Welcome to Greenpets. We are all about fresh, raw food, a healthy food chain, and fresh air. We are against over-processed over-transported overpriced plastic food, systemic poisons sold as everything from insecticide to baby formula, and the constant raping of the land by faceless corporations. To this end, we have simplified our healthcare regime into simple concepts: 

Natural Rearing: eat what you were built to digest, live where you have what you need  

Naturally Raw!: eat what you need, when you need it, as fresh and unadulterated as possible 

Natural Living: pursue your dreams, be free, and ask nobody to suffer need for your pleasure or profit 

Of course, we prescribe this for man, beast, plant, habitats, ecosystems, memes and deities. Even crystals have some form of life, we are very fortunate as a species to be clever enough to have figured that out.  

Follow some of the more interesting-looking links spread around each page, but to stay on topic, take note of the category you are in, or choose that category from one the Articles in this Category menus. That will open a page containing all articles related to the one you are then reading . A category for health will be where you find articles showing how we have used herbs, or treat some injury, or support a patient during disease. While we do not suggest you start baking salads with the herbs we will show you, we promise to tell you how we used it, and the result. Of course I am more excited about bragging successes! See if you can find the one where we sew up a chicken during a thunderstorm using cotton sewing thread. Afterwards we called her Florrie, after Florence Nightingale. Getting your dog to keep his teeth until death is mainly about not poisoning him anymore, rather than some complex expensive process that needs be executed by professionals. Learn how we keep our dogs’ teeth so clean, vets think we lie about their ages. 

We  have much to say about our animals, how we treat them and how they respond. Health and wellness and diet are all the same thing, so expect a lot of links to the herbal pages. To be fair, there cannot only be good news. We can tell you that too much sugar is bad for you, but then we are obliged to tell you about the documented evidence that artificial sugar is much, much more dangerous. We also have to tell you that raw fruit and honey is real food with digestible sugars. We all want to fight World Hunger, but GMO’s have proven a corporate attack on every nation’s food security the world over. They are also killing the bees. We have to warn you about the products sold as herbal cures, while we try to convince you that herbs are valuable health aids. Not everything can be about sunshine, but we will always take the lamp of inquisitive inquiry with us into the dark bits, just stay close and don’t wander off into conspiracies and PR hype. 

Mostly, we started this site to share our hard-earned lessons with everyone who care about not poisoning themselves and everything around them. Somewhere, some time, somehow, we will possibly, one day, try sell you some stuff. You are under no obligation, but do surf the shelves, and our advertisers’, you may find one or two interesting items to make life more agreeable. In general, the entire Greenpets group of associates and subsidiaries are here, from alehoof to ale, from horseradish to horses, from chickweed to chickens and eating the weeds, it’s all here, now go look for your favourite strand of our little web. Like good chocolate, you will know it when it comes.

At GREENPETS we have many success stories to tell about our experiences around animal health and well-being. For that we particularly thank Doctor Culpeper and the Gypsy Herbalist Juliette de Baiiracly-Levy. Both irreverent, witty and utterly dedicated to the first two principles of medicine:

FIRST, DO NO HARM

and

LET YOUR FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE AND LET YOUR MEDICINE BE YOUR FOOD.

Let these be the thoughts foremost in your mind when judging our presentation of the facts as we understand them. We claim no infallibility, and we will try not to be nasty to other people's thoughts...

...BUT WE HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH THE TOXINS BEING PUT INTO THE FOOD CHAIN...

 GREENPETS was built around the concept of Natural Rearing.  A crisis in 1998 upset us enough to start researching cancer in dogs. Of all the thousands of documents we have studied, two people stand out for us:

Doctor Nicholas Culpepper: physician-astronomer in the 1600’s. Apparently it is now only good for studying historical literature and a giggle. 

Juliette de Baiiracly-Levy: 20th century gypsy frontierswoman. She travelled the world teaching and learning herb lore, and she kept good records, written in an easy style.  

FIRST, DO NO HARM

That’s it. Not, “number one; do no harm”. It is not “1a, 1.0.0) Do no harm”. FIRST, do not harm. Good living starts with not poisoning anything. 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Are you junk? We certainly think not, life is precious wherever it is found. Besides, junk food breaks rule one already; it contains a cocktail of poisons just to make it look fresh. 

LET YOUR FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE, LET YOUR MEDICINE BE YOU FOOD

sums it all up neatly, don’t you agree. 

We immediately started feeding our pack of dogs a raw diet, supplemented with the occasional vegetable-and-oil porridge. Within a month, we not only did the same for our cats, we started following our own advice.

 

 

Ah, mister Snopes dot com.  Obviously a team effort, no man has time to think up that much counterpropaganda. I wonder what came first; a credulous boy called Snopes, who then sold his skill off, or was he created by the people using him. What do we call the people who run Snopes? Establishment? That sounds so clichéd and unsophisticated. These are, after all, serious people who employ serious science to defend the consensus and ridicule the aberrant. By that I mean Snopes deals in Truth, Montessori Truth, and that has to be defended against all attempts at suggesting any alternative truth.

 

Snopes is quoted as authority nearly as often as Wikipedia. Snopes also seems to be a moderator on Wikipedia, but that is not our issue today; today, we just want to talk about mister Snopes’ tactics with which he confounds the arguments of the nerdy. By nerdy I respectfully refer to people who think they can win an argument by stating facts. There are many of us, but we are losing the argument against Truth. One of the reasons is that the average Joe is not trained in formal logic. If you use formal logic to structure your argument, you are almost guaranteed to win, but logic and truth is not the same thing.

