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Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) uses Virtual Reality against Dairy Cruelty

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Animal Cruelty (representational Image), VOA

New Delhi April 14, 2017: The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) on Friday launched a campaign against reported cruelty in dairies by showing some shocking pictures through virtual reality.

The NGO, which promotes veganism, offers experience of virtual reality to consumers with an aim to sensitise people and consumers towards the unseen cruelty to dairy cattle.

“The #DontGetMilked Campaign strives to educate people about the cruelty towards animals in the dairy industry. It aims to help people make informed choices about the food that they eat and the benefits of a compassionate and plant-based diet,” Swati Poddar from FIAPO told IANS.

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Asked if they are against the dairy or animal raising, FIAPO worker said: “It’s fine till no cruelty is involved.”

The campaign is bring to people the lesser known facts about the dairy industry where animals are often subjected to cruelty through untreated wounds, no vaccinations, artificial insemination and “Khalbaccha” (a makeshift calf).

Khalbaccha is a technique where a buffalo calf is killed and its head is stuffed with the straw to create a dummy. The dummy is hanged around the buffaloes who by getting smell of their child produce milk.

“Cows are considered sacred so they are not killed but the cruelty continues for buffaloes… Dairy animals are often subjected to cruelty,” Poddar added.

After Delhi, the FIAPO will hold the virtual reality sessions at Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow and Bengaluru. (IANS)

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Virtual Reality can reduce phantom pain felt by paralysed people

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Paralysed Human
Virtual Reality can reduce phantom pain felt by paralysed people

London, Oct 31’2017: Scientists have shown that virtual reality (VR) can help reduce phantom body pain in paraplegics and and create the illusion that they can feel their paralysed legs being touched again.

“We managed to provoke an illusion: the illusion that the subject’s legs were being lightly tapped, when in fact the subject was actually being tapped on the back, above the spinal cord lesion,” said lead author of the study Olaf Blanke from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

“When we did this, the subjects also reported that their pain had diminished,” Blanke added.

The results published in the journal Neurology could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics.

Paraplegia is often accompanied by neuropathic pain due to the spinal cord lesion.

The patient feels pain originating from the legs, even though nothing else can be felt below the lesion.

The sensation of pain is real and yet completely resistant to drug therapy.

The new research shows that virtual reality may be the key to providing relief for this type of pain, and the solution comes from restoring a sense of touch.

“We tapped the back of the subject near the shoulders and the subject experienced the illusion that the tapping originated from the paralysed legs,” said Polona Pozeg, co-author of the study and now a neuroscientist at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland.

“This is because the subject also received visual stimuli of dummy legs being tapped, viewed through the virtual reality headset, so the subject saw them immersively as his or her own legs,” Pozeg added.(IANS)

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Is Longer Screen Time Bad for your Child’s Health? Experts say it might be time to relax the rules

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group focused on kids’ use of media and technology, said in a report that kids ages 8 and younger average about 2 hours and 19 minutes with screens every day at home.

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New York, October 22, 2017 : Parents of small children have long been hearing about the perils of “screen time.” And with more screens, and new technologies such as Amazon’s Echo speaker, the message is getting louder.

And while plenty of parents are feeling guilty about it, some experts say it might be time to relax a little.

Go ahead and hand your kid a gadget now and then to cook dinner or get some work done. Not all kids can entertain themselves quietly, especially when they are young. Try that, and see how long it takes your toddler to start fishing a banana peel out of the overflowing trash can.

“I know I should limit my kid’s screen time a lot, but there is reality,” said Dorothy Jean Chang, who works for a tech company in New York and has a 2-year-old son. When she needs to work or finds her son awake too early, “it’s the best, easiest way to keep him occupied and quiet.”

Screen time, she says, “definitely happens more often than I like to admit.”

She’s not alone. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group focused on kids’ use of media and technology, said in a report Thursday that kids ages 8 and younger average about 2 hours and 19 minutes with screens every day at home. That’s about the same as in 2011, though it’s up from an hour and a half in 2013, the last time the survey was conducted, when smartphones were not yet ubiquitous but TV watching was on the decline.

While the overall numbers have held steady in recent years, kids are shifting to mobile devices and other new technologies, just as their parents are. The survey found that kids spend an average of 48 minutes a day on mobile devices, up from 15 minutes in 2013. Kids are also getting exposed to voice-activated assistants, virtual reality and internet-connected toys, for which few guidelines exist because they are so new.

SCREEN TIME
Students play with their iPads at the Steve Jobs school, Aug. 21, 2013. The Steve Jobs schools in the Netherlands are founded by the Education For A New Time organization, which provides the children with iPads to help them learn with a more interactive experience. VOA

Mixed message

Some parents and experts worry that screens are taking time away from exercise and learning. But studies are inconclusive.

The economist Emily Oster said studies have found that kids who watch a lot of TV tend to be poorer, belong to minority groups and have parents with less education, all factors that contribute to higher levels of obesity and lower test scores. For that reason, it’s “difficult to draw strong conclusions about the effects of television from this research,” Oster wrote in 2015.

