Ikram Korkmazer, a 51-year-old business owner is an animal lover. However, his love and compassion for animals go beyond admiring and petting them. Ikram has a soft spot for stray animals and he knows how difficult it is for them to find food. This is why he offers them meat scraps every time they come across his meat shop.
It all started when a hungry-looking cat came to his meat shop. It climbed on the counter, salivating for fresh meat. I consent to receiving emails and personalized ads.
Korkmazer felt sorry for the helpless cat so he fed her some meat scraps. He instantly fell in love with the cat and luckily, it wasn’t their first and last encounter.
According to Korkmazer, Yesim, the cat continued coming to his shop for food and even brought her kitten after she gave birth.
“She would stand on two legs, look at the meat on the counter, and ask for meat. She started to come to ask for food five or six times a day, standing on two legs. She wanted mostly spleen, heart, kidney and loved beef,” he said.
When Yesim died, her kitten kept visiting his shop for treats. Korkmazer loved Yesim so much that he named his shop after her.
Now, Yesim Meat Gallery is known not only for its fresh, delicious meat but also as a shop that offers food and love to stray animals.
This heart-warming tradition didn’t stop with Yesim and her kitten. Other stray cats and even stray dogs seemed to have caught on to how wonderful the meat shop owner is.
Every day, there are 7 to 8 cats and 8 to 10 dogs that come to his meat shop to get a taste of their meat. From spleen to heart to kidneys, stray dogs and cats enjoy the meat scraps and have a taste bud party every time they are hungry.
Eventually, Korkmazer’s good deed was recognized around the world when his videos became viral on social media. He started taking videos of the animals he was feeding and posting them on Instagram and TikTok.
A lot of people were amazed by his love for animals which made him garner thousands of followers on both social media platforms.
“I have instilled the love for animals in this world, and it makes me proud to introduce Turkey as an animal-loving country,” Korkmazer said.
Though his instant fame also drove critics, Korkmazer is more focused on the positive reactions he’s been getting. “I have 4 billion people watching my videos, and they are still watching.”
He is happy to be an inspiration to a lot of people as he continues his mission for stray animals. In fact, his family members and co-workers have started to help feed stray cats and dogs that visit his meat shop.
Korkmazer has been selling meat for 41 years and his job became even more fulfilling when he met Yesim and started feeding stray animals.
He is very proud of what he does and he plans to continue what he’s been doing, hoping to inspire more people and animal lovers to do the same.
Feeding stray animals is actually not a very rare effort from humans. We have seen more stories like this in the past where kind-hearted people look after stray cats and dogs by feeding them and even adopting them.
One of them is the homeless man in Malaysia who shared the little food he had with stray cats. This selfless act was captured in a 42-second video which also went viral and warmed the hearts of people online.
10 Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Having Pets
Pets are family members. Like humans, they need love, health care, and attention. But pet parents’ relationships with their pets are not one sided. Pets give so much back in return, improving the health of our minds, bodies, and hearts.
The benefits of having pets are plentiful — and scientifically proven. Pets help their humans live longer, happier, and healthier lives mentally and physically. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) gathers the latest information on the positive health effects of companion animals. These researchers help make the case for adding a pet to a household.
From reducing the risk of heart attacks to alleviating loneliness, these furry family members are contributing to healthy communities.
Let’s talk about those benefits.
Better Mental Health
Pets can contribute to positive mental health through emotional work and practical work. The emotional work can be described as alleviating worries, stress, and depression. You may have noticed that your pet wastes no time noticing and springing into action when you are upset or sad. Their intuition is what makes them great support and therapy animals, and animal-assisted therapy is effective in treating PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Then there’s the practical work that comes with caring for a pet. This means making sure their individual needs are met. Developing a daily routine of walks and feeding times can help pet parents with mental health conditions feel a sense of purpose that affects other areas of their lives.
The Data: Pets and Mental Health
A 2016 HABRI study explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long‑term mental health problem.
- Pets were found to contribute to a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental health conditions, including reducing negative perceptions of a mental health condition or diagnosis.
- Pets provide a sense of security and routine in the relationship, which reinforces stable cognition.
- Pets provide a distraction and disruption from distressing symptoms, such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, rumination, and facilitating routine and exercise for those who care for them.
Better Physical Health
Every little bit counts when it comes to physical health benefits, and those daily walks really add up for dog owners. Since they are more likely to meet the criteria for regular moderate exercise, dog parents have lower instances of obesity.
Your heart is one of the biggest spots to see the full benefits of pet ownership. Just the presence of animals has significant impacts on blood pressure, with pet owners having a lower resting blood pressure than people without pet babies.
Cat parents aren’t left out of the healthy heart race. A feline friend in your home reduces your risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks. According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), people without cats have a 40% higher relative risk of heart attack than non‑cat owners.
The Data: Pets and Physical Health
- Approximately 60% of dog walkers met the criteria for regular moderate and/or vigorous leisure‑time physical activity compared with about 45% for non‑dog owners and dog owners who did not walk their dog in a 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
- In a study of adults over the age of 50 with mildly elevated blood pressure, the presence of a pet dog or cat had a significant impact on blood pressure, with dog ownership being associated with lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to people who did not own pets.
- A study of over 2,400 cat owners concluded there was a significantly lower relative risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non‑owners during a 20‑year follow‑up.
Healthier Aging Process
Research has shown that older adults get social and emotional support from their pets that combats loneliness and depression. Aside from promoting exercise and reducing stress, pets also assist in the treatment of long‑term diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Pet companionship is also key for hospital and cancer patients. When coupled with animal-assisted activities, pets help patients with pain management and in interactions with doctors and nurses. Those patients also responded better to treatments and reported improvements in their quality of life.
The Data: Pets and Aging
- Results of a study of older adults who live alone suggest that pet ownership may act as a buffer against loneliness.
- Results of a one-year study that examined the impact of animal‑assisted therapy (AAT) on patients with chronic pain demonstrated that, following AAT, patients reported reduced pain, discomfort, and stress. Additionally, stress among nursing staff was found to decrease significantly following AAT.
- A study of older adults with mental illness living in long‑term care facilities concluded that AAT reduced depressive symptoms and improved cognitive function.
When we look at the data on mental health, physical health, and aging, it’s clear that pets contribute much to people’s lives in these areas, as well as being the loving companions we’ve always known they are.