 

One of the first tactics a detractor will employ on you, it to listen with a derisory smirk. This is to bait you into firing all your guns, using ammo you have structured into a factual argument, but now your thought structure is destroyed, because you gushed it out all at once, in one slightly incoherent argument. It is inevitable that you left out a pertinent fact or conflated two things as a conversational shortcut.  You might even insert a bit of speculation or rumour and not make it clear that you are not presenting it as fact. You are rushed, trying to convince someone calling you ignorant, and above all, you are concentrating on the topic you feel is at hand. Your opponent, however, has to do very little work, because his technique is polished and consistent. He will probably quote Snopes at you.

 

A while ago, Google delisted a number of websites, meaning they could not be found by the Google Search Engine, a vast robot that tries to remember every word on the internet by reducing whole pages to short series of keywords. When you search a term, the Google robot scratches through its memory to find all the places it saw that word used, and then it displays a list of all the websites and even pages or documents containing at least some of the words you typed in. All the robot did, was to read its own words, look for Natural News as part of that address, then pretends not to see it, and not show you either. It is not some wonderful new technology, it is not some vast conspiracy, it is just a little subroutine the Google robot acted upon as it was instructed to. Anyway, this made a lot of news, and since Greenpets is also into the business of disseminating thoughts on matters Natural and we do comment on the News, it was only Natural that I check out the News on Google’s terrible dictatorship. I was somewhat surprised by what I found.

 

Firstly, the site in question was still available to all other search engines, or you could go there via your explorer bar. They were not censored or anything, Google just did not link to them, as is their right, surely. Secondly, I am afraid the whole exercise was a commercial exercise. I am too disinterested to follow shareholding in Snopes versus Natural News, but they are definitely not enemies. I think the whole ‘scandal’ was just free advertising.  Natural News seems to be an open blog, with many ‘guest editors’ and suchlike contributors. Their editorial policy seems to be sensationalism, and the site actually consists of many individual article pages, all with the same format: You have a site banner, some ads, a picture that can artistically be forced to fit the subject of the article, a few words, some ads, some words, some ads, some words, lots of ads, some words, ads, profile of contributor, ads, disclaimer, ads, links, ads. Fairly standard as monetised sites go, the term for this format is ‘clickbait’ and this is where Natural News and Snopes come together. Snopes even maintains an entire separate category just for Natural News, ‘debunking’ almost every single article. Yes, the articles are amateurish and are only interested in having you click on the ads, but what the hey, man, there are other fools out there, and most of the stuff is really innocent gossip.

 

Snopes loves Natural News, and I even suspect they might be in cahoots. It is like Natural News specifically writes things for Snopes to ridicule and proof false news. As an example I guess I should quickly open both sites and give you cross-referenced exactitudes as proof. We already agreed that a nerd like myself will never win such an argument, so instead I will be my lazy self and just tell you what I saw when I went to look:

 

Natural news is in the business of hyperbole and sensationalism. Their main objective is not to educate or even entertain, their main objective is to sell advertising space, and with millions of visitors every month, they sell some serious advertising. Grant them that, it is just business, they tell you not to trust their advice, and they seemingly only touch on truly controversial issues when ordered to do so, because that will get the Snopes/Rationalwiki/conspiracy debunking apparatus rolling. It seems to work as follows:

 

Natural news will take a small piece of ‘news’ from the world of health and wellness, any side of that knot of opportunists, does not matter who. As a matter of fact, the dodgier the source, the more likely that NATNEWS will run with it. So, they will take one tiny snippet of news, like

 

Scientists at OMG University cures cancer with Turmeric

 

Some person -by the tone of the literature a number of well-educated lady art majors- will then write an article on the scientists and their ground-breaking discovery. They may even include a few phrases hinting that the cure is being suppressed, or denied funding, or some reason to bring the cause closer to heart. Natural News writers seem to be unaware of the true origin of research. Students are basically free labour for professors, and professors are kept in butter by donations and grants, and grants are not given to research wild ideas, grants are given to proof something true or false, and the researcher with the biggest grant is most likely to ‘win’ at providing the paid-for proof. Cigarettes were not harmful while big Tobacco paid the bills, but when it became time, the grants to prove tobacco poisonous rolled in like a dust storm, obscuring all other research, facts, opinions or rights.

 

 So, to tell me “scientists have proven turmeric cures cancer” usually translates into “ a pimpled student looking for something to hang a thesis onto and impress the professors so they will give him a degree, has been studying compounds in turmeric rumoured to be of use against tumours.” If the child then writes a paper on the antimicrobial and growth inhibition properties of substances found in turmeric, it suddenly becomes research by scientists at such-and-such authorative ivory tower, and we found the cure for cancer. No, we found that turmeric contains certain substances, and those substance react in a certain way, but it is just a student stirring stuff in a petri dish. A drop of whiskey onto the cells would also have shown growth inhibiting properties.

 

Can you see that Snopes does not even have to get out of bed for this? Unfortunately, the poor sod does rise to this bait, as his mandate dictates, and off we go, ripping yet another fake news rumour to pieces. I think Natural News rumours are poorly constructed, just so they can be easily refuted. I am convinced the two are in cahoots. Okay, I will tell you what made me write this article. I was looking to see what Natural News offers that is so bad, and immediately Google fills the result page with people critical of NN. I believe the arty girly with a page “debunking the conspiracy” or something might actually be a NN contributor, the styles are identical. Anyway, Snopes is right at the top, and even though I have dismissed them as fifth column years ago, I opened to see. One has to know your enemy, and apparently our enemy is Natural News, and they sinned by saying that the FDA regards breakfast corn puffs better food than avocados. In essence, the statement is correct. On the highly controversial and provably corrupted “Pyramid of Nutrition” that the Americans published as a guide to good nutrition, they do indeed have frosted flakes as more important than fruit. Mister Snopes, though, explains why this is a ‘Mostly False’ claim: The FDA does not mention Rice Crispies or Avocados by name. Yes, they do say that sugared cereals are superior to fruit, but they never actually named avocados. Those darn conspiricists over at Natural News.

