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‘ She’s on fire ‘: Elizabeth Warren on the rise- but has work to do to win black voters

Biden guides among African Americans but Warren has gained ground with ambitious programme intentions and hours-long selfie lines

Linda Edwards is the family authority on all matters of politics. Every election year, she watches the word, studies the candidates, attends campaign incidents and yields a verdict.

A year before the 2020 election, the 68 -year-old retired pharmacist from Charlotte has her study cut out: 19 Democrats vying to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Yet with five months left before voting beginning in the primary hasten, Edwards says she is ready to make an endorsement.

” Elizabeth Warren is the absolute greatest ,” Edwards said of the Massachusetts senator after waiting for more than an hour to take a selfie with her at a recent safarus occurrence in Rock Hill, South Carolina.” I always had her at the top of the list but she is the No 1 now. I absolutely support her .”

Since entering the race nine a few months ago, Warren has steadily gained sand with ambitious policy proposals, a decision to swear-off high-dollar fundraising episodes and her hours-long selfie boundaries. But if she is to prevail the nomination, it will probably be with the help of African American voters such as Edwards, part of an increasingly strong and decisive constituency in the Democratic party.

A spate of recent polls show Warren edging past Joe Biden in the first two early-voting nations of Iowa and New Hampshire, dwelling to predominantly white electorates. But in South Carolina, where African American voters make up an estimated 60% of Democratic primary voters, Biden still experiences a wide lead.

In South Carolina, known as the Palmetto State, which holds the” firstly in the south” primary on 29 February next year, Biden conducts Warren by 21 extents, are consistent with a CNN poll secreted the coming week. Although they draw the same share of support from grey primary voters in the nation, 45% of black Democrats back Biden compared to precisely 4% who favor Warren.

” I don’t know how anyone can become the Democratic nominee- or the next president of the United States, for that matter- without strong, across-the-board support from African American voters ,” said Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in South Carolina, who is not aligned with a candidate.” South Carolina is the first exam of that support .”

The event at Clinton College in Rock Hill on Saturday spotlit the challenge for Warren as she works to introduce herself to African Americans in the state.

Despite the unbearable heat and humidity, roughly 1,400 attended her outdoor rally, and hundreds remained afterward for selfies. Yet the crowd that blanketed the campus of this historically black college was overwhelmingly white.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth Warren addresses the crowd at the occasion at Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Photograph: Meg Kinnard/ Associated Press

Biden outlined a smaller, but most diverse, crowd when he visited the college earlier this year.

Biden’s reign in the nation residuals on his deep ties to colors political leaders and his busines as Barack Obama’s vice-president, which have constructed him popular among older, more conservative black voters.

” We trust him ,” said Steve Love, a local councilman in neighboring York, who endorsed Biden.” Obama is not got going to elect a vice-president who doesn’t have our back .”

Love met Warren before her rally and offered “point-blank” advice.

” If you are intended to clear increases in our community, you are really going to have to come into local communities and sit down and talk to us ,” he told her.

Warren says she has plans to do exactly that.

” What I’m doing is showing up and trying to talk to beings on the reasons why I’m in this fight, about what’s broken, about how to fix it and how we’re building a grassroots movement to get it done ,” Warren told reporters after the revival.” It’s not just one plan. It’s everywhere .”

Woven into her raft of police proposals are specific prescriptions to address ethnic injustice. Her proposal to forgive most student lend indebtednes and obligate college tuition-free attempts to reduce the racial resource gap that disproportionately headache pitch-black students. The recommendation would also invest $50 m in historically pitch-black colleges and universities( HBCUs ), such as Clinton.

Her affordable casing plan specifically aims to redress decades of discriminatory housing practices and redlining in places such as the Mississippi Delta, where “shes gone” early in her safarus to highlight the initiative.

She was one of the first campaigners to endorse congressional legislation that would create a commission to study reparations for the offsprings of slaves. And at a recent forum on LGBTQ issues in Iowa last week, Warren began her observes by speak their lists of 18 black transgender wives killed this year.” It is time for a president of the United States of America to say their mentions ,” she said.

” Black tribes have a very unique experience that requires policies that pinpoint that experience ,” said Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families party, a progressive political organization that endorsed Warren.

” The candidates who aren’t afraid to talk about race and class at the same time, those are the candidates that are going to compel black people to not just show up at the referendums ,” he continued,” but to becomes involved, to volunteer, to engage and to build a movement with them .”

A
A female listens to Democratic presidential campaigner Elizabeth Warren at an contest in New Hampshire. Photograph: Cheryl Senter/ Associated Press

Black voters, and black women in particular, are the most loyal Democratic voting bloc. In 2016, African Americans comprised almost a quarter, 24%, of Democratic primary voters- a share that is expected to rise in 2020.

There are signs Warren’s efforts are paying off, especially among African American women.

A Quinnipiac poll showed that her foundation among black voters nationally clambered over the summer from 4% in July to 19% in September as Biden’s support slipped from 53 % in July to 40% in September.

At several presidential forums concentrates on voters of colour and in private meetings with activists and pitch-black leads this year, Warren has left her audiences affected, said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, political advocacy group focused on women of color that hosted an contest with 2020 candidates in Houston earlier this year.

” She is campaigning immediately to women of color ,” she said.” And at the same time, she is attracting white progressives. That has the potential to be a potent coalition .”

Cliff Albright, cofounder of Black Voters Matter, said fresh scrutiny of Biden’s record and his recent observes on race- from comments about working with segregationists to a discordant reply to a debate question about reparations- are starting to chip away at his support, especially among younger color voters.

” The more that black people hear from Elizabeth Warren, the more they are intrigued by her ,” Albright said.” The opposite happens with Joe Biden .”

But public opinion surveys and interrogations with voters hint Biden’s plea is perhaps more durable than numerous expect.

Melissa Rouse, 46 and Tracey Easter, 44, cousins from Charlotte who sat in folding chairs under the shade of a tree as they waited for Warren to speak, said they have not yet settled on a candidate, but Warren was at the top of their list.

That wasn’t the case for many of their older relatives, who they said are firmly committed to Biden.

” My mommy is 76 and she enjoys, affections, charities Joe Biden ,” Rouse said.” They feel like they are aware of him .”

Both said they fantasized Biden would be the strongest candidate against Trump. Nevertheless, they came to be persuaded by Warren.

” When beings have an opportunity to be in her attendance and hear her letter, they ever leave affected ,” said Wendy Brawley, a South Carolina position representative who has endorsed Warren.” Now I’m starting to hear,’ This is a person who I not only like and reinforce, but who can actually triumph .'”

Before leaving Rock Hill, Warren made a final stop for dinner at Gourmet Soul Kitchen. As cooks raced to prepare an order of deep-fried prawn and shush puppies, Warren ran the area, establishing herself to staff and diners, all of whom were black.

Deborah Cousar, a 60 -year-old retired nursing deputy “whos been” rushed to the restaurant with her grandchildren upon hearing of the senator’s see, beamed as Warren told her 11 -year-old granddaughter that she was loping for chairperson because ” that’s what girls do.

Though their meeting was brief, it left an impression on Cousar. While she intends to hear out the other candidates, especially as the primary hasten for South Carolina intensifies, Cousar indicated by the” vibrant female” from Massachusetts will be hard to beat.

” She’s on fire ,” Cousar said.” If she only retains on doing what she’s doing, I think she’s going to persuade them pretty good .”

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Undocumented, vulnerable, scared: the women who pick your meat for$ 3 an hour

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In the fields of south Texas Mexican maidens toil long hours in dangerous states under the ever-present threat of deportation

On a rainy, pre-dawn Monday morning in areas falling within the scope of the Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border in south Texas, little constellations of flashlights gleam across the light-green plain. They are held by undocumented immigrants, principally from Mexico, and primarily living in fear of arrest and deportation but cultivating all the same to provide for their families. Their digits twist the tie on knots of parsley or hack stalks of kale until their palms blister. Most of Texas is still asleep.

Many of them are paid on a contract basis, by the box. A box of cilantro will make a worker$ 3; experienced farmworkers say they can fill one within an hour, which makes a usual 5am to 6pm work day would earn them $39 total. The duty can go from physically awkward and banal( cilantro, loot, beets) to outright pain and dangerous( watermelon, parsley, grapefruit ).

