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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
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Fat hedgehogs

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 31,540 mod
Did you hear the story about the 10 obese hedgehogs? It’s a prickly subject. With stats showing that many dogs and cats are overweight, news of these porky hedgehogs shows how sadly humans are killing with kindness



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Comments

  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    It's a prickly subject indeed, @mheredge . Although I haven't heard this one, I've heard the story about an obese monkey in Thailand. It's amazing how these two stories are similar. The monkey became morbidly obese on tourists' leftovers and was put on a strict diet as well. As a saying goes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We should be more responsible for our deeds, but how to control it. When we leave food behind we can't be sure that it'll end up in the most needy mouth, can we? It's the law of jungle and usually the biggest and strongest animal gets the most of it.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I think it is common with pets @Vok, and these animals don't have much choice but to eat what their owners feed them. But it even worse that so-called wild animals are similarly killed with good intentions.
  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge I believe this problem is more applicable to strain animals and those in the wild rather than the home ones. Pet owners can easily monitor their pet's well-being and respond correspondingly and, most importantly, in time to any abnormalities in behaviour. Wild animals don't have that advantage and usually come under our scrutiny quite late.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    What do you mean by 'strain' animals @Vok? I think in the wild, animals do not normally over-eat. A lion will pass by prey and not attack just for the sake of killing if it has already eaten. I think only when an animal is in captivity and it is fed more than it really needs, will it overeat. People overindulge and often overindulge their pets too.
  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    It's my spelling ignorance again @mheredge, 'stray' not 'strain'. Both stories we read, the one about a hedgehog and the other about a monkey, are about animals out in the open. The hedgehog overate in the streets of Israel and the monkey at a famous tourist spot somewhere in Thailand. The other day I read an article about raccoons that stopped feeding themselves in the wild, but from bins in the streets of a city I can't recall the name. Why bother if the food is already stored in one place? I take your point about a lion and yes you are right, usually animals don't over-eat. If they did, we wouldn't read such articles in the news. This monkey/hedgehog wouldn't raise a finger for an additional amount of food as well, but when the food is available in abundance why not help yourself to it. Do you think a lion wouldn't eat more if it could do it effortlessly? Animals usually eat their prey straight away and whole because they don't know when they will munch next time again. Incidentally, we are hard-wired to do the same as our ancestors did when they didn't have a clue how to store food.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I doubt that the raccoons helping themselves to the city dustbins are overweight, but they have changed their eating habits. They might be eating stuff not so good for them but also they might not have much choice, if their normal habitat is being encroached. Humans are sometimes just greedy and with all the fast foods and unhealthy but usually tempting things that we can eat, people often lack control to eat what is naturally good for us and in adequate amounts @Vok. This is why I need to lose a few kilos!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    edited January 11
    I'm not quite OK with having pets since I think that people make their lives miserable. The country dwellers here used to have a cat or a dog if there was a practical reason, like mice in the house or the need to guard the yard or for hunting. That allowed the animals to lead lives suitable to them, so they weren't confined between four walls.
  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    Maybe they're not, it depends on a household really. The amount of food we bin is staggering anyway. I can see eye to eye with you @mheredge about how greedy sometimes humans are and it's not always only about food unfortunately. The problem is that healthy food is usually not very palatable compared to fast food and we've got used to deriving pleasure from eating. To put it differently, we live to eat rather than eat to live.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I think although French people generally seem to live to eat, enjoying their food very much and attaching a lot of importance to what they eat; and British people tend to eat to live, but don't take so much care about what they eat, @Vok, I prefer to be in the former group!
  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    The latter is not the worst group to be in @mheredge . The worst group is the one where people live to eat and doesn't care about the quality of food eaten.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,899 mod
    This is because humans are feeding them too much, right? I actually think this applies not only to animals but also to children! Parents are feeding their children too much, too, and the children can't understand the consequences, and are therefore becoming unhealthy.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I can't believe how many obese children I see when I visit the UK @GemmaRowlands. I think it is a big problem. Happily I still don't see many fat French kids.
  • MichouxeMichouxe Posts: 6,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have read your opinion about obesity with interest.
    Don't forget there are also children and adults who have problems with the thyroid. But it's true there are too much obsene animals and people. I had a hangover who was always outside and sometimes I thought he had too little fat.
    But he became very old. I try to cook healty for myself and my husband. Always with fresh vegetables and not many meat, but sometimes we need to enjoy of a Pizza. That should be possible!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I think it is a very small minority @Michouxe. When I was at primary school (many decades ago), I remember only one fat girl in the whole school. And somehow we knew that it was her thyroid - maybe so no one would make fun of her.

    If you had a hangover @Michouxe, this suggests that you had too much alcohol the night before! Do you mean that you had an admirer, or was he maybe even a stalker if he was always hanging around outside? On maybe he was a hanger-on if he was always trying to join your group of friends?

    It sounds like you cook yourself a healthy diet. As we get older, we don't need so much food either and we should try to eat less.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    edited January 12
    Unfortunately, the number of _extremely_ obese children has risen considerably in the last 25 years here. They've become visible. Of course, before we always had plumper and skinnier children but nobody that fat.

