G g


Gammon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Back end of side of bacon, including leg.

Our definition:  The flesh of a piglet’s bottom and back leg (slaughtered at between 3 and 6 months old)

 Gelatin (also gelatine)    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Transparent tasteless substance used in cookery, photography, etc.

Our definition:  Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. Gelatin is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics; as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings, such as jelly; in sweets/candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts; on photographic film; and in vitamins and other drugs as a coating and as capsules; and it is sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines.

 Glycerine (also glycerol, glycerin)    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Colourless, sweet, viscous liquid used in medicines, explosives, etc.

Our definition:  Glycerine/glycerin/glycerol is a by-product of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat). In cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, medicines, lubricants, transmission and brake fluid, and plastics. Derivatives: Glycerides, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, Polyglycerol. Alternatives: vegetable glycerin (a byproduct of vegetable oil soap), derivatives of seaweed, petroleum.

Glycerine is derived from oils of many types. Some cosmetics companies produce the glycerin they use in their products from animal origins or from petroleum-based oils.  However, glycerine may be vegan if it has been derived from plant-based oils such as palm kernel oil or coconut oil.

Goad    verb

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. Urge with goad.  2. (usually + on, into) irritate; stimulate.

Goad    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. Spiked stick for urging cattle.

Our definition:  A goad is a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; cattle prod; or anything that pricks or wounds like such a stick used to make animals go where the stick wielder wants them to go.

Gravy    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  (sauce made from) juices exuding from meat in and after cooking.

Our definition:  Meat is animal flesh and as such does not exude juice.  The liquids which will drain from meat are mostly myoglobin mixed with the water in the flesh (NB most of the blood would have been drained from the animal’s body at the slaughterhouse but there would still be some in the muscles and that would also add to the liquid).  Myoglobin is a protein, that stores oxygen in muscle cells.  Non vegetarian gravy is therefore be made from these body fluids.

It is of course possible to make delicious vegan gravy.

Greyhound    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Slender swift dog used in racing.

Our definition:  Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, and loyal to owners.  They are very loving and enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs.   Jasmine, a beautiful, rescued greyhound puppy who grew up to be a permanent resident at Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary and an extremely well loved member of their team, is a perfect example of how loving these animals are.   Tragically so many gentle individuals like her are exploited and abused by the greyhound racing industry.

Grouse    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Game bird with feathered feet (where ‘game’ is defined as: wild animals or birds etc. hunted for sport or food; and their flesh as food)

Our definition:  Grouse are heavily built birds, like other Galliformes such as chickens.  They range in length from 31 to 95 cm (12 to 37 in), and in weight from 0.3 to 6.5 kg (0.66 to 14.33 lb).  Males are bigger than females—twice as heavy in the western capercaillie, the biggest member of the family.  Grouse have feathered nostrils. Their legs are feathered to the toes, and in winter the toes, too, have feathers or small scales on the sides, an adaptation for walking on snow and burrowing into it for shelter.  Unlike other Galliformes, they have no spurs.

These birds feed mainly on vegetation—buds, catkins, leaves, and twigs—which typically accounts for over 95% of adults’ food by weight. Thus their diets vary greatly with the seasons. Hatchlings eat mostly insects and other invertebrates, gradually reducing their proportion of animal food to adult levels. Several of the forest-living species are notable for eating large quantities of conifer needles, which most other vertebrates refuse. To digest vegetable food, grouse have big crops and gizzards, eat grit to break up food, and have long intestines with well-developed caeca in which symbiotic bacteria digest cellulose.

Forest species flock only in autumn and winter, though individuals tolerate each other when they meet. Prairie species are more social, and tundra species (ptarmigans, Lagopus) are the most social, forming flocks of up to 100 in winter.  All grouse spend most of their time on the ground, though when alarmed, they may take off in a flurry and go into a long glide.

Most species stay within their breeding range all year, but make short seasonal movements; many individuals of the ptarmigan (called rock ptarmigan in America) and willow grouse (called willow ptarmigan in America) migrate hundreds of kilometres.

Guinea Pig    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. Domesticated South American rodent.  2. Person used in experiment.

Our definition:  Guinea pigs (which are not pigs at all) originated in the Andes, and are domesticated descendants of a closely related species of cavy such as Cavia aperea, C. fulgida, or C. tschudii and, therefore, do not exist naturally in the wild.  Cruel medical experiments on guinea pigs have been carried out since the 17th century.  The animals were frequently used for this in the 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in the epithet “guinea pig” for a test subject (see Oxford definition 2 above), but have since been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats.  However, they are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.

As with all animals kept as pets, there are far more bred than there are homes for them to go to, therefore, if you’re thinking of giving a happy home to a guinea pig, please go to a rescue organisation, not a breeder.  Also guinea pigs are extremely social, herd animals and thrive in the company of another guinea pig.  A human can’t take the place of a guinea pig companion.  If you are going to be away for a large part of the day, it is even more important to get a pair of guinea pigs of the same sex.  You will end up with a brighter and happier animal.

2 thoughts on “G g

  1. Aww! Those bob tails are so adorable!! And the guinea pigs too! So cute!! I love the pictures of them on Guinea Lynx, kissing and sharing a piece of food! This made me laugh 😀
    Grouse are lovely too, wonderful feathers and faces. ❤


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