Dog Drinking Fountain

The Doggie Fountain is great way to provide cool, fresh water for your dog companion, especially as summer approaches.

Your faithful dog companions, and perhaps the occasional raccoon, fox or other intelligent four-legged friends, might also learn to get their own fresh and safe drinking water using the Doggie Fountain. It is way better than a dog bowl that gets too hot during the day, gets knocked over, or gummed up with all sorts of garden muck.


June 18, 2012

Obese Dog Stairlift

Companion pets are becoming increasingly obese with busy pet owners not taking enough time to ensure their animal companions get enough exercise or eat properly. A new dog stairlift, dubbed the Stair of the Dog 2022, helps transport overweight animals up the stairs so they can sleep with their owners.

So, if you want to indulge your pet (and their extra poundage), buy them the stairlift and, at the touch of a doggie button that perhaps your pet could get to operate themselves, they get an easy ride up and down the stairs.

The UK device, costs around £5,000 (US$7,935 or €6060), and is designed by a UK insurance company in response to the prediction that dog obesity will rise from 33% at present with 52% of UK dogs expected to be dangerously overweight by 2022.

Though, the rise in obesity may not be all inflicted from overindulgent pet owners, with many human studies linking phthalates, found in shampoos, soaps, lotions, paint and pesticides, as well as soft plastics (maybe your doggie friends favorite chew toy) with absorption into the body can act as a endocrine disruptor that interrupts correct function of glands and hormones. So it may not be a surprise to find your pet companion suffering from some of the same household chemical products that are affecting their metabolism too.

While Stair of the Dog 2022 might be a good idea for injured pets, it surely can’t be a great idea for obese ones – more exercise, a natural diet, and not too many snacks nor treats would be a better place to time, energy and money.

Via More Than & Natural News

April 8, 2012

Deluxe Chicken Coop

The ModernCoop chicken house uses recycled cedar, metal or fiberglass roves to create an ultra cool retro-looking 50’s trailer design.

Designed to provide a deluxe home for your backyard flock,  the innovative and sustainable design comes from Portland-based architecture firm Wright Design Office.The coops have a water supply port and a pest-protected feeding section, roosting box, egg access hatch and perch level viewing windows. A ladder is used to access the interior, and being raised off the ground helps provide extra vermin and predator protection.

The chicken coop sits in a chicken run which is approximately 24″ wide x 48″ long x 42″ high (60cms x 120cms x 107cms) including the ladder. Additional chicken coops can be added lengthwise or side-by-side to increase the chicken run area. The chicken house can be permanent or made as a mobile coop to allow the hens to do their aerating and fertilizing of the soil.

A fully constructed ModernCoop costs around US$790 (€607), with the run costing US$100 (€77) or the plans can be purchased for US$125 (€96).

Visit: ModernCoops & Wright Design Office

February 16, 2012

Endangered Plastic Hippos

Talented sculptor and artist Ryo Shimura, a graduate of the Tokyo University of Art and Design, makes detailed plastic figurines of endangered species, highlighting how species are disappearing from the planet, due to “environmental problems such as deforestation, air pollution, warming…resulting in mass extermination”.

Shimura’s latest creation, “29000→600” represents the loss of hippos in the wild due to loss of habitat and poaching. His slumped-over pandas are particularly poignant, but his Meerkat crayons are tad more upbeat.

However, it does seem a little out of place to use plastic for the disappearing species since plastics, and fossil-fuels from which they are derived, often are a causal factor in stress on the environment and animal species – perhaps the use of a plastic as a medium is intended as an ironic statement.


January 12, 2012

Dog Fence Window

No wonder there are so many barking dogs in the city – the creatures remain hidden behind high fences. They can only communicate with the outside world via scent and sound (i.e. barking). The ingenious PetPeek Window allows dogs the opportunity to see what is going on outside the face and interact with neighboring dog friends.

“The PetPeek Window is a durable, clear, hard acrylic dome 9.5 inches (24cm) in diameter, with a black trim-ring and all necessary hardware for easy do-it-yourself installation into your wooden or vinyl fence,” explains the company’s website. Cost is US$34.98 (€26.81).