 

The FDA, on the other hand, when confronted with this issue, had this to say: “we believe now is an opportune time to re-evaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term ‘healthy.’” Oy vey. Do you know who and what the FDA actually is?

 

Of course, the Natural News article was just an arty-farty comment on a video they saw. But now we know they are liars, stupid liars who cannot even read the FDA recommendations right. Or are they writing articles for Snopes to snipe at, so we can all learn the worthlessness of criticising the Establishment?

 

Oh, as it happens, turmeric really is a wonderful herb that supports the body during times of reduced immune response. But that does not come from a university, it comes from my own kitchen, and the only reason mister Snopes ain’t after my ass is because he does not know I exist, but if a controversy needs some clarification, Greenpets maintains a small but growing database of alternative facts to help you take a step back and look at life less seriously and more self-reliantly sceptic, because scaremongering works best when it comes from someone you trust, and Snopes is all about appearing trustworthy. The arguments are sometimes circular, often self-referring and the term “confirmation bias” apparently does not apply the Snopes. But they use very good logic, and paired with distorted, censored or conveniently forgotten data, logic is unbeatable.

 

If ever you want to test a news site, here is the test. See what they have to say about 911. If they so much as implicate Arab terrorists, they are either too lazy to research, or they are Peddling The Line. If you still believe there were terrorist, well, then this whole article was just a waste of your time, I guess, go back to Snopes now. But we love you, here at Greenpets.

 

 

“The object in creating optimal health and nutirition is to study each animal’s habitat and food sources, then custom make diets that most closely resemble their own natural original diet”Jeff Brisco, Senior Animal Nutritionist, Los Angeles Zoo

  

A tasty, nutritious, all natural raw meat based diet for dogs, using quality ingredients, blended with natural “functional” foods. a generous portion of meat and a balance of carbohydrate and vegetable matter, fortified with the addition of herbs, that will provide your dog with the complete array of nutritional building blocks, vitamins, minerals and trace elements required for health and a full, happy and active life.

  All Naturally Raw! meals come in convenient Meal-size packets, ranging from 50 grams to 1 kg 

If this is the first time you are considering feeding a raw meat based diet to your companion animal, 

please be sure to read the Introduction to a naturally Raw! diet and the handling-, storage- and feeding instructions to get full knowledge of what is involved in feeding a raw meat diet. 

 

Greenpets Naturally Raw! is made fresh 2 times a week and sold directly to you to guarantee a food that is always fresh and never sits on a shelf. 

 

Naturally Raw! is delivered directly to your door, or can be collected at our company premises.

 

Disclaimer for the litigous World we are living in

  

Greenpets

 

for LIFE and LONGEVITY

 

 

 

To understand how any medicine works, you have to understand how the human body works. To understand the human body, knowledge of ‘lesser’ anatomy is useful. This sounds simple enough, and explains why doctors have to study for so long, yes? As a matter of fact, a properly trained witchdoctor only graduates when the one who trained him dies. Some other types of doctors study three or four years, with another year or three of actual practical standing around in hospitals. Some doctors create their own universities and bestow upon themselves magnificent degrees in Nutritional Science, Climate Change Research, even what we shall call Industrial Homeopathy. The result is a huge number of different ways to look at the body, as many ways to interpret the internal system, and a growing number of ways to manipulate things inside the body.

 

So, before I can tell you herbs work, I must first understand your view of the body. In that sense, everyone else is probably wrong, might be causing harm, or, as in most cases, selling useless nostrums and placebos. The worst type placebo is the one that reaches your hand after years and millions spent on research. Not that it might be better or worse quality than comparable placebos, but because that research used up money that could have been spent on education. Or beer. Beer helps far more diseases than aspirin, or try a glass of good wine.

 

Allotropic medicine has command of many useful substances, all of which have one purpose: poison the disease ailing the client, or at least hide the symptoms of that pathogen’s continued existence. The idea is that killing the pathogen is priority, and any aftereffects can be dealt with as they arise. Allo- means, apparently, to have separate forms, distinguishable and never to be united. I guess the term Allotropic Medicine is then meant as an insult by the:

 

Holists. Holism is a grand idea, and we all dream of the unified field theory. The problem with holism is that research in this field relies heavily on old Sanskrit myth, or some inept westernisation of that misunderstood mythology by the likes of Jan Smuts, with his tiresome and self-absorbed tome on holism, or starry-eyed arty types who can feel the vibe. The fame of smutty Jannie’s jabbering gives you an idea of the mentality of the average ‘Holist’. Mainly, holism means “holier than thou”.  Proving yourself in the field of holism seems to require the acquisition of notoriety.  Of course, between Holism and Allotherapy, they own the bulk of the so-called health care industry. Of the holists, we have to make special mention of one special branch of er… medicine:

 

Homeopathy, homeopaths and homeopathetics. Greenpets, will, on demand, make you one of those homeopathic mixythingies, using any safe substance you bring us. We are willing to compete in open double-blind public trials against any of the industrial homeopathetics out there, and if there is any use for homeopathy, our competition will serve the only purpose I can see for such a competition: prove industrially produced homeopathic dilutions are anathema to the very principle of succussion. Their Guru read something in an old text and interpreted it somewhat narrowly. The people who built that famous factory then misinterpreted this second-hand information and corrupted it into an industrial process. It would have been funny, if it was not so sad. Greenpets would be willing to, for a generous fee, tell them what they are doing wrong, but as with Feng Shui, we will not teach charlatans how to better crook their victims, unless they cut us in on the deal. I shall refuse to sign non-disclosure; the world shall giggle with us when all is finished.