Farmworkers
Farmworkers hand over the collard common knots that they reaped in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

The few women who work in the fields face even more hardships. Specimen of workplace sexual harassment and abuse are raging and are both underreported and under-prosecuted. It is common for women to capitulate to a supervisor’s betterments because she can’t risk losing her job or expulsion. Most of these women are supporting children as well.

In the fields of south Texas, those women represent a diverse cross-section of lives upturned by drug-related and domestic violence in Mexico. Under brand-new US immigration protocols, these are extraordinarily tense meters for immigrants- getting caught by officials could necessitate being sent back or having your boys incorporated in a enclosure. And hitherto the women included in this piece refused to hide their faces or conversion their names.

They want their narratives told.

Janet, 36

Janet,
Janet, 36, left, and her father Edith, 55 constitute for a photograph outside Janet’s house. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

” I anticipate I run evenly as fast as the men ,” Janet Castro says, deflecting over and slicing the springs from the greens of the cilantro gather. A 36 -year-old veteran of fieldwork( “shes been” picking grow since she was 17 ), Castro is able to hold a speech without stopping the swift movement of her bayonet. A bandanna treats her nose and mouth to keep the headache-inducing cilantro smell out; otherwise the headache last-places for hours after she’s left the field.

Parsley is worse:” There is a milk in the stanches of the parsley that gets on us when we cut it ,” she illustrates. As a cause, one day in the fields cutting parsley can intend two weeks of itchy, stinging skin that is rough to the touch.” We can’t wear gloves because the boss says a piece of the gauntlet could get into the product ,” she explains, and long sleeves was able to press the milk into the skin.

‘I’m be applicable to it ,” she shrugs, in her stoic road, as she scratches her scaly arm.

Janet has worked with the same supervisor for nine years. She describes him as a good guy who has even lent her $200 when she needed it. Despite bending over for most of the day, she says she doesn’t suffer the same back pain that other farmworkers do.” I’m really fast at the onion, but there are some men who say I am taking their work. The response I have is that this work is for my kids .”

Janet met her husband the first time she started working in the fields. Back at home, they have three children, each with developmental problems; one, the midriff daughter, has autism and needs a part-time caretaker. Her older son has suffered epileptic seizures since he was a baby, and the youngest is starting to show developmental topics as well. Janet says her doctors accept the resources of her children’s problems are the compounds used in the fields, but her undocumented status conducted her to never endeavour legal action. Plus, she didn’t want to lose her job.

Her solace is the Catholic church, and on her one day off- Sunday- she takes her family there. Subsequentlies they hasten home, to avoid any potential run-ins with immigration authorities. She says she has heard rumors of immigration stings at parties and throngs after faith, and although she says she does not live in fear, she still says she doesn’t like to take that risk.

She hopes that someday she might be able to call herself an American citizen.” I exactly hope there is a way for us to get documents, because some of us are truly work it. Others are lazy and stay home, but I’m really working hard ,” she says before putting her youngest to bed, seven hours before she’ll need to arrive at the parsley domain the next morning.

Edith, 55

Edith,
Edith came to the US nearly 20 years ago.’ I came to this country to give my family a better life. Work is very hard, but I don’t mind. We have to work .’ Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Edith is Janet’s mom, though her outspoken manner differentiates sharply with her daughter’s low-key, reticent manner. If Edith comes off as strong-headed, she says that her life has demanded it.

Edith ran as a paramedic in Mexico, but she could barely make ends meet.” I lived in total poverty in Mexico ,” she says, her sees dampening.” My home was just a wood shanty and where reference is rained we would get wet. I came here because this is a country of possibilities .”

Today she lives with her daughter Janet and her daughter’s pedigree, but years ago their lives were turned upside down, shortly after Edith came across the Rio Grande River in the early 1990 s alone in an inner tube at night.

Four months after Edith arrived and experienced operate as a housekeeper for a local singer, she voyaged back to Veracruz, Mexico, to make her three teenage children across the border. Janet and her sister, both girls then, noted task as housekeepers as well, but were getting beset by mortals as they sauntered dwelling from their jobs. One day, Janet’s sister countenanced a trip home and disappeared. Her brother, Edith’s son, observed his sister after weeks of searching in an apartment building in another town. It is a fact that she and another girl had been being held there against their will and abused. Edith’s son went to the police to report the crime, and Edith says the abductors were jailed for a week, her son was also penalise: he was evicted.” The researcher simply told me to call if my daughter got abducted again ,” Edith recalls with disgust,” and that’s when I decided to move towns “.

Starting over, Edith shed herself into work in the fields.” I don’t mind the hard work ,” she says,” I came to this country to fight .” Over her two decades of work in the fields, Edith has earned herself a honour among the men as a tough chingona – a badass woman. Once, who used to work the watermelon fields where rattlesnakes are notorious, Edith use her paramedic sciences to save the life of a worker who was bitten by a snake:” I employed my lip to it[ his leg] and sucked out the venom and spit it out .” Such bravery has turned her into a kind of mentor to other women working in the fields.

Farmworkers
Farmworkers hand over the collard light-green bunches that they gleaned in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

She also informally admonishes other female farmworkers against capitulating to the pressure of men soliciting sex in exchange for better working conditions.” I ever tell them,’ We have worked hard to be here , now don’t let yourself down .'” She says she still ascertains young women taken off by the supervisors to recess of the fields, but she has hope:” People know their rights a lot better now than they used to .”

Commonplace labor questions such as intimidation, refusal of collective labour agreements privileges, wage denying or payable overtime work are also extraordinary obstructions that they have few recourses to fight.

A report by Human Rights Watch notes that although US law entitles undocumented employees to workplace protections,” the US government’s interest in protecting illegal craftsmen from abuse conflicts with its interest in deporting them .” That report was written in 2015, but President Trump’s heightened drive for deportation and margin closure has only drawn things more hopeless for undocumented farmworkers attempting to protect their labor rights.

That’s part of why Edith still considers giving up everything and returning with her family to Mexico.

” When you’re illegal here, it’s like you’re in prison. If you need help, there’s nowhere to go .”

Maria Rebecca, 23

María
Maria Rebecca, 23, and her daughter. She was eight when she started facilitating her father picking strawberries in Michoacan. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Maria Rebecca came to the US when she was pregnant with her second child three years ago, leaving her older son with her mothers back in Michoacan.

” My mummy expended her whole life working in the fields[ in Mexico ], and the only reason she stopped was because one of the veins in her gaze popped while she was working .”

Her sister and her daddy are still back in Michoacan working the fields, and it was her other sister who announced her to Texas, where she had already moved to.

” My sister is well aware that I cherished working in the area, and she was just telling me I could make a lot more coin here .” Back in Mexico she would make about $30 a week. Here, she could acquire $200 a week- if, that is, she was willing to take on the most dangerous types of work- gathering in the orchards. She was: farm work is Maria Rebecca’s life.

” I started working in the fields when I was eight. I appreciated that the rest of the girls were buying lollipops after school, but we didn’t have enough coin for me to buy them, so I decided to work .”

She says that while still in elementary school, she discontinued attending five days a week so that she could work a few periods a few weeks and deserve a little spending money. What prevented her in academy was the free lunch on those epoches; at home, dinners were more irregular, she says with a shrug, as she swingings on a bench beneath a pecan tree in her sister’s figurehead garden. Her daughter sits softly beside her, wide-eyed with her little hoof just dangling off the bench.

Throughout middle school Maria Rebecca says she continued working in the fields, priding herself on manufacturing enough coin to buy instant noodles for lunch. By ninth grade, she removed out of school completely and turned to farm work full era, but she does not speak about it with much sadnes. While some teenagers feel pride by excelling in institution or athletics, Maria Rebecca felt pride in excelling at farm duty. She narrates her working experiences like a more privileged person might recount their travel escapades.” I remember toiling the strawberry fields and having to walk up the two sides of a mound barefoot because it was too muddy to wear boots. The owners remained the liquid extending to keep the strawberries fresh, but we would slip and drop all the time ,” she says with a laugh.

