Abused piglet dumped at animal shelter undergoes miraculous transformation

July 4, 2017 by  
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Though we may never know why some people abuse animals (or other people), it’s heartening to know compassionate individuals do still exist. The Dodo shares a story about the folks at Sale Ranch Sanctuary , who saved a young piglet’s life. The pig, named Cherry Blossom, lived in unspeakable conditions before she was finally dumped at an animal shelter in California that primarily cares for cats and dogs. Though she wasn’t expected to survive due to a severe case of sarcoptic mange, Cherry Blossom made a complete recovery. Hit the jump to hear her story. The Dodo reports that Cherry Blossom was abandoned at a shelter near Temecula, California. The staff says the man who dropped her off claimed she was a stray. However, it is suspected she was previously owned and developed conditions due to improper care. Said Jen Sale, CEO and founder of Sale Ranch Sanctuary, “She had an incredibly severe case of  sarcoptic mange,  which is one of the most severe types of mange you can get. If it’s not treated, it can be fatal.” “They [the shelter workers] think it was the rancher who actually brought her in. He didn’t care for her when she got sick. Instead, he just dropped her off and said he found her,” she added. Because the shelter doesn’t care for pigs, employees quickly contacted the nearby farm sanctuary . Sale, who has worked with livestock for years, suspects Cherry Blossom lived in “overcrowded, filthy conditions.” She said, “As a baby, her immune system was still developing, and she kind of got walloped.” The mange didn’t just look bad, it was also causing Cherry Blossom a lot of pain. Despite this, she was very friendly toward Sale and her husband. “She still wanted comfort from us,” Sale said. “We’d come and put the medicine on her, and she learned very quickly that we were helping her. And even though she was in so much pain, she’d snuggle up and want us to rub her belly. She’s just a testimony for how forgiving and loving animals are.” Related: Rombaut makes cruelty-free leather shoes from discarded pineapple leaves After seeing a veterinarian , the pig began receiving healing cream rubs and laser light therapy. Two months later, her mange has cleared up and, as a result, Cherry Blossom’s hair is regrowing. “Her hair is fully growing in, and her skin is totally good,” Sale said. “The transformation really is amazing.” Feeling better, Cherry Blossom’s personality is also coming out. “She’s super silly,” Sale said. “She’ll play with her ball. She loves her little mud hole. And she gets along with everybody. She runs around with our dogs, she goes over to our barnyard to visit the animals there. She’s just a sweetheart, and all she wants is attention and affection from people.” Remarking on the deed of restoring the piglet to proper health, Sale said, “We’re just really grateful and blessed that we were able to bring her home and take care of her and get her healthy. Even though she kind of had a rough start to life, she’s doing very well. She’s going to have a really beautiful life.” If you feel inspired, consider donating to the Sale Ranch Sanctuary . Via The Dodo Images via Sale Ranch Sanctuary

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Abused piglet dumped at animal shelter undergoes miraculous transformation

Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature

July 4, 2017 by  
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The healing powers of nature have been put to good use in the recently completed Maggie’s Oldham. London-based architecture studio dRMM completed this cross-laminated timber building, one of the United Kingdom’s many Maggie’s Centers that provide free practical, emotional, and social support for people with cancer. Nature surrounds the light-filled building both inside and out, from the garden that the center floats above to the tree that grows through the building. Built on the grounds of an NHS cancer hospital in Oldham, the recently completed Maggie’s Center is the first permanent structure of its kind built of sustainable hardwood cross-laminated timber . The architects write: “In wood there is hope and warmth, its use at Maggie’s Oldham is part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where institutionalised environments can leave patients dispirited.” All the surfaces show off the natural timber finish and the thermally modified tulipwood cross-laminated timber was carefully detailed to bring out its natural beauty. Cut-offs from the CLT fabrication process were recycled for use in the slatted ceiling. Related: Beautiful light-filled Maggie’s Cancer Center opens up to nature in Manchester To lift the spirits of whoever comes by, Maggie’s Oldham greets visitors with airy, light-filled spaces and unexpected views towards the garden below, the sky above, and out to the Pennine horizon. Large windows with American white oak frames let in copious amounts of natural light. The minimalist boxy building is elevated on slender columns above a garden framed by pine, birch, and tulip poplar trees. A tree grows up through the building at its heart, creating a central oasis that brings nature inside. The use of timber, rather than cold metal, complements the greenery and gives the building a sense of warmth. Wood fiber insulation is used for a breathable healthy environment. + dRMM Via ArchDaily Images © Alex de Rijke

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Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature

12 scrumptious vegan slow-cooker soup recipes

December 31, 2016 by  
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There’s nothing that keeps the winter chill away as much as a hearty bowl of soup. Make that soup uber-healthy and super easy to make and you’ve got a winning combo. We’ve got 12 vegan soup recipes that you can make in a slow cooker – read on to check them all out.