December 23, 2011

Kitty Meow Cat Beds

Your feline companion can sleep peacefully in these fabulous Kitty Meow cat beds, created by Paul Hendrikx of Dutch design company Studio Mango.

The Kitty Meow is made from polyethylene plastics, is durable and can be used indoors or outside. The design concept was developed for PetsInn Shanghai, China, and really is the cat’s meow for a feline nap.


Via Design Milk

November 15, 2011

New NYC Bee Species

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in New York City, has its very own bee species named “Lasioglossum gotham”, which is about the size of a grain of rice (around 3mm in length) and is one of four species recently discovered in the New York area.

In fact, the bees were actually discovered in 2009 by John Ascher from the American Museum of Natural History. The tiny bees nest underground and DNA testing has shown it to be a new bee species, along with others discovered in Westchester, Suffolk, and Nassau Counties. Over 200 species of bees live within New York’s parks and green spaces.

These tiny bees get their food from drinking the sweat of humans and animals (for salts and electrolytes), as well as from pollen and nectar. They are also very important for the pollination of wildflowers, crops, and fruits.

Let’s hope  pesticides, fertilizers and GMO crops don’t interfere with allowing this bee species to flourish.

Via FerreBeekeeper & New York Times

November 13, 2011

Cow Massage Design

Cows, living in most industrialized farms, don’t have very good lives. Sweden-based designer Andreij Nylander, the recent recipient of the Red Dot Award, has created a massage post for dairy cows that allows them to relieve those hard to reach itches when needed.

“In my thesis project Care for Cows, I developed a design concept to improve the living situation for dairy cattle, and examined how people benefit from designing for them,” the designer explains.

Although a small and seemingly relativity simply design, the ramifications for the animals are long reaching, including generating a sense of autonomy for the creatures, control over their bodies and the ability to have some intellectual and physical engagements within the close confines of their stalls and often stark quarters.

“When you see the Care for Cows‘ massage brush being used, anyone can see it is enjoyable for the cow,” Nylander explains. “The brush is made from rubber and with 40mm holes and rough texture, although primarily designed for a head and neck massage it also cleans, helping remove parasites and increases blood circulation.”


Via NotCot & RedDot

October 30, 2011

We Can Do Better Than Factory Farming

Over the last half-century in the U.S., small farms have been replaced by large, industrialized operations that treat animals and the natural world as mere commodities.  This factory farming system, which slaughters animals by the billions, costs us all dearly.

The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP), which included experts like former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, conducted “a comprehensive, fact-based and balanced examination of key aspects of the farm animal industry,” which concluded: “…Industrial farm animal production systems are largely unregulated, and many practices common to this method of production threaten public health, the environment, animal health and well-being, and rural communities.”

Against Our Better Natures

Factory farms confine animals by the thousands in massive warehouses. Millions are packed in cages and crates so tightly that they can’t walk, turn around or even stretch their limbs.  According to agribusiness research, more than 40% of consumers think that our country is on the wrong track in terms of how we produce food, with another 20% uncertain about the soundness of our food supply.  And yet the majority of people are not acting on these misgivings.

Agribusiness counts on this complacency, but we can’t afford it. In thoughtlessly consuming what the industry puts in front of us – in choosing to ignore the suffering it exacts – we are complicit not only in the denial of the sensitive, intelligent nature of the animals who become our food but also in the denial of our own natural sensitivities and intelligence.

Against Our Better Interests

Beyond this moral dilemma, factory farming has significant implications for our welfare and the viability of our planet. As just one example, stressed and confined in filthy, cramped quarters, factory farmed animals are constantly at risk for disease. Agribusiness relies on the regular administration of drugs and chemicals to keep the animals alive and productive. The majority of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to farm animals. This overuse has been linked to increased drug resistance in common bacteria, a phenomenon that diminishes our ability to treat illness in humans.

According to a United Nations’ report, factory farming is also one of the top contributors to our planet’s most significant environmental problems, including “land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution and loss of biodiversity.”

Raising animals for food is terribly wasteful, demanding vast quantities of increasingly scarce resources, including water, topsoil and fossil fuels, and the exorbitant quantities of excrement generated by factory farming poison our land, water and air, threatening both ecosystems and human communities.