Maria,
Maria collects grapefruits in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Despite the harsh work conditions she tolerated in Mexico, she says fieldwork in the US is even more demanding because her wage is not paid hourly- ie consistent regardless of how hard she works- but rather by the box.” Here we are paid by weight, so you have to work very fast. Here it is a lot harder .”

The Rio Grande Valley is famous for its wintertime citrus season, when small-town citrus carnivals peculiarity delicious neighbourhood oranges and grapefruit. Early one morning during this year’s collect, Maria Rebecca is already up on a ladder, reaching precariously for each fruit, to drop down into her giant canvas bag.

The physicality of orchard work is astonishingly difficult and dangerous. She bends a ladder slick with dew and rainwater against a tree, where it catches- hopefully tightly- on the forks. Then she makes her style up the 14 -foot ladder, all the way to the top, to the last rung. Along the space, she is stretching to reach grapefruit, and tugging at them to get them to liberate and sink. Any that strike the sand can’t be used, so she obtains them all in a luggage that is slung crossbody and hanging on one side of her hip. The suitcase weighs anywhere between 60 to 80 lb when full of fruit. One missed step on the ladder, or a lean too far to the side, and she’ll fall.

That’s already happened to her twice this year. Once, her paw slipped off the ladder stair during a rainstorm, yanking her match backwards and moving her to the ground, the container disembark on top of her. On her route down, she slammed the back of her leader against the corner of a tractor trailer. She describes knowledge concussion syndromes( though she says she has never heard the word “concussion” ). A doctor’s visit was out of the question.” Without articles, I merely is seeking to not justification current problems ,” she excuses, twisting her mouth to the side and examining down to brush dirt off her daughter’s jeans. She was also unaware of her legal rights in seeking compensation for her injury.

Still, Maria Rebecca is afraid that the work could one day hurt her severely sufficient to introduced her children at risk. After her era in the orchard, she dotes on her three-year-old daughter, whose pitch-black mane she carefully combs back and ensuring with minuscule barrettes. She lives in her sister’s nice mobile home, and maintains a tidy and stable number for their own children( her sister sells Tupperware from the back of a auto ).

” I can’t imagine not working in the fields ,” she says.” I always want to keep working, because I never crave a male to be able to control me and ask students how I spent his fund. But I guess I am going to leave this work. I fell again last week. I believe I want to go to Mexico .”

Blanca, 36

Blanca,
Blanca, 36, says she is good at pedicures, but is not eligible to do that in the US because she is undocumented.’ It’s harder for women to work the fields. Some can, but I’m just not used to it .’ Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Blanca first entered the US more than a decade ago by simply treading across one of the bridges that connect Mexico to the Rio Grande Valley, she says, a bit nervously, since things are different now.” Now to get here you have to pay …” she says, though she leaves unclear whether she makes paying the coyotes who traffic parties across the border or with their own lives, as many migrants do.

When she first came to the US, she found her labor options frustrating.” I know how to do pedicures really well, I are certainly skilled at it actually. But I can’t do that kind of used to work, because I don’t have newspapers .” So she went back to Mexico, taking her family with her.

But life was not much easier in Tamaulipas state, especially after her husband left two years ago to look for better-paying work back in the US. He felt it in the fields, and where reference is first fulfill and sit in a auto to speak, he kneels just out of earshot in the clay, plucking beets while keeping a distrustful see on her. She expected her husband’s allow before agreeing to be interviewed.

Blanca says that during the time that he was gone, leaving her behind in Mexico to raise their five teenagers, she started to feel scared for her safe.” We lived in a nice target in Mexico, but I lived in a rancho with very few people around, so anytime a follower depicted up at the chamber of representatives, I was feared .” Plus, with a residence full of adolescents- her five children range from 20 to three- she started to worry about their future.” There’s a lot of crime, and I didn’t want my sons working for those hoods. I required them working for good .” Five a few months ago, she eventually packed up the children to join him. She shuns the question of how they spanned this time.

Farmworkers
Farmworkers pick beets in the Rio Grande Valley. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Like her husband, Blanca has taken on fieldwork, even though she does not speculate she is well-suited to it.” It’s harder for women to work the fields. Some can, but I’m just not be applicable to it .” She still hasn’t knowledge a summertime of working in the fields of south Texas, but she is already dreading the hot.” When we walk in the sunlight it is so bad. But likewise, where reference is rains it’s bad extremely, because your legs get wearied from strolling in the silt. And lifting the onions … it’s really heavy .” She tried working the citrus trees like Maria Rebecca but says she quit because it was too hard.

Still, she says she wouldn’t sell fieldwork for life back in Mexico.” I enjoy that here, the kids can go to a good academy and that we can find work ,” she says.” I don’t think I will ever go back to Mexico- only if I am thrust .” She says that she still lives with a high degree of uncertainty:” I lease my home, so we could get knocked out ,” she clarifies, as she gestures around the broken-down trailer home her children are chasing fly-covered puppies out front of.” It’s hard to live this way because you could go to work and simply not come back because the immigration officials demo up.

” Trump says he doesn’t want immigrants here, and I think it’s obvious he precisely detests immigrants. But my question is, why don’t you want us if “were working” so difficult ?”

Shannon Sims is a fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation and a recipient of the Howard G Buffett Fund for Women Correspondent

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Undocumented, vulnerable, scared: the women who pick your food for$ 3 an hour

/ by / Tags: , , , , , ,

In the fields of south Texas Mexican women make long hours in dangerous healths under the ever-present threat of deportation

On a rainy, pre-dawn Monday morning in the fields of the Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border in south Texas, little constellations of flashlights wink across the dark-green plain. They are held by undocumented immigrants, predominantly from Mexico, and principally living in fear of arrest and expulsion but acting all the same to provide for their families. Their thumbs twist the affiliation on knots of parsley or hack stalks of kale until their palms blister. Most of Texas is still asleep.

Many of them are paid on a contract basis, by the box. A carton of cilantro will earn a worker$ 3; suffered farmworkers say they can fill one within an hour, which necessitates a usual 5am to 6pm work day would deserve them $39 total. The handiwork can run from physically unpleasant and everyday( cilantro, loot, beets) to outright unpleasant and dangerous( watermelon, parsley, grapefruit ).

Farmworkers
Farmworkers hand over the collard green knots that they collected in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

The few women who work in the fields face even more adversities. Specimen of workplace sexual harassment and crime are rampant and are both underreported and under-prosecuted. It is common for women to relent to a supervisor’s improvements because she can’t risk losing her job or eviction. Most of these women are supporting children as well.

In the fields of south Texas, those women represent a diverse cross-section of lives upturned by drug-related and domestic violence in Mexico. Under brand-new US immigration protocols, these are extraordinarily tense periods for immigrants- being caught by officials could intend being was sent out or having your boys placed in a cage. And hitherto the women included in this piece refused to hide their faces or modify their names.

They want their narratives told.

Janet, 36

Janet,
Janet, 36, left, and her father Edith, 55 constitute for a photograph outside Janet’s house. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

” I envisage I wield evenly as fast as the three men ,” Janet Castro says, deflecting over and slicing the beginnings from the greens of the cilantro gather. A 36 -year-old veteran of fieldwork( “shes been” picking make since she was 17 ), Castro is able to hold a conference without stopping the swift movement of her knife. A bandanna plows her snout and mouth to keep the headache-inducing cilantro smell out; otherwise the headache lasts for hours after she’s left the field.

Parsley is worse:” There is a milk in the stems of the parsley that gets on us when we cut it ,” she justifies. As a make, one day in the fields cutting parsley can entail two weeks of itchy, stinging skin that is rough to the touch.” We can’t wear gloves because the boss says a piece of the glove could get into the product ,” she justifies, and long sleeves was able to press the milk into the skin.

‘I’m be applicable to it ,” she shrugs, in her stoic space, as she scratches her scaly arm.

Janet has worked with the same supervisor for nine years. She describes him as a good guy who has even lent her $200 when she requires it. Despite bending over for most of the day, she says she doesn’t suffer the same back pain that other farmworkers do.” I’m really fast at the onion, but there are some men who say I am taking their work. The response I have is that this work is for my boys .”

