Nature’s Best Hope

A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard By Douglas W. Tallamy Timber Press, 2019 As a gardener and garden writer, I thought I knew all about native plants, but Tallamy in his excellent book Nature’s Best Hope was an education. He writes from the grim perspective that we will not survive the …

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Listen, We All Bleed: The artists who are helping us hear what animals have to say

So much of animal activism is focused around what one sees — witnessing the beauty as well as the suffering of the animals we share this planet with. But what about focusing less on one’s eyes and more on one’s ears? In Listen, We All Bleed Mandy-Suzanne Wong has compiled a rich array of essays …

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Two new books from the Whale Warrior

Few people have done as much to protect whales and the waters they live in than Paul Watson. Founder of the Sea Shepherd Society, Watson has devoted a lifetime to quite literally going head-to-head with whalers in oceans around the world. Watson is also a powerful writer, with numerous books to his name over the …

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Book Review: The Longest Story

Upon reading the synopsis, Richard Girling’s The Longest Story appears to take on an ambitious task: cover the relationship between humans and non-human animals throughout all of history in under 400 pages. Yet somehow Girling, a veteran environmental journalist, is successful. Though The Longest Story does almost exclusively favor Western humanity and culture, Girling provides …

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Book Review: A Most Remarkable Creature

In A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Bird of Prey Jonathan Meiburg has crafted an epic ode to the caracara, a long-overlooked (and often derided) group of birds who deserves more attention and more protection. There are about ten species of caracara and Meiburg takes us around …

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How to Be Animal: Lessons in evolution for the human animal

Perhaps it is human nature to rank things. We rank cities and states and countries. We have the best restaurants and best movies; we even have best friends. And when it comes to our relationships with animals we share this planet with, there is a fair amount of ranking there as well, with the human …

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Book Review: Bear Boy by Justin Barker

In 1995, thirteen-year-old Justin Barker was begrudgingly browsing a used bookstore with his dad when he came across PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk’s Kids Can Save the Animals: 101 Easy Things to Do. Within days, young Justin learned about animal abuse on factory farms, went vegetarian, practiced his newfound phone advocacy skills, and started his own …

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Growl: Life lessons from an animal advocate

Kim Stallwood has been on the forefront of the animal rights movement since the 1970s, giving him a unique perspective on where the movement has come from and where it is headed. In Growl, he shares his journey and insights learned along the way, from leadership of BUAV (now Cruelty Free Intl) in the UK …

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Culture is Home: Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina established himself among the legion of environmental journalists with his first book, the award-winning Song for the Blue Ocean. In Song, he detailed the causes of and solutions to declining fish populations, especially those overharvested in commercial fisheries. In (also award-winning) Eye of the Albatross, he lamented the …

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Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Studies of animal intelligence have demonstrated the impressive cognitive abilities of certain animals: rhesus macaques, crows, bottlenose dolphins, border collies.  Recently, there is another animal gaining increasing recognition for its intelligence: the octopus. The Soul of an Octopus is, as its subtitle aptly describes, “a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness.”  Written by Sy …

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Bear Markets and Beyond: A Bestiary of Business Terms

Why do animals lend themselves to economic and financial jargon? Perhaps it’s because we need visual and tangible ways or relating to concepts that are so vague, confusing or downright opaque. Bear Markets and Beyond by Dhruti Shah and Dominic Bailey provides an A-Z compendium of animal financial jargon. From an “alligator spread” that has …

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Book Review: Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit by Judy Grahn

The stories and essays of Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit: Living in a Sentient World form a beautiful tapestry of communications across species and consciousness. From grateful dragonflies to fatherless strawberries to companionable stones, poet and activist Judy Grahn details meaningful connections from her own experiences of the sentient world. Throughout her firsthand accounts, she weaves in histories …

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Book Review: Saving Animals

Defining “animal rights activism” can be a difficult task. Plenty of new vegans may find themselves asking questions like “How do I spread my beliefs?” and “What are the next steps after adopting an animal-free diet?”. Luckily, Catherine Kelaher’s new book, Saving Animals: A Future Activist’s Guide, provides a comprehensive, accessible plan for aspiring animal …

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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