Tag Archives: animals

Animals Can Fly in Style, Too

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses JFK Airport’s plans for an exciting new animal facility.

If you’ve ever had to travel with animals, you probably already know it’s a hassle. However, this may soon be a thing of the past. New York’s JFK airport has announced plans to open a 178,000 square foot facility specifically designed to accommodate animals of all kinds. The rules for traveling with animals generally involve a mandatory quarantine to prevent bringing contagious diseases into the country, and the new facility will be able to shelter animals during this period—hay-lined stalls for cattle and horses, an aviary, and holding pens for smaller animals.

The $48 million facility is to be called The ARK, and will open next year. The ARK will also accommodate specifically to dog owners in collaboration with Paradise 4 Paws, and will include a luxury resort with splashing pools, dog masseuses, flat screen TVs, and “pawdicures.” Cornell University veterinarians will also run a 24-hour clinic in the facility, which caters to all animals.

ARK architect Cliff Bollman claims that their design process “is in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants to help minimize the amount of stress placed on the animal.” The facility is even helpful for owners of animals that do not need to be quarantined, which will be held safely at The Ark until their owner picks them up upon arrival.

The cleverly-named facility is projected to have the capacity to house over 70,000 animals per year. The ARK will be especially popular with owners of animals competing in shows, such as horses, as it is the first luxury animal travel facility of its kind in the world. However, it won’t be cheap: for example, some dog suites may cost their owners upwards of $100 per night.

Hopefully The ARK will open next year with success, and may even pave the way for similar, more affordable facilities in travel hubs around the world.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Support

Will Going Vegan Save the Animals?

4177925345_526c331029_o

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses National Animal Rights Day and the practicality of living vegan.

Besides signifying the last day of May and graduation season, May 30th also marked the fourth anniversary of a fairly new U.S. holiday—National Animal Rights Day(NARD), which was started by the animal rights and conservation-focused non-profit Our Planet Theirs Too.

OPTT is just one of many organizations that promote a vegan lifestyle as indispensable toward furthering their goals of living in harmony with and respecting all animals. In fact, many activists openly criticize those who do not choose to abide by this lifestyle, arguing that animal support should be all-or-nothing when it comes to diet.

However, not everyone has the means to do this. Because of income inequality in the US, those who live close to the poverty level have very few choices in terms of the quality of the food that’s available to them. A single mother who is working a minimum-wage job, for example, cannot afford to drive 20 miles to the nearest organic grocery store and buy an $11.99 jar of vegan, ethically-sourced cashew butter. A vegan, or even vegetarian, lifestyle requires at least some level of financial commitment.

So is it possible to remain actively conscious of animal welfare and still partake in meat and/or animal by-products? The answer may not be all that straightforward. But if going completely vegan would be impractical in the context of your lifestyle, there’s no need for misplaced guilt. The key is to be mindful of what you are choosing to consume, and to always ask questions—for example, do you know where your dinner came from? What about your cashmere sweater? Choose brands that are sustainable, fair-trade, and cruelty free—and this applies to clothing, cleaning supplies, beauty products, and many more types of goods you might not even think of!

For those that do choose to go completely vegan, there are so many resources out there for you to take advantage of, such as recipe/lifestyle blogs, magazines and even cooking shows. Over the past decade, an increasing number of restaurants have started to offer creative vegan options; some even have entirely vegan menus!

I encourage you to spread the word and get even more people involved in National Animal Rights Day; it’s a wonderful endeavor to spread awareness of animal welfare. And remember to live mindfully and treat all beings with respect.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is a philanthropist and co-founder of the non-profit Animal Support.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Antibiotics and Animal Welfare

Lab_animal_care

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses the rights of animals in the livestock production sector.

The “five freedoms” of animal welfare

In 1965, the UK government commissioned a report on the welfare of animals being raised as livestock. The results contained a list of five freedoms that all animals should be given when under human control, and was subsequently adopted by animal rights organizations around the world as a constitution of sorts. The freedoms are as follows:

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
  2. Freedom from Discomfort
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury, or Disease
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior
  5. Freedom from Fear or Distress

Are big businesses finally coming around to furthering animal rights?

Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club issued press releases late last week that have captured the attention of both the media and animal welfare activists: a promise to abide by these five freedoms in order to enforce the humane treatment of farm animals, and improve the sustainability of the resulting food products.