Janet met her husband the first time she started working in the fields. Back at home, they have three children, each with developmental problems; one, the centre daughter, has autism and needs a part-time caretaker. Her older son has suffered epileptic convulsions since he was a baby, and the youngest is starting to show developmental issues as well. Janet says her doctors feel the resources of her children’s questions are the substances used in the fields, but her undocumented status contributed her to never try legal action. Plus, she didn’t want to lose her job.

Her solace is the Catholic church, and on her one day off- Sunday- she takes her family there. Subsequentlies they rush residence, to avoid any potential run-ins with immigration authorities. She says she has heard rumors of immigration bites at states parties and meets after church, and although she says she does not live in fear, she still says she doesn’t like to go that risk.

She hopes that someday she might be able to call herself an American citizen.” I merely hope there is a way for us to get reports, because some of us are really working here. Others are lazy and stay home, but I’m really working hard ,” she says before putting her youngest to bed, seven hours before she’ll need to arrive at the parsley realm the next morning.

Edith, 55

Edith,
Edith came to the US virtually 20 years ago.’ I came to this country to give my family a better life. Work is very hard, but I don’t mind. We have to work .’ Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Edith is Janet’s mom, though her outspoken manner distinguishes sharply with her daughter’s low-key, reticent demeanor. If Edith comes off as strong-headed, she says that her life has demanded it.

Edith operated as a paramedic in Mexico, but she could scarcely make ends meet.” I lived in total privation in Mexico ,” she says, her seeings soaking.” My home was just a lumber shanty and when it rained we would get wet. I came here because this is a country of possibilities .”

Today she lives with her daughter Janet and her daughter’s house, but years ago their lives were turned upside down, shortly after Edith came across the Rio Grande River in the early 1990 s alone in an inner tube at night.

Four months after Edith arrived and known effort as a housekeeper for a local vocalist, she travelled back to Veracruz, Mexico, to wreak her three teenage children across the border. Janet and her sister, both girls then, found toil as housekeepers as well, but were getting provoked by males as they marched residence from their jobs. One daytime, Janet’s sister countenanced a ride dwelling and disappeared. Her brother, Edith’s son, detected his sister after weeks of searching in an apartment building in another town. It is a fact that she and another girl had been being held there against their will and mistreated. Edith’s son went to the police to report the crime, and Edith says the abductors were jailed for a week, her son was also penalized: he was evicted.” The investigate only told me to call if my daughter got abducted again ,” Edith recollects with disgust,” and that’s when I decided to move towns “.

Starting over, Edith threw herself into work in the fields.” I don’t mind the hard work ,” she says,” I came to this country to fight .” Over her two decades of work in the fields, Edith has earned herself a honour among the men as a tough chingona – a badass wife. Once, while working the watermelon fields where rattlesnakes are notorious, Edith employed her paramedic abilities to save the life of a worker who was bitten by a serpent:” I put my opening to it[ his leg] and sucked out the toxin and spit it out .” Such mettle has turned her into a kind of mentor to other women working in the fields.

Farmworkers
Farmworkers hand over the collard light-green clusters that they reaped in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

She also informally lawyers other female farmworkers against relenting to the pressure of men soliciting sex in exchange for better working conditions.” I always tell them,’ We have worked hard to be here , now don’t let yourself down .'” She says she still determines young women taken off by the supervisors to angles of the fields, but she has hope:” People know their rights a lot better now than they used to .”

Commonplace labor problems such as intimidation, refusal of collective labour agreements privileges, compensation denying or unpaid overtime work are also enormous overcomes that they have few recourses to fight.

A report by Human Rights Watch notes that although US law entitles undocumented proletarians to workplace defences,” the US government’s interest in protecting illegal craftsmen from corruption conflicts with its interest in deporting them .” That report was written in 2015, but President Trump’s increased drive for deportation and border closure had just been formed things more hopeless for undocumented farmworkers attempting to protect their labor rights.

That’s part of why Edith still considers giving up everything and returning with her family to Mexico.

” When you’re illegal here, it’s like you’re in prison. If you need assistance, there’s nowhere to go .”

Maria Rebecca, 23

María
Maria Rebecca, 23, and her daughter. She was eight when she started facilitating her father picking strawberries in Michoacan. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Maria Rebecca came to the US when she was pregnant with her second child three years ago, leaving her older son with her mothers back in Michoacan.

” My mom expended her whole life working in the area[ in Mexico ], and the only reason she stopped was because one of the veins in her attention popped while she was working .”

Her sister and her pa are still back in Michoacan working the fields, and it was her other sister who called her to Texas, where she had already moved to.

” My sister knew that I adored working in the area, and she was just telling me I could make a lot more money here .” Back in Mexico she would make about $30 a week. Here, she could become $200 a few weeks- if, that is, she was willing to take on the most dangerous types of work- harvesting in the orchards. She was: farm work is Maria Rebecca’s life.

” I started working in the fields when I was eight years old. I envisioned that the rest of the girls were buying lollipops after institution, but we didn’t have enough fund for me to buy them, so I decided to work .”

She says that while still in elementary school, she quitted attending five days a few weeks so that she could work a few daytimes a few weeks and deserve a little spending money. What deterred her in institution was the free lunch on those dates; at home, snacks were more irregular, she says with a shrug, as she jives on a bench beneath a pecan tree in her sister’s figurehead ground. Her daughter sits softly beside her, wide-eyed with her little hoof just dangling off the bench.

Throughout middle school Maria Rebecca says she continued working in the fields, priding herself on stirring enough fund to buy instant noodles for lunch. By ninth grade, she put out of school completely and turned to farm work full season, but she does not speak about it with much dejection. While some teenagers feel pride by excelling in academy or sports, Maria Rebecca felt dignity in excelling at farm occupation. She recounts her working experiences like a more privileged person might recount their travel undertakings.” I remember cultivating the strawberry fields and having to walk up the two sides of a hill barefoot because it was too muddy to wear boots. The proprietors remained the ocean loping to keep the strawberries fresh, but we would slip and fall all the time ,” she says with a laugh.

Maria,
Maria gleans grapefruits in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Despite the harsh work conditions she tolerated in Mexico, she says fieldwork in the US is even more demanding because her compensation is not paid hourly- ie consistent regardless of how hard she works- but preferably by the box.” Here we are paid by weight, so you have to work very fast. Here it is a lot harder .”

The Rio Grande Valley is famous for its wintertime citrus season, when small-town citrus galas feature delicious local oranges and grapefruit. Early one morning during this year’s glean, Maria Rebecca is already up on a ladder, contacting precariously for each fruit, to drop down into her giant canvas bag.

The physicality of orchard work is astonishingly difficult and dangerous. She reclines a ladder slick with dew and rainwater against a tree, where it catches- hopefully tightly- on the branches. Then she makes her practice up the 14 -foot ladder, all the way to the top, to the last rung. Along the behavior, she is stretching to reach grapefruit, and tugging at them to get them to release and sink. Any that ten-strike the soil can’t be used, so she collects them all in a pocket that is slung crossbody and hanging on one side of her hip. The purse weighs anywhere between 60 to 80 lb when full of return. One missed step on the ladder, or a lean too far to the side, and she’ll fall.

That’s already happened to her twice this year. Once, her hoof slipped off the ladder gradation during a rainstorm, yanking her match downwards and sending her to the ground, the handbag platform on top of her. On her route down, she slammed the back of her president against the reces of a tractor trailer. She describes knowing concussion disorders( though she says she has never heard the word “concussion” ). A doctor’s visit was out of the question.” Without papers, I simply try to not induce current problems ,” she illustrates, twisting her mouth to the side and seeming down to brush dirt off her daughter’s jeans. She was also unaware of her legal rights in seeking compensation for her injury.

Still, Maria Rebecca is afraid that the work could one day hurt her naughtily sufficient to threw her children at risk. After her era in the orchard, she dotes on her three-year-old daughter, whose pitch-black mane she carefully combs back and secures with tiny barrettes. She lives in her sister’s nice mobile home, and maintains a straighten and stable number for her child( her sister sells Tupperware from the back of a gondola ).

