For all you academic, scholarly lovers out there: If you have any on-going or new work in the realm of animal geographies, please consider submitting to this anthology in the making. Continue reading »
I haven’t been on facebook or any social media for ages. I signed on for the first time in months and perused one of my friends’ walls and saw Mali the Elephant holding her tail. The tag reads “She’s so lonely. She holds her own tail…”
I didn’t just feel like crying–I cried. I couldn’t help it. I can relate to being lonely. I can feel that deep sadness when all you have is yourself and that’s all you can rely upon because you have no support from the environment in which you live. I so get that, and it pains me. Regardless of whether or not this particular image is propaganda, it speaks the truth, and it touches me bone deep.
Often, I feel so helpless in the face of this real suffering. So many of us doing this work feel helpless. I fool my way out of it when I put on my theorist, philosopher, systems thinker hat–which for any of you who follow my blog know that I have a great affinity for philosophical thinking. Continue reading »
So much to say about the conference, so many words. This year’s conference was my first attendance, and it exceeded and confirmed expectations all at once. The conference contained for me some insight, some inspiration, some passion, some racism. It took me a full week to recap my experience into words I could share on this blog. Many others I have since befriended have written on the conference as well. See Katie’s AR Conference recap for a different perspective.
Voices of the Movement
Not surprising, the dominant voices at the conference came from the large farm animal advocacy organizations. Probably because the organizers FARM are among these organizations. Probably because major voices in the AR movement have prioritized farm animal advocacy above all others since they are the most regularly and extensively exploited and killed land animals in the US. Nevertheless, I found Continue reading »
animal exploitation, biodiversity, climate change, CO2, coral reefs, dead zones, habitat destruction, habitat loss, habitat: space and place, marine ecosystems, mass extinction, oceans, overfishing, pollution, social change, whaling
It pains me to be the purveyor of bad news, but if we don’t stop the destructive cycle we’re on, we’re going to make Earth history by being the shortest lived species before facing extinction, killing many many other species as we go. Two days ago, Reuters published an article on yahoo sharing the findings of a study by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO). In a nutshell: “Unless action is taken now, the consequences of our activities are at a high risk of causing, through the combined effects of climate change, over-exploitation, pollution and habitat loss, the next globally significant extinction event in the ocean.” We’ve heard this warning before. In fact, we’ve been hearing it from researchers, scientists, and activists all over the world for the last decade. And now it seems that grim future prophesied is upon us. Continue reading »
To all of those who have taken the time to peruse my blog, I sincerely give thanks. It has been a while since I have posted anything. The reason is simple: I lost my vision. Ironic that in my quest for finding vision regarding animals in society that I would lose my vision for this blog completely. How this happened was correlated to losing sight of what I wanted for life in general. You could say I had a crisis and went AWOL from cyberspace.
After three months of inactivity in the blogosphere, I have returned with not so much a vision as an idea for how Animal Visions can sustain. For one, I’m writing what I need to write and not what I should write. I say this because in the months before, I posted in an effort to act like a journalist and before that I tried to be a scholar. Neither persona worked, and so I am relinquishing all expectation henceforth and am doing what I should have done in the first place, which is write from where I am.
Additionally, I fell into a funk of bitter commentary on animal news that was either incredibly offensive or incredibly depressing. I could only take so much of that before I just didn’t want to write anymore. No more of that, either.
Finally, I didn’t know who I was writing for, even after maintaining the blog for over a year. So I’ve decided to make matters simple and write what I need to say. If you knew me personally, you’d know that this conclusion is a milestone for me. What I need to say will not always follow the form of the way I have posted in the past. Some of it may be fiction (because, after all, I am a fiction writer!). Hopefully, current readers will appreciate that and join the conversation.
I appreciate all the comments and views the blog has received so far. To whoever is reading, I give my warmest gratitude and look forward to seeing more of you in the future.
I call you Raccoon Mother because you were a mother once and I don’t know how else to identify you. You suckled babies at your breasts and maybe witnessed them grow up to maturity. But when I met you, you were alone. Alone and helpless. Helpless and crippled. You bled. You lay still. You could not stand. Your fur was saturated from the rain. And ticks held tight to your skin like barnacles on a rock. Continue reading »
Another expert has been proclaimed in order to reinforce the ultimate story that has given European civilized humans purpose and value since the dawn of their existence! This time, it is Dr. Hal Herzog, a psychologist at Western Carolina University and an expert on “human-animal interactions,” who presents us with segmented regiments of the human condition as it interacts with animals. “We” are put into perspective using the ancient rational knowledge of utilitarian ethics and reductionist science; of course, “we” are the average white human in western civilization extrapolated to humans everywhere. Here is what he had to say. Continue reading »
It began as a “human-wildlife” google update. The alert came from the website ecorazzi, titled “Eco-Terrorist May Be Behind Discovery Channel Hostage Situation.” Initially, I dismissed the update because “eco-terrorist” was in the title. How could I expect for the news, let alone the commentary, to be worthwhile and holistic if it’s referring to someone as a terrorist? It’s a very loaded term nowadays, as fear-inducing and misconstrued as “communist” or “nazi.” Plus, I thought it was strange that “eco-terrorist” would be mentioned in the same context as “human-wildlife.” Not that it’s unusual or the terms are incompatible, but rather it was the first time I saw the two in the same context. Continue reading »
At the IRS located in Memphis, TN, Ms. Yarbrough walked to her cubicle and noticed a strange picture. She knew that the office was going to be decorated in honor of “Employee Appreciation Week” but she didn’t expect to see what she saw in that federal government building. On the manager’s door, the image of a male pan-Indian head was stamped, depicting a stereotypical red man with an elaborately feathered headdress. Tagged to this disembodied head was a comic-strip style speech stating “How! Me help you with taxes. Me give you installment agreement.” This statement was supposed to be an attempt at comedy to illustrate the work they do in that department. Ms. Yarbrough was not amused. In fact, she felt disgusted to see that her manager supported distribution of this racist image. She asked a few of her black female co-workers if they noticed the new image. Unnamed middle-aged black woman replied casually, “Yeah, I saw it.” Continue reading »
I’m walking down the street in my neighborhood and find a dead squirrel who was recently hit by a car, followed by the decomposed corpse of a fledgling (a robin from the look of his orange breast) and another dead squirrel who is beginning to smell. I pause for each deceased and offer a prayer into wind. Afterward, I continue walking toward my destination, but I don’t forget the images of their bodies. Continue reading »