flaw,” and the term should not be used to criticize a person. Dementia is a serious medical diagnosis – ask those who have it, the loved ones who care for them or any of us who treat them. Having dementia is challenging. Learn what you can do to support those with dementia in your own community.The Conversation

Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Associate Professor Medicine, Geriatrics, University of Virginia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Please, if you are of the age where this is more than an academic interest then read the article carefully and especially that piece of advice towards the end:

But even more frightening is unrecognized or unacknowledged dementia. You must, openly and honestly, discuss changes you notice in your memory or thinking with your doctor. It’s the first step toward figuring out what is happening and making sure your health is the best it can be.

As is said growing old is not for cissies.

None of us can put off the fateful day when we will die and in our case we do not believe in any form of afterlife, in other words we are confirmed atheists, so all we can do is to live out our remaining years as healthily as possible and loving each other and our precious animals.

But having said that I know that all of us want to live out our lives with healthy, active brains and it’s clear that we can’t leave it to chance.

In closing, I recently purchased the book Outsmart Your Brain written by Dr. Ginger Schechter (and others). It was just $9.99 and contains much advice regarding the best foods and exercise for a healthy brain. I recommend it!

The Unknown Future.

The latest essay from Tom Engelhardt!

You all know that for a great percentage of my time I write about dogs and republish other articles about dogs.

For dogs are precious. Dogs are sensitive. Dogs read us humans. Dogs play. They sleep. And much more!

Pharaoh enjoying Bummer Creek, March 20th, 2013. He was born on June 3rd., 2003 and died on June 19th., 2017.

But just occasionally I like to republish an essay from Tom Engelhardt.

Maybe because years ago he gave me blanket permission to republish his essays. Maybe because he and I are more or less the same age. Maybe because in my more quieter, introspective moments I wonder where the hell we are going. And Tom seems to agree.

Have a read of this.

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Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Unexpected Past, the Unknown Future

Posted by Tom Engelhardt at 3:50pm, August 9, 2020.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Even in this terrible moment, TD does its best to continue offering an alternate view of this increasingly strange planet of ours. And I can only do so because of the ongoing support of readers. (I just wish I could actually thank each of you individually!) If you have the urge to continue to lend a hand in keeping TomDispatch afloat, then do check out our donation page. For a donation of $100 ($125 if you live outside the U.S.), I usually offer a signed, personalized book from one of a number of TD authors listed on that page and you can certainly ask, but no guarantees in this pandemic moment. Still, you really do make all the difference and I can’t thank you enough for that! Tom]

It Could Have Been Different

My World and (Unfortunately) Welcome to It
By Tom Engelhardt

Let me be blunt. This wasn’t the world I imagined for my denouement. Not faintly. Of course, I can’t claim I ever really imagined such a place. Who, in their youth, considers their death and the world that might accompany it, the one you might leave behind for younger generations? I’m 76 now. True, if I were lucky (or perhaps unlucky), I could live another 20 years and see yet a newer world born. But for the moment at least, it seems logical enough to consider this pandemic nightmare of a place as the country of my old age, the one that I and my generation (including a guy named Donald J. Trump) will pass on to our children and grandchildren.

Back in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, I knew it was going to be bad. I felt it deep in my gut almost immediately and, because of that, stumbled into creating TomDispatch.com, the website I still run. But did I ever think it would be this bad? Not a chance.

I focused back then on what already looked to me like a nightmarish American imperial adventure to come, the response to the 9/11 attacks that the administration of President George W. Bush quickly launched under the rubric of “the Global War on Terror.” And that name (though the word “global” would soon be dropped for the more anodyne “war on terror”) would prove anything but inaccurate. After all, in those first post-9/11 moments, the top officials of that administration were thinking as globally as possible when it came to war. At the damaged Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld almost immediately turned to an aide and told him, “Go massive — sweep it all up, things related and not.” From then on, the emphasis would always be on the more the merrier.

Bush’s top officials were eager to take out not just Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, whose 19 mostly Saudi hijackers had indeed attacked this country in the most provocative manner possible (at a cost of only $400,000-$500,000), but the Taliban, too, which then controlled much of Afghanistan. And an invasion of that country was seen as but the initial step in a larger, deeply desired project reportedly meant to target more than 60 countries! Above all, George W. Bush and his top officials dreamed of taking down Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein, occupying his oil-rich land, and making the United States, already the unipolar power of the twenty-first century, the overseer of the Greater Middle East and, in the end, perhaps even of a global Pax Americana. Such was the oil-fueled imperial dreamscape of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and crew (including that charmer and now bestselling anti-Trump author John Bolton).

