May 3rd, 2007

Ann Vole

Big bunnies

http://www.neatorama.com/2005/09/15/bodmin-the-gigantic-rabbit/
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1764626/posts
http://petbunny.blogspot.com/2003_02_23_petbunny_archive.html#89751153

I was doing quite a bit of research on rabbits for food and efficiency (amount of food per weight of dressed meat) and concluded that smaller the bunny genetically, the better the efficiency due to the increased growth rate. Very large rabbits did not seem the more obvious answer. North Korea has not been known to make good decisions as far as food is concerned (more people are dying of starvation there then most parts of the world) so for them to be seeking and buying the biggest possible rabbits to solve their hunger problems shows a lack of basic research. I had a pet White Tailed Jack Rabbit who grew way bigger then the wild ones because in the wild they are weaned in 1-3 days but I kept feeding her high quality milk replacer as similar foods for the first three weeks where she grew to adult rabbit size in about 2 weeks and even bigger. When she quit growing in about 10 weeks, she weighed about 40 pounds (20 Kg). This rate is faster then all those large rabbit growth numbers and I don't think she ate very much. Arctic hares are genetically close to White Tailed Jackrabbits (some think they can crossbreed but with sterile young) and are about twice as big on average. Due to my girl weighing about 7 times the average wild weight, that may be due to the way the young stay with their parents for most of their lives instead of being on their own completely in a day or three. Still, arctic hares have superior fur (guess where they live) and have the herd instincts to protect them when wild grazing... I am thinking they might be very effective domesticated meat and fur animals. One problem with hare meat is it is the leanest meat of any animal listed and trappers who eat hares exclusively go crazy due to lack of fatty acids that the brain needs (called "hare fever") but arctic hares actually store a lot of fat on their body (for insulation) so I am guessing that they would likely be a healthier and tastier meat too. My reason to "go big" is not for efficiency though but rather for the welfare of the animals. If rabbits or hares are big enough, they will be able to be grazed in fields like cattle or sheep which will be a very natural and happy life compared to being in cages. Another advantage of arctic hares is they do not have an instinct to dig like most other rabbits and hares (hares do not dig homes but they will dig under fences - arctic hares are documented to have a problem with sheep fencing trapping them when they can get in but not out). The other thing that interests me about bigger animals is fewer individuals need to be killed to provide the same amount of meat.
Ann Vole

Population spiraling out of control

Too many people do not believe the population is spiraling out of control. I found these figures:

Population: 6,602,224,175 (July 2007 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.167% (2007 est.)

from this location (would the CIA lie to you?):

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/xx.html

so with my calculator I estimate the population of the next ten years at the current growth rate (note: due to a calculation error, this post is changed):

6,602,224,175 (2007)
6,679,272,131 (2008)
6,757,219,236 (2009)
6,836,075,985 (2010)
6,915,852,992 (2011)
6,996,560,996 (2012)
7,078,210,863 (2013)
7,160,813,584 (2014)
7,244,380,278 (2015)
7,328,922,196 (2016)
7,414,450,718 (2017)
7,500,977,358 (2018)

Well that is a lot less then I was expecting so the rate must have gone down... a large portion of the third-world had a note attached to their population numbers explaining that due to the high numbers of deaths due to AIDS, their population growth was small or a negative value. Leave it to nature to kill off the problem (people who have too much sex).
Ann Vole

The pursuit of happiness

I just watched the film "The Pursuit of Happiness" and it has me thinking of the mission statement that governments should have. We all should have the opportunity to pursue our dreams no matter what they are. Anything that could get in the way of said pursuit is not good for people nor for society as a whole. The goals of the government should be to provide the maximum opportunity for people to pursue their dreams. Things that can throw people off of achieving their goals include lack of insurance on things, lawlessness and crime, lack of financial responsibility for those entrusted with other people's assets or insurance, taxes or fines being agressively extracted from those without the means to comply.

All of these things can be affected by policies and laws enacted by the government and should be the priorities to maximize the ability of people to pursue happiness or their dreams.