Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Donations

You still have a day to make donations to deduct on your 2008 taxes. Beaded Tail has posted a great entry on the ins and outs and provided suggestions for folks whose budget may be smaller than usual during these difficult times.

Beaded Tail Blog Entry

Friday, December 26, 2008

December Scavenger Hunt Mosaic

I finished December's scavenger hunt yesterday! Now, I'm eagerly awaiting the January 2009 list!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mosaic Monday: Final Exam Week

Students are busy studying; instructors busy grading! The payoff: holiday break!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Check Out This Giveaway from the Modish Blog!

The Modish blog is offering three amazing days of giveaways from crafters and artists. The first giveway is worth a whopping $726! Head on over to this amazing blog to enter.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Like to Shop?

Are you a compulsive shopper like me? Or do you dread shopping and only do it when absolutely necessary? Regardless of how you feel about shopping, you can help me out by taking a very brief survey. I am on a new research project, and we are looking for survey participants. If you are interested and willing, please follow the link below to complete the survey. It should take no longer than five minutes--and you will be doing a huge favor for me!

Link to Survey

"Holidays with Compassion" Treasury

Thanks to Molly of Emma's K-9 Kitchen, and leader of Vegan Etsy, for including my Christmas Tree earrings in her Holidays with Compassion treasury on Etsy!

The treasury will be available here through Monday. Please visit, click the items, and make a comment!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lowly Worm Admires IC Disc

Day Two of Lowly Worm's adventures! He visited the Ithaca College campus and was quite impressed with the sculpture, to my knowledge known only as "The Disc."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lowly Worm in an Aloe Plant (1/30)

One of my flickr friends started a group called "One Object, 30 Days." There is a similar group for a year-long project, but she realized that many of us have commitment issues. Because I could never pick an object I thought I could live with for an entire year, I never joined. Thirty days is a lot easier to take, and I've decided to photograph my old toy, Lowly Worm, from the Richard Scarry books, each day. Here's the inaugural image.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Under the [Parental] Influence

Yesterday was our first day of classes after a week-long Thanksgiving break. Besides looking bored and tired, many of the young men, and some of the women, in my classes had newly shorn heads. I remembered Allen's dad's girlfriend saying once, during a trip home from college, that college-aged students were high maintenance machines.

Sadly, the financial crisis is hitting colleges, too, and some of my students may not be able to return next year because of tuition costs. Our financial aid office, as I understand it, is doing what they can. Unfortunately, the reality is that our student population will likely be smaller next academic year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Earrings Posted

I've posted lots of new earrings in my jewelry shop on Etsy!

Don't forget to buy handmade for your Christmas/holiday gifts!

Friday, November 28, 2008

November Scavenger Hunt

The November scavenger hunt on flickr was based on the Sound of Music song, "My Favorite Things." I finished the August hunt, and started the September hunt, but it was so difficult, I gave up, and wasn't even sure I'd try again. Inspired only a week ago to look at the November list, I decided I could do it--even though I had a very short time to complete the list. I'll blame my liberal interpretation of the clues on that!

Farm Sanctuary's Winter Wonderland Benefit

Click on the image below to learn more about this sure-to-be-spectacular event. One of my sterling silver chain maille bracelets will be in the silent auction. I wish I could go, but I have to teach early Friday morning.

Farm Sanctuary Action Alert

Bring Change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Of all the animals in the United States facing cruelty and exploitation, those raised and slaughtered for food make up the vast majority. One of the most significant impacts President Elect Barack Obama can make for farm animals as he transitions to be the leader of our country, lies in who he chooses as the next Secretary of Agriculture.

In addition to our new president, Election Day also saw passage of California’s Proposition 2 – granting hens used in egg production, calves raised for veal, and pregnant sows used for breeding basic freedoms. The Obama Administration has the opportunity to advance more humane agricultural policies nationwide.

The next Secretary of Agriculture needs to support a new American diet, one filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant foods grown by sustainable methods and available to all, rather than continue down the path of harmful industrial animal agriculture and government subsidies to the wealthy meat and dairy industries.

Please urge President Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture who will bring needed change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and our broken food system. Tell the Obama Administration your vision of a government where the treatment of farm animals matters.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebration FOR the Turkeys

On Saturday, George and I went to Watkins Glen for the annual Celebration FOR the Turkeys at the Farm Sanctuary. The day began with a lovely and delicious vegan potluck at the Watkins Glen Community Center. Thanks to Turtle Island Foods for donating tofurky for the event! Many people brought yummy home-cooked side dishes and desserts. Being the first-class cook I am, I bought some food at Greenstar! After we were all stuffed, we heard a presentation from Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs (wow--the stories he told!), and then an incredible talk from Susie Coston, Shelter Director. Susie knows all the animals at the Farm, and she is so passionate about them. She's quite an inspiration!

