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  • Review Of Grills Gone Vegan By Tamasin Noyes

    According to our prevailing cultural narrative, summer is grilling season. In fact, well before the solstice you can count on smelling the inimitable scent of lighter fluid and charcoal. More

  • Review Of Whole Grain Vegan Baking By Celine Steen And Tamasin Noyes

    I am a pretty stoic vegan, but I have to admit that I got very excited when I first learned about Whole Grain Vegan Baking, the latest book of vegan recipes by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes (the team that brought us Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!). After getting a crash course by starting Sunberry Baking Company with my wife, I have become fascinated by the science and art of vegan baking. More

  • Reflections of a Veganic Gardener

    For my wife and I, an important aspect of taking veganism beyond diet (sort of) has been “veganic” gardening as a way to grow more and more of our own food. With a little mindfulness, anyone can make growing food a practice in compassionate, sustainable vegan living. More

  • Keep Sundays Free from Hunting

    Would opening Sundays to hunting in the few states that still prohibit it really create more opportunity for hunters, and revenue for states? More

  • Chicken Welfare Agreement with Egg Industry a Missed Media Opportunity

    On July 7, 2011, a press release went out announcing a seemingly significant victory in the effort to improve the conditions of egg-laying chickens. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) had reached an agreement with the United Egg Producers (UEP), which, its website states, “is a trade association representing the majority of U.S. […] More

  • Go Nuts (and Go Vegan) This Holiday Season

    One of my fondest memories of the holiday season is bowls, jars, bags, and even bottoms of stockings filled with nuts–of all shapes, sizes, hues…and degrees of difficulty to open! Whether it be the smooth, round umber of chestnuts, or the oblong tan of almonds, or the football-like pecan, December was always a nutty month […] More

  • That Free Thanksgiving Turkey isn't Free

    As Thanksgiving, aka “Turkey Day” to most Americans, draws near once again, supermarkets across the country are offering free turkeys as holiday promotions. The deal, of course, is that when you spend X dollars in the store, you get a free turkey to feed your family on Thanksgiving day. This enticement not being enough, the […] More

  • Book Review: Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer

    Author’s Note: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, Little, Brown and Company. Jonathan Safran Foer has received great critical acclaim and worldwide attention for his wring style in novels such as Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel. His most recent book, however, is non-fiction and edgy in its […] More

  • Farmed Animals Are "Animals" Too

    Ask nearly any school-aged child if cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other common farm critters are “animals,” and that child almost surely will tell you, “Yes!” Then she probably will giggle at your silliness or utter a bemused “Duh!!!” to mock your simplicity. Really, this question is a no-brainer… Except, that is, for the United […] More

  • New Virginia License Plates for Vegetarians and Vegans

    One of the best things about living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, like almost anywhere else in this agricultural state, is a wealth of fruits and vegetables from local growers. And you can see this natural treasure almost any week at one of the Farmers’ Markets in a given city–lots of green, red, yellow, […] More

  • Working for Change in a Perfect World

    In my last post, I explored the truly radical (and yet ancient) notion that, as Lao Tzu puts it, the world is perfect and “can’t be improved.” That is, the world is perfect with all of its beauty and its ugliness, its joy and its sorrow. When we see the world from this perspective outside […] More

  • Finding Perfection in Change

    In chapter 29 of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu writes on the world and our relationship to it: Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done. The world is perfect. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an […] More

  • Book Review: Hunting: In Search of the Wild Life, Edited by Nathan Kowalsky

    Author’s Note: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, Wiley-Blackwell. Wiley-Blackwell’s series of philosophy books for general readers, Philosophy for Everyone, aims to serve general, non-expert readers without actually treating them as “dummies” or creating watered-down, one-size-fits-all philosophy. The risk such an endeavor always faces is to end […] More

  • Animal Advocacy à la Carte: Sponsor a Vegan Community Meal

    There are many different approaches to advocacy, spreading the word about a cause you care for and changing the way people live, think, and act in the world. When it comes to animal rights (and the environment, too), these tactics can often be of the more “extreme” variety–you know, throwing red paint on fur wearers, […] More

  • Book Review: A Hunter's Confession, by David Carpenter

    Author’s Note: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, Greystone Books. Like all of their titles, the book was printed on acid-free, 100% post-consumer recycled paper without chlorine. To be perfectly candid and transparent, I must start this review by saying I am wholeheartedly opposed to hunting, for […] More

  • Book Review: Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life, by Brian Brett

    Author’s Note: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, Greystone Books. Like all of their titles, the book was printed on acid-free, 100% post-consumer recycled paper without chlorine. Sometimes, in the best of times, a book and its author will resonate in near-perfect harmony with you, plucking every […] More

  • Book Review: Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist, by Leslie Anthony

    Author’s Note: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, Greystone Books. Like all of their titles, the book was printed on acid-free, 100% post-consumer recycled paper without chlorine. Just reading the title of Leslie Anthony’s book Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist (affiliate link) may send shivers up your spine […] More

  • "Making It Right" for Real: Responding to the BP Gulf Oil Spill

    It has been just under two months now since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and oil, with natural gas and other chemicals, started spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. I need not recount the ensuing debacle, as I am sure almost everyone is far too familiar with the dire results. Considering that there has […] More

  • The Tipping Point for Polar Bears…and the Planet

    Fans of the polar bear, and people concerned about the environment, won a major victory in May 2008 when the big, white bears were listed as a “threatened species” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It took lawsuits and petitioning efforts by the Center for Biological Diversity, NRDC, Greenpeace, and other organizations to overcome the […] More

  • Is There an Animal in Your Pants? Watching Out for Animal Products

    As anyone who strives to follow a vegetarian or vegan* lifestyle knows, cutting out animal ingredients to some degree can often be difficult. Even with full ingredient listings and information about country of origin for most products, from foods to clothes*, many veg*n folks still find out–too late, alas–that something they used came from animals. […] More

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    When You Look at an Animal, What Do You See?

    For most of our existence, we humans have seen ourselves as superior to animals, as “above” the “lower” creatures. Rene Descartes, for example, in the 17th century argued that animals were mere “machines” incapable even of true feeling, let alone “higher” thinking. Cultures throughout antiquity sacrificed animals by the thousands to their gods, so that […] More

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