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Book Review: Back from the Brink by Nancy F. Castaldo

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by Heather TaftLeave a Comment

Back from the Brink, by Nancy F. Castaldo, is a collection of stories for older kids (10 – 12 years old) about animals that have come very close to extinction.  Due to efforts from conservation researchers and passionate individuals who want to see these species survive, their populations have increased again.  I recommend this book for students who are interested in conservation and learning about how researchers help save species that are on the verge of extinction.  It would make an excellent addition to a school library. The book starts with an introduction to the legislation that helps protect species, …

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Book Review: Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Big Cats by Andrew Loveridge

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction by Heather TaftLeave a Comment

In Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Big Cats, lion researcher Andrew Loveridge recounts his work studying prides of lions living in Zimbabwe. From his initial research on jackals, to the inception and evolution of the lion research project to assess the impact hunting has on lion populations, this is a great exploration of Loveridge’s work over the years. I highly recommend it to lion lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. I caution readers not to be misled by the title though. Do not read this book expecting all of it to focus on Cecil. …

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Book Review: The Animals’ Agenda by Marc Bekoff & Jessica Pierce

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Veganism by Midge RaymondLeave a Comment

The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce is an important and timely book that examines the human relationship with — or, more accurately, examines the many ways in which humans use — animals and how this relationship needs to evolve. This book asks readers to rethink how we see animals and to adopt more compassionate practices toward them, from animals used for food and entertainment to those in the wild. If this book has one message that we all need to hear, it’s that animals in our society suffer abuses that …

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Announcing the 2017 Siskiyou Prize winner & finalists

In For Writers, Nonfiction by Midge Raymond

Many congratulations to the winner of the 2017 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature: Diana Hartel, for her essay collection Watershed Redemption: Journey in Time on Five U.S. Watersheds. Judge Jonathan Balcombe writes of Diana’s book: “In Watershed Redemption, Diana Hartel’s sweeping, richly researched account conjures up a Bierstadt landscape. With elegant, crystal-clear prose, she weaves a dire yet hopeful tapestry of ecological ignorance, genocide, and tenacious activism. There is something for everyone—environmentalist, policy-maker, ethnologist, historian, biologist, epidemiologist, artist—in this powerful piece of advocacy.” Diana Hartel writes on public health and ecosystem health issues. She graduated from Columbia University with a doctorate in epidemiology and concentrations in …

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Opportunity for Writers: Art after Nature from The University of Minnesota Press

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, For Writers, Nonfiction, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

I’ve long been a fan of Antennae, a literary/artistic journal created and curated by Giovanni Aloi. So I was thrilled to see that the University of Minnesota Press is partnering with Giovanni and Caroline Piccard on a new book series titled Art after Nature. Here’s their vision for the series: Art after Nature maps new aesthetic territories defined by the humanities’ recent ontological turn. In the face of the unprecedented shifts in humanity’s conceived relationship with the natural world, modes of critical and political artistic engagement are adapting in response. As notions of pristine sublimity crumble, Art after Nature proposes to explore the consequences of this transition, further destabilizing anthropocentrism, and revealing the dark ecological fluidity of naturecultures. The urgency imposed by anthropogenic lenses of inquiry provides an ethical …

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Book Review: Clean Meat by Paul Shapiro

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Nonfiction, Pollution, Veganism by Midge Raymond

Paul Shapiro’s book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World explores the fascinating — and potentially planet-saving — world of cultured meat. While the notion of “cultured meat” or “lab-grown” meat may sound odd to many, Shapiro’s book makes the case for why this new industry is among our best hopes for, quite literally, saving the world. He notes, “Our species truly is at a crossroads. It’s not hard to imagine the global instability that could ensue when we have billions more people on the planet, including billions more who expect to eat meat …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2017

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Nonfiction, Oceans, Pollution by John Yunker

It’s that time of year again, a time to reflect on the books that have left their mark on us. Books that will, over time and with luck, leave their mark on society as well. I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2017. And here we have it — a selection of children’s books and adult fiction and nonfiction — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still. A word of thanks — to our contributors, for reading and reviewing books that make a difference; to the authors of these books that inspire …

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Book Review: What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Jacki Skole

I am forever wondering what my dog, Galen, is thinking. Sometimes I go nose to nose with her, stare into her brown eyes, and ponder what’s happening in that little brain of hers. In those moments, I presume she thinks either, “Why have you thrust your face in mine?” or “How about you give me a cookie?” I’m embarrassed to say for how many years this ritual has persisted and how many times a day it’s repeated. But it is this longing to get into Galen’s head that attracted me to the pioneering work of neuroscientist Gregory Berns, much of …

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Book Review: Wildlife Spectacles by Vladimir Dinets

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Insects, Nonfiction, Oceans by Midge Raymond

  Wildlife Spectacles: Mass Migrations, Mating Rituals, and Other Fascinating Animal Behaviors by Vladimir Dinets is a gorgeous book that takes readers on an unforgettable journey into the lives of some of our planet’s most magnificent creatures, from muskoxen to moths, with spectacular photographs and incredible stories. Wildlife Spectacles is divided into three major sections: Great Migrations (migrating animals on land and in air and water), Spectacles of Love (breeding habits and mating rituals), and Everyday Spectacles (how animals hunt, play, and otherwise spend their days). Author and photographer Vladimir Dinets has focused Wildlife Spectacles on the wild animals of …

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Book Review: The Driftless Reader, co-edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley

In Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Essays, Nonfiction by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Engagement Advisor for the Center for Humans and Nature and Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University. Readers of Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley’s anthology The Driftless Reader (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017) will find selections from eighty writers whom the editors describe as “eminent and obscure, bygone and contemporary, indigenous and outsider, poetic and scientific, and historic and hybrids .” Among some of the better-known writers are Henry David Thoreau, Robin Kimmerer, John Muir, Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wallace Stegner, and Black Hawk. The selections are accompanied by fifty-five illustrations which help to tell …