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Book Review: The Hidden Life of Wolves

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Education, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by Beckie Elgin

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF WOLVES  Jim and Jamie Dutcher National Geographic Press $25, 210 pages For six years they shared a 25-acre enclosure at the base of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains with a pack of wolves. Their office was a Mongolian yurt; their sleeping quarters a canvas tent. The path to the outhouse required frequent snow-shoveling for below-zero excursions.This was the life of Jim and Jamie Dutcher, award-winning documentary filmmakers. Their new book, “The Hidden Life of Wolves,” is the culminating portrayal of their experiences. Although “The Hidden Life of Wolves” is an oversized book and contains hundreds of the Dutchers’ …

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Book Review: Oceana, by Ted Danson

In Book Reviews, Nonfiction by JoeAnn Hart

Cheers “Sam Writes a Book” FADE IN: INT. BAR – HAPPY HOUR IT’S AN AVERAGE NIGHT. USUAL CUSTOMERS PLUS REGULARS. SAM IS POURING A BEER FROM THE TAP AND CARLA AND COACH ARE TIDYING UP THE ROOM. FRASIER SITS AT THE BAR AND SAM PUTS THE BEER DOWN IN FRONT OF HIM.  FRASIER Well, I hear congratulations are in order, Sam. You, an author. Will wonders never cease?  SAM Thank you, Frasier. Coming from you, that’s quite a compliment.  CARLA A book? Your life in the Red Sox? CLIFF Your life as a drunk? SAM PICKS UP A GLASS AND …

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Book Review: Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals by Rory Freedman

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

Rory Freedman’s new book, Beg: A Radical New Way of Regarding Animals, is a must-read for anyone who believes himself or herself to be an animal lover. The main idea behind this book is that many people who think they love animals in fact unknowingly participate in any number of things that do animals great harm — and this idea is indeed “radical” to people who love their dogs but eat pigs (who are just as intelligent) or love their cats but wear leather, and so on. Yet this book is not at all preachy; Freedman uses the same warmth …

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Diatoms & You

In Oceans by JoeAnn Hart

In a new book I’m just crazy about, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, a 21st Century Bestiary by Caspar Henderson, given to me by Chris of the wonderful Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, there is a shout-out to my favorite one-celled algae, the diatom. It is a crusty bit of plankton, a broad category that embraces any living thing that allows itself to be carried by the current. The diatom is not found under D in the book (that is taken by Dolphin), but under S for Sea Butterfly, a mollusk the size of a lentil. Sea Butterflies feed …

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Celebrating eco-literature with ReadVeg stickers

In Animal Rights, Education, Organic Farming, Veganism by Midge Raymond

If you love reading about environmental and animal-rights issues, you might want one of these ReadVeg stickers. We printed these up to celebrate all eco-literature, especially the great fiction we’re discovering that tackles these issues — and we decided that these stickers are a fun way to get the word out about eco-fiction and veg lit. Check out our Veg Lit page for stories that are redefining what it means to be a vegan or vegetarian. (In these novels, vegans are mainstream characters, not fringe characters.) For example, in The Dragon Keeper, the main character is a zoologist who does not believe in eating animals. We also publish …

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Writing for animals: Advice for writers of animal rights fiction

In Animal Rights, Essays, For Writers by John Yunker

In mainstream fiction today, “normal” characters tend to be carnivores, or at least omnivores, and “fringe” characters tend to be vegetarian or vegan. Naturally, I disagree with this distinction. But I also understand that most writers are simply following convention, simply writing about the world as they see it today. But the world is changing. And fiction has a critical role in not only reflecting these changes but also in imagining the world as it can be. Which is one reason I wrote The Tourist Trail and co-founded Ashland Creek Press — to help publish these works when we find them. …

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Writing Opportunity: The 2014 EarthLines Essay Prize

In For Writers, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

The EarthLines Review has announced the 2014 EarthLines Essay Prize. The EarthLines Essay Prize is awarded annually for a piece of creative prose writing that explores the relationship between people and the natural world. It is open to writers of any nationality, over the age of 18. Entries will be accepted between July and December of this year. So fire up your computers (or typewriters) and get writing!  

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Book Review: How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by John Yunker

Let me begin by saying I recommend this book to anyone who doubts that animals grieve. The evidence presented is overwhelming. Dolphins who try to keep their dead calves afloat. Elephants who seek out the remains of their dead years after their passing. A cat who wails inconsolably after losing a sibling. A turtle who comes ashore and stares for hours at the photo of its dead loved one. Or the story of two ducks, Kohl and Harper, who had been rescued from horrible lives in a foie gras factory. Author Barbara King writes: That Kohl and Harper lived for …

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Happy Earth Day!

In For Writers by Midge Raymond

It’s been lots of fun to see so many celebrating literature on Earth Day. Serena Agusto-Cox of Savvy Verse & Wit has posted several eco-themed poems, honoring both Earth Day as well as National Poetry Month. Sheila Boneham’s post, “Reading for Earth Day and for Life,” features lists of literature for every reader. The Florida Department of Education has posted Earth Day reading lists for kids from pre-kindergarten through high school. In the case of Blair Richmond’s blog, a photo does the job of a thousand words. For all the teens and tweens (and grownups!) out there who like paranormal …

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Earth Day in the Plasticene Era

In Pollution by JoeAnn Hart

  “It’s so hopeless,” a young friend said, tossing a plastic water bottle in the trash. “I don’t believe in recycling.” “Don’t believe?” I said, reaching into the garbage. “I didn’t know it was a religion.” “It’s a faith. A faith that you’re doing the right thing. A feel-good gesture that masks a larger problem.” As I dropped the bottle into the recycling receptacle, I felt that familiar spike of serotonin from having done my bit for the environment, and I knew she was right. Self-satisfaction with our little actions can keep us from taking up the larger, more difficult, …