” I can’t imagine not working in the fields ,” she says.” I always want to keep working, because I never miss a mortal to be able to control me and ask students how I spent his coin. But I repute I am going to leave this work. I descended again last week. I recollect I want to go to Mexico .”

Blanca, 36

Blanca,
Blanca, 36, says she is good at pedicures, but is not eligible to do that in the US because she is undocumented.’ It’s harder for women to work the fields. Some can, but I’m just not be applicable to it .’ Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Blanca first entered the US more than a decade ago by simply going across one of the bridges that relate Mexico to the Rio Grande Valley, she says, a bit nervously, since things are different now.” Now to get here you have to pay …” she says, although she leaves unsure whether she symbolizes the coyotes who traffic beings across the border or paying with their own lives, as many migrants do.

When she first came to the US, she found her effort options forestalling.” I have been able to do pedicures really well, I are certainly skilled at it actually. But I can’t do that kind of work here, because I don’t have articles .” So she went back to Mexico, taking her family with her.

But life was not much easier in Tamaulipas state, especially after her husband left two years ago to look for better-paying work back in the US. He obtained it in the fields, and where reference is first gratify and be engaged in a vehicle to speak, he kneels just out of earshot in the dirt, plucking beets while keeping a wary gaze on her. She requested her husband’s allow before agreeing to be interviewed.

Blanca says that during the time that he was gone, leaving her behind in Mexico to raise their five girls, she started to feel scared for her security.” We lives in a neat target in Mexico, but I lived in a rancho with very few people around, so anytime a person depicted up at the house, I was feared .” Plus, with a home full of adolescents- her five children range from 20 to three- she started to worry about their future.” There’s a lot of crime, and I didn’t want my sons working for those goons. I wanted them working for good .” Five a few months ago, she lastly packed up the children to join him. She avoids the issue of how they spanned this time.

Farmworkers
Farmworkers picking beets in the Rio Grande Valley. Photograph: Veronica G Cardenas/ The Guardian

Like her husband, Blanca has taken on fieldwork, even though she does not make she is well-suited to it.” It’s harder for women to work the fields. Some can, but I’m just not used to it .” She still hasn’t experienced a summertime of working in the fields of south Texas, but she is already dreading the heat.” When we walk in the sunbathe it is so bad. But too, where reference is rains it’s bad too, because your legs get wearied from marching in the silt. And lifting the onions … it’s really heavy .” She tried working the citrus trees like Maria Rebecca but says she quit because it was too hard.

Still, she says she wouldn’t sell fieldwork for life back in Mexico.” I affection that here, the boys can go to a good academy and that we can find work ,” she says.” I don’t think I will ever go back to Mexico- only if I am coerced .” She says that she still lives with a high degree of uncertainty:” I rent my home, so we could get knocked out ,” she clarifies, as she gestures around the broken-down trailer home her children are chasing fly-covered puppies out front of.” It’s hard to live this practice because you could go to work and merely not come back because the immigration officials pictured up.

” Trump says he doesn’t want immigrants here, and I think it’s obvious he only hates immigrants. But my question is, why don’t you want us if we work so difficult ?”

Shannon Sims is a fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation and funding recipients of the Howard G Buffett Fund for Women Journalists

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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Are pets really good for us – or just hairy health hazards?

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Many animal-lovers think a cat or dog can help you live a longer, happier, healthier life. But does the science back them up?

My childhood dog was called Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, cocky shetland sheepdog who oozed bravado and bravery. Yet, underneath it all, he struggled with the dog version of impostor syndrome. Biff was a bag of masked insecurity. He was like the kid in school who says he has seen all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where scary movies are played; the kid who has “a girlfriend at another school”. It was that fragile side I especially loved about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an insecurity that neither of us had the cognitive skills to put into words. This was a friendship – one that lasted as he grew older, grumpier and more infirm.

He was an exceptionally licky dog, and loved nothing more than slurping his tongue over our jeans, shoes, socks and coats. Officially, this behaviour was something we attempted to quash – but, every few nights, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked hands and wrists to his heart’s content. For me, the sensation was tickly and calming, and never once disgusting, even though those around me told me it was not a good idea, mainly because it was highly likely that, on any given day, Biff had stuck his snout into some poor fox’s rotting cadaver. I didn’t care. I washed my hands like a surgeon afterwards, obviously. But it was what Biff wanted.

I haven’t had a dog since Biff (I’m nearly 40), and my family and I are deciding whether it’s time to get our own dog. This feels like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a dog is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flutter anxiously in the pit of my stomach. Will having a pet really make us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet always make us better people?

Having
Having a dog could make you go out more and get healthier. Photograph: LWA/Getty Images

The good news, at face value, is this: if you are looking for proof that having a pet improves your general health, the evidence abounds. For instance, there is plenty about how a bout of pet-stroking can lower your heart rate (and the pet’s), easing your body into a less stressed condition. This seems to apply across the spectrum, from dogs and cats to snakes and goats. And there’s more. There’s evidence from Germany and Australia (sample size: 10,000) that pet-owners make fewer visits to the doctor and, from China, that pet-owners sleep more soundly than those who aren’t. Just last week, the American Heart Association reported that the survival prospects for people who have had heart attacks and strokes are better in dog-owners than in those who are not.

There are other bonuses to having pets, especially cats and dogs. Scientists suspect that by roaming the wild and bringing novel bacteria back into our houses, some pets may introduce our immune systems to pathogens we would not otherwise meet, allowing pet-owners (and particularly children) a chance to increase their resistance, while potentially reducing the chances of allergies in later life. A 2015 study investigating the fungal and bacterial communities of 1,200 homes in the US, for instance, found that the presence of dogs and cats led to more variety in 56 and 24 classes of bacterial species respectively. This may explain another study suggesting that exposure to dogs early in a baby’s life may make them 13% less likely to develop asthma.

You could also argue that pet ownership helps us to feel better about ourselves. A loving owner can give an animal a far better life than it otherwise would have had: always-friendly faces, constant compassion, cuddles and hands to lick late at night – not just to help pathogenic resistance but just because it makes both parties happier, warmer and more contented residents of planet Earth. That was what Biff and I had. Two species, both with equal rights to the same shared, loving home. Connection.

This stuff is hard to measure, but research has shown that dogs and cats see a spike in their levels of the “love molecule” oxytocin when interacting with their owners. If they feel so much affection for us, we must be doing something right.

So far so good: it really does seem there’s some truth to the claim that pets are good for us. But closer inspection reveals some problematic and murkier truths.

As many academics have pointed out, other factors contribute to our general health – income, for instance, which is inherently linked to pet ownership because pets cost money. Bluntly, the truth behind some of these studies may simply be that those with more money can, on the whole, afford the luxuries of good health and pet ownership. One large-scale study in California involving 5,200 families failed to find a relationship between owning a pet and overall health after correcting for income and the affluency of the local neighbourhood. Other studies have had similar results. And some even suggest pets are bad for us. One study of 21,000 people in Finland, for instance, suggested that pet owners are more, not less, likely to have higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

If you really want to go there, there are some pretty alarming downsides to pet ownership. In England, for instance, between 6,000 and 7,000 people are admitted to hospital for dog bites each year. Tripping over pets is another potential danger – each year, this sends an estimated 87,000 people to hospitals in the US, particularly elderly people. And what of the parasites that pets bring into the house – the fleas, ticks and mites? And the potentially fatal diseases they can transmit to humans, from pathogens such as salmonella (from reptiles) and capnocytophaga that can be passed to humans in cat and dog saliva? For many people, the answer to whether pets are good for us is clearly no – although, to be fair, you are far more likely to be exposed to disease or violence by another human than by a dog, cat or pygmy hedgehog.

There are emotional downsides, too. One of the often forgotten aspects of pet ownership is having to care for animals into their old age, sometimes dealing with diseases that last months or years. Assuming you are a responsible pet owner, who takes this as seriously as you would caring for a human family member, this is a heavy emotional burden. A 2017 study involving 238 human participants found that pet owners with chronically ill pets had higher levels of stress and anxiety, coupled with a lower quality of life. And after death? My guess is that a family grieving for their recently dead cat is not going to appear in an advert for Pets at Home any time soon.