Of course, my favorite part of the day comes when we all go to the Celebration for the Turkeys, a feast of pumpkin, squash, berries, and lettuce for the turkeys at the Sanctuary. Because it was a very cold day, we were all bundled up...I could hardly operate my camera, my hands were so cold. Even so, it's always delightful to see the farm animals.

Two small pallettes had the spread for the turkeys...we were standing in a semi-circle around them, waiting for their grand entrance. One brave girl ventured out in front of the others, though a small group quickly followed her. Some of the turkeys were a little shy and stayed in the shelter. George and I watched them feeding for a bit, then visited the pigs (my favorite) and the goats. By the time we made our way to the pig barn, George gave up, he was so cold. I perservered and went out to say hello to my cow friends.

Because of the weather, the Farm is closed until spring, so it was my last visit until 2009.

All of my pictures from the celebration are here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Please Help Green Mountain College Pigs

Friends of Animals

As part of the Farm and Food Project, Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont , is planning to kill six pigs—whose flesh will be served to students in the college dining facility. The website for the Farm and Food Project boasts that it is “practicing the solutions” to “soil erosion, global hunger and malnutrition, agricultural pollutants in our drinking water, or climate change.” Raising, killing and commodifying animals is not part of the solution, it’s the problem itself.

Animal agribusiness—regardless of scope or scale—is not sustainable, humane or just. Even small-scale farming is unrealistic in a world with countless billions of homo-sapians and free-living animals vying for space. There simply isn’t enough room on the planet. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's 2006 report, Livestock's Long Shadow, detailed how the milk and meat industries are linked to 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions -- more than the entire transportation sector.

Friends of Animals is offering to find sanctuary for these six pigs. Please contact Green Mountain College’s farm manager, Kenneth Mulder, and politely request that the pigs lives be spared, and at the same time, suggest that the food project move in a truly progressive and radical direction—towards a plant-based agriculture. Human hunger is satisfied and an attitude of respect is achieved through vegan principles—an agriculture of peace.

You can contact Kenneth Mulder by e-mail at mulderk@greenmtn.edu.

Magritte's Birthday

I love Google's manipulation of its logo to celebrate certain holidays, events, or people. In honor of the painter Magritte's birthday, today's Google logo is based on Magritte's unique style.

Magritte Site

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update on Peaceful Prairie: Funds Still Needed

From the Vegan Etsy website:

For those interested, here is an update on the
post about Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.

Dear friend of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary,

We're so close...but we still need more help to make it to the finish line!

We've been working feverishly behind the scenes on acquiring this property for several months now.

Thanks to your overwhelming response and generosity, we were able to make another cash offer for $97,000.00. Having consulted with, and been working, with Realtors and financial professionals, we had every reason to expect that offer to be accepted.

However, the property is owned by Fannie May and we are dealing with a hugely dysfunctional bureaucracy. They have countered our offer with an asking price of $115,000.00.

Although donations are still coming in, we need to raise another $15,000.00 ASAP.

If you use JustGive, as soon as your donation is recorded, we can show Fannie May that PPS has the funds. We won't need to pay the sale price until the closing date of Dec. 17th, at which time, JustGive will have dispersed the funds.

Credit card donations can also be made through PayPal from our home page. http://www.peacefulprairie.org/help.html#donateButton

Thanks to so many of you, we've come amazingly close to making this sanctuary expansion and new education center a reality for generations to come!

Please spread the word and we'll get there TOGETHER!

Thank You!

Michele Alley-Grubb
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

P.S. This property was originally listed at $255,000.00. Due to the market crash, the price has gradually been dropped to the final asking price of $119,000.00. If PPS can purchase it for $115,000.00 (even though we had hoped to get it for 100k), it will still be an unbeatable bargain and once in a lifetime opportunity!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Cool Is This?!

My photograph of the Rosa Parks bus in the Henry Ford Museum was selected for inclusion in the Schmap Detroit Guide!

Help Peaceful Prairie

I received this message on the UFETA listserv. It was also posted on the Vegan Etsy blog. I hope all who can will donate to Peaceful Prairie to help them expand their operation and keep the acerage near them cruelty free.

Dear Friend of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary,

We have an incredible opportunity to expand the sanctuary by 35 acres and to acquire a 4000 square foot home that will be converted into an Education Center and volunteer / intern housing and B&B for sanctuary visitors.

This kind of capital improvement to the sanctuary is 10 years overdue -- but we now have the opportunity to purchase the property for $100,000.00.

Thanks to one VERY generous benefactor, we've already raised $70,000.00!!!

We need to raise the other $30,000.00 before the end of the week in order to make a cash offer on the property.

Another family has placed an offer and, due to the Agricultural zoning, they will have to use the land to enslave and exploit animals.