It’s a move that echoes recent statements from the likes of Perdue, Tyson, and McDonalds—to name just a few.

Is this a genuine effort to facilitate a positive change in the retail industry, or just a strategic PR move to shift attention away from questionable labor practices in the past decade? Regardless of intent, at least it’s a step in the right direction. Corporate transparency is certainly one way to hold institutions accountable for what might be happening behind the scenes. This brings to mind countless past animal abuse scandals– and the resulting popularity of documentaries that made attempts to expose them.

One positive result of this decision is a widespread awareness of the harm that human antibiotics have on animals. Your average Joe may not be familiar with the Five Freedoms or the ASPCA, but he sure recognizes the phrases “Save money. Live better” and “I’m lovin’ it.” The initiative for antibiotic-free animals is becoming increasingly relatable for Americans, and I hope to see the trend continue.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is a philanthropist and a co-founder of Animal Support, a nonprofit organization that exists to further animal rights around the world.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Support

The Zoo Animals We Love the Most

julian

In today’s entry, Julian Omidi looks at the most beloved zoo animals.

The worldly editors at Encyclopedia Britannica have made it official: some zoo animals are more popular than others. In fact, the erudite editorial educators are now offering up their own top-10 list of amazingly adorable animals on display at public zoos. Note that, unfortunately, not every creature is available in every zoo.

When you head out to your local eco enclave this summer, you might not encounter all of them. Here’s Britannica’s roundup that should be copied and posted on your refrigerator door for future reference. Check each one off as you see them in your travels. Happy zoo-going!

Meerkats (see photo above)
So human and so curious, meerkats combine the best traits of raccoons and monkeys in a weird mixture of adorable, childlike friendliness.

Red Pandas
If you don’t instantly fall in love with these loveable tree-dwellers, then your heart is set to “chill.”

Bats
Forget what you’ve seen in vampire films. Most enclosures for bats are the coolest thing in the entire zoo.

Orangutans
Perhaps the most popular zoo creature of all time, these semi-human simians are always a big draw wherever they appear.

Poison Frogs
An oddity of the animal kingdom, these minuscule hoppers are a blast to watch, as long as there is a strong piece of protective glass between you and them.

Kangaroos
Another classic zoo favorite. Throughout history, kangaroos have captivated and intrigued those who encounter them.

Tamarins
Beware the mysterious and not-so-friendly Tamarin, which is actually a mini-monkey. They look so cuddly and cute but, as any zoologist will tell you, they are definitely NOT meant to be pets. Even so, they are amazing to observe and impossibly tiny.

Tree Kangaroos
These small, monkey-like climbers are new to the zoo scene, but make almost everyone’s top-10 “loveable animals” list.

Armadillos
An age-old zoo favorite that appears to be almost human.

Capybaras
These friendly giants are the world’s largest rodents, but you’ll see more guinea pig than rat in their countenance. Plus, kids instantly fall in love with these animals, so if your zoo has some, don’t miss them.

Be sure to visit and support your local zoos, wildlife refuges and animal shelters. They do so much for our communities!

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous nonprofit organizations, including Civic Duty and many others. To read an account of the Omidi brothers rescuing an abandoned baby harbor seal, visit their charity AnimalSupport.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Support, Julian Omidi

Do the Right Thing by Helping Injured Animals

julian2

In today’s entry, Julian Omidi explains what to do if you find an injured animal.

Whether you live in an urban area or in a more rural setting, you should know what to do if you find an injured or incapacitated animal. Sometimes what appears to be a disabled critter is nothing more than a baby that has been left alone while its mother forages for food. Learn to size up situations like these, and you will be performing a valuable service for your furry, feathery and hairy friends.

Wild Things Sanctuary’s website features a detailed listing of what we humans need to know about abandoned animals. Here’s a summary of what experts suggest we do until professional help arrives:
• Do not hold or feed an injured animal, and try to keep it in a quiet, dark place. Even animals with minor injuries can die of shock, so take special care not to frighten the creature.

• Be very careful, and make sure to wear gloves if you must have any contact with the animal. Bites can be painful and dangerous for humans who are unprepared for such an encounter.

• Put a box over the animal until help arrives, and keep all pets away from injured creatures.

• Contact a local shelter or animal welfare agency at once to find out what the next step is, and to make certain that you are securing the animal properly.