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How to Eat Vegan at Disney World

December 19, 2016 by  
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A trip to the Disney theme parks isn’t usually synonymous with healthy eating. The Dove dark chocolate Mickey ears, deep-fried churros and Carnation Café creations don’t exactly scream conscious cuisine. As a vegan, a recent family trip to Disney…

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14 cruelty-free gifts for animal lovers

December 2, 2016 by  
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‘Tis the season of light, love, and goodwill to all, and those wishes certainly extend to our animal cousins. Gifts that are cruelty-free and ethically made are true symbols of peace, and those that benefit others are even more exceptional. Vegan gifts can be enjoyed by anyone on your shopping list — not just those who specifically follow a vegan lifestyle — and your recipient’s holiday might be just a bit brighter if they know that the present they received also helped another in need. Check out our list of vegan, compassionate gift ideas and help spread gentleness to all. GIFTS FOR ANIMAL LOVERS >

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How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all)

October 12, 2016 by  
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® Flickr Amy Stephenson 1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Fresh, roasted pumpkin seeds hot from the oven are a simple seasonal treat. First, clean out a pumpkin and separate the seeds from the guts. Set aside the guts to use in another recipe, such as pumpkin bread or to combine with the pumpkin flesh for a soup. Rinse the seeds and pat them dry. Sprinkle them on an oiled baking sheet or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the seeds in a 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the seeds don’t stick together or burn. Because the size of pumpkin seeds can vary, keep adding 5 minutes of cooking time until the seeds are evenly toasted a light brown and have become crisp – taste test one to check. Once you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the seeds with a generous pinch of flaked sea salt and enjoy. Image via Pixabay 2. Pumpkin Scrap Stock If you aren’t already making your own vegetable stock with food scraps, now is a great time to start. It’s as simple as grabbing a sturdy gallon-sized storage bag and sticking it in your freezer. Every time you prep vegetables, simply toss the stems, roots, and leaves into your stock bag instead of the compost. Great additions include kale stems , onion tops, radish greens, celery leaves, cabbage cores, and slightly mushy or brown vegetables that don’t have mold on them. You can also add pumpkin ends, guts, and the skin, which has plenty of flesh clinging to it. Once your stock bag is full, add it to a pot with about 64 ounces of water and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours. Strain the stock through a wire mesh strainer or through cheesecloth and salt to taste. You can freeze the stock or use it immediately as a base for a delicious vegan or vegetarian soup or stew. Simply compost the boiled scraps you’ve strained out. Related: 10 healthy, energizing clean eating Thanksgiving recipes ® Flickr James Leow 3. Pumpkin Shake Craving a delicious, creamy, seasonal breakfast treat? Our recipe for Pumpkin Shakes is just the ticket. To modify this recipe to use the whole pumpkin, simply use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. When you prep the pumpkin flesh for baking, make sure to add the bright orange pulp of the pumpkin, which will also to add moisture. Once the pumpkin is baked soft, puree it and either use immediately or freeze for later use. To modify our Pumpkin Shake recipe, you’ll blend together 1 cup coconut milk (or regular milk), 1 frozen banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons honey, and one cup of the pureed pumpkin and pulp. Image via Public Domain 4. Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix Next time you create a Jack ‘O Lantern or prep a pumpkin to bake, don’t throw away the innards. Separate the pulp from the seeds and set them aside to add to some delectable vegan pumpkin donuts . Rinse the seeds and pat them dry on a towel – you’ll roast them and use them in a sweet-and-savory trail mix perfect for snacks on a crisp fall hike. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. On a large baking sheet sprayed with oil, sprinkle the raw, clean and paper towel-blotted seeds of one pumpkin. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Bake the seeds for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sheet from the oven and add a selection of trail mix ingredients (mix up the ingredients if you like). Add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, 1/3 cup of diced candied ginger, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and a generous sprinkle of powdered cardamom. Bake for another 12 minutes until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally to ensure the coconut flakes don’t get burnt. Allow the trail mix to cool before packing it into jars or bags. Related: DIY Halloween: Tasty Treats and Pumpkin Carving Ideas ®Emily Peckenham for Inhabitat 5. Pumpkin Soup in a Shell If you really want to use the whole pumpkin, there’s no better way than eating a savory vegetarian soup made from fresh pumpkin, served in its own pumpkin shell, and topped with roasted seeds from the very same pumpkin. This fun presentation is perfect for a fall dinner party or celebration, and the pumpkin shell also serves as an impromptu table centerpiece – you could also place it on a platter surrounded by fresh biscuits and rosemary sprigs, or seasonal fruit like grapes and figs. To make your pumpkin soup even tastier, roast the guts along with the flesh and puree it all together for a nutritionally dense dinner treat. Follow our complete tutorial here for details on everything from preparing the pumpkin shell to simmering a simple, savory soup to put inside. At the end of the meal, why not compost the pumpkin skin and shell to complete the cycle? ® Pixabay 6. Compost Pumpkin Scraps Last but not least, what do you do with the bits of the pumpkin you really aren’t going to use? Even if you make good use of the seeds, the flesh, and the guts, there are some bits that really aren’t edible, such as the stems and the skin. If you toss your pumpkin skin in the trash, it will eventually end up at a landfill where the sheer amount of trash means it won’t decompose properly, contributing to increased greenhouse gases and overfilled trash dumps. Composting the scraps with other organic matter speeds up the decomposition process instead, and well-made compost can be used again to grow and enrich new crops. What if you don’t live in a rural area where you can make your own compost and use it in a garden? No problem – even urban dwellers can create a small compost bin in their kitchens. If you’re worried about odor, follow our tutorial for creating an urban freezer compost bin. Once its full, you can drop it into a city compost bin or community garden, or arrange for pickup by an urban composting company.