Who Woulda Guessed?

In the years that followed, I would post endless TomDispatch pieces, often by ex-military men, focused on the ongoing nightmare of our country’s soon-to-become forever wars (without a “pax” in sight) and the dangers such spreading conflicts posed to our world and even to us. Still, did I imagine those wars coming home in quite this way? Police forces in American cities and towns thoroughly militarized right down to bayonets, MRAPs, night-vision goggles, and helicopters, thanks to a Pentagon program delivering equipment to police departments nationwide more or less directly off the battlefields of Washington’s never-ending wars? Not for a moment.

Who doesn’t remember those 2014 photos of what looked like an occupying army on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, after the police killing of a Black teenager and the protests that followed? And keep in mind that, to this day, the Republican Senate and the Trump administration have shown not the slightest desire to rein in that Pentagon program to militarize police departments nationwide. Such equipment (and the mentality that goes with it) showed up strikingly on the streets of American cities and towns during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Even in 2014, however, I couldn’t have imagined federal agents by the hundreds, dressed as if for a forever-war battlefield, flooding onto those same streets (at least in cities run by Democratic mayors), ready to treat protesters as if they were indeed al-Qaeda (“VIOLENT ANTIFA ANARCHISTS”), or that it would all be part of an election ploy by a needy president. Not a chance.

Or put another way, a president with his own “goon squad” or “stormtroopers” outfitted to look as if they were shipping out for Afghanistan or Iraq but heading for Portland, Albuquerque, Chicago, Seattle, and other American cities? Give me a break! How un-American could you get? A military surveillance drone overhead in at least one of those cities as if this were someone else’s war zone? Give me a break again. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d live to witness anything quite like it or a president — and we’ve had a few doozies — even faintly like the man a minority of deeply disgruntled Americans but a majority of electors put in the White House in 2016 to preside over a failing empire.

How about an American president in the year 2020 as a straightforward, no-punches-pulled racist, the sort of guy a newspaper could compare to former segregationist Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace without even blinking? Admittedly, in itself, presidential racism has hardly been unique to this moment in America, despite Joe Biden’s initial claim to the contrary. That couldn’t be the case in the country in which Woodrow Wilson made D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, the infamous silent movie in which the Ku Klux Klan rides to the rescue, the first film ever to be shown in the White House; nor the one in which Richard Nixon used his “Southern strategy” — Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater had earlier labeled it even more redolently “Operation Dixie” — to appeal to the racist fears of Southern whites and so begin to turn that region from a Democratic stronghold into a Republican bastion; nor in the land where Ronald Reagan launched his election campaign of 1980 with a “states’ rights” speech (then still a code phrase for segregation) near Philadelphia, Mississippi, just miles from the earthen dam where three murdered civil rights workers had been found buried in 1964.

Still, an openly racist president (don’t take that knee!) as an autocrat-in-the-making (or at least in-the-dreaming), one who first descended that Trump Tower escalator in 2015 denouncing Mexican “rapists,” ran for president rabidly on a Muslim ban, and for whom Black lives, including John Lewis’s, have always been immaterial, a president now defending every Confederate monument and military base named after a slave-owning general in sight, while trying to launch a Nixon-style “law and (dis)order” campaign? I mean, who woulda thunk it?

And add to that the once unimaginable: a man without an ounce of empathy in the White House, a figure focused only on himself and his electoral and pecuniary fate (and perhaps those of his billionaire confederates); a man filling his hated “deep state” with congressionally unapproved lackies, flacks, and ass-kissers, many of them previously flacks (aka lobbyists) for major corporations. (Note, by the way, that while The Donald has a distinctly autocratic urge, I don’t describe him as an incipient fascist because, as far as I can see, his sole desire — as in those now-disappeared rallies of his — is to have fans, not lead an actual social movement of any sort. Think of him as Mussolini right down to the look and style with a “base” of cheering MAGA chumps but no urge for an actual fascist movement to lead.)

