Chupacabra myth not so ancient; started in 1995

coati

The Chupacabra–the elusive goat-sucking beast for which canines with mange are all to frequently mistaken–may not even be plausible as an ancient myth. In Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore killjoy scientist Benjamin Radford says it all just started in 1995 with one woman who saw a B-movie.

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NYT: For every $1 we spend caring for animals, we spend $6 eating or killing them

A New York Times story this week explored the human animal connection in all its mysteries, but then came to the bottom line. We may love our cats and dogs, but we only spend $1 caring for animals for every $6 we spend eating, hunting and removing them. But if you include wildlife watching, pet and pro-animal lifestyle and efforts to eat less meat and less cruel animal products, I think it’s $3 to $1.

Natalie Anglier concluded:

We lavish some $48 billion annually on our pets and another $2 billion on animal protection and conservation causes; but that index of affection pales like so much well-cooked pork against the $300 billion we spend on meat and hunting, and the tens of billions devoted to removing or eradicating animals we consider pests.

The calculation does take into many of the spending categories of animal spending that are often overlooked. She does a great job by including animal eradication, like the taxpayer-funded USDA Wildlife Services branch. She includes the American Pet Product Association calculated the $48 billion based on vet care, food, boarding, grooming, vitamins, treats and toys.┬áThe animal causes? I think that’s from the annual Center for Philanthropy report, which puts “environmental/animal-related” organizations at $6.1 billion, not $2 billion. Granted, with many causes it’s hard to parse what is for animals and what’s for the ecosystem.

But here are some things these numbers overlook:

Wildlife watching: $46 billion. More Americans have fun watching wildlife than shooting it (71 million

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Feed Zoo Animals? Yes, At This NJ Rescue Facility

Popcorn Park Zoo Black Bear Nose

Their lives are much better now than they once were. BooBoo, a black bear, was used to pay for a car in Iowa, sold to a dealer who wanted the bear to draw in customers. Tigers were about to be used in a canned hunt. The Coati Cocoa spent two years in a cage in a basement.

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Yellowstone Mountain Goats: Officially Unwelcome, Unofficially Pretty Neat

Yellowstone Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats–officially deemed an invasive, are controversial in Yellowstone–though everyone agrees they’re fun to see. You can find them near Mammoth.

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