Niche Blogs: Awesome Animals Edition

In the continuing series on highly-specific blogs, there are many that deal with animals. Cute Overload and I Can Has Cheezburger? are the "big dogs," so to speak, but the public's appetite for cute and/or funny animal pictures, stories, and information is so great that more focused animals subjects have their place.

Animal Reviews gives a thorough overview of a different species in each post, and grades them from A to F. For example, killer bees get an F while the leafy sea dragon (pictured) gets an A. Sometimes animals will get a second grade for their suitability as a pet. On the other hand, F You, Penguin, which contains a profanity in the blog title as well as most of the posts, is purely for entertainment. Each animal gets an overdose of criticism, snark, and utter contempt. But if all you need is a pick-me-up, try Cute Things Falling Asleep, a video blog that contains the occasional cute human as well as animals.

There is a subgenre of blogs featuring animals in certain situations. Many shelters and animal rights groups have blogs about pets for adoption and animal news. Animals in Disasters is a publication of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, in which you'll find news of how animals are faring during recent disasters like the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, the severe winter weather in Mongolia, and flooding in Vietnam. The photo blog Animalswithcasts takes a sad situation and makes it cute, since it is obvious that someone is caring for each critter.

While bunny rabbits are soft and usually gentle, they often appear to be looking down their noses at us. Disapproving Rabbits highlights this feature by posting rabbit pictures. You can get more rabbits at The Daily Bunny, which delivers what it promises: a photograph of a bunny rabbit every day. Bunnylicious, on the other hand, is an art blog about only one kind of art -that which contains bunnies.

Pets are adorable, but if you want to get your daily dose of cute in the wild, check out The Daily Otter which features videos as well as pictures.

Writer and photographer Shreve Stockton took in a baby coyote when its parents were shot for killing sheep in Wyoming. She is documenting Charlie's life with her in the blog The Daily Coyote. Charlie is now three years old, but his baby pictures still inspire many "awws".

This Goat's Life is a diary of life on the farm, as seen by a dairy goat named Silver Belle. As she relates the doings of the farm family and various kinds of livestock, Silver Belle is often subtly snarky.

Moldy will be getting a little extra in her pay packet this week. She had two doelings at 3 o'clock. That's good, now she has someone to listen to all her complaints.

She is already telling them about the great utopia of Oregon where she used to live. The beautiful land of milk and honey, where candy grows on trees, and little white goats ride on satin cushions.

Of course, not all animals are cute and cuddly. Rattitude is about rats and what great pets they make. Oh, you think rats ARE cute and cuddly? The how about snakes? SLOG (Singapore Snakes Blog) documents snake sightings in Singapore, of which there are plenty, but you are invited to submit your own. And don't forget spiders. The Spider Blog features a "spider of the week" and gives detailed information on each species.

There are always more cat blogs to explore. Despite what the name looks like at first glance, F@ K@ Blog is "a daily appreciation of the Curvy Cat" and features found photos of fat cats. Stray Cats in Tokyo (English translation) is the work of photographer t-nekogatari, who makes strays look as if they are posing for portraits. Average Cats was created as a rebellion against LOLcats. It has captioned photographs of cats, but they don't say anything particularly funny or clever, as you can see in the above picture. They are just average cats.

You'll find more specialized blogs dealing with animals in the previous posts A Sampling of Niche Blogs and Cat Blogging and Blogging Cats.

See also:  Niche Blogs: Found Photos Edition and Niche Blogs: Focused on Food.

India Now Has a Private Ambulance Service Just for Cows

In India, where the majority of residents are Hindu, the cow is sacred. Just how sacred? So sacred that one state recently launched a private ambulance service for injured cattle.

According to The Guardian, the ambulance service in Uttar Pradesh was launched by Keshav Prasad, the state’s deputy chief minister. While it has the support of the government, it’s not a state-funded enterprise. It’s paid for by an NGO called the Gau Vansh Raksha trust, which operates several gaushalas, or animal shelters specifically aimed at housing old and unwanted cows to protect them from slaughter. (The Indian government also runs its own gaushalas, paying for the cows’ upkeep through state funds.)

The trust launched five ambulances in May 2017, and received hundreds of calls within the first week of operation. The ambulances are equipped with sirens and basic surgery supplies and are run by volunteers.

Though India has a secular government, more than a dozen Indian states have banned the slaughter of cattle out of deference to the Hindu majority. The laws are controversial for the country's beef-eating Christian and Muslim populations (who also make up the bulk of the country's large cattle-export industry), however. The same month the service launched, the Indian government instituted a full ban on selling cows for slaughter. The ban is currently on hold while India’s Supreme Court rules on whether or not it is constitutional.

[h/t The Guardian]

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6 Niche Blogs You Should Read
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes

We know you have a few blogs you go to every day for general information, news, and entertainment, and we’re glad that mental_floss is one of them. But every once in a while, you want to branch out to something new and different, something really crazy and good for a laugh. These single-subject blogs with a very narrow focus just might be what you’re looking for.


Rusty Epstein has a set of refrigerator word magnets, and he’s not afraid to use them. His word combinations are not the cheery, uplifting phrases your mom puts up for everyone to see; they are Depressing Fridge Poems. They are so sad, they will most likely make you laugh, at least a little. Then you’ll feel bad about laughing.


Here’s a blog that tech workers and Harry Potter fans alike will enjoy. The Setup Wizard puts those workers in the world of Harry Potter by giving us a first-person account of a Muggle IT guy named Jonathan Dart who works at Hogwarts. "It took them until 2016," he writes, "but both students and staff alike have finally caved and demanded that their cell phones work on school grounds, and with that request they had to find a 'muggle' (a term I’m quickly learning to detest) to install wifi and maintain any technology that functions on school grounds." He rolls his eyes at the students and professors who think a little magic will make everything all right, when the magic actually tends to make things worse. You can read the saga so far in chronological order, and then keep up with new entries in blog order.


There’s been a lot of food featured on The Simpsons in its more than two decades on the air. Eats Like a Duck features those foods one at a time, with references to the episode a particular food appeared in and recipes that will allow a reader to make it. For example, in the episode “Homerpalooza” (season 7), Homer tries to sneak homemade Kahlua into a concert. (It's not the best idea—as the blogger behind Eats Like a Duck notes, "The stifling heat of an outdoor concert just doesn’t really pair well with the sweet coffee flavor of Kahlua, homemade or store bought.") Other recipes on the site include Bart’s Grilled Twizzlers, A Cool Glass of Turnip Juice, Blandoori, Clove Tom Collins Pie, and, of course, The Flaming Homer.


Nudibranchs are ocean mollusks that come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. David Bowie was a music and art icon who, over the course of his career, flaunted a lot of colorful and creative looks. The Tumblr blog Bowiebranchia matches Bowie’s looks with a nudibranch.


Do you ever feel that being at work is like one of the gory, torturous details in a Hieronymus Bosch painting? You know, like The Garden of Earthly Delights? The blog Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes knows that feeling, and will come up with an image macro that puts those feelings into words. (Note: Some images may be NSFW.) You’ll find an archive of older posts at the blog’s previous address.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, have a hamster named Marvin. That inspired Christine Frazier to imagine Marvin leading the wonderful life of a royal hamster. She posts her illustrations at her new blog called HRH Marvin, #TheRoyalHamster. It contains pictures of the royal family in the news, and then Frazier's drawings of Marvin living out that image with a little narration, often wearing the same fashions as in the news image. Above, you see Marvin playing polo in the style of the Princes William and Harry, although you will more often see him in Kate Middleton’s newsworthy fashions.


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