Pavlov’s Dogs

Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) was not the first scientist to test on animals, now was he the last. But he is perhaps the most famous. And he has somehow escaped mainstream scrutiny in how he and his lab treated dogs. In college, when I learned about Pavlov and classical conditioning, I never considered how Pavlov tested …

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Book Review: Wild Chorus: Finding Harmony with Whales, Wolves, and Other Animals

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. “…a woman’s place…is in the wild.” This remarkable book is a memoir, a unique lesson in natural history, a love poem to the wild, and a plea for peaceful coexistence with the natural world. Brenda Peterson is a multiple-award-winning, tremendously versatile, and prolific author, having published adult novels (mystery, drama, humor), …

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Unintended Unsplash: The surprising journeys of animal photographs

A few years ago, I was standing alongside Bear Creek, a small waterway in Southern Oregon, camera in hand, when a river otter approached. I captured the photo, thrilled to have not only seen a river otter so close but one that apparently was not so afraid of me. The otter quickly disappeared underwater and, …

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Q&A with Bill Streever, author of A Sea Full of Turtles

EcoLit contributor Bill Streever has a new book out, A Sea Full of Turtles, and it provides a hopeful antidote to the more dystopian environmental literature in bookstores today. Bill’s book left me feeling optimistic. I hope it does for you as well. I recently asked Bill about the book and here’s what he had …

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New and forthcoming environmental books (June 2024)

Here’s the latest batch of books to come across our desks — enjoy! The first book is written by the founder of an amazing chicken rescue organization, Sweet Peeps, based in Mobile, Alabama. If you’ve never visited an animal sanctuary (not a zoo) you’re missing out. And you don’t have to go to Alabama to …

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Book Review: Our Kindred Creatures: The birth of the American animal rights movement

Imagine it is 1866 and you are strolling the streets of New York City. The first thing you might notice are the hundreds upon hundreds of horses pulling people in packed trolleys up and down the streets and avenues, the closest thing at the time to subway cars. You may find yourself suddenly surrounded not …

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Book Review: Of Cattle and Men: Heavy is the hand that holds the stun gun

There is a conversation, repeated several times, during the powerful novella Of Cattle and Men by Paula Maia, translated by Zoë Perry: “Like they say in these parts: as long as there’s a cow in this world, there will be a man keen to kill it.”“And another keen to eat it,” concludes Edgar Wilson. Edgar …

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Book Review: Entangled Life

Funny the difference a word makes. Restaurants generally don’t advertise “fungi” on their menus. But “mushrooms” and “truffles” are a different story. Even though they are the same thing. Which leads me to a book that took me out of the animal kingdom and into the fungi kingdom, a far more populous and less understood …

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New and forthcoming environmental books (April 2024)

Once again, I wanted to highlight a number of books that came across our radar as of late… Melted Away: A Memoir of Climate Change & Caregiving in Peru by Barbara Drake-Vera Candid, poignant, and deeply researched, Melted Away is the true story of how a writer at midlife reclaims her agency, and an ardent plea to …

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Writing opportunity: Regeneration: Environment, Art, Culture

Regeneration: Environment, Art, Culture is a new journal and is looking for submissions… Regeneration: Environment, Art, Culture is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal of the environmental humanities that brings humanists, activists, artists, and scientists into conversation around environmental matters. Published three times a year by the Open Library of Humanities, Regeneration prioritizes collaborative work that places …

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New and forthcoming environmental books (March 2024)

Here are some of the latest books to land on our desks. Please take a moment to scroll down and check them out! Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth by Margaret Klein Salamon with Molly Gage Overwhelmed by climate anxiety? Transform your angst into action to become the hero humanity …

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Writing Opportunity: Unearthed Literary Journal

Another opportunity to pass along! We invite writers, poets, artists, and creatives to submit to our upcoming Spring 2024 issue, exploring the themes of resurgence, restoration, and renewal. We encourage you to interpret the theme broadly. We welcome fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, photo essays, and short films that attend to places of quiet resurgence, …

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Writing Opportunity: Climate Stories in Action

A great new opportunity for writers passionate about changing the world for the better — and I’d say that includes all readers of EcoLit Books… A partnership between Terrain.org and the Spring Creek Project:  The “Climate Stories in Action” series will expand our vision of climate activism and help people imagine meaningful ways to be involved. We …

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Book Review: Entangled Encounters at the National Zoo

In Entangled Encounters at the National Zoo: Stories from the Animal Archive author Daniel Vandersommers explores the evolution of the National Zoo as well as the far more limited evolution of society’s empathy for the animals within its walls. The National Zoo opened in 1891, thanks in large part to the advocacy of William Temple …

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Writing opportunity: 2024 Thoreau Society Fellowships

The Thoreau Society is pleased to announce that it will offer two $1,000 fellowships in 2024 to support scholarly and creative work on Henry David Thoreau, including his writings, life and legacy. In the past, the Thoreau Society Fellowships Committee has given preference to projects that make use of materials at the Thoreau Institute Library …

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