And who ever imagined that an American president might actually bring up the possibility of delaying an election he fears losing, while denouncing mail-in ballots (“the scandal of our time”) as electoral fraud and doing his damnedest to undermine the Post Office which would deliver them amid an economic downturn that rivals the Great Depression? Who, before this moment, ever imagined that a president might consider refusing to leave the White House even if he did lose his reelection bid? Tell me this doesn’t qualify as something new under the American sun. True, it wasn’t Donald Trump who turned this country’s elections into 1% affairs or made contributions by the staggeringly wealthy and corporations a matter of free speech (thank you, Supreme Court!), but it is Donald Trump who is threatening, in his own unique way, to make elections themselves a thing of the past. And that, believe me, I didn’t count on.

Nor did I conceive of an all-American world of inequality almost beyond imagining. A country in which only the truly wealthy (think tax cuts) and the national security state (think budgets eternally in the stratosphere) are assured of generous funding in the worst of times.

The World to Come?

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the pandemic yet, have I? The one that should bring to mind the Black Death of the fourteenth century and the devastating Spanish Flu of a century ago, the one that’s killing Americans in remarkable numbers daily and going wild in this country, aided and abetted in every imaginable way (and some previously unimaginable ones) by the federal government and the president. Who could have dreamed of such a disease running riot, month after month, in the wealthiest, most powerful country on the planet without a national plan for dealing with it? Who could have dreamed of the planet’s most exceptional, indispensable country (as its leaders once loved to call it) being unable to take even the most modest steps to rein in Covid-19, thanks to a president, Republican governors, and Republican congressional representatives who consider science the equivalent of alien DNA? Honestly, who ever imagined such an American world? Think of it not as The Decameron, that fourteenth century tale of 10 people in flight from a pandemic, but the Trumpcameron or perhaps simply Trumpmageddon.

And keep in mind, when assessing this world I’m going to leave behind to those I hold near and dear, that Covid-19 is hardly the worst of it. Behind that pandemic, possibly even linked to it in complex ways, is something so much worse. Yes, the coronavirus and the president’s response to it may seem like the worst of all news as American deaths crest 160,000 with no end in sight, but it isn’t. Not faintly on a planet that’s being heated to the boiling point and whose most powerful country is now run by a crew of pyromaniacs.

It’s hard even to fully conceptualize climate change since it operates on a time scale that’s anything but human. Still, one way to think of it is as a slow-burn planetary version of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And by the way, if you’ll excuse a brief digression, in these years, our president and his men have been intent on ripping up every Cold War nuclear pact in sight, while the tensions between two nuclear-armed powers, the U.S. and China, only intensify and Washington invests staggering sums in “modernizing” its nuclear arsenal. (I mean, how exactly do you “modernize” the already-achieved ability to put an almost instant end to the world as we’ve known it?)

But to return to climate change, remember that 2020 is already threatening to be the warmest year in recorded history, while the five hottest years so far occurred from 2015 to 2019. That should tell you something, no?

The never-ending release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has been transforming this planet in ways that have now become obvious. My own hometown, New York City, for instance, has officially become part of the humid subtropical climate zone and that’s only a beginning. Everywhere temperatures are rising. They hit 100 degrees this June in, of all places, Siberia. (The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of much of the rest of the planet.) Sea ice is melting fast, while floods and mega-droughts intensify and forests burn in a previously unknown fashion.

And as a recent heat wave across the Middle East — Baghdad hit a record 125 degrees — showed, it’s only going to get hotter. Much hotter and, given how humanity has handled the latest pandemic, how will it handle the chaos that goes with rising sea levels drowning coastlines but also affecting inland populations, ever fiercer storms, and flooding (in recent weeks, the summer monsoon has, for instance, put one third of Bangladesh underwater), not to speak of the migration of refugees from the hardest-hit areas? The answer is likely to be: not well.

And I could go on, but you get the point. This is not the world I either imagined or would ever have dreamed of leaving to those far younger than me. That the men (and they are largely men) who are essentially promoting the pandemicizing and over-heating of this planet will be the greatest criminals in history matters little.

Let’s just hope that, when it comes to creating a better world out of such a god-awful mess, the generations that follow us prove better at it than mine did. If I were a religious man, those would be my prayers.

And here’s my odd hope. As should be obvious from this piece, the recent past, when still the future, was surprisingly unimaginable. There’s no reason to believe that the future — the coming decades — will prove any easier to imagine. No matter the bad news of this moment, who knows what our world might really look like 20 years from now? I only hope, for the sake of my children and grandchildren, that it surprises us all.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He runs TomDispatch and is a fellow of the Type Media Center. His sixth and latest book is A Nation Unmade by War.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer’s new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlands series) Frostlands, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.

