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
Shelly lifted herself from her fetal posture. It’s after dawn and her hunger pains began to settle in. Her wide yellow eyes looked toward her companions who had not yet risen, but one of them was suspiciously moving around in bed. Though she had been awake for a while, Shelly extended her rump into the air, stretching herself as if her body were being pulled by invisible thread tugged at opposite ends. She walked onto the bed and lowered her nose onto her shuffling companion’s face. Just as she suspected, her companion was not fully asleep. Despite her companion’s eyes remaining closed, her shallow breaths and mouth movements were enough indication for Shelly to wake her up. Continue reading
Why are all the people in the media with organizations or degrees who work for radically changing human-animal relationships white? Jane Goodall, Marc Bekoff, G.A. Bradshaw, Karen Davis, Daphne Sheldrick–just to name a few. Even more obvious are animal rights-identified white people, like Peter Young or Keith Mann, some of whom talk more about their vegan identities and selfless “freedom-fighting” personae than actual relationships with animals. Where are the visions of people of color who sincerely care about radically reconstructing animal relations in American society? Continue reading
In answer to this question, apparently eager or apathetic omnivorous humans will. Why? Because they can. Plus, it seems to excite a lot of people to consume what’s considered rare or scarce and that makes it profitable for business.
Three days ago, the associated press sent out of a story of a restaurant owner Cameron Selogie in Mesa, AZ who decided to serve lion burgers as a promotional gag given the historical African World Cup taking place right now. People were so excited to eat these lion burgers. Reservations sold out and the waiting list contained over 100 people. Needless to say, he accomplished his objective.
The amusing part is that the restaurant owner had to mix cow’s flesh (in the form of ground beef) with the lion’s flesh in order to produce a solid patty. The lion flesh would not hold on its own, on account of it being too lean. You know, there’s a reason why the majority of animals eaten in the trophic scale of things are herbivores.
This is just another story to add to the mess pile of how civilized humans are losing their way and bringing other living beings with them.
Queen’s University Department of English is hosting an academic conference concerning the study of animals and animality across the humanities and social sciences, ranging from animal liberation issues and human-animal relationships to animals in literature and artistic representations of animals. This conference goes for two days starting June 26-27, 2010 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
The conference is free to attend.
Keynote speakers include Carol J. Adams, discussing her book The Sexual Politics of Meat on its 20th anniversary edition, and David L. Clark, who will explore animality through the context of Nazi Germany. Continue reading
A chihuahua named Conchita has made the news today. With the recent death of Miami millionaire Gail Posner, Conchita, along with two other dogs, have inherited the millionaire’s $8.3 million estate and a $3 million trust fund. In addition, a housekeeper and her daughter receive $6 million from Ms. Posner’s will and the privilege to live at her estate rent-free, provided that they provide the dogs “the same degree of care” they received while Gail Posner was alive. Ms. Posner also designated in her will that once the dogs are deceased, the estate will be sold and all of its assets donated to animal shelters, suicide-prevention organizations, and cancer research charities. Ms. Posner also requested that “her pet turtles” receive care from the housekeepers, though they don’t receive a trust fund (which is fascinating because they’re likely to live longer than the dogs). Continue reading
The Let Live Foundation (in collaboration with the Student Animal Liberation Coalition) is sponsoring an animal rights conference June 25-27, 2010 at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. This year’s theme focuses on “creative activism and expanding your activist skills to build relationships in the movement and beyond.” Confirmed speakers at the conference include: Continue reading
It was midday, Saturday, June 5, 2010, and I was in Memphis visiting my mother and brother. My mother moved into a middle-class, predominantly white townhouse community back in February. According to my mother, the majority who live in the community are middle-aged white women (“either retired or divorced or both”) who have been ignoring my mother since she moved in; white men and young white women also live in the community, but they are a small minority and speak regularly to my mother. Continue reading