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Antarctica’s only luxury camp for tourists is 100% powered by wind and solar

October 12, 2016 by  
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The camp’s dome cabins, originally designed by Ryan Ashworth, were recently refurbished after being worn down by the harsh Antarctic conditions. Guests pay around $70,000 per person for a seven, eight, or eleven day adventure , during which they’ll spend the nights cozied up in one of the camp’s igloo-shaped cabins, situated on a 200-foot ice fall at the edge of the Shirmacher Oasis in Queen Maud Land, near the Antarctic coast closest to Cape Town, South Africa. Constructed from sturdy fiberglass, each of the six private cabins includes sleeping accommodations, a desk, and private wash area with a composting toilet. Because there is no plumbing, a composting toilet allows the camp operators to pack out all human waste at the end of each adventure, further reducing its ecological impact. Related: Why the discovery of an enormous subglacial lake in Antarctica is especially exciting One of the camp’s communal cabins holds a lush lounge space filled with comfortable couches, occasional tables, and a wood-burning stove for heat. A second shared pod is home to the dining room, where a large round table invites all of the camp’s guest to eat (and drink) together. Finally, a shower room rounds out the camp. Restricting shower facilities to one pod, rather than private showers in each cabin, helps reduce water consumption and is more energy efficient, both important factors for a temporary, remote camp run completely by renewable energy. On top of gourmet meals, sightseeing, and making new friends, the adventure also includes face time with some of the local wildlife, the majestic Emperor penguins living a 2.5-hour flight west of the camp. Additionally, visitors embark on a journey to the geographic South Pole , which requires a seven-hour flight (stopping once to refuel). Guests also spend their days climbing mountains, checking out blue ice caves, and taking in the expansive views while bundled up in expedition-grade gear (which, by the way, visitors must supply for themselves). Camp Whichaway was founded by a trio of adventure lovers, who “wondered why only scientists and the odd polar explorer ever got to see the real Antarctica,” according to the back story on their website. Founder Patrick Woodhead, who led the first east-to-west traverse of Antarctica in 2002, was stuck in a tent waiting out a brutal storm in 2006 with his pals when they devised a plan for a luxury eco camp that would let a few more visitors experience the awe-inspiring beauty and devastating climate of the remote continent. Camp Whichaway opened shortly thereafter, offering a unique getaway for family trips, proposals and weddings, or the ultimate adventure quest for anyone who can afford to embark into the wildest place on Earth. + Camp Whichaway Via Wallpaper Images via Camp Whichaway