Please help us stop it before it starts, while simultaneously expanding the sanctuary and our ability to care for and advocate for countless more victims of the egg, dairy, flesh producers and consumers.

Time is of the essence - if you are able to contribute to this, please let me know right away.

Thank You!
Michele Alley-Grubb
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

To donate, please visit their site or go here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pigs as Teaching Tools on Grey's Anatomy

Last Thursday, Grey's Anatomy depicted the use of live pigs for medical training. I watch Grey's Anatomy, but I have a love-hate relationship with the show, and I was not responding with love last week. You know how I love pigs.

At the same time, I was glad that Kathrine Heigl's character, Izzie, took a strong stand against using animals in training and research. She spoke articulately about the new technology available in lieu of using animals as well as the fact that animal and human physiology are different enough that experiments performed on animals may not generalize to humans.

Today, I received an email alert from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine which discussed the episode and revealed that, due to Heigl's influence, PCRM was invited to comment about the use of animals in medicine and provide much of the research from which Izzie's dialoge was drawn. I appreciate the producers' and writers' open-mindedness and praise Heigl and the PCRM for standing up for animals.

From the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dear PCRM supporter,

Last Thursday night’s episode of the television hit Grey’s Anatomy featured a subplot in which live pigs were stabbed, and then interns and residents were told to treat the injured animals as part of a trauma training exercise. (Note: No real pigs were used in the filming of the episode.)

Nancy Heigl, PCRM supporter and the mother of actress Katherine Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzie Stevens on the show, contacted us when the story line was being developed because the actress was disturbed by the subplot. PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and PCRM senior medical and research adviser John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., both had extensive conversations with the producers of the show about the overwhelming trend in medical education to use simulators instead of animals in medical education.

This input from PCRM staff was invaluable in helping the writers modify the program and develop Dr. Stevens’ character. When the episode aired, viewers saw her refuse to participate in the training exercise and take a strong, informed, and vocal stand against the practice. As a result, millions of viewers were exposed to our position against the use of animals in medical education in one of the season’s highest rated television shows.

Our thanks go to Nancy and Katherine Heigl for involving PCRM and to the producers of Grey’s Anatomy for giving PCRM the opportunity to bring a dose of reality to this prime-time drama.

You can view the episode online at: http://abc.go.com/primetime/greysanatomy/index?pn=index

While most advanced trauma life support courses around the country use human simulators, many continue to use live animals, including courses at Idaho State University (ISU). In fact, ISU uses lost and stray dogs obtained from the local animal shelter for these lethal procedures. Please help these animals by writing to the president of ISU. Click here for more information.

We would also like to hear what you thought of the episode by taking our very brief survey.

Best regards,
Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Research Policy

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Saturday, the dog park had a "Howl-O-Ween" party. Walter dressed as a king (very fitting for his personality), and Harvey wore black and orange--Halloween colors. (It was difficult to find a costume in his size!) Walter won the "cutest" award, I'm sure due to the presence of two young girls on the judges panel. George even came out for the fun!

View all the photos from the event here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes on Prop 2!

Please donate to help farm animals in California, and, if you live in CA, please vote YES on Prop 2! Learn more about the initiative to give farm animals humane living conditions here.

Yes on Prop 2

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kudos to Mutts!

Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell is devoting a week of his comic strip, MUTTS, to educating folks about California's Prop 2, which would ensure humane conditions for farm animals in the state, the largest agricultural producer in the U.S.

Please vote for Prop 2 if you live in California. If not, please tell everyone you know in California to support the measure.

See the Farm Sanctuary's press release here!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ithaca Stands Out as "Veg-Friendly" City

Ithaca College's student paper did an article on Ithaca as a veg-friendly city this week! Some of the students in the Ithaca College Vegetarian Community (for which I am faculty advisor) were interviewed, as was Gene Bauer of the Farm Sanctuary.

The article discussed the dining services' efforts on behalf of vegans/vegetarians as well as the general vegetarian culture in Ithaca due to the farmer's market, Greenstar, Moosewood, and other veg-friendly restaurants. The article also points out the deleterious effect of factory farming on animals, people, and the environment.

The Ithacan article

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Sure What You Believe? Try The Belief-o-Matic!

Take the quiz here and find out what religious faith best matches your own beliefs. Here are my results:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Secular Humanism (98%)
3. Liberal Quakers (87%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (78%)
5. Neo-Pagan (77%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (71%)
7. New Age (71%)
8. Nontheist (66%)
9. Taoism (64%)
10. Mahayana Buddhism (59%)
11. Reform Judaism (58%)
12. Scientology (58%)
13. New Thought (55%)
14. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (48%)
15. Orthodox Quaker (47%)
16. Bahá'í Faith (42%)
17. Sikhism (39%)
18. Jainism (38%)
19. Hinduism (36%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (24%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (23%)
22. Islam (22%)
23. Orthodox Judaism (22%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (20%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (15%)
26. Roman Catholic (15%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (8%)

Farm Sanctuary Action Altert: Help Farm Animals in California

Farm Sanctuary Action Alert

As you know, Farm Sanctuary has fought factory farming cruelty for more than 20 years. But right now, with your help, we have the greatest chance in history to effect change on factory farms - so I’m asking for your immediate action.

