New activity – Lions and Tigers and Ocelots, Oh My
To close out the month we were lucky to be introduced to a hidden gem in Wylie called “InSync Exotics.” Similar in purpose to the Center for Great Apes that we visited in Tampa several years ago, InSync takes in lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, ocelots (which are also known as dwarf leopards), et.al. that have been abandoned, sold as pets, abused, etc. and brings them back to health and a safe and comfortable life. Currently they have close to 70 residents and require $20,000 a month to feed them all. Some of the stories were heart breaking – they got a tiger that was 200 pounds underweight! – and we learned a lot about the horribly abusive exotic pet industry. These animals are majestic and we’re lucky to have people willing to dedicate their lives to saving them but sad that it’s necessary.
When we analyzed our experiences at the two sanctuaries, we acknowledged that our visit to the Center for Great Apes was more engaging and left a larger imprint on our souls. The animals there have such large personalities and are so interesting to watch as they go about their business of playing with each other and with various toys, objects, etc. Plus, when they look you in the eye, you feel an immediate connection. On the other hand, the animals at InSync were more aloof and, for the most part, mostly lying down. Their power comes from their awesome size and majestic beauty. Overall, visits to sanctuaries, regardless of the residents, are totally worthwhile and deserve our support.
LEARNING CENTER: THE ONION
Barbara: Making breakfast this morning, I got to thinking about the onion I was cutting up for – what else? – my omelet. I found a lot of information about the place it was thought to have been used first (Asia) and the health benefits, etc. But nowhere did I get an answer to my question: “When the first person started cutting up an onion to eat and, after 5 minutes, couldn’t see because their eyes were burning and tearing, what made him/her decide it would be a good idea to continue?”
I did find a fun fact: Before New York City became known as the Big Apple it was called the Big Onion because it was a place from which you could peel off layer after layer without ever reaching the core. (from “1000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz).
And I found some great quotes about the onion:
“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time; And sometimes you weep.”
-Carl Sandburg, American poet
I will not move my army without onions!”
-Ulysses S. Grant
“It’s hard to imagine civilization without onions.”
And my personal favorite:
“If you hear an onion ring, answer it.”