Britain’s fattest orangutan, Oshien, is in news these days.
Oshien who lives in captivity, that’s fed by humans, is currently shedding her excess pounds.
The orangutan has already lost a fifth or 20 percent of her body weight after changing her ways ( In number terms, the orangutan has lost 20 kilograms in the last 11 months). Eveven months ago, before embarking on a healthy lifestyle, Tubby Oshien weighed 220lbs or 100 kilograms – more than double her natural weight (what she would have normally weighed if she was in the wild).
Oshine arrived at Monkey World in Dorset, UK, last year from Johannesburg in South Africa having been kept as a pet for 13 years. Her sedentary and unnatural lifestyle, and the fact that she was fed by humans, made her gain double her unnatural weight. Just like humans, her huge weight , made her morbidly obese and she ran the risk of developing heart disease, blood clots, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
What Lifestyle changes Oshien made after arriving at her new home:
The 14-year-old ape has cut out sweets, jelly and marshmallows and instead eats a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables. In addition, she has a plenty of exercise. Although still fed by humans, Oshine’s new caretakers know the importance of healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle; hence under their intensive supervison, Oshine has lost a fifth of her weight, is exercising, scaling a 20-metre climbing frame and has even adopted an orphaned baby orangutan named Silvestre.
5 valuable lessons, Oshine teaches humans:
1) No animal is overweight, when it feeds itself. Only when humans start feeding an animal; the animal starts to put on unnatural weight. Examples are Dogs, cats, poultry, cattle etc.
Lesson Learned: Human eating habits work against their Health and fitness. Idea is to take hints from animals dependent on nature.
2) A pet animal or an animal reared in captivity reflects the health and fitness beliefs of the human caretaker. If the caretaker is not health and fitness conscious, the animal cared for, will reflect the utter disregard for body, health and fitness.
An animal reflects the weight and health of the caretaker. This is remarkably showcased by people and their dogs. A man, who is overweight, is most likely to have an overweight dog. The reverse is true as well. The main reason for it is Empathy. Every time the owner feels hungry, he/she feeds the dog out of empathy (If I’m feeling hungry, so will my dog). Every time the owner feels tired to go for a walk, it assumes his/her dog may also be feeling similar. As a result, the dog starts to reflect both the body and mind of the owner.
Lesson Learned: To get aware of your own health and fitness beliefs, have a look at those who you care for. Your pet, children, partner or spouse, whom you provide care, can give you more awareness about yourself.
3) In wild, an animal’s body has to work hard to digest what has been eaten. The food is very unrefined and takes time to get digested. In most cases, most of the food eaten by an animal in wild is excreted undigested; hence only a part of food provides useful energy. As a result, they never get the opportunity to store energy from food; and become fat.
Lesson Learned: Reduce refined food in your diet. Refined food is a food which is easy to digest. Instead make your body work to digest the food. Ensure that a section of your diet constitutes of food items which are hard to digest or are excreted mostly undigested. Such food can be roughage, raw fruits and vegetables.
4) In wild, animals don’t find food in easily palatable form. They don’t even find a lot of food at one place. They have to put a lot of physical effort to make that food palatable. Like when a dear grazes grass, it has to bit the grass blades chew it and keep on moving. This constant biting and chewing (‘ruminating’ in cud chewing animals) makes eating an energy intensive activity. No wonder, an animal is healthy in wild.
Lesson Learned: Use a small plate for your meal. Take small quantity of food. If want more, then stand up and bring another serving. That way, you will prevent yourself from over eating. Another important thing to do is to chew the food properly. The rule of thumb regarding chewing the food goes: Drink what is solid, and eat what is liquid (according to Indian alterative science of Yog). That’s, one should chew a solid food, until it becomes liquid; and ingest a liquid food as if it’s a solid.
5) No animal in wild, consumes added sugar and salt, and they are still healthy. This means that, added sugar and salt, are not necessary for animal body (humans included). The sugar and salt which is naturally found in any food, is sufficient for normal body functions.
Lesson Learned: Do what Oshine did. Cut on your sugar and salt intake, as much as possible.