Copyright 2020 Tom Engelhardt

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This is such a powerful essay written from the heart of a good man.

I, too, wonder and worry about the next twenty years. Indeed, there are the stirrings of a book in my head. How that younger generation are reacting to the present and, more importantly, how they will react and respond to the next few years?

I’m 75 and really hope to live for quite a few more years. Jean is just a few years younger.

But much more importantly I have a son, Alex, who is 49, and a daughter, Maija, who is 48, and a grandson, Morten, of my daughter and her husband, who is 9.

They cannot escape the future!

Vegetables for dogs

Did you know your dog can eat vegetables.

Our latest dog, Sheena, is one such example of a dog that, in her case, needs vegetables for the sake of her digestion.

There’s a fuller report on what dogs can eat by way of vegetables that came out on the website Pet Releaf a while ago.

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8 Vegetables You Can Add To Your Dog’s Diet

Did you know your dog could eat vegetables? We researched 8 vegetables you can safely give to your pup!

This is not medical advice. Before pursuing feeding your dog a new food or supplement, it’s advised to consult with your veterinarian.

Vegetables aren’t just good for you—they’re also good for your pup! Giving your dog vegetables can be a great way to reward them for good behavior while avoiding unhealthy components such as unnatural fillers and empty calories, commonly found in treats. To avoid giving your pup too many heavy calorie treats a day, try adding vegetables to their daily regimen whether as treats or cooked vegetables in their food bowls. Consider choosing one of the vegetables listed below for their amazing pet health benefits.

8 Nutritious Vegetables for Dogs

 1. Carrots

Although carrots are a healthy vegetable for dogs, they can be a potential choking hazard if not prepared correctly. Offer your furry companion smaller pieces to start and watch for large undigested pieces in your pet’s stool. Carrots can be cooked, puréed, or chewed raw to help clean your dog’s teeth and reduce anxiety. They also help with eye health and boost the immune system.

2. Sweet potato

Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, sweet potatoes can be cooked, puréed, or mashed as a great addition to your furry friend’s diet. Although they can be useful for supporting your dog’s digestive system, it’s important to give sparingly to your pup. One tablespoon in your pup’s breakfast or dinner should do the trick as we want to avoid any diarrheal issues. Plus, we even use sweet potato in our Sweet Potato Pie Edibites!

3. Celery

Celery can be a great, crunchy snack for your pup! Within that crunchy bite, celery is filled with vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, and C and can help support a healthy heart!

 4. Broccoli

Broccoli is another nutritional powerhouse for your pup, especially the stalks. Known to reduce arthritic inflammation, boost the immune system, and even keep cancer at bay, broccoli stalks are an ideal vegetable for dogs. Broccoli can be cooked or eaten raw to help clean teeth. However, too much broccoli (especially broccoli heads) can cause gas and upset the digestive tract, so be sure to offer this healthy dog treat in moderation. It’s also important to be cautious if your pup suffers from a low thyroid or is on thyroid medication as it can potentially drive the thyroid even lower.

 5. Kale

Like broccoli, kale is loaded with health benefits for your fur friend, but it too can cause major gas if too much is eaten. Be sure to add only a very small amount (1–2 ounces, depending on your dog’s size) of dried, steamed, or raw chopped kale to your dog’s food. Kale helps fight allergies, heart disease, urinary tract problems, and even arthritis. Similar to broccoli, it’s important to take caution when giving your dog kale as it won’t be as beneficial for dogs with a low thyroid that are on thyroid medication, since it has the potential of driving the thyroid lower.

 6. Cucumber

If your pup is on a diet, give your pup a taste of cucumber! Cucumbers are very low in carbohydrates as well as fats and oils. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K and potassium. Make sure to cut them up into bite size pieces to avoid any choking.

7. Zucchini

A small amount of frozen or raw shredded zucchini is excellent for adding extra water and fiber to your furry companion’s diet to keep them full.

8. Parsley

Rich in beta carotene for eye health and potassium for joint and muscle health, parsley also helps reduce “dog breath,” so you can accept your pup’s kisses and breathe easy again. Add just a little fresh chopped parsley to your dog’s meal or favorite Kong recipe.

