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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2016

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Publishers, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Nonfiction by John Yunker0 Comments

I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2016. And here we have it — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still…   Anna Monders Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species by Jeff Campbell   Midge Raymond The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf This book examines the life of the oft-forgotten founder of the modern environmentalist movement, Alexander von Humboldt, and his story is a timely one, especially in an era in which climate change is still not receiving the attention it …

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Call for Submissions: Writing for Animals Nonfiction Anthology

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Conservation, Fiction, Nonfiction, Veganism, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker0 Comments

Ashland Creek Press is currently accepting nonfiction submissions for a new anthology, Writing for Animals: An anthology for writers and instructors to educate and inspire. From Franz Kafka’s Report to the Academy to Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, animals have played a central role in literature. Increasingly, writers are playing a central role in advancing awareness of animal issues through the written word. And yet little has been written about the process of writing about animals—from crafting point of view to voice. Writers who hope to raise awareness face many questions and choices in their work, from …

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Thinking About Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Wolves by John Yunker0 Comments

The anthropocene is the proposed geologic term for the period in which humans have made a significant impact on the earth’s geology and ecosystems. It’s not a term without controversy however, which I learned as I read the first essay in Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene. Susan Rustick writes: What will my canine companions think if the Working Group on the Anthropocene makes an initial proposal that our current epoch be called the Anthropocene? What will the elm tree sense or the aronia bushes? What clarion call or trumpet of death will be heard by the Whooping Crane or …

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Opportunities for writers of animal-centric stories and essays, care of the ASLE

In Animal Rights, Climate Change, Conservation, For Writers, Pollution, Veganism, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker0 Comments

ASLE (The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment)  listed a few calls for submission that caught my eye: Writing Meat: Flesh-Eating and Literature Since 1900 The conversion of animal bodies into flesh for human consumption is a practice where relations of power between humans and nonhuman animals are reproduced in exemplary form. From the decline of (so-called) traditional animal husbandry to the emergence of intensive agriculture and, more recently, the biotechnological innovation of in vitro meat, the last hundred years have seen dramatic changes in processes of meat production, as well as equally significant shifts in associated patterns of …

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Book Review: Whippoorwill

In Animal Rights, Children's Books, Fiction by Anna Monders0 Comments

When sixteen-year-old Clair Taylor’s neighbors get a dog and leave him staked in the yard in freezing weather, she tries to ignore the whimpers and cries—the clear neglect—that is going on outside her window. The dog is none of her business, and Mr. Stewart, the neighbor, is a rude and abusive man. Eventually the dog’s suffering becomes too much for Clair, and she begins visiting him. His name is Wally. His neck is chafed raw. He’s covered in mud and poop. And he goes crazy for attention. Clair wishes she hadn’t closed her eyes to the situation for so long. Through …

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Zoomorphic magazine now accepting submissions

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Journals and Magazines, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker0 Comments

We first introduced Zoomorphic a year ago with this Q&A. Zoomorphic is now accepting submissions for their next two issues. Here is the call: Zoomorphic magazine was founded a year ago and is now an established eco-literature publication. We have featured work by many award-winning and respected international writers in our first 5 issues. We are now seeking submissions of fiction, journalism and creative non-fiction for our summer and autumn issues. We are happy to receive material from published and unpublished writers, and will give editorial feedback to new writers with strong ideas. Work concerning oceanic wildlife is particularly encouraged. …

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Book Review: Rescued

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Endangered Species, Fiction by Mindy Mejia0 Comments

Rescued, Eliot Schrefer’s third entry in his anticipated quartet of ape novels published by Scholastic, represents a departure in many ways from the first two books in the series. Endangered and Threatened both took place in Africa and featured early teen narrators fighting to survive alongside bonobos and chimpanzees. In Rescued, Schrefer brings his series to the United States and introduces us to John, a sixteen-year-old football player who is the product of a broken home, and Raja, the orangutan his father smuggled into the country to become the family’s pet. We first meet these two as they are separated, Raja …

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Cloak and Jaguar: Following a Cat from Desert to Courtroom

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by John Yunker1 Comment

Living in Southern Oregon, we’ve followed the comings and goings of a gray wolf named OR-7. When it dipped into Northern California, it became the first documented wolf in that state in 100 years. But now that we have named this animal, we must live with the constant fear that it will be harmed by humans, such as ranchers or hunters. With this in mind, I was eager to read Cloak and Jaguar by Janay Brun. In 2011, Arizona saw its first documented jaguar in a decade. Jaguars once roamed widely through the Southwest US but have not been welcome in …

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Book Review: The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Nonfiction, Oceans, Oil, Pollution by Midge Raymond0 Comments

The Penguin Lessons is the story of a young Englishman who, on vacation in Uruguay from his teaching job at a boarding school in Argentina, rescues an oil-covered Magellanic penguin. This memoir will charm anyone who loves these tuxedo-feathered birds — and Neil Baker’s illustrations, on the cover and scattered throughout the book, are enchanting. Author Tom Michell first encounters the penguin on a beach among thousands of dead birds, and he manages to bring it back to his vacation apartment to clean its feathers of oil. “The penguin was filthy and very aggressive. Its beak snapped shut with a …

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Book Review: The Vegan Studies Project

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Nonfiction, Veganism by John Yunker0 Comments

Donald Watson is widely credited with having coined the term “vegan” in 1944, when he and others founded the Vegan Society. Since then, the word has become so heavily loaded with cultural and emotional baggage (both pro and con) that an increasing number of vegan restaurants and food brands I come across now use the words “plant-based” instead. But I like the word “vegan” in all its messy glory. And I’m not about to stop using it. The fact is, the word represents disruption on an enormous scale — to food industries, political systems, religious traditions, family traditions, and personal relationships. This word can make people uncomfortable. There …