Archive for the ‘nail shops’ Category

Memo to Ellen: In ¼ of the World People Eat Dogs

October 20, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 20, 2007

Poverty. Homelessness. Disease. Death. War. Genocide. I can think of a lot of reasons to shed tears over the cruelty, injustice and violence of the world.

A repossessed dog doesn’t move me to tears.

In America “dog food” refers to something one feeds to a dog.  In other lands, the dog is people food.

The wealthiest nation and people on the face of the earth spend far too much time, effort and money in nail shops, hair salons and on Starbucks coffee. But what we Americans spend on our four legged buddies is staggering.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) confirms the full scope of American “pet prowess.” For starters, few other nations even have a pet products association.

According to the APPMA, pet spending has more than doubled in America from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006.

In 2006, American spending on pets was higher than ever:
–$15.2 billion for food
–$9.3 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medications
–$9.4 billion for veterinarian care
–$1.8 billion for live animal purchases
–$2.7 billion for other services

Many elderly folks now have their pet medications delivered right to their door.

Here are some additional facts from the APPMA:
–Total pet spending in America during 2005 was larger than projected with total sales coming in at $36.3 billion.
–Both veterinary care and other services had stronger than anticipated performances in 2005.
–New and expanded veterinary services such as joint replacement surgeries, delicate eye procedures, and senior health care helped increase total spending by almost 8 percent over 2004.

Other innovative new services continue to increase market penetration with pet spas and hotels, grooming, pet therapy and related services.

Hey, in China, dogs are people food.

“Both of these segments should maintain strong performances this year as pet ownership continues to increase especially among key demographic sectors including baby boomers and young professional couples,” said Bob Vetere, President of APPMA.
–Growth in the pet food sector performed as forecasted at 3.5 percent over 2004. “It is interesting to note that food continues to show growth not only in the expected high-end areas with vitamin fortified formulas, gourmet lines and natural/organic food but with the value-priced portion of the segment as well,” said Bob Vetere.

This has been a banner year for American dogs. Michael “Vick Dog” Vick, who raised animal cruelty to new heights, prompted the news media to shed light upon the cruel and abusive world of dog fighting. In a way, “Vick Dog,” though an unexpected bit of serendipity, helped publicize the dark world of dog fighting — and maybe this will in the long run make this evel practice obsolete.

For the past several days some Americans have been immersed in Ellen’s dog tragedy.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried said, “And we wasted so much time on the World Trade Center!”

Gilbert Gottfried

We recommend, if people really want to open their hearts and their wallets, that there are plenty of good causes that help people around the globe. And people are worth crying over sometimes.

Dogs: Not.

Note to Ellen: at the American chicken restaurant “Chic-fil-A,” the motto is “Eat more Chicken.”  In some parts of the world, they gladly say, “Eat more dog.”

Dog Rights in America versus Human Rights in Vietnam


We’ll Pay What it Costs: Ice Cream, Coffee, Achieving The Insurmountable and Other Thoughts on Life

August 6, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 6, 2007

Ice Cream

My bride was recently gravely ill and I pulled out the stops to do everything I could for her. I brought her Mother’s homemade Vietnamese soup and my bride didn’t touch a drop.

I tried cookies and candy.

Nothing made her hungry or happy.

Finally I tried a certain high end ice cream brand. The exact product was “Cherry Garcia.”

She loved the expensive ice cream and couldn’t stop praising me, raving about the ice cream, and sneaking little scoops of the stuff.

Then she started to wonder, as she got better, why I had never introduced her to the “good stuff” ice cream until she became ill.

I told her if I lost her, God would have asked her questions. It might go something like this:

God:  “Did your husband love and care for you to his full ability?”

My wife would certainly answer in the affirmative.

Then God might say, “Did he buy for you Cherry Garcia ice cream?”

My wife would say no. She had never heard of it until she was ill.

Then God would inform her; “You got screwed Honey. He wasn’t as good a husband as he could have been.”

Now she isn’t sure about me and I fear she is addicted to this ice cream.

I was told by a friend she has to go to Vermont to a place called “Ben & Jerry’s” for rehab.  Does that sound right?

Spas, Coffee and Human Sacrifice

The NBC TODAY show had one of those invaluable “news” reports I relish, just this morning.

The topic was SPAs.

Here is the intro to the piece on the NBC TODAY Show web page complete with their own misuse of the word “their”:

“Imagine a week of facials, massages, gourmet meals, hikes, and Pilates classes. Sounds like a great way to spend the last days of summer, right? That’s the sound of a SPA getaway.

‘Vacation’ usually means hustling to catch planes, hassling with rental cars, and then squeezing in friends, family, and of course all the major sites. That’s why destination spas make so much sense. According to SPA Finder Inc., there [sic] database counts more than 15,000 spas in the United States.”

15,000 SPAs? That sounds like an extravagance to me.

Until you consider we have over 10,000 high end coffee houses in the U.S. And they are already springing up in places like China.

Many Americans will spend thousands of dollars on themselves in SPAs, hair salons and nail shops. Then on the way home they’ll buy a cappuccino for something going toward $5.00.

I am proud to say I don’t go to a “hair stylist.”  Instead I make a small donation to Pete the immigrant barber and he does the job for less than $10.00.

John Edwards: eat your heart out.

The bottom line is this: many Americans will pay whatever it takes to achieve their own few minutes of mental bliss.  God Bless ’em too!

But ask some of us to really make a sacrifice; and you may get that “deer in the headlights” stare.

I saw an Army G.I. interviewed on TV a few days ago. He reminded watchers that only about 1% of the U.S. population was involved in the war on terror, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said many Americans slapped a “I support the troops” bumper sticker on their car and they were finished with the problem.

Achieving The Insurmountable

So I wonder sometimes: will the people of the United States ever again be able to achieve the likes of the landings on D-Day? Can present day America defeat a tyrant like Hitler? Do we have engineering successes in our future to rival man walking on the moon?

I am usually an optimist.

But the two most recent examples of “The Right Stuff” included a half-crazed astrounat wearing a diaper on her way to kill what she thought was her man’s girlfriend. The other was a report of drunken astronauts in space and in aircraft.

When I heard a pundit say what a hard and long “struggle” it would be to replace the Interstate 35W bridge which collapsed, I nearly gagged. We should be able to rebuild that bridge better and stronger in no time.

And as the news reader bemoaned “the decaying infrastructure in America,” I thought: we better get on with it and do it right.

And we, as a nation, had better take on some of the tough issues facing us like illegal immigration, the war against terror and the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The Can’t-Do Nation
“The United States seems to have become the superpower that can’t tie its own shoelaces.”

What Americans spend on their pets:
“Pet Prowess” in America; Michael Vick to Coach at University of Beijing

Dog Rights in America versus Human Rights in Vietnam