Sharing
Sharing a home could mean sharing fleas. Photograph: Justin Paget/Getty Images

But there is probably no more damning indictment of the idea that pets always make us happier than the fact that so many of us get an animal, only to give them up weeks, months or years later. This is especially true for “designer” and “handbag” dogs: in the past seven years, the number of chihuahuas in RSPCA rescue centres has risen by 700%; dachshunds are up 600% and pomeranians up 440%. You need only scour dogsofinstagram for a few moments to see how often certain dog breeds are viewed as lifestyle accessories rather than living, breathing animals with greater needs than colour-coordinated doggy pop-socks and collar.

If we were able to put all these pros and cons into a melting pot and come up with a definitive answer to the question of whether or not pets are good for us, what would the answer be? The answer would be … complicated. Because humans and our circumstances are so universally mixed up and complex. The simple truth is that having a pet has good and bad sides, and it may not be for everyone. Which means we have a duty to think carefully before acquiring one. We need to imagine the good times we might have with a pet and to consider the bad times, too: the insecurity, the grumpiness in old age, the infirmity.

I think I have talked my way out of having a dog. If so, that’s OK. Loving animals doesn’t mean you have to have one. Ask not what a pet can do for you, but what you can do for a pet.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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Are domesticateds really good for us- or exactly hairy health hazards?

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Many animal-lovers speculate a “cat-o-nine-tail” or pup can help you live a longer, happier, healthier life. But does the science back them up?

My childhood dog was announced Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, cocky shetland sheepdog who gushed bravado and courage. Yet, underneath it all, he struggled with the dog version of hypocrite disorder. Biff was a bag of disguised anxiety. He was like the kid in academy who says he has read all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where scary movies are played; the boy who has ” a girlfriend at another academy “. It was that fragile line-up I especially adoration about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an anxiety that neither of us had the cognitive knowledge to put into messages. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he ripened older, grumpier and more infirm.

He was an exceptionally licky dog, and desired nothing more than slurping his tongue over our jeans, shoes, socks and coats. Officially, this behaviour was something we attempted to quash- but, every few nighttimes, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked sides and wrists to his heart’s material. For me, the wizard was tickly and tranquilize, and never formerly outraging, even though those around me told me it was not a good hypothesi, chiefly because it was highly likely that, on any afforded epoch, Biff had fix his snout into some poor fox’s decompose cadaver. I didn’t care. I showered my hands like a surgeon afterwards, clearly. But it was what Biff wanted.

I haven’t had a dog since Biff( I’m nearly 40 ), and my family and I are deciding whether it’s time to get our own puppy. This may seem like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a puppy is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flit anxiously in the quarry of my stomach. Will having a pet truly obligate us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet ever obligate us better beings?

Having
Having a bird-dog could do you go out more and get healthier. Photograph: LWA/ Getty Images

The good bulletin, at face value, is this: if you are searching for proof that having a pet improves your general health, the evidence presented abounds. For speciman, there is plenty about how a bout of pet-stroking can lower your heart rate( and the pet’s ), easing your form into a less emphasized circumstance. This seems to apply across the spectrum, from dogs and “cat-o-nine-tails” to serpents and goats. And there’s more. There’s manifestation from Germany and Australia( sample size: 10,000) that pet-owners prepare fewer visits to the doctor and, from China, that pet-owners sleep more soundly than those who aren’t. Simply last week, the American Heart Association reported that the survival prospects for people who have had heart attacks and strokes are better in dog-owners than in those who are not.

There are other bonuses to having domesticateds, specially cats and bird-dogs. Scientists suspect that by roaming the wild and making novel bacteria back into our houses, some babies may establish our immune systems to pathogens we would not otherwise meet, earmarking pet-owners( and particularly children) a chance to increase their resistance, while potentially reducing the chances of allergies in later life. A 2015 study investigating the fungal and bacterial communities of 1,200 residences in the US, for instance, found that the presence of hounds and cats led to more assortment in 56 and 24 categorizes of bacterial species respectively. This may show another study suggesting that exposure to hounds early in a baby’s life may build them 13% less likely to develop asthma.

You could also argue that pet ownership helps us to feel better about ourselves. A caring owner can give an animal a far better life than it otherwise might well have: always-friendly faces, constant tendernes, hugs and sides to lick late at night- not just to help pathogenic resist but precisely because it constitutes both parties happier, warmer and more contented tenants of planet Earth. That was what Biff and I had. Two species, both with equal rights to the same shared, caring home. Connection.

This stuff is hard to measure, but investigate indicating that puppies and felines discover a spike in their levels of the “love molecule” oxytocin when interacting with their owners. If they feel so much affection for us, we must be doing something right.

So far so good: it actually does seem there’s some truth to the claim that pets are good for us. But closer inspection discovers some problematic and murkier truths.

As many academics have pointed out, other factors contribute to our general health- income, for example, which is inherently linked to pet ownership because babies cost money. Bluntly, the truth behind some of these studies may simply be that those with more fund can, on the whole, render the luxuries of good health and pet ownership. One large-scale study in California involving 5,200 houses failed to find a relationship between owning a domesticated and overall health after chastening for revenues and the affluency of the local community. Other studies have had similar makes. And some even show domesticateds are bad for us. One study of 21, 000 parties in Finland, for instance, suggested that pet owneds are more , not less, likely to have higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

If you really want to go there, there are some somewhat frightening downsides to baby ownership. In England, for instance, between 6,000 and 7,000 beings are admitted to hospital for dog bites every year. Tripping over babies is another potential danger- every year, this sends an estimated 87, 000 beings to infirmaries in the US, particularly elderly people. And what of the parasites that babies bring into the house- the fleas, tickings and mites? And the potentially fatal sickness they can transmit to humans, from pathogens such as salmonella( from reptiles) and capnocytophaga that are able passed to humen in cat and puppy saliva? For numerous parties, the answer to whether pets are good for us is clearly no- although, to be fair, you are far more likely to be exposed to disease or savagery by another human than by a puppy, cat or pygmy hedgehog.

There are psychological downsides, too. One of the often remembered aspects of pet ownership is having to care for animals into their old age, sometimes dealing with sickness that last months or times. Presupposing you are a responsible baby owner, who takes this as seriously as you would caring for a human family member, this is a heavy emotional onu. A 2017 study involving 238 human participates found that pet owners with chronically ill domesticateds had higher levels of stress and feeling, read in conjunction with a lower quality of life. And after extinction? My guess is that a family grieving for their recently dead feline is not going to appear in an advert for Pet at Home any time soon.

Sharing
Sharing a residence could mean sharing fleas. Photograph: Justin Paget/ Getty Images

But there is probably no more damning indictment of the idea that domesticateds ever move us happier than the fact that so many of us get an animal, simply to give them up weeks, months or years later. This is especially true for “designer” and “handbag” hounds: in the past seven years, the number of chihuahuas in RSPCA rescue centres has risen by 700%; dachshunds are up 600% and pomeranians up 440%. You need only scour dogsofinstagram for a few moments to be acknowledged that often particular puppy breeds are viewed as lifestyle accessories rather than living, breathing animals with greater needs than colour-coordinated doggy pop-socks and collar.

If we were able to introduced all these pros and cons into a melting pot and come up with a definitive answer to the question of whether or not babies are good for us, what would the answer be? The react would be … complicated. Because humans and our circumstances are so universally mixed up and complex. The simple truth is that having a pet has both good and bad sides, and it may not be for everyone. Which means we have a duty to think carefully before acquiring one. We need to imagine the good times we might have with a baby and to consider the bad times, too: the insecurity, the grumpiness in old age, the infirmity.

I think I “ve been talking” my way out of having a dog. If so, that’s OK. Loving swine doesn’t mean you have to have one. Ask not what a pet can do for you, but what you can do for a pet.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

READ MORE

Are pets really good for us- or just hairy health hazards?

/ by / Tags: , , , , , ,

Many animal-lovers repute a feline or pup can help you live a longer, happier, healthier life. But does the social sciences back them up?