 

So, if herbs are not poison, and not placebo, what is it? Herbs contain a nearly infinite variety of substances both organic and inorganic. …and some holism. The substances are identified, separated, amplified and capsulized. By all accounts, those don’t work. I think it might have been A. Crowley who said: “Indians have been chewing coca for millennia, see what happens when you turn it into cocaine. Opium was fine, but you had to make heroin. The substance is not the thing.” I paraphrase wildly. I think separating the substances may do something to the holism, and even we at Greenpets agree, holism is medicine of sorts. We know of only one way to bottle holism, and even that is a touch-and-go thing with low success rate.

 

View, if you will, the human body. Make it somewhat translucent, so we can see the insides. Do not focus on any part, do not think of entrails, that is merely a greyish pink blob centre screen. The heart can be red, okay, pulsate it why don’t you? A bright red blob of pulsating soft focus centre of chest. The heart is between the lungs, not really that far left at all. The brain can be another blob, pulsating, rush rush rushing juices, head to heart to lungs to knees to heart to toes to heart to ears, can you hear all those juices running up and down your body? There was a time when that rushing, mauling, sloppy mess was known as ‘The Humours’. Your humours could be flowing freely and healthily, each part of the juice in its confines at its own pace. The humours could become slow and sluggish, the phlegm, making you phlegmatic. Politicians use the word to admire each other. Sometimes the humours heat up and cause the choler. Not family of cholera. Mean-spiritedness in medical terms.

 

Commercial holism recognises a spiritual faculty flowing (in/on/around/through, this is a matter for dogma) to keep the ‘physical’ parts connected and alive. The religions all hold ownership of holyism, which is only slightly different. At least some holists allow you the occasional change of mind. I see no other obvious differences. Commercial health care denies the existence of anything they cannot make money off of, and they will use the full extent of the law they buy to claim ownership of your health. Things exist when they say it does; mere speculation by one of the Anointed in White Clothes can reshape reality around your nearest pharmacy. It also reshapes reality around your country’s health and welfare budget.

 

To sum up: Herbs are not supposed to poison you, nor have they some sort of magical substance that cures you, and the holism leaks out for no reason.  …and your government probably does not shove money up herbalist’s sphincters. There is the big difference between the allopaths and the rest.

 

Holism is not in an herb. Holyism has been found there…myths abound in your favourite holy book. Holism is not on sale, for hire or even just to lend. Holism is a decision you make to recognise the absence of ‘physical’ parts without the gushing flow of goo in/around/through it all. Every sliver of you is composed of smaller systems and subsystems, each doing its bit in this vast and vibrant and multicultural and multispecies community called My Body. The language of blood and bile, the flow of the warp and woof, skin is hair is nails is the uninterrupted coating of your digestive tract, from your ruby lips to that brown pucker we pretend to disown. One solid skin, from there to the inside of your ear. That’s why we can hear our own farts so well I’m sure, it’s all the same inside-out sausage of a skin, tongue-tip to mons Venus and everything in between those. A pliant, multifaceted skin bag with a hole through it like some weird donut, the hole being really long and squiggly and halfway filled with, uhm, let’s call it brown jam. The bag itself is full of those wonderful humours and substances and physicals and holism. You want to hear the best part? Of all those different juices flowing around you, if we had to remove the microbes and viruses and other autonomous creatures from your humours, the pile would weigh more than the ‘physicals’ left behind. Holyism resides externally, somewhere between the fleshy protuberances around the sphincter, in the left behind, so to speak. Isn’t that fun, you are a donut filled with brown jam, and your bun has been baked using gazillions of little bugs and a bit of phlegm. And this you want to control with a little bottle of pills and a handful of herbs? Please.

 

To have an idea of how herbs do work, Greenpets imagines something between communication of/between/because of/ mitochondria and the effect of the humours on the doctrine of signatures. Harvesting herbs is not a ritual, it is a mutual contract.

 

All we at Greenpets have to add to this observation, is that plants also have humours and souls and so on, and if you can get close enough to them, and you get the juices and things to communicate, they all seem to remind each other of better days, and that is what we call systemic support. All you still have to add is some holism to keep it all together, and Bob will be your uncle a whole lot longer. Maybe he should donate some money to that research foundation that is trying to get medical science to demystify the glands. Oh, no, they don’t exist? How shocking, yawn. I had to look up the spelling of endocrinology, but for a real kotch, go see the mission statement of the Endocrine Society. They certainly claim no mandate to serve humanity.

 

 Pesticides are destroying our hormonal systems, and hormones are the words of the language of blood, and blood is one of the many substances that make up the humours and the physical cannot do without the humours flowing in/around/through our very being, carrying the holism to keep it all together. Your first act of holism is to responsibly get rid of all those handy poisons in your house. Start with the stuff in the fridge, and those pretty bottles and things full of fingerlickin’ fabulousness. MSG, artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers, preservative carcinogens and carcinogenic preserves.  Then start cleaning up around your house. It took them ten years to wean us off lead-based paints, our only defence against mass irradiation from cell towers, but to ban a substance that kills all plants on contact would be bad for the economy? Then start thinking about all those health care providers out there with shares in the insecticide/herbicide/genocide industry. That’s where holism starts, and people who take positive charge of their humours stand a statistically significant better chance of surviving weaponised dis-eases like cancer.