Adding more dog-friendly vegetables to your pup’s diet at home is a great way to offer variety. When you’re too busy to prepare a veggie snack or need something while away from home, grab our Crunchy Edibites or Soft Chew Edibites filled with natural vegetable ingredients for a healthy pet snack on-the-go!

Shop Edibites on our website. We’re committed to providing a healthy alternative for pets while remaining committed to sustainability.

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If you are at all unsure as to whether your dog is good to go regarding vegetables, then let me repeat the caution that came at the start of the article: This is not medical advice. Before pursuing feeding your dog a new food or supplement, it’s advised to consult with your veterinarian.

But, in general, this is very interesting and, hopefully, will be noted by some of you for your dogs.

And I should say in closing that I have no association with this firm or with Pet Releaf at all.

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Forty-Two

More of my fiddling!

I am trying out a new photo editing software program called DxO PhotoLab.

It’s powerful and full of features that I am still nowhere used to. But I am taking a shine to it.

But here are a few of my photographs for you to look at.

First, a shot taken yesterday, at the moment of Solstice here in Merlin – 14:43 PDT

Days At Home

Low scattered cloud highlights the newly arrive sun.

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Another day and another sunrise.

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The same sunrise albeit a few minutes later.

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I feed the wild deer every morning. A few of them will come really close to me.

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This is a regular stag visitor! I feed them COB: Corn; Oats; Barley.

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Another sunrise.

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The last new moon. Amazed at the crispness of the photograph for it was handheld.

All photographs taken with my Nikon D750.

Dog & Cat food recall

A food recall that came in yesterday!

We haven’t had a recall for some time but here’s one from Health Canada.

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Carnivora Dog and Cat Food Recall

June 15, 2020 — Health Canada is recalling Carnivora Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs and Cats due to a possible contamination with E. coli O157.

E. coli O157 is a particularly dangerous strain of bacteria that can cause serious and life-threatening illness in both pets and humans after eating or handling the affected food.

What’s Recalled?

The recall includes 6 varieties of Carnivora brand raw pet food.

Approximately 1,803 packages of the affected products were sold nationwide in Canada between January 13, 2020 and June, 2020.

As of June 12, four cases of illness related to the recalled product have been reported.

About E. Coli Bacteria

E. coli O157 is a bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening illness.

Some people infected with E. coli O157 do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others.

Common symptoms observed after infection include nausea, vomiting, headache, mild fever, severe stomach cramps, and watery or bloody diarrhea.

Most symptoms end within five to ten days.

Pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications and might need hospitalization.

There is no real treatment for E. coli infections, other than monitoring the illness, providing comfort, and preventing dehydration.

People should contact their health care provider if symptoms persist or worsen with time.

What to Do?

Health Canada advises consumers to stop using any of the affected pet food products and contact the retailer where it was purchased from for a full exchange or refund.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Lifesaving Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog and cat food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

There’s no cost. No spam. Cancel any time.

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There you are good people. I trust none of you is affected.

These are very strange times!

A Grist article raises a core question.

On June 4th this year Grist published an article written by Eve Andrews. It is not about dogs at all. Yet, it seems to me to ask a fundamental question about us humans. The article speaks of America but certainly it applies to my old country, the U.K., and it probably applies to most of the countries in the world.

I recently wrote to Annelise McGough, the Growth and Engagement Editor at Grist asking if I could republish the article. She kindly said yes!

So here it is!

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Grist / Windy Kelly / EyeEm

Why is everything falling apart in 2020?

By on Jun 4, 2020

Dear Umbra,

Did any aspect of climate change cause the pandemic to happen this year (versus last year or next year)? Could pandemics happen more often?

— Which Oracle Read Rightly Imminent, Existential Doom?

A. Dear WORRIED,

2020: what a year so far! As anyone who witnessed the crowds of face mask-clad people show up in the middle of a deadly pandemic to protest police violence this weekend can attest, a lot seems to be terrible all at once. You’re asking, in a sense, why now? It almost seems like it must be a rhetorical question. But it’s not — by understanding how we got into this mess, we might presumably be able to find our way out.

This doesn’t just apply to the pandemic.

Let’s start by taking your question at face (mask) value: There are multiple factors that have contributed to the rise of zoonotic illnesses — those of animal origin — over recent years, as my very sharp colleague Shannon Osaka delineated in an article and video earlier in the spring. Scientists believe COVID-19, like several other SARS viruses, likely originated in a bat. It turns out many strains of coronavirus can be traced back to bats! Who knew those little guys were such harbingers of destruction?