For Change

By educating ourselves, urging our elected representatives to support reforms, and requesting more plant-based foods in our grocery stores and restaurants, we will be the change our food system needs.  Through farmer’s markets, CSAs and community gardens, we can cultivate a food supply that centers on eating plants instead of animals; that supports our health instead of undermining it; and that helps us preserve the natural world and our relationship to it – a food system that connects us to the best we have to offer each other.

Gene Baur, founder of US-based Farm Sanctuary, and more than 30 experts from across the public health, environmental, and animal welfare movements, will be speaking about the consequences of factory farming at the first National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals in Arlington, Va., on October 27-29. For more information and to register:

Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, campaigns to raise awareness about the negative consequences of factory farming. He has conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and his photos and videos exposing factory farming cruelty have been aired nationally and internationally, educating millions. His book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, a national best-seller, is a thought-provoking investigation of the ethical questions surrounding beef, poultry, pork, milk, and egg production — as well as what each of us can do to promote compassion and help stop the systematic mistreatment of the billions of farm animals who are exploited for food in the U.S. every year.

October 22, 2011

Conference to End Factory Farming

For the first time in history, world-renowned experts are gathering in Arlington, Virginia, for the National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals. The conference, organized by Farm Sanctuary, is scheduled to bring together more than thirty experts from the environmental, public health, and animal welfare movements from October 27th through October 29th, 2011.

The conference is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on factory farming and the problems surrounding the industry through a diverse program of speakers from each of these areas of expertise. The discussions will focus on the detrimental effects on human health, poor animal welfare and the adverse impacts on our environment due to factory farming.

Speakers and attendees include Congressman James P. Moran, Whole Foods Markets’ Co-CEO John Mackey, Wenonah Hauter Food and Water Watch Executive Director, Marc Bekoff author of numerous books including The Emotional Lives of Animals, John Ikerd, Ph.D. professor emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Wayne Pacelle president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Nathan Runkle Founder and Executive Director of Mercy For Animals and many more speakers.

The cost to attend the National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals is US$150 (€113), including meals.

Visit: is a proud sponsor of the world’s first National Conference To End The Cruel and Inhuman Practices of Factory Farming.

October 5, 2011

The Secret Lives of Ants

The photographic series The Ant Thriller, created by Moscow-based student and amateur photographer Oleg Zhukov, is an amazing photo story of the daily life of ants.

Zhukov took the images with a used digital reflex camera, beautifully and poignantly capturing the hard working lives of these industrious tiny creatures, using manual focus and often at twilight.

Visit: Behance & Visuall

September 29, 2011

Recycled Birdhouses

Freelance graphic designer Brian Carlise decided to give the wild birds in his garden some fabulous new homes to live in, upcycling old percolators, flour sifters, trophies, and space heaters into birdhouses and works of art.

Carlise’s backyard is also a National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat, so the birds can also feel well protected as well as safe in their upcycled steampunk homes.


Via Treehugger


September 29, 2011

Vintage Pet Beds

Upcycled suitcases and television sets become the perfect eco-friendly bed for your furry friends. Created by Oregon–based Atomic Attic (comprised of Miles and Aimee Harrison), the designer duo takes old vintage objects and transforms them into the purrfect handmade homes for cats and small dogs.

“This is a great way to add vintage charm to a typically boring pet bed,” explain the designers. “Each piece comes with a removable, triple stitched, machine washable fluffy cushion for cleaning convenience.”

Via Etsy & NotCot

September 12, 2011

Modern Birdhouses

Here is a way to give your wild, feathered friends a unique, hand-built modern birdhouse by American designer Nathan Danials.

With a stunning array of design shapes, colors and features, there is sure to be a house that will appeal both to you and your garden songbirds.

Via Etsy & DesignMilk

August 22, 2011

Birdhouses For Birds

Mexican-born, American-based designer Alejandra Castelao has come up with a novel design idea for birdhouses – design them to meet the needs of the birds rather than basing them on human houses.

The Nido Birdhouses (Nido means nest in Spanish) are made of ceramic and are lacquer coated, with a wide variety of color options available.


