Oxford Dictionary definition: place where hides are tanned.
Our definition: A tannery is where animal skins are transformed into leather. The tanning process is essentially one designed to mummify a hide (animal skin) and stabilize the resulting material so that it will not rot or harden into an unusable form. The process for doing so first involves preparing the hide—scraping it clean of meat, fat, and hair; and optionally applying debilitating lime pastes, bleaching, or pickling the skin as well.
Chromium-tanned leather is the most popular form these days, and one of the most noxious. It relies on a toxic slush of chromium salts and tanning liquor to produce a supple and often light blue coloured product. The prepared hides are first pickled in a vat of chromium until the material’s pH drops to 2.8 – 3.2, then they’re transferred to a secondary vat filled with tanning liquor which penetrates the leather. Once the liquor has been thoroughly and evenly absorbed, the pH of the vat is increased to between 3.8 and 4.2. This fixes the tanning material to the leather at a molecular level and helps reduce the amount of shrinkage experienced when the leather is submerged in warm water.
Once the tanning operation proper has been completed, the leather is allowed to dry. Then the “crusting” procedure begins. The leather may be thinned, retanned, and lubricated before being coloured, softened, and shaped.
The tanning industry poses many dangers to both the environment and those who work within it. The primary environmental threat involves the dumping of solid and liquid waste that contains leftover chromium and other hazardous compounds. This is commonplace in regions without strong environmental protection standards, which also happen to be the primary regions where leather is tanned, such as China, India, and Bangladesh. Even in fully modernized and carefully managed facilities, it is nearly impossible to reclaim all of the pollutants generated by the tanning process. And 70% of an untreated hide is eventually discarded as solid waste—the hair, fat, meat, sinew, all goes straight into the trash.
Trawl (in full trawl-net) noun
Oxford Dictionary definition: large wide-mouthed fishing net dragged by boat along sea bottom.
Our definition: The trawl-net is used for bottom-trawling, an industrial fishing method where a large net with heavy weights is dragged across the seafloor, scooping up everything in its path. Bottom trawls are used for catching marine life who live on the seafloor, such as shrimp, cod, sole and flounder, but they also indiscriminately catch every life and object they encounter. Thus, many creatures end up mistakenly caught and thrown overboard dead or dying, including endangered fish and even vulnerable deep-sea corals which can live for several hundred years. This collateral damage, called bycatch, can amount to 90% of a trawl’s total catch. In addition, the weight and width of a bottom trawl can destroy large areas of seafloor habitats that give marine species food and shelter. Such habitat destruction can leave the marine ecosystem permanently damaged.
Oxford Dictionary definition: infectious bacterial disease marked by tubercles, (small rounded swellings on part or in organ of body) esp. in lungs.
Our definition: Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in your body. It is most often found in the lungs. Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms because the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body. But if the immune system weakens TB bacteria can become active. In their active state, TB bacteria cause death of tissue in the organs they infect. Active TB disease can be fatal if left untreated.
One can be infected with TB by inhaling fine droplets (aerosols) coughed out by an infected carrier. Ingestion of a victim’s mucous secretions or bodily wastes can also transmit the disease.
Recently, in the UK, badgers have been cruelly and unjustly culled in an effort to arrest the spread of bovine TB – a disease which is actually spread between cattle who are kept confined to sheds, breathing in each other’s aerosols (Cows, raised on pasture, rather than confined to manure laden enclosures, have much less exposure to disease-causing, faeces-dwelling organisms, plus sunlight destroys M. bovis (the bacteria which causes bovine TB)).
And talking of ingestion of infected mucous secretions, anyone fancy some cows’ milk?
Oxford Dictionary definition: 1. large edible marine fish. 2. (in full tuna-fish) its flesh as food.
Our definition: A tuna is a saltwater finfish that belongs to the tribe Thunnini, a sub-grouping of the mackerel family (Scombridae) – which together with the tunas, also includes the bonitos, mackerels, and Spanish mackerels. Thunnini comprises fifteen species across five genera, the sizes of which vary greatly, ranging from the bullet tuna (max. length: 50 cm (1.6 ft), weight: 1.8 kg (4 lb)) up to the Atlantic bluefin tuna (max. length: 4.6 m (15 ft), weight: 684 kg (1,508 lb)). The bluefin averages 2 m (6.6 ft), and is believed to live for up to 50 years.
Of these species the Albacore tuna is near threatened; the Yellowfin tuna is near threatened; the Bigeye tuna is vulnerable; the Pacific bluefin tuna is vulnerable; the Atlantic bluefin tuna is endangered and the Southern bluefin tuna is critically endangered.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the largest, fastest, and most gorgeously coloured of all the world’s fishes. Their torpedo-shaped, streamlined bodies are built for speed and endurance. Their coloring—metallic blue on top and shimmering silver-white on the bottom—helps camouflage them from above and below. And their voracious appetite and varied diet pushes their average size to a whopping 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length and 550 pounds (250 kilograms), although much larger specimens are not uncommon.
Atlantic bluefins are warm-blooded, a rare trait among fish, and are comfortable in the cold waters off Newfoundland and Iceland, as well as the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, where they go each year to spawn. They are among the most ambitiously migratory of all fish, and some have been tracked swimming from North American to European waters several times a year.
Oxford Dictionary definition: 1. large originally American bird bred for food. 2. Its flesh.
- Turkeys are known to exhibit over 20 distinct vocalisations. Including a distinctive gobble, produced by males, which can be heard a mile away.
- Individual turkeys have unique voices. This is how turkeys recognise each other.
- Turkeys are intelligent and sensitive animals that are highly social. They create lasting social bonds with each other and are very affectionate, rather similar to dogs.
- Turkeys have outstanding geography skills. They have the ability to learn the precise details of an area over 1,000 acres in size.
- Like peacocks, male turkeys puff up their bodies and spread their elaborate feathers to attract a mate.
- Baby turkeys (poults) flock with their mother all year. Although wild turkeys roost in the trees, as poults are unable to fly for the first couple of weeks of their lives, the mother stays with them at ground level to keep them safe and warm until they are strong enough to all roost up in the safety of the trees.
- Wild turkeys are able to fly at up to 55 mph for short distances. Most domestic turkeys however are unable to fly due to being selectively bred to be larger than would be suitable in wild circumstances.
- The male is substantially larger than the female, and his feathers have areas of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold iridescence. Female feathers are duller overall, in shades of brown and grey.
- The area of bare skin on a turkey’s throat and head vary in colour depending on its level of excitement and stress.When excited, a male turkey’s head turns blue, when ready to fight it turns red.