 

As the Health Care Providers are getting greedier, so the government spends less on hospitals and medicine. They may explain it as privatisation, which means the government stands back and is not allowed to interfere or do anything at all to ‘compromise profits’. Rural clinics all over Africa have been closed down so they do not interfere with Bill and Mandy Gates’ private hospitals with which they are ‘aiding’ Africa. The vaccination drive that comes with this privatisation is also a ‘gift’, for which your government has to match cent-for-cent the cost of the vaccine drive. So, you make up a fix of 25 cent dope, sell it to yourself at ten bucks, and offer it as a gift to some poor deserving country. Then you bribe a senior government official in that country to match your ‘gift’ cent-for-cent, so you can pretend to pre-infect twice as many kiddies on your humanist vaccine drive. Isn’t Bill such a moral giant? What would the world do without his billions?  Stay alive? Uncle Bill believes -has publicly stated- that the world should have no more than 300 million people. That is about four percent of current numbers. How do you think he plans to kill the rest of us? Well, he is very well invested in the Health Care Industry; he actually makes more money off vaccines than computers now. Mostly through the health aid scam just explained.

 

Oh, and Bill Gates is the Chief Evangelist for Monsanto, the guys that bring us GMOs, RoundUp and all-round failed crops for the poor. And now Monsanto, the company that made Agent Orange, is conglomerating with Bayer, the people that brought us morphine as children’s cough medicine. Progress, that is. Don’t take these people lightly; they spend more on medically important research than all the Health Care Service Providers of the world combined, they employ more and better scientists and they own most of the health product industry, the food industry and soon, soon, they will have the formula to that holy water Saint John describes so ineloquently. Twice he mentions the world visiting Jerusalem annually, just to get them some holy water or perish. I don’t know which of their products you use and what it does to you, but I’ll tell you what Monsanto’s pervasive pollution of our food chain does for my humours, it really makes my piss bitter.

 

 


GREENPETS Natural Living Resource Pages is an organic, categorised collection of observations and experimentations regarding a rather old and boring theory on life, health and happiness:

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

This seems to hold true whether you are man, dog, wheat, weed, or just a seed crystal attracting trace minerals. The entire commercial food chain has been polluted by a cocktail of vicious poisons, many of which cannot legally be proven toxic, because no-one has spent the money developing the tests. GMO's are causing numerous symptoms hinting that the body does not recognise the seeds as food. Fight as we might for honest labelling, the best we can hope for is some generic term, usually prefaced with the word 'approved', such as 'approved' artificial flavourants. It can hide much corporate iniquity, the package label laws. Here's one:

Not even the baddest dog out there deserves bloodsoaked cardboard as a regular part of their diet, labelled as "Filler".
We get a bit nasty about this sort of thing around here.

Actual bearded dragons have large flaps of skin that screams "beard" at you. Jacky dragons have pointy scales in the beard region that change colour often, making their relatively tiny beards (compared to real Bearded Dragons) of some importance to the observer. There are various theories regarding the reasons and rhymes of the visual display of Jackies. Most of them are suspect, as I have observed exactly the same displays in quite opposite circumstances. Look, I am not some kind of expert, but look at the photos, see how my dragons live, and then I will tell you the little I have been able to surmise so far.

Well, your main concern would be to have at least two, and they being of opposite gender. Sex. Somehow the dirty word has now become the politely correct one, for "gender" has been corrupted to mean "publically presented personality". We digress. you need a boy and a girl who know they are a boy and a girl respectively and mutually. In jail conditions, they tend to wrestle a lot, and some blood flows, but more on that in the behaviour section. When breeding, we have seen BiBi get all excited, storm half a country mile to get to Slick, whereupon BiBi will jump on Slick's back, and there they lie for a minute or two. This does not tell the whole story:

Put the dragon on the palm of your hand, tail pointing at your nose.

Lift the tail straight up so you can see the underside where it joins to the body.

You will see not an organ, but one or two bumps under the skin. If you see two parallel bumps, forming the shape of a vertical slot, you have a male. One bump horizontally is a female. Weird, but here's why:

You are looking at either the one set of ovaries, horizontally installed, or TWO penises, left and right, vertical and parallel. Go figure. Now remember, breeding is not heavenly magic, you need at least one of each of these to breed. It's how life works, until Monsanto gets to patent all the genes on earth.

 

Jacky Dragons, contrary to my initial expectation of coldblooded indifference and reptilian fight-or-flight behaviour, actually have personalities. Some are friendlier than others. Some can be quite adventurous, or else shy and aloof. Some will only eat once you leave them alone, most will soon accept you and wrestle your fingers for worms. We are still learning what Dragons are saying, but we know they communicate, because they  regularly exhibit certain behaviour. 

On the photos of our Dragon Garden, you may notice some familiar plants; Daisies, Dandelion, Burnett, ox grass, strawberries, purslaine, hemp. Not seen is grated pumpkin, carrot, salad, apple, all things Dragons love. It is quite satisfying to watch your Dragon lay into a clump of English violets like there's no tomorrow. They also like worms and bugs, of course, and I suspect they will snap at anything smaller than their own head.

Dragons are from Australia, in particular the bushveld type areas. By that we mean it is not desert, not forest, not grassland, but rocks and bushes and grasses and tough flowers and even tougher prey. We have tried to emulate this, and we built the Critter Garden habitat for them. We originally received two Dragons as a gift from some colleague. They lived in their -admittedly roomy- glass-fronted prisons for a year, when I decided to take interest. Frankly, who the hell keeps a cold-blooded lizard as a pet? It's not even like the thing can learn even basic tricks. Seeing them sulk behind their windows really got to me though, so I built them a place in the garden, where they now live and seemingly love. See the photos.

We breed totally and completely free range, no pampering, wild running bug eating mouse gobbling Bosvelders.