My childhood dog was announced Biff. Biff was a handful. He was a loud, cocky shetland sheepdog who oozed bravado and mettle. Yet, underneath everything is, he struggled with the dog version of phony syndrome. Biff was a bag of masked danger. He was like the teenager in institution who says he has check all the scary movies, but refuses to go to any sleepovers where frightening movies are played; the boy who has ” a girlfriend at another school “. It was that fragile side I especially cherished about Biff during my teenage years. We shared an insecurity that neither of us had the cognitive abilities to put into texts. This was a friendship- one that lasted as he developed older, grumpier and more infirm.

He was an exceptionally licky dog, and enjoyed good-for-nothing more than slurping his tongue over our jeans, shoes, socks and coatings. Officially, this behaviour was something we attempted to quash- but, every few darkness, I would tiptoe into the kitchen and allow him to lick my naked sides and wrists to his heart’s content. For me, the wizard was tickly and mollifying, and never once outraging, although there are those around me told me it was not a good project, chiefly because it was highly likely that, on any held epoch, Biff had remain his snout into some poor fox’s rotting corpse. I didn’t care. I laundered my hands like a surgeon subsequentlies, apparently. But it was what Biff wanted.

I haven’t had a dog since Biff( I’m roughly 40 ), and my family and I are deciding whether it’s time to get our own puppy. This feels like a very big decision. Part of the reason we want a dog is that we want to walk more. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. But questions flutter uneasily in the pit of my stomach. Will having a pet truly form us happier? Will we be healthier? Does having a pet ever reach us better people?

Having
Having a hound could reach you go out more and get healthier. Photograph: LWA/ Getty Images

The good bulletin, at face value, is this: if you are searching for proof that having a pet improves your general health, the evidence presented abounds. For instance, there is plenty about how a bout of pet-stroking can lower your heart rate( and the pet’s ), easing your mas into a less emphasized surrounding. This seems to apply across the spectrum, from dogs and cats to serpents and goats. And there’s more. There’s evidence from Germany and Australia( sample size: 10,000) that pet-owners stimulate fewer visits to the doctor and, from China, that pet-owners sleep more soundly than those who aren’t. Exactly last week, the American Heart Association reported that the survival prospects for people who have had heart attacks and strokes are better in dog-owners than in those who are not.

There are other bonuses to having domesticateds, especially the bag of cats and pups. Scientists is hypothesized that by roaming the wildernes and producing novel bacteria back into our residences, some domesticateds may introduce our immune systems to pathogens we would not otherwise meet, tolerating pet-owners( and especially children) a chance to increase their resistance, while potentially reducing the chances of allergies in later life. A 2015 study investigating the fungal and bacterial the societies of 1,200 homes in the US, for instance, found that the presence of puppies and felines have all contributed to more mixture in 56 and 24 first-class of bacterial species respectively. This may justify another study suggesting that exposure to bird-dogs early in a baby’s life may build them 13% less likely to develop asthma.

You could also argue that pet ownership helps us to feel better about ourselves. A loving owner can give an animal a far better life than it otherwise might well have: always-friendly faces, constant compassion, nestles and sides to lick late at night- not just to help pathogenic resist but only because it establishes both parties happier, warmer and more contented residents of planet Earth. That was what Biff and I had. Two species, both with equal rights to the same shared, loving dwelling. Connection.

This stuff is hard to measure, but experiment has shown that puppies and felines find a spike in their levels of the “love molecule” oxytocin when interacting with their owners. If they feel so much affection for us, we must be doing something right.

So far so good: it really does seem there’s some truth to the claim that pets are good for us. But closer inspection exposes some problematic and murkier truths.

As numerous academics have pointed out, other factors contribute to our general health- income, for instance, which is inherently linked to pet ownership because pets cost money. Bluntly, the truth behind some of these studies may simply be situations where those with more fund can, on the whole, yield the indulgences of good health and pet ownership. One large-scale study in California involving 5,200 kinfolks failed to find a relationship between owning a baby and overall health after rectifying for income and the affluency of the local region. Other studies have had same develops. And some even recommend babies are bad for us. One study of 21, 000 parties in Finland, for instance, suggested that pet proprietors are more , not less, likely to have higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

If you really want to go there, there are some jolly fearing downsides to pet ownership. In England, for example, between 6,000 and 7,000 parties are admitted to hospital for puppy pierces each year. Tripping over pets is another potential danger- every year, this sends an estimated 87, 000 beings to infirmaries in the US, particularly elderly people. And what of the parasites that pets bring into the house- the fleas, clicks and tinges? And the potentially fatal infections they can transmit to humen, from pathogens such as salmonella( from reptiles) and capnocytophaga that are able guided to humans in “cat-o-nine-tail” and bird-dog saliva? For numerous people, the answer to whether pets are good for us is clearly no- although, to be fair, you are far more likely to be exposed to disease or savagery by another human than by a puppy, cat or pygmy hedgehog.

There are emotional downsides, more. One of the often remembered aspects of pet ownership is having to care for animals into their old age, sometimes dealing with here cancers that last months or times. Acquiring you are a responsible pet proprietor, who takes this as earnestly as you would caring for a human family member, this is a heavy psychological headache. A 2017 study involving 238 human participates found that pet proprietors with chronically ill pets had higher levels of stress and anxiety, coupled with a lower quality of life of canadians. And after extinction? My guess is that a family grieving for their recently dead cat is not going to appear in an advert for Pets at Home any time soon.

Sharing
Sharing a dwelling could make sharing fleas. Photograph: Justin Paget/ Getty Images

But there is probably no more damning indictment of the idea that babies always constitute us happier than the facts of the case that so many of us get an animal, exclusively to give them up weeks, months or years later. This is especially true for “designer” and “handbag” puppies: in the past seven years, the number of chihuahuas in RSPCA rescue centres has risen by 700%; dachshunds are up 600% and pomeranians up 440%. You need only scour dogsofinstagram for a few moments to see how often certain bird-dog breeds are viewed as lifestyle accessories rather than living, breathing swine with greater needs than colour-coordinated doggy pop-socks and collar.

If we were able to threw all these pros and cons into a melting pot and provided us with a definitive answer to the question of whether or not pets are good for us, what would the answer be? The rebuttal would be … complicated. Because humans and our situations are so universally mixed up and complex. The simple truth is that having a pet has good and bad areas, and it may not be for everyone. Which means we have a duty to think carefully before acquiring one. We need to imagine the good times we might have with a pet and to consider the bad times, more: the insecurity, the grumpiness in old age, the infirmity.

I think I have talked my way out of having a dog. If so, that’s OK. Loving swine doesn’t mean you have to have one. Ask not what a domesticated can do for you, but what you can do for a pet.

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Man who invented labradoodle says it’s his ‘life’s regret’

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Wally Conron says he created a Frankensteins monster as unethical breeders now make hybrids with serious health problems

Three decades ago, Wally Conron bred two unlike animals to unleash a creature the world had never seen. Today, he says it’s his “life’s regret”: “I opened a Pandora’s box and releaseda Frankenstein’s monster.”

That travesty was a labradoodle.

Conron decided to breed a poodle and a labrador following a request from a blind woman in Hawaii, who needed a guide dog that wouldn’t inflame her husband’s allergies. First he tried poodles, but they lacked the personality required for guide work, he told Australia’s ABC. The solution was “a dog with the working ability of the labrador and the coat of the poodle”, he said.

He found a labrador mom and a poodle dad, and a resulting puppy, one Sultan, was deemed up to the task.

It seems the trouble arose from an ensuing branding effort. According to ABC, Sultan’s two half-poodle-half-labrador siblings were struggling to find homes. So Conron, who worked for a guide dogs association now known as Guide Dogs Victoria, sought help from its PR department. “I said: ‘Can you get on to the media and tell them that we’ve bred a special breed? A breed called the labradoodle – it’s non-allergenic,’” he said.

Demand for labradoodles soared. The name for this new hybrid breed was a selling point, Jessica Hekman, an expert on the species, told ABC. It meant people asked about their dogs could say more than just “she’s a mutt”.

“When you start attaching cool names, then it starts turning into a new, cool story,” Hekman said.

