Millennium Post

THE RIGHT BALANCE

Harmonious relationships between humans and other living beings can ensure a desirable ecological balance

THE RIGHT BALANCE

Apart from food for humans and other species are fish of any consequence to the planet? I mean, if they were to be reduced as we are doing by catching millions every day, what are the consequences?

Every day humans breathe out millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. All our factories and processes create more millions of carbon dioxide. If this carbon dioxide builds up in the air, then we would be dead very soon. As it is, from the amount it has built up, we have now warmed the planet so much that our weather is now unpredictable – which has its impact on food availability, prices and the spread of disease. So, what slows down this build of carbon dioxide? Two things: trees and fish (not the oceans but the fish in them). The more trees you cut the hotter and drier it gets. The more fish you remove the less carbon dioxide they can remove.

Deep sea fish around UK and Ireland remove and store more than one million tonne of carbon dioxide per year. According to a new study by the University of Southampton, this natural carbon capture and storage scheme saves millions of lives. Fish living in deep waters on the continental slope play an important role in carrying carbon from the surface to the seafloor.

But, as fishing, energy extraction and mining extend into deeper waters, these seldom seen fishes who provide a valuable service to all of us are going to disappear, making the carbon dioxide built up even more intense. Soon it will be difficult for anyone to breathe.

I recently noticed a discoloration in the center of a 4 month old kitten's eye – it's like a cloudy circle but has no discharge or irritation to the eye.

An opacity in the lens of the eye is most commonly attributed to either a cataract or sclerosis of the eye. Sclerosis only occurs in cats due to old-age, so in this case, your kitten is likely to have developed a cataract. However, a cataract can only be confirmed by a thorough veterinary examination, and your vet will design a treatment plan to not only cure the cataract but also address the underlying cause.

A cataract describes any opacity in the normally clear lens of the eye that prevents light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye, sometimes eventually leading to blindness. Inherited conditions are the most common cause of cataracts and may be present at birth or may develop when the animal is very young. They can also be caused by injury or illness such as diabetes, in which case, treatment of the underlying condition is essential – if your kitten has diabetes, failure to treat this will lead to further complications. Cataracts can be removed surgically by a veterinary ophthalmologist, who would replace the lens with a plastic or acrylic prosthetic lens to allow for more focused vision. Cataract surgery requires a lot of postoperative care. I am not sure anyone in India can do it.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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