    My guess that junk food and video games are to blame. Even delinquent teenagers are often miopic now. They do smartphone games since very earlier ages. Unlike them, my generation's kids over three y.o. spent days playing outside without supervison of any kind, though mothers occasionally took a look in the window. We walked to school everyday, parents didn't drive us there. Any neighbour could reprimand a kid for mischief, and if his parents had learned he would have received double punishment from them - one for the mischief and the other for the embarassment.
    That's something unthinkable now here. The schools have entry control systems, CCTV...

    A collegue once said how he had tried to switch his sons from online games. He bought some chemicals and showed them how to make a kind of explosive, something he did while being at their ages. Guess what? They didn't get interested.
  • VokVok Posts: 627 ✭✭✭
    I think you are right @Practical_Severard . Junk food and video games are the main culprits indeed. I would add TV to your list as well. When I was a teenager I used to play video games a lot myself but, fortunately for me, I didn't have any money to spend on fast food and TV was rubbish. Nowadays, junk food doesn't cost much and you can easily lay your hands on any games/TV shows under the sun.
  • MichouxeMichouxe Posts: 6,867 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12
    @mheredge :D (a hangover) I mean a male cat! LOL
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    Male cat? My mind boggles @Michouxe. Now if you were talking about elephants... let's not go any further!

    @Practical_Severard I give my age away when I tell you that when I was a child, I asked my parents for a chemistry set (before secondary school when I was put off from chemistry by being so bad at it). And how I used to go out and play in the street with the other kids, without any supervision. I used to walk ten-fifteen minutes to my school every day, and used to even take my little sister to primary school unescorted by my mother, as it really wasn't seen necessary in those days. We used to go and play in the fields by a little river, fish for minnows - this was usually supervised however. I feel very sorry for kids missing out on these things as they were so much fun. Though we had an ancient black and white TV, I was never much interested apart from a weekly episode of Dr Who and Blue Peter which I think was on twice a week.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,899 mod
    mheredge said:

    I can't believe how many obese children I see when I visit the UK @GemmaRowlands. I think it is a big problem. Happily I still don't see many fat French kids.

    Yes, it is horrible. I think it's also because we have such slow lifestyles, and children are more interested in using smartphones than doing any kind of exercise.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I was sad to hear my old school has sold land to a property developer to build flats, where it used to have tennis courts @GemmaRowlands. The school has got bigger, so they can ill-afford to reduce the area of space for sports.
  • lisalisa Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭
    Once I watched one BBC documentary about hedgehogs, there were some secenes about their lives were influenced by human's activities, some mother hedgehogs were killed by cars and their little cubs were too hungry to die.

    Obesity is a problem facing by the whole world, not only UK but also China, there are many obese children in China, because they love junk food, such as chips, chocalate, cola and so on, what is worse, they do not love any activities, and their parents or grand parents allow them to live in a spoiled lifestyle. @mheredge @Vok
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I think the digital age hasn't helped @Vok and @lisa. Kids spend more time glued to their phones rather than do much physical exertion. Obesity is a global problem.
  • lisalisa Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭
    Not only kids, but also adults, as you say, obesity is a global problem, the illnesses relating to obesity have costed many resources of human beings. @mheredge
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,899 mod
    mheredge said:

    I was sad to hear my old school has sold land to a property developer to build flats, where it used to have tennis courts @GemmaRowlands. The school has got bigger, so they can ill-afford to reduce the area of space for sports.

    That is such a shame. I think a lot of schools are losing land at the moment, and any schools that do have green space around them are very lucky indeed!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I read that the incidence of eating disorders is rocketing in the UK. I guess this is because there are a lot of overweight people trying to lose weight but doing so in the wrong ways.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,899 mod
    mheredge said:

    I read that the incidence of eating disorders is rocketing in the UK. I guess this is because there are a lot of overweight people trying to lose weight but doing so in the wrong ways.

    Not only that, but also the media showing "ideal" body shapes, most of which are completely unattainable by the majority of us living in the real world.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    I'm not sure if I want to jump on the scales when I get back to France. I think I might have put on a few pounds with all the rice I've been eating here.
  • lisalisa Posts: 1,202 ✭✭✭
    The "ideal" baby shapes of Europe are much more different from Chinese ones, the female celebrities of China are too thin, maybe their legs are equal to my arms. @GemmaRowlands

    I do not like eating rice and prefer noodles which can make me put on weight. @mheredge My stomach is not comfortable recently, so I am slimer than before, which is really an excellent news for me.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,899 mod
    lisa said:

    The "ideal" baby shapes of Europe are much more different from Chinese ones, the female celebrities of China are too thin, maybe their legs are equal to my arms. @GemmaRowlands



    I do not like eating rice and prefer noodles which can make me put on weight. @mheredge My stomach is not comfortable recently, so I am slimer than before, which is really an excellent news for me.

    Ideal shapes have changed a lot over the years as well. In the past, larger shapes were more preferable, but that isn't the case here now.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,540 mod
    It was fashionable to be plump - look at Rubens' women he painted, then Twiggy and skinny was all the rage, but then fat has become popular again.
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