Of all the things this article will one day tell you, let this be the first:

Don't let your chickens sit in a heap soiling themselves, and never, ever, collect their waste for any reason other than to get it as far away from your chickens as possible. Free ranging chickens are much happier and healthier than anything you buy, but the meat is certainly tastier, but also much tougher.

 So, you want to keep some chickens. Maybe you already know where to find a chicken. Like puppies, they are a dreadfully compelling thing in a shop window. Maybe you should read this too, it may have something new to say about where to find chickens. Firstly, what kind of chicken are you looking for? How do you want to keep it, and most importantly, what do you want to do with that chicken? I guess your first answer has something to do with eggs. You are, of course, aware that only girl chickens lay eggs, and there are no boy hens. You will need at least one hen. If you want to have a rooster as well, take note of two things: 

You are not allowed to keep a rooster within city limits. The darn things crow at ungodly hours, your neighbour will contact you, and he’s not likely to be in a good mood after a ruined night. 

A rooster is too much man for one hen, get at least four hens, or five, they can share the abuse and survive the constant, umm, you know.

 Anyhow, where to find your chickens. Most pet shops on the outskirts of any town will keep some fancy ones. Many people actually want pretty chickens, and there are some real pretty chickens out there. Showgrade exotic chickens can cost a bundle, and many are quite useless as egglayers, and their meat poor, so do some research on that special breed you so much want. Those are really best bought at shows, from the people who show them. Like all thoroughbreds, there is a lively community to help you. For the common man, I say you go to the nearest smallholding. If they do not have extras to sell, they will probably know someone who can help you. Unless you know how to sex chickens, I suggest you get mature ones, who are easy to differentiate; hens do not have a hard, pointy bone thing sticking out just below their knees, which bend backward. It is called a spur, and it can hurt you bad.

 Another warning about buying chickens: the real professionals, who ‘produce’ six thousand eggs per shift, they do not have any roosters, because they do not need them to eat expensive feed. Roosters are separated at very early age, and ‘made away with’. Apparently the modern way is to gas them en masse. Some are rescued, or rather, sold off to unscrupulous vendors for mere cents per live chick. These very handsome young fellows then end up as bona fide merchandise on the corner of every peri-urban community. Given they were bred to grow fast, they have some value as meat, if slaughtered early and tender, but you will never get an egg from a roadside cardboard chick tray roosterlet.

 Another ready source of live chickens is the hens from the same egg factory. Battery hens are fed a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics to speed up the production of eggs and to stay alive in the severely unnatural confines of a wire cage. These hens’ production rates are carefully monitored, and hens beyond the age of profitability requirements are ‘done away with’. At least this time, they tend to be sold off to be slaughtered. It is possible, from certain factories, to buy these hens at fair prices. The easiest source for these chickens is Saturday Morning Pavement Market at any informal settlement. Do be aware; these chickens lived on a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics. If you do not continue feeding them this chemical smorgasbord, you have a guaranteed mortality rate after two days of 60-100%. If you can pull them through, you have another day or three to teach them to eat normally. This can best be done by putting a piece of fencing between the (by now exhausted and weak) chicken and her bowl of seeds. They seem to understand the stuff on the other side of the wire cage is food. Water is also a problem, as their beaks are likely to be malformed by the steel nipple they drank from all their lives; make sure there is some moisture in their first food.

 At Greenpets, we made all these mistakes and more. We know how to get those chickens through their initial shock, we save most, actually, but we don’t bother anymore. They never learn to breed, raise chicks, run from predators… they are too stupid to keep themselves dry, and most importantly, the genes:

 Last statistics I heard was that the two most popular strains of battery chickens in South Africa have between two and four allele pairs relating to immunity and disease resistance. Two or four, normal farm chickens have twenty and more pairs of immunity alleles. Battery chickens are not bred to survive nature, and freeing them is an expensive and mostly doomed exercise. Eating them, well now, that is now your informed choice. Genetically degenerated meat raised on a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics, yummy.

 To sum up: Get a box as big as your car will hold, and take a drive through your any neighbourhood you see chickens running around. Like with all other business transactions, there are always sharks, but this seems to be the standard rule: you will pay per kilo, live or dead, for just about any edible animal on this earth, including some creatures you would never expect on your plate. Chicken meat prices available from your nearest shop, a very large chicken can weigh four kilos, but two kilos is considered fair deal on the average hen. The chicken at your supermarket is not a good guide, because after all the growth hormones and all that, you still have to add one last ingredient to your factory chicken: Salt water, at least fifteen percent, injected into the chicken ‘for flavour and softness’. You are paying forty-what per kilo for salt water! Those chickens weigh 1,5 or 2 kilos in the packet, real chickens are lighter after slaughtering.

 One last consideration before you buy chickens: they attract predators. All kinds of hungry feet will find their way to your chickens, trust me, so newbies beware, buy three or so at a time, until you have been robbed enough to have learned the somewhat specialist trade of chicken security. This is of importance when considering your family’s security.

 

The ultimate all-terrain transport. The best friend you can have. A ton of muscle that allows you to drag it around the world.

We have four horses. Correction; we have two horses, a pony and a miniature horse. We always have to explain, the tiny thingy is not a Shetland pony, it is a local South African miniature breed horse, whereas that hulk of muscle over there, the highly trained Cowboy Showhorse (don't ask), that horse there just about three centimetres lower at the shoulder than the two other horses over there? Well, those three centimetres is the only difference between a horse and a pony. The only difference, promise, there is a specific shoulder height for a thoroughbred horse, and anything shorter is called a pony. Now you know, too. We also have two donkeys, very interesting animals, indeed. You want a free horse? well...