In fact, the Common Sense survey found that kids whose parents have higher incomes and education spend “substantially less time” with screens than other children. The gap was larger in 2017 than in previous years.

Rules relaxed

For more than a quarter century, the American Academy of Pediatrics held that kids under 2 should not be exposed to screens at all, and older kids should have strict limits. The rules have relaxed, such that video calls with grandma are OK, though “entertainment” television still isn’t. Even so, guidelines still feel out of touch for many parents who use screens of various sizes to preserve their sanity and get things done.

ALSO READ Few Tips For Parenting Boys, Which Will Make Them Kind And Gentle

Jen Bjorem, a pediatric speech pathologist in Leawood, Kansas, said that while it’s “quite unrealistic” for many families to totally do away with screen time, balance is key.

“Screen time can be a relief for many parents during times of high stress or just needing a break,” she said.

Moderation

Bjorem recommends using “visual schedules” that toddlers can understand to set limits. Instead of words, these schedules have images — dinner, bed time, reading or TV time, for example.

Another idea for toddlers? “Sensory bins,” or plastic tubs filled with beads, dry pasta and other stuff kids can play around with and, ideally, be just as absorbed as in mobile app or an episode of “Elmo.”

Of course, some kids will play with these carefully crafted, Pinterest-worthy bins for only a few minutes. Then they might start throwing beans and pasta all over your living room. So you clean up, put away the bins and turn on the TV.

In an interview, Oster said that while screen time “is probably not as good for your kid as high-quality engagement” with parents, such engagement is probably not something we can give our kids all the time anyway.

“Sometimes you just need them to watch a little bit of TV because you have to do something, or you need (it) to be a better parent,” Oster said. (VOA)

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing Vegan Diet, Why it is not Successful in India?

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Vegan Diet Food Items
Vegan Diet Food Items. Pixabay
  • How Vegan Diet helps you healthy body functioning
  • It has some nutritional shortfalls

5 Reasons To Choose Vegan Diet

Being vegan helps in a lot of ways –gives you a healthy body, disease protection, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Vegans choose to eat plant-based products and eliminate animal-based products, dairy products like milk, honey, meat, fish, eggs from their diet. The reason can be to stay healthy, religious beliefs or Ethical values. A vegan diet is nutritionally balanced and is highly beneficial for the healthy lifestyle. Some of its advantages are –

Weight Reduction

A large number of population opt for this diet to do excessive weight loss. The reason behind this is there is less intake of fats which come from animal-based products and high intake of fiber. Vegan Diet includes consumption of healthy food products like fruits, vegetables, nut and other plant-based products which maintain nutritional balance in your body.

Reduces Diabetes and Hypertension

People following Vegan Diet are often able to reduce their blood pressure and sugar level than compared to Non – vegans. Intake of plant-based products helps in reducing the need of insulin for the diabetic patients. As mentioned in various researchs, meat and fish eaters tend to have high blood pressure which is eliminated in the vegan diet.

Avoids Heart and Kidney Diseases

Vegan Diet helps reducing cholesterol in your body. Healthy food intake avoids risky heart diseases and helps in proper functioning of the heart. Plant proteins reduce the risk of the poor kidney function than meat proteins.

Helps to Maintain Healthy Bones

The diet is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin K which contributes to the bone health significantly. Calcium Fortified plant milk and yogurts can help in achieving recommended calcium dietary intake which keeps the bones healthy and prevents various bone and dental diseases.

Overall healthy lifestyle

It keeps your mind and body relaxed and stress-free. Prevents you from common body ailments like a frequent headache, body pain etc. Eating healthy food like fruits, vegetables and less intake of fats makes you feel active and energized whole day. It makes you feel good and confident about your body.

Disadvantages

Although Vegan Diet has proved to be beneficial to many it has some nutritional shortfalls as well. Vegans often tend to have various nutrient deficiencies like –

Vitamin B12: Deficiency of Vitamin B12 occurs due to the elimination of dairy products and meat from the diet, for vegans, it can be prevented by taking B12 supplements or B12 fortified foods.

Calcium: Vegan should eat more tofu, tahini, and green leafy vegetables to intake the required amount of calcium in the body.

Iron: Iron is essential to transport oxygen to the blood cells. Eat dried beans and use a cast-iron skillet to prepare the meal to have an iron-rich diet.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: It is important for cardiovascular health, eyes and brain function. Eating walnuts, soy products, and flaxseed can prevent the deficiency.

Although, It is hard to be a vegan in India as Indians love to eat dairy and poultry products.The most indulgent foods in India consists of milk, cheese, fish, eggs, and meat. But when it comes to healthy living, veganism is one of the best options you can opt for and every non-vegan food in your diet can be replaced by a vegan food.

-prepared by Pragya Mittal of NewsGram | Twitter @PragyaMittal05