Via NotCot &Behance

August 14, 2011

Human Horse Transformation

The desire to experience the feeling, in part, of being a member of another species, was the genesis behind the art project Que Le Cheval Vive En Moi (May The Horse Live In Me) by Art Oriente Objet (Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoit Mangin).

In the project, the artist explores how it feels to hybridize the human body with that of a horse by injecting immunoglobulin into her body from various horses over the course of several months and by creating prosthetic horse legs. Usually, the human body would recognise the animal blood plasma as foreign and the human immune system would attack it, so it is not clear how long the horse blood plasma would survive in the body and/or how much (if any) of the horse plasma would affect the human nervous system.

“I had the feeling of being extra-human, I was not in my usual body. I was hyper-powerful, hypersensitive, 
hyper-nervous and very diffident. The emotionalism of an herbivore. I could not sleep. I probably felt a bit like a horse,” explains the artist of her transformation.

However, does this project help bridge the gap between humans and animals? Does it work to reduce speciesism or does it reduce the horse to a tool, an object for the artist to explore her own fascination/fixation with the equine experience?

May The Horse Live In Me is part of the exhibit Second Lives: Jeux masqués et autres Je continuing until September 11, 2011 at the Casino Luxembourg.


Via DesignBoom

August 11, 2011

Rest Retreat Birdhouse

A combination rest and retreat center is the focus of a new birdhouse structure by Belgium-based designer Quentin de Coster.

Dubbed Spot, the birdhouse transforms the traditional conventions of the familiar form of the birdhouse into a modern shelter that can easily be added to the garden. The birdhouse has an aluminium base and is made with a thermoformed polystyrene hull.


Via Designboom

August 9, 2011

Cardboard Cat Teepee

Provide your cat with a 100% recycled cardboard home that comes complete with six interchangeable ornaments from Canada-based Loyal Luxe. The 22x22x26inch (56x56x66cm) Cat Teppee comes flat-packed with simple and easy to follow assembly directions.

The Cat Teepee sells for US$24 (€17).


Via DesignBoom

August 4, 2011

Trawling SafetyNet

It’s a shocking figure that more than 27 million tons of dead unmarketable fish are caught and thrown back into the sea each and every year. Unfortunately, many of these bycatch fish species, caught via indiscriminate trawling nets, are juvenile fish and/or endangered species. British fishermen throw away 2 of every 3 fish caught!

British based Royal College of Art and Imperial College student Dan Watson (soon to graduate with a Masters in Innovation Design Engineering in July 2011), has created a unique trawling net to eliminate unwanted ‘bycatch’ and save the lives of many different fish species that often end up tangled in trawling nets.

The SafetyNet ensures “…that only marketable fish are caught…. by exploiting fish behavioral habits and physiology the trawl separates different species and ages of fish.” Different sized holes and lights allow different species to escape the nets.

The SafetyNet also takes into consideration the environmental impact of trawling and by raising the trawl one meter off the bottom so far less damage is done to the seabed and the eco-system it supports.

Watch the video below to see how the SafetyNet works:



June 21, 2011

The Shovel Birdhouse

The Shovel Birdhouse by Netherlands-based designer Jan Habraken, although looking rather precarious at first, is an ingenious design solution.

As lighthearted as it seems, the design is both playful and practical. A bird’s diet consists of seeds and worms. With this birdhouse, the bird can wiggle his own worms out of the ground by simply landing on the house and letting the subsequent momentum do the work, explains the artist’s website.

Via LikeCool & Gnr8

June 9, 2011

Architectural Birdhouses

USA-based IMAKE Studio has created two contemporary architectural birdhouses for the more discerning bird. Actually, the mahogany and cedar handmade birdhouses measure 7″ x 7″ x 7” (17.8 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm) and were developed specifically for small birds like wrens, finches, chickadees, and nuthatches. The interior contains a wire mesh ladder to aid in first flights for the chicks.

“The birdhouses incorporate vents to keep the interior cool without letting in too much light and are made of cedar wood which would weather and age naturally over time. The bottom panel is removable to allow for clean out,” explains the designers’ website.


Via DesignMilk

June 7, 2011