Take it slow, but remember every single step; you may need a shortcut when there are tomatoes to be had.

We have a few tortoises who visit us from time to time. They roam free, but return regularly to come "harvest" the seasonal delicacy. The biggest, Tuirtz, was brought here from a place where he shared a garden with a big dog. The tortoise was a walking knaw-bone, he was oozing blood through his shell. One of the many reasons why keeping wild animals as pets is such a bad idea, it being illegal is not scary enough for some people. He was rescued (bought at a price the guy could not refuse), and brought to us for treatment. We knew nothing about tortoises, so we cleaned up best we could, and put it in a safe place outside. After a few days, he was healing well, chomping down my garden I just managed to dig in. We kept him safe for winter, by spring he took to the road hungrily, and returned a few months later, probably by accident, but I think it was for the tomatoes.Tortoises go apeshell for a tomato. And dandelions. A tortoise will eat a dandelion patch into the ground before you notice it moved.

Budgies; the colourful clowns of cageland.
Budgies are actually pests in some parts of the world, where they swarm in huge numbers, damaging crops as they migrate around their territory. To blame are the feral birds that managed to survive long enough to find sanctuary in a flock, there to breed like the flying mice they are. In general, a budgie's bright colours, noisy habits and general inability to fly well enough after a life in a cage, means they do not survive. Every other territorial bird it encounters, will bully it, and every predator wants to taste the brightly advertised snack. When you are running all the time, there is no time to eat and rest, and you will soon die. Don't release unwanted birds, even if the poor thing survives, it will only end up being a pestilence for some farmer.
That said, budgies are small agile birds that can get enough exercise in a relatively small cage. At Greenpets, relatively small means you can't walk in upright carrying two buckets without bumping anything. Relatively small is where you keep something you plan to provide with proper habitat sooner than later. Relatively big, on the other hand, can mean anything more spacious than the tiny wire jail they sold you your pet in. Sometimes just opening the cage and letting the poor thing fly around a bit makes me feel better already. One has to be careful though, sometimes the animal you want to teach some love, was taught some serious fear and hatred when young. Budgies are like that. Some allow you to handle them, especially the ones who know you from birth. New arrivals tend to visciously knaw on your fingers. They are quite strong biters, budgies are.
In general, budgies are very easy to keep, and with a bit of proper interest, you can keep them healthy and happy quite cheaply. See further down this page for all sorts of interesting things you can feed your budgie, you might be surprised to know where so-called budgie seed comes from. No, budgies are colourful all by themselves, they don't bloom and form seed, silly.
Budgies breed easily enough if the conditions are right, and you can run out of space very quickly once they get going. Like mice, comparitively speaking, when compared to, for example, the rare Agnodusian Eagle that lays one egg every leap year provided April first is a Sunday. Go see the page on breeding, it should tell you enough to get going. Which brings me to that part of the article we all dread: the neverending bitching about Natural Living and all that. Right now, 2017, in Gauteng, you will find budgies for sale all over, but they are starting to show serious signs of inbreeding. I was made aware some fifteen or twenty years ago that a chap from Lenazia decided to corner the budgie market in Gauteng. He went around buying up every budgie he could find, and selling back into circulation only males.
I am told he made some pretty moolah by monopolising the entire budgie trade, but now Gauteng's budgies are so inbred, we sit with four grey budgies, and five yellow ones, of which two are albinos. Yellow budgies are rare but not strange, albinos on the other hand... Add to that the more frequent appearance of assymetry, disturbed feather arrangements, beak deformities... Gauteng's budgies are in trouble, and we at Greenpets plan to do something. To start with, we offer a budgie exchange. We have had very few takers so far, admittedly, it sounds weird that we would swop you for another budgie that looks nearly identical, but as we get budgies in from further and further away, we are surer and surer to find fresh blood. Unlike the Sultan of Crippled Budgies, we are not trying to get rich, we are trying to help a species being bred into disease and failure by people who insist on profit no matter what damage they leave behind.
Support the Greenpets Budgie Genome Diversification Programme. No, that is just a thought-up name, trying to sound impressive and knowledgeable when all we want is for budgies and people to feel free again.

Newly born males may confuse you until their nostrils harden and starts discolouring. And there you have the single factor needed to sex your badgie: Males have darkened, blue to grey purple nostrils. There is a word for those nostril growths, you know? Anyway, females remain sort of pinkish cream all their life, and males become dark. That's it, you don't even have to open the cage. I must still see how this translates for the albino yellow ones...

Breeding Budgies is easy enough.
First, make sure you have a proper breeding pair. This means you did not buy them from the same shop, in the same city or even anywhere in your province. Chances are you are buying brother and sister, or at the very best a great granddaughter and her late uncle's twice removed nephew who mated with auntie who got bred from her own middle brother. See the budgie introductory moan about inbreeding and bad budgie blood in Gauteng, and please don't join the monetised march to budgie martyrdom. ...Or any other get-rich-quick breeding scheme you have bubbling in your noggin. On the other hand, almost two percent of new humans are autistic, so poisoned blood is fashion. Don't do it, dear humane human, if you think the money is worth the pain, then

Budgie Communication is classic Bimbo Yoohoo
No, really, budgies chirp chirp chirp, but it seemingly never changes. This implies there are sounds modulated onto that chirp we cannot hear, or that repetitive chirp actually has variety, only it is so subtle or fast we cannot distinguish a change. If they talk, I don't hear it.
Budgies do have a rather rich body language. Probably the first one you will spot is face-knawing. It looks like they are kissing, but there seems to be an element of intimidation too. Fighting males will also bite at the face, but they also pull feathers, sit on the opponent, push him up and down a perch. Wherever the poor thing wants to sit, is never good enough for the bully. The fighting is always about