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Antarctica’s only luxury camp for tourists is 100% powered by wind and solar

Climate change has doubled the size of forest fires in Western US

October 12, 2016 by  
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Over the past three decades, man-made climate change has doubled the total area burned by forest fires in the Western US. A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the difference from 1985 to now is staggering. 30 years ago, just 2.9 million total acres burned, but in 2015 10.1 million acres were destroyed during fire season. The researchers pointed most of the blame on man-made climate change – which is responsible for warmer, drier weather which allows fires to thrive. However, there are also other factors at play – including natural climate shifts and changes in how humans are using the land. The amount of land burned by fires is only expected to increase over the coming years as global temperatures continue to rise. Related: How Climate Change Fuels Wildfires Explained in 90 Seconds In a disturbing statement, Columbia University researcher and study author Park Williams told Time , “No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger, and the reason is really clear. “We should be getting ready for bigger fire years than those familiar to previous generations.” While the exact scope of the issue is startling, the general trend itself should come as no surprise: every year in recent memory has gone down as the hottest on record . In the years to come, we will likely have to adapt and find new ways to prevent and extinguish forest fires if we want to preserve our forests and protect nearby communities. Unfortunately, that could prove difficult given the fact that cataclysmic fires in recent years have drained the Forest Service’s budget in the hardest-hit states. Via Time and Slashdot Images via Ervins Strauhmanis and Coconino National Forest

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Proposed Italian law would jail parents of vegan children

August 12, 2016 by  
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A new bill before the Italian parliament could make it illegal for parents to feed their children a vegan diet – including up to a year of jail time even in cases where children are perfectly healthy and meeting their nutritional needs. The draft bill is the creation of Elvira Savino, a member of Italy’s center-right Forza Italia party. In the proposed bill , Savino refers to the vegetarian or vegan diet as “reckless and dangerous” and claims it is “devoid of essential elements for [children’s] healthy and balanced growth.” This is at odds with the stance of many health organizations – the American Dietetic Association , for instance, advises that parents must be careful to ensure children receive the nutrients they need (and vitamin B12 in particular), but says that otherwise the diet is safe and suitable for children. The law appears to be a reaction to several recent high-profile child neglect cases within the country where children were hospitalized for malnourishment after being fed a vegan diet. Doctors believe the parents in these cases were misinformed and didn’t understand how to properly supplement a vegan diet to meet the needs of a growing child. Though these cases are obviously tragic, the solution would be to provide better education to new parents rather than throwing them in jail for their dietary choices. Related: Meatless burger that cooks, smells, and bleeds like beef previews in San Francisco Savino’s heart may be in the right place – the bill would penalize parents whose children become injured or ill through malnourishment with four years in prison, and six years if their actions result in the death of the child. But the bill’s narrow targeting of vegans is unfair, especially considering that there are surely other laws already on the books meant to protect children from neglectful situations. For the moment, the bill is still just a proposal and nowhere near becoming a law. It needs to be discussed by parliamentary committees and then it will be passed to the chamber for debate later in the year. Hopefully Savino’s colleagues will see just how ridiculous the proposal is and it will be scrapped soon. Via Jezebel Images via Jessica Spengler and U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Proposed Italian law would jail parents of vegan children

Beautiful lakeside cabin puts a fresh spin on the traditional Finnish log cabin

August 12, 2016 by  
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Nestled within a high latitude pine forest, Cabin K blends into its surroundings with a timber facade. Following the example of traditional Finnish cabins, the architects built the gabled Cabin K using pine logs and treated the exterior with iron oxide to accelerate the natural graying of the wood. Vertical strips of pine clad the exterior to protect the logs from the elements. A small pine deck is set above a rocky ledge to overlook views of the lake and extend the cabin’s interior into the landscape. Related: Green-roofed cabin is a stunning cantilevered retreat accessible only by boat Despite the cabin’s traditional outward appearance, the interior is surprisingly spacious and light-filled. Large windows on the north and south sides pull natural light into the building to illuminate a double-height living room and a treehouse-like loft. Untreated pine logs are used for the walls, floors, and bare roof rafters. “The design combines old ways with new technologies,” write the architects. “The gable roof form and log walls are common in Finnish cabins, while the details, volume, and quality of light are unexpected.” + Studio Kamppari Via Dezeen Images via Studio Kamppari

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