It’s not really on the bats, of course. Warmer temperatures (an established feature of climate change) and environmental degradation (often attributed to climate change, industrialization, or other products of human development) have driven a lot of animals to migrate out of their normal habitats and into human ones. Those factors have also contributed to different species coming into close contact with each other, which makes viruses normally contained to one species more likely to “spill over,” or jump to a new type of animal.

So clearly, the lead-up to the novel coronavirus’s outbreak was a gradual one. But perhaps 2019 was just warm enough to kill off enough of the insect population that some COVID-19-carrying bat depended on for food, and that drove it out to wreak some (unintentional) havoc on humanity. The bat’s habitat could have been destroyed by a new coal mine development. It could have woken up one morning and thought: This is my time to fuck shit up! Revenge on those humans that messed up my home! (OK, there was also probably a pangolin involved, but let’s keep things simple.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is the fourth major pandemic caused by a novel virus to hit the United States since the 1918 “Spanish flu” that killed 50 million people worldwide. And there are so many factors and variables that lead to the sprout of a pandemic that you could very well argue that, “Yes, of course it happened at this exact point in time” or “No, it could have happened at any point in time.” It’s impossible to know for sure. But climate change and habitat destruction are certainly working together to create circumstances more favorable to the spread of disease, and that means pandemics will likely become more common as the world grows warmer.

The thing is, highly contagious, devastating illnesses have always been a part of human life, even though a real pandemic is a few-times-per-century event. It’s a fact of sharing the Earth with other living things; it just happens. But humans are ostensibly equipped with the means to contain the spread of diseases and help heal those who become sick. At this moment, thanks to advances in medicine and information-sharing and communication, that’s more true than ever before!

And yet. The United States, an astonishingly wealthy nation with ostensibly the most advanced — certainly the most expensive! — medical system in the world, has lost around 100,000 people to COVID-19, with many more surely to come. That doesn’t even take into account the far-reaching hardship caused by an economic collapse as drastic, by some metrics, as the Great Depression. The current unemployment rate, for example, exceeds 20 percent.

The reality is that what some have referred to as “the lost spring” (and what could very well be “the lost year”) is not the product of a single infectious disease, but the boiling over of many long-standing crises, including structural forms of injustice. Like everything else in American society, the damage done by the coronavirus is unevenly distributed across race. The death rate of black Americans from COVID is three times that of whites, and 40 percent of black-owned businesses have shuttered due to social distancing measures. As of April, rates of black and Latino unemployment were 16.7 and 18.9 percent, respectively, compared to 14.2 percent for whites. These hardships continue to feed into the cycle of racial inequality in this country.

The devastation to American society that we are witnessing in real time, one could argue, could only have happened at the present moment. That’s due to the nightmarish confluence of horrific leadership, centuries of racial oppression, unprecedented wealth inequality, the erosion of the social safety net, privatization of medicine, a far-too-consolidated supply chain, politicization of science, a highly globalized economy, and one misguided or mischievous bat. Oh, and the climate change and environmental degradation that could have led to said bat’s misbehavior.

COVID-19 could have popped up at any time, as viruses do. The degree to which it’s ravaged American society, however, has little to do with the virus itself. Other countries such as New Zealand and South Korea, faced the same disease and came out the other side with far fewer deaths and less severe economic devastation. This is, to a significant degree, about governance and leadership.

It’s also a preview of what climate change can do. A very contagious respiratory virus is an unfortunate fact; it’s not going away, and it is a challenge to be dealt with. Climate change, just the same, is coming whether or not we pay attention to it. Communities, cities, and states are going to have to put measures into place to ensure that it doesn’t literally kill us all. That’s what adaptation means, and that’s why people talk about things like seawalls and tree cover and managed retreat.

But creating a climate-resilient society requires a lot more than just building or planting stuff! This is where I would normally tell you to vote for leaders who support all that building and planting and, more importantly, cutting carbon emissions in the first place. Yes, do that. And additionally, vote for leaders who will feed our starving public systems to make it so they actually support the people who need them. Vote for those who understand and want to change what non-white people experience, what poor people experience, what immigrants experience. Without all of these things, there cannot be a climate-resilient civilization.