Budgies make their own seed, therefor: Budgie seed.
Actually, there is no such thing as budgie seed. What the shop sells you, is a mixture of millets, oats and sometimes other small seeds. Budgies will eat any seed they can open up. You can collect the seeds from grasses and ribwort and sesame and sunflower, and oat grass, and finger millet, and all the other things growing where lawnmowers have not destroyed all. Any seed small enough will do, even evening primrose, cabbage seeds, mustard, dang, they eat like mice.
Some budgies even nibble on fruit, but I don't see them get as excited as when I, for example, bring a handfull of chickweed, or smutsgrass, or quickweed, carrot tops, soft green grasses, thistle flowers, anything soft and juicy, but NEVER FEED ROOTS TO BIRDS. Too many are poisonous to birds. Think Naturally now; how many birds have you seen dig after roots? Me neither. Dig for worms, yes, even bugs or small animals, but not roots. Yah, sure, quote me the rare and almost extinct Booligordian Carrot Cockatoo, that eats only beetroot. Bet you don't have one in your cage. If I had one, I would plant beetroot all over. But for now I stick to small seeds, soft greens and lots of fresh water with a small crystal of Aloe Ferox in the water. It turns the water brown eventually, but sometimes a stir helps to disolve it. All birds seem to have immediate benefit from this. In a small cage with limited variety of food, one of those mineral blocks they sell you at the merchant in innocent life is essential. If you are too lazy to harvest fresh food for your budgie, at least buy him something to nibble on for minerals. We at Greenpets much prefer the fresh greens way. It is Natural Rearing with Naturally Raw! food to support a Natural Living health conciousness. That's the Greenpets way. Go see the GREENPETS HERBAL for more edible greens to feed your birds.

Budgies are birds. With wings.
Birds fly high and wide, looking for food, shelter, mates. They must surely adore the effort you put into choosing the right plastic mirror for their wire shoebox jail. As said earlier, just setting the poor thing free does not absolve you of responsibility for the life you have bought and now claim mastership of. If you do not have the time to spend with an animal so it learns to share your space freely, why did you buy it? To prove you can afford it? Because it was sooo pretty? Well, congratulations, you afforded acquiring that beautiful, innocent life, now care for it. If you cannot share your habitat with it, either

Rudyard Kipling wrote a story about the cat that is free. It is a myth worthy of that great writer.
For our opinion on cats, please contact our owners. I do believe we are not allowed an actual opinion on cats other than what we think they should get for dinner, and breakfast, and snacks, and between snacks.
The occasional tooth-and-nail brawl and a leg over after the fight, now that's a cat's life. Do not ever think you own a cat. Life does not work like that, but if you really do well, and the cat thinks you are worthy, it will come when you call it. True, it only comes in the hopes of seeing food, but it comes. Many people think cats do not respond to their name, but actually they are morally quite advanced creatures. If they ignore you, it is because they are busy with higher things, and a mere mortal like you can wait until you are acknowledged. Cat language is a very personal thing, and the more we learn, the more proof we find that cats might be interplanetary visitors, stuck here after a dog they were buzzing bit their spacecraft thinking it a frisbee. Dogs were bigger in those days.
Cats are not really trainable. What you do with a cat is to raise it according to strict and steady rules. Cats do not respond well to violence, and they can rip holes in you that may leave you surprisingly bloody and long in healing. A happy, fulfilled cat, on the other hand, has amazing cognition, and knows exactly what you expect of it, and how far it can push you before you catch on. Mistake you not, a cat will manipulate you the way your mom did, only you don't expect that from a dumb animal. Every master of propaganda will tell you that controlling your subjects depend very much on them not realising they are being herded along. Cats are master manipulators, and the term "as impossible as herding cats" actually has political undertones, a rebellious quip at the cost of our divine masters, CATS. They don't mind the insults, a billion ripped curtains, two billion tattered couches, three billion ripped and bleeding hands all prove that cats don't mind violence, and you will pay for every misstep against felines.
There has been suggestions that a cat's whiskers operate like dowsing rods. This is why they can detect a mouse other side of a wall, or in a hole. I am not aware of any further research into the matter, but that is hardly surprising. Before your mind can even contemplate designing such research, you have to bend your beliefs around two obstacles: Intelligent, concious and metaphysically aware animals, and the existence of a folklorish superpower of finding things by pointing a stick in random directions. Somehow, i don't think the chappies at Cambridge will take time off their pederast party schedule to research such obvious nonsense.
Until that situation changes, please read the article on cat behaviour, it mentions six different but distinct and recognisable ways your cat ignores you.
The last issue is that of cat collars. At Greenpets, we understand that some people actualy tolerate collared pets better, because they obviously have owners. Like humans, cats are also victim to classism and disrespect by those who consider themselves priviledged-by-right. An aristocat with pretty collar gets a treat and a rub, poor streetcat gets the boot and boiling water. In neighbourhoods like that, it is best to clearly collar your cat, but beware: Thousands of cats get throttled by collars caught up in obstructions the cat was jumping over, in essence hanging the cat by the neck until dehydration and exposure kills it. If you are going to collar your cat, make sure the cat's weight is enough to break that collar loose, okay? Cat biltong tatses like cruelty. Maybe that is what jerky is made of.

 

Our animals, your animals and all the things that makes life better for animals.

Everything we know about Dragons that might be useful to someone else.

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Keeping, Feeding and Breeding Budgies in Gauteng

Keeping, training, Feeding, Breeding cats in Gauteng

Gardening without modern poisons is a challenge, and understanding the lifecycle of your enemies takes some observation.