• Keep in mind that baby rabbits, deer and other so-called “suburban wildlife” are often left alone during the daytime hours while their mothers hunt for food. Feeding times are typically at times when we humans are asleep, so don’t assume an animal is abandoned just because it is alone in a nest or secluded area.

With warmer weather approaching, let’s all make an effort to keep an eye out for abandoned and injured animals.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous nonprofit organizations, including Civic Duty and many others. To read an account of the Omidi brothers rescuing an abandoned baby harbor seal, visit their charity AnimalSupport.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Support, Julian Omidi

The Truth about Service Animals

julian

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi, co-founder of Animal Support, discusses service animals and their role in modern society.

Service dogs are among the most intelligent and well-trained animals in existence. In addition to dogs, you will sometimes see horses, monkeys and even birds that have been trained to help humans who have some sort of a disability.

We are all familiar with guide dogs for the blind, the most common type of service animal in the U.S. and Europe. The fact is, some service animals assist the deaf, the paralyzed or partially paralyzed, and people with other disabilities. Technically speaking, any animal that can be trained to help a disabled person can be considered a service animal.

Courtesy of the experts at Please Don’t Pet Me, an organization that works for “promoting widespread understanding and respect for service dog teams,” here are some facts about service dogs that you might not know:

• Any animal that helps a disabled person perform a task is a service animal, according to the Americans With Disabilities Act. That includes not just guide dogs for the blind, but all other animals that assist the disabled.

• In the U.S. any business that is open to the public must allow any type of service animal to enter its premises. This applies to restaurants and hospitals as well!

• Service dogs can NOT be refused entrance to a business if someone on the premises is allergic to dogs. If the business owner or another customer is allergic to dogs, that is not a legal reason to deny access to the animal and its owner/companion.

• Service animals get plenty of relaxation time, even though it is a common myth that they are always “on duty.” Sometimes, service dogs get even more recreation time than regular pets because of all the structured play and training activity they take part in.

My hat is off to organizations like Please Don’t Pet Me, without the help of organizations like them, we would be less informed about vital topics like this one. Service animals perform an essential job for the people they help. Be sure to let them do their jobs without interference. And when possible, consider donating to an organization that trains or provides service animals to those who need them.
Be good to each other (and to service animals),
Julian Omidi
Julian Omidi is co-founder of Animal Support, a nonprofit that works to support the rights and health of animals everywhere.

Leave a comment

Filed under Julian Omidi

Why Adopt a Shelter Animal?

 

julian

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi, co-founder of Animal Support, discusses the best way to acquire a shelter pet.

With warm weather approaching in numerous parts of the country, many people start thinking of getting a cat or dog as a family pet, the better to frolic in the park with kids, friends and neighbors. Wanting to add an animal to the family is a commendable idea, especially when your new pet comes from a local shelter.

One of the world’s largest, and oldest, animal welfare organizations, the ASPCA, has some sound advice about how to adopt a shelter pet. Here are some of the key things they point out. Be sure to visit the ASPCA website for more detailed information, as well as a resource for all things animal related.

What you might not know…

• About a quarter of dogs and cats you see at shelters are pure-bred animals.
A large number of shelter dogs and cats have already lived a good portion of their lives with human families, so they are anything but ragtag, undisciplined pets.

• Your adoption fee goes a long way toward supporting the good work of the local shelter. And don’t forget that by adopting, you are actually saving an animal’s life!

• Almost all shelter cats and dogs are well-behaved animals that ended up without a home through no fault of their own. Pet owners take animals to shelters for all sorts of reasons, from lack of space after the birth of a baby, to a death in the family.

• The cost of pet adoption is much, much cheaper than acquiring an animal from a private breeder or professional pet store. Plus, shelters usually spay or neuter animals before adopting them out. That’s one less cost to worry about.

• Finally, when you adopt a shelter pet, you can rest assured that your new dog or cat has undergone a thorough physical exam and had all the shots it needs.

Animals bring so much to our lives, why not consider bringing a pet into your home if you have the space and time to care for it. As adults, some of our happiest memories of childhood usually involve the family cat or dog. Visit your local shelter soon, and even if you decide not to adopt, go ahead and make a small donation anyway to support the wonderful work that local shelters do.

Be good to each other (and support your local animal shelter!),
Julian Omidi
Julian Omidi is co-founder of Animal Support, a nonprofit that works to support the rights and health of animals everywhere.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animal Support, Uncategorized