If anything were made clear by the unique, mind-boggling suffering that the United States has seen in the past week, brought about by the collision of a viral pandemic and police brutality, it’s that voting is a necessary condition but it is not enough. You, WORRIED, wrote to me to ask why the pandemic happened right now, possibly because it seems like such a uniquely terrible moment for the country to have to deal with it. We not only have the worst possible leader, but also a general absence of leadership altogether.

Going back just a few months, I believe there was an opportunity for an alternate version of this moment in American history in which one incredibly dangerous virus did not kill as many people nor ruin as many lives. But even in that universe, it’s important to acknowledge that pre-pandemic life wasn’t so great for most people. Undoing this path and “restoring order” is a ridiculous hope, since the order that has existed for so long has created a society that is wholly unsustainable judging from almost any social, environmental, or economic perspective.

So what can we do with this knowledge? One, you should be angry. Be angry that leaders missed opportunities to fortify the nation beyond its military, to break down racist systems and promote equality, and to instate laws and policies designed to help prevent crises that, by all accounts, were utterly predictable.

Then I think you should show your anger, whether that’s through protesting, hurling money or your time or whatever you have at worthy organizations that will put it in the right hands, or just screaming and yelling, if you have to. And while voting might not feel like enough when so much feels so wrong, it’s a necessary condition for change — force people in power to know that they created that mess and that they are accountable for it.

Furiously,

Umbra

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Climate change or global warming is with us NOW. It is time to make fundamental changes to the way we live NOW. While many individuals are doing their bit we need international agreement, especially international support for the United Nations, for all the nations in the world NOW.

Thank you for reading this!

It breaks my heart.

Let me not stop with that. I want to hear from you. Are you worried? Or not quite as concerned as me and Umbra? Do you think it is in the hands of our leaders or is it an international problem?

Let’s have a bit of a discussion.

Dry skin in dogs

Dry Skin Dogs: Three Steps You Can Easily Do Right Now At Home

I am delighted that Roger Brooks’ submission of guest posts is becoming a regular feature.

Here is his latest.

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Dry Skin Dogs: Three Steps You Can Easily Do Right Now At Home

By Roger Brooks,

4th May, 2020

An itchy dog with dry, flaky skin is worrisome for you and your dog alike. There could be several potential causes for your dog’s skin-related ailment – ranging from seasonal allergies to more severe disorders. In the latter case, you are highly recommended to rush to a vet and get some over-the-counter medication, as such conditions may soon become an incurable medical disorder. The seasonal allergies, cracked skin, redness, dandruff, or scaling may be treated at home by adopting few dietary changes or incorporating dog supplements for dry skin in its regular diet.

Read on to find our three at-home and easy to follow steps to provide natural and instant relief to your dry skin dog!

1. Chamomile Oil and Green Tea Bath
Owing to their age-old healing properties, chamomile oil, and green tea provide immediate relief to the itchy patches on your dog’s skin.

All you are to do is fill a big plastic tub or sink with 10 liters of lukewarm water and put 5-6 caddies of green tea into it. Let them sit well and dissolve their juices into water. It will take 4-5 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags well and take them out of water. Then add a teaspoon of chamomile oil. After mixing it gently with warm water, let your dog lay in and enjoy its soothing hot bath for about 10 minutes.

Alternatively, for relatively small-sized patches, you may choose to prepare this liquid in a glass by one or two green tea bags in warm water. Or preferably boil the tea bags in water for about one minute. Let it cool. Now, you may choose to rinse or spray this water on to your dog’s skin or dip a sponge into this balmy water and apply this water on to any visible redness, rashes on your dog’s skin. You will notice that your dog feels instantly relieved after it.

2. Adding Supplements to Diet
Multiple pieces of research back the fact that whatever your dog eats directly affects its skin. It means dry skin symbolizes that something essential is missing in the diet. Therefore, it is always useful to add coconut and fish oils like omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s homemade diet. You will find that by feeding your dog with these oils in moderate quantity cures dry skin more quickly as compared to massaging with the same oils.

You might be thinking that the dog food you bought from the market already has omega-3 fatty acids in it. But let me tell you that those processed foods carry a few of these acids in them, which is not enough to resolve the skin issue of your pooch. The reason for this low amount of omega-3 acids in the commercial diet is that they are quite expensive, and the commercial sellers add omega-6 fatty acids instead, which do not cure dry skin. Therefore, it is always wise to add fresh salmon or sardines to your dog’s regular diet. But remember, use them in moderation as excess may lead to diarrhea.

