caffeine-rich drink. There are lots of aphorisms about not speaking to someone before their first cup of coffee. Some may say it's an addiction while others insist it's a necessity. Ei- ther way, the coffee industry is a huge one and will surely never go away un- less a major catastrophe makes that de- cision. Most drinkers have their favou- rite coffee, but have you ever thought about where your java is grown and the impact it may have on nature? Canadians place number 12 on the scale of coffee consumption per capita. Believe it or not, the U.S places at 16 while the Netherlands leads the pack as the most coffee consumed. In 2010, a survey showed that 65 per cent of Canadian adults drank coffee daily at about 2.8 cups per day. Quebec drinks the most at 71 per cent with the Prairies in second place at 64 per cent. Awareness and cause-related coffee purchases continue to increase more than any other cause-related product. For example, the switch to organic and Fair Trade coffee is incomparable to any other cause-related industry. The combined amount of land dedicated to cof-

fee plantations is 25 million acres, primarily in Africa and South America.

Here come the birds

Coffee trees are small and grow under the canopy of other trees. They provide a habitat for birds, but- terflies, and bats. Many of the migratory birds that spend their summers here in Manitoba, make coffee plantations their winter homes. Some of these spe- cies include American redstart, Baltimore oriole, Swainson's thrush, and the Chestnut-sided warbler to name a few. Traditionally, coffee is a shade-grown tree but the demand for cheaper coffee has literally caused thousands and thousands of acres of forest to be

Coffee for the birds C

offee is by far the most popular morning drink around the world. Many people can't or won't begin the day without their fix of this


Sherrie Versluis Feathered Friends


destroyed. New varieties of coffee, known as 'sun coffee' and 'technified coffee', have been created so the coffee can be grown without shade which allows higher production on less land. In Latin America, seven million acres of natural, shade- grown coffee have been reduced to just a few million acres as the sun coffee plantations take over. Once the natu- ral way of growing is altered, the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides begins. Deforestation also causes soil erosion and the depletion of nutrients damaging the whole ecosystem. Many coffee plantations are small family-owned

where the

habitat is unaltered and the populations of birds and other wildlife is plentiful. The trees provide food and habitat and this benefits the farmers as the birds are their

insect controllers. Sup-

porting these types of businesses is ex- tremely important to help what's left of natural coffee farms rather than corporate destruc- tion zones. If you care about these issues, look for the country of origin when buying coffee. El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, India, and Ethiopia coffees are the most likely to be grown in natural shade forests. Avoid Costa Rica, Brazil, and Colum- bia, as the majority from these regions grow sun cof- fee. If you really do enjoy your coffee, you will be amazed at the quality of shade-grown coffee. Look for coffee from smaller companies rather than large corporate brands. Smaller coffee compa- nies have relationships with the farmers and ensure fair value for their product and the coffee will con- tinue to be grown in a sustainable way. Large compa- nies always focus on the money not quality and rarely consider the impact of their business to the environ- ment and wildlife If you are buying basic, inexpensive grocery-store coffee you are contributing to the decline of song-

Pets need dental care, too! H

Wenchao Zheng

ave you ever woke up in the morning with your pet in your face and got a good

whiff of bad breath? It is a common misconception that cats and dogs don't need to have their teeth cleaned. After all, it's not like they brush their teeth in the wild right? Young pets have beautiful white teeth. Bacteria that attach to the sur- face of teeth form a clear film called plaque. As pets age, mineral deposits on teeth form tartar. Periodontal dis- ease is the result of a bacterial infec- tion in the support structures of the teeth. As the disease progresses the gums get sore and bleed, the teeth be- come loose and fall out. In cases of

severe periodontal disease, bacteria are actively entering the bloodstream leading to kidney and/or liver infec- tion as well as heart valve infection and other diseases. Over the past 10 years the aver- age lifespan of a domestic dog has in- creased by four per cent and cats by 10 per cent. In the first three years, cats and dogs age 27 years and after- wards large dogs age seven years for every year and cats and small dogs age five years for every year.

Why is this important for pets own-

ers? Pets are developing diseases that wild dogs and cats don't live long enough to worry about, including dental disease. Over five years of age 90 per cent of dogs and 70 per cent of cats are affected with dental disease. Over the years, pet breeders have

Look for coffee labelled as shade grown and you’ll do a favour for your feathered friends.

birds and the destruction of important habitat. The support of this type of coffee each and every day is a daily contribution to these problems. Certified coffee is going to be more expensive until more people start supporting it.

The fact is, coffee is a luxury not an essential food item. We love it, may be addicted to it, and have even made it a habit in our daily lives but, we cannot con- tinue to make nature suffer for it. You may spend an additional $100 per year based on two cups a day to support certified coffee, but you are contributing to protecting important natural habitat. If you truly enjoy coffee, I highly suggest trying a certified shade-grown brand. It really is a fine cup of coffee. You can start your day with a smile on your face from the good aroma and flavour and knowing you are supporting nature and not corporate greed. Sherrie Versluis owns the Preferred Perch and is an avid


created small dogs and flatter-faced dogs known as brachycephalics. Both are very prone to get dental disease. Even though brachycephalics faces are shorter than the average dogs, they still have the same number of teeth, which get crowded in that small space. With these teeth getting crowded it is easier for plaque and tartar to build up as well as there is less bone sup- port, so teeth become loose and fall out easily. How can we prevent dental diseases in our pets? The best prevention is to brush your pet’s teeth daily. This method takes a lot of commitment by pet owner but pays off in the long run. If you're not sure where to start, ask your veterinarian for advice. Alternatively, there are prescription dental diets such as Hill's t/d, which is

a dry food and has a proven efficiency of 80 per cent. The kibble is large so pets have to chew it. And the t/d food is structurally designed so that the teeth sink into the kibble and scrape off plaque and tartar. Both brushing the dogs' teeth and feeding t/d food can be paired up with a water additive like Vetradent, which kills bacteria in the mouth and breaks down tartar by 25 per cent. Despite brushing pets’ teeth, providing dental chew, supple- ment water additive (like Vetradent), pets still need periodical dental clean- ing, even dental extractions. If a tooth is causing pain or infection, the tooth needs to be extracted. If you would like more information, please call (204)-586-3334 or visit Ani- mal Hospital of Manitoba at 995 Main Street, Winnipeg R2W 3P8.

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