Conron’s regret stems from what he describes as “unethical, ruthless people [who] breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks”, even as, he says, health problems abound. “I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem,” he said.

He expounded on his concerns about designer dogs – the offspring of two different purebreds – to Psychology Today in 2014: “All these backyard breeders have jumped on the bandwagon, and they’re crossing any kind of dog with a poodle,” without concern for potential health implications, he said. “There are so many poodle crosses having fits, problems with their eyes, hips, and elbows, and a lot have epilepsy.”

He was so concerned, he said, that when he heard Barack Obama was considering getting a labradoodle, he wrote to him to advise against it. It’s unclear whether the president listened, but the Obamas ended up with a pair of Portuguese water dogs, also known for being hypoallergenic. (Politicians, however, are not immune to labradoodles’ charms: Michigan’s governor recently acquired one.)

Not everyone shares Conron’s worries. A veterinarian told the BBC labradoodles are typically “happy, healthy dogs”, and they have topped polls on favorite breeds. Barney, for example, “has the perfect mix of lovingness, intelligence and everything”, labradoodle aficionado Martha Watton said.

One clear drawback, however: from cavoodle to schnoodle to goldendoodle (shouldn’t it be goldenoodle?), it seems the labradoodle has fueled an outbreak of annoying names.

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Barbra Streisand reveals she cloned her dog twice

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Singer and actor tells Variety she made clones of 14-year-old Samantha before it died last year

Barbra Streisand has revealed she successfully made two clones of her pet dog after it died last year.

The singer and actor told the Hollywood trade publication Variety that cells were taken from the mouth and stomach of her 14-year-old Coton de Tulear dog, Samantha.

“They have different personalities,” Streisand said of the puppies, called Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”

In the interview, Streisand said when the cloned dogs arrived, she dressed them in red and lavender to tell them apart, which is how they got their names.

While waiting for their arrival, Streisand said she became smitten with another dog, which was a distant relation of Samantha.

The Coton de Tulear dog was called Funny Girl, but Streisand adopted her and gave her the name Miss Fanny, which is how Fanny Brice’s dresser refers to Streisand’s character in the 1968 musical that launched her acting career.

Streisand followed Funny Girl, for which she won an Oscar, with Hello Dolly!, but said she never liked the film.

“I thought I was totally miscast. I tried to get out of it,” she told Variety. “I think it’s so silly. It’s so old-time musical.”

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Being who fabricated labradoodle says it’s his ‘life’s regret’

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Wally Conron says he composed a Frankensteins monster as unethical breeders now oblige composites with serious health problems

Three decades ago, Wally Conron engendered two unlike animals to unleash a soul the world had never seen. Today, he says it’s his” life’s sadnes “:” I opened a Pandora’s box and releaseda Frankenstein’s ogre .”

That perversion was a labradoodle.

Conron decided to engender a poodle and a labrador following a request from a blind girl in Hawaii, who needed a navigate pup that wouldn’t inflame her husband’s allergies. First he tried poodles, but they lacked the personality required for guide work, he told Australia’s ABC. The answer was ” a hound with the working ability of the labrador and the hair of the poodle”, he said.

He detected a labrador mom and a poodle daddy, and a developing puppy, one Sultan, was regarded up to the task.

It seems the misfortune arose from an ensuing branding endeavor. According to ABC, Sultan’s two half-poodle-half-labrador siblings were struggling to find dwellings. So Conron, who worked for a guide puppies association now known as Guide Dogs Victoria, endeavoured the assistance of its PR department.” I said:’ Can you get on to the media and tell them that we’ve spawned a special breed? A reproduction called the labradoodle – it’s non-allergenic ,'” he said.

Demand for labradoodles surged. The reputation for this new hybrid breed was a selling point, Jessica Hekman, an expert on the species, told ABC. It represented parties to know more about their hounds could say more than precisely” she’s a dog “.

” When “youre starting” attaching cool mentions, then it starts turning into a new, cool story ,” Hekman said.

Conron’s bitternes roots from what he describes as” unethical, ruthless beings[ who] spawned these hounds and sell them for big bucks”, even as, he says, health problems abound.” I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a inherited trouble ,” he said.

He expounded on his concerns about designer puppies– the infant of two different purebreds– to Psychology Today in 2014:” All these backyard breeders have rushed on the bandwagon, and they’re intersection any kind of dog with a poodle ,” without concern for potential health inferences, he said.” There are so many poodle spans having fits, problems linked to their seeings, hips, and shoulders, and a lot have epilepsy .”

He was so concerned, he said, that when he heard Barack Obama was considering get a labradoodle, he wrote to him to advise against it. It’s unclear whether the president listened, but the Obamas aimed up with a pair of Portuguese water dogs, also known for being hypoallergenic.( Legislators, however, are not immune to labradoodles’ allures: Michigan’s governor recently acquired one .)

Not everyone shares Conron’s dwells. A veterinarian told the BBC labradoodles are typically” happy, healthy hounds”, and they have topped polls on favorite produces. Barney, for example,” has the perfect concoction of lovingness, knowledge and everything”, labradoodle aficionado Martha Watton said.

One clear flaw, however: from cavoodle to schnoodle to goldendoodle( shouldn’t it be goldenoodle ?), it seems the labradoodle has fueled an outbreak of disturbing names.

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Follower who devised labradoodle says it’s his ‘life’s regret’

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Wally Conron says he established a Frankensteins monster as unethical breeders now obligate composites with serious health problems

Three decades ago, Wally Conron bred two unlike animals to loose a man the world had never seen. Today, he says it’s his” life’s unhappines “:” I opened a Pandora’s box and releaseda Frankenstein’s demon .”

That travesty was a labradoodle.

Conron decided to reproduce a poodle and a labrador following a request from a blind dame in Hawaii, who needed a navigate bird-dog that wouldn’t inflame her husband’s allergies. First he tried poodles, but they lacked the personality required for guide work, he told Australia’s ABC. The solution was ” a puppy with the working ability of the labrador and the coat of the poodle”, he said.

He noticed a labrador mom and a poodle papa, and a developing puppy, one Sultan, was seen up to the task.

It seems the tribulation arising as a result of an ensuing branding try. Harmonizing to ABC, Sultan’s two half-poodle-half-labrador siblings were struggling to find homes. So Conron, who worked for a template bird-dogs association now known as Guide Dogs Victoria, searched the assistance of its PR department.” I said:’ Can you get on to the media and tell them that we’ve spawned a special breed? A raise called the labradoodle – it’s non-allergenic ,'” he said.

Demand for labradoodles flew. The figure for this new hybrid spawned was a selling point, Jessica Hekman, an expert on the species, told ABC. It signified parties to know more about their pups could say more than only” she’s a mutt “.

” When you start attach cool reputation, then it starts turning into a new, cool floor ,” Hekman said.

Conron’s regret stems from what he describes as” unethical, ruthless beings[ who] breed these hounds and sell them for big bucks”, even as, he says, health problems abound.” I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem ,” he said.

He expounded on his concerns about designer pups– the successor of two different purebreds– to Psychology Today in 2014:” All these backyard breeders have climbed on the bandwagon, and they’re span any kind of dog with a poodle ,” without concern for potential health implications, he said.” There are so many poodle traverses having fits, problems linked to their gazes, hips, and shoulders, and a lot have epilepsy .”

He was so concerned, he said, that when he heard Barack Obama was considering get a labradoodle, he wrote to him to advise against it. It’s unclear whether the president listened, but the Obamas purposed up with a pair of Portuguese water dogs, also known for being hypoallergenic.( Legislators, however, are not immune to labradoodles’ appeals: Michigan’s governor recently acquired one .)

Not everyone shares Conron’s dwells. A veterinarian told the BBC labradoodles are typically” happy, healthy hounds”, and they have topped polls on favorite engenders. Barney, for example,” has the perfect desegregate of lovingness, knowledge and everything”, labradoodle aficionado Martha Watton said.

One clear drawback, however: from cavoodle to schnoodle to goldendoodle( shouldn’t it be goldenoodle ?), it seems the labradoodle has fueled an outbreak of disturbing names.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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