While most of the skin-related issues of your dog will be solved by adding Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, a few hardcore allergies might require vitamin E, yogurt, or coconut oil, as all of them combat well against skin issues. Yogurt being a natural moisturizer keeps your dog’s skin moist. An additional benefit of adding a little yogurt in your dog’s diet is that it keeps its stomach safe from bacteria and doesn’t cause digestion issues.

Coconut oil and vitamin E possess a high level of antioxidants. Since science says, free radicals cause much of the damage to your dog’s skin. The right amount of coconut oil and vitamin E helps release free radicals and keep your dog’s coat smooth and moist.

3. Set-up a Humidifier
This can also help a great deal in curing your canines’ dry skin and keeping them moist and fresh.

What happens in the chilly cold is that you start keeping your dog mostly indoors to keep it warm. Unfortunately, this makes an entirely feasible condition for your dog’s dry skin as the centrally heated system of your home interior sucks all the moisture away, leaving a sterile environment that makes your dog more vulnerable to skin ailments. This is why outdoor dogs are less prone to skin issues.

Statistics, however, prove there is no significant relation between winter and dried dog skin. Therefore, the fact is established that irrespective of weather and dog breed, skin issues persist in millions of dogs because they are naturally more sensitive.

Setting a humidifier for your dog throughout the year can lessen its trouble with skin by keeping the environment moist and fresh.

In all, let’s not forget that a humidifier alone can do no good to your dog’s dried skin, it should be combined with a nutritious homemade diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, yogurt and other oils as that is fundamental to get fresh and dandruff free skin of your dog.

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John writes with an authority that comes from knowing his topic.

How many others found this post to be of help or of great value.

Thank you, John.

Another dog (and cat) food recall!

This is one that affects both cats and dogs!

Please make a note and share the details if you can.

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Icelandic Plus Dog and Cat Treats Recall

March 23, 2020 — IcelandicPlus LLC of Ft. Washington, PA, is recalling its Capelin Dog and Cat Treats because some of the fish have exceeded FDA guidelines for fish larger than 5 inches… which has the potential to cause botulism poisoning.

What’s Recalled?

The affected products are sold in a clear plastic package or tube… and marked Icelandic+ Capelin WHOLE FISH, PURE FISH TREATS FOR DOGS, or PURE FISH TREATS FOR CATS.

UPC codes include 8 5485400775 9; 8 5485400711 7; and 8 5485400757 5.

Related products are packaged in a 2.5 ounce tube or a 1.5 or 2.5 ounce bag (lot numbers 02/2020 to 02/2022).

What Caused the Recall?

The FDA has determined that salt-cured, dried, or fermented un-eviscerated fish larger than 5 inches have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning in humans between 1981 and 1987 and again in 1991.

Since some IcelandicPlus Capelins are larger than 5 inches there is a possible health risk.

To date, no illnesses of dogs, cats, or persons are reported in connection with the treats. Nor have there been any positive test results for Clostridium botulinum from any IcelandicPlus Capelin.

However, because of the potential risk, the company has decided to announce this product recall.

About Botulism Poisoning

Clostridium botulinum toxin can cause severe clinical signs including death in both animals consuming the pet treat and humans handling the pet treat or coming in contact with contact areas that have been exposed to the product.

Common symptoms may include dizziness, blurred or double vision, trouble with speaking or swallowing, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, abdominal distension, and constipation.

Consider that several of the listed symptoms, such as double vision, cannot be easily assessed in animals or conveyed by an animal.
Pets or persons experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Where Was the Product Sold?

The affected product was shipped to distributors for sale to consumers by independent pet specialty stores throughout all U.S. states.

Message from the Company

IcelandicPlus is family owned and run by pet parents who take the safety and wellbeing of its consumers and clients with the utmost importance, as such we are conducting this voluntarily recall to further protect our customers.
Additionally, we are changing our Capelin supplier to ensure that the fish in our product are consistently less than 5 inches, or if larger, they will be completely eviscerated.

What to Do?

Distributors, retailers and consumers who have purchased IcelandicPlus Capelin can return it to the location where it was purchased for a refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 857-246-9559, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm ET.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to the FDA’s “Report a Pet Food Complaint” page.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Lifesaving Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog and cat food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

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This is the page from where I republished this recall.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can return to Tom and Chica’s fabulous walk!

Stay safe wherever you are!