Proposition 2, on the ballot in California, would outlaw the most painful, horrendous confinement systems that we have been fighting all along - gestation crates for pregnant pigs, battery cages for egg-laying hens and veal crates for calves.

But we must raise $250,000 by this Thursday, Oct. 23, at noon to air our TV ads that will educate voters before the election. Farm Sanctuary has invested its staff and its advocacy budget in this campaign. And today I am asking you to make a gift directly to the YES! on Prop 2 campaign.

In just 15 days, California voters will have the chance to say “YES on Prop 2” and help relieve the suffering of 20 million animals. The passage of this legislation will send shockwaves through the nation - showing consumers, industry leaders, the media, politicians… everyone… that these systems are cruel and must be outlawed. It will spur change across the country, and lead to more reform at every level. The benefits of victory are immeasurable. The future of farm animals in the U.S. is hinging on this battle… and the animals are counting on us.

When Farm Sanctuary first began documenting factory farming cruelty in the U.S. in 1986, most people hadn’t heard of a “gestation crate” or a “battery cage.” But, we went in and took pictures, videos … and we rescued animals … who had languished day after day, year after year, in these cages.

This is the “system” of factory farming that has taken over America’s farms. Millions of animals face this exact misery … and they need help. Please make a special gift today directly to the YES! on Prop 2 campaign.

Farm Sanctuary has set out to bring the gross abuses of factory farming to the forefront in the media and STOP them. We fight - and win - many hard battles for farm animals, including passing the first laws in the U.S. to ban cruel factory farming practices.

And we can win this latest fight, but we truly can’t do it without you. We can’t afford not to win. The animals can’t afford to lose. We must rally every resource and fight Prop 2 opposition head to head.

We have broad support. But the opposition’s resources are vast. They are investing millions in misleading ads to dissuade voters from supporting Prop 2. We will be fighting up until Election Day and need every dollar to air as many ads as possible in the limited time left.

In order to win, we need every Farm Sanctuary member to join in this fight. We need you to make this commitment.

Please, send your emergency donation to the YES! on Prop 2 campaign right now to put television ads on the air. And, forward this email encourage others to join this campaign and urge Californians to vote YES! on Prop 2.

By making a gift today, you can make history. You can bring an end to the most egregious, unacceptable practices in the factory farming industry.

On behalf of the pigs, cattle and chickens at Farm Sanctuary, who have lived through the horrors of factory farms, we thank you for taking action and making a difference for all farm animals.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Retro Brotherhood

Pho-Thought-Graph(ies) has compiled vintage photographs of boys and men arm-in-arm. Scroll down on this page and you'll see a photo of grandpa as a young teen.

"Vegan Fresh" Treasury

A big thanks to Big A Little A for including my "Little Bird in the Sky" earrings in her recent Vegan Fresh treasury! I love how the colors of all the items in this treasury work together.

The treasury is available here for the next few days. Please visit it, make a comment, and click through on all the items!

Big A Little A is also a member of the street team Vegan Etsy! Go vegans!

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Vegan Vintage" Treasury

Thanks to Molly, the wonderful proprietor of Emma's K-9 Kitchen and fearless leader of Vegan Etsy for including my vintage flower earrings in a Vegan Vintage treasury!

The treasury is available here through Wednesday, October 15. Please show it some love!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can You Vote?

Today is the last day to register to vote in New York State (and probably other places as well). Please register so that you can vote on November 4!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What the #$%@?

I am appalled by one of the people interviewed for a story that was broadcast on today's episode of "Morning Edition."

In the story, Steve Inskeep provided a clip of an interview from Tina Graham, a Virginian and Democrat who doesn't support McCain but also doesn't think she can bring herself to vote for Obama.

She said: "Until [Obama] was nominated to run for president, I never really thought about whether or not that I was racist, or however you want to put it...It's just the fact that I think that he will represent [African Americans] in what they want and in what they need and stuff, and forget about — you know, they're his people, they're his race."

Hey, Tina, the question is answered. Guess what? You are a racist! Thanks for playing.

NPR Story

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Walk for Farm Animals a Success!

Today, George, Walter, and I walked in Ithaca's Walk for Farm Animals. By all accounts, it was a success. The weather was cool with a perfect, sunny sky. We had over 40 participants, up from around 20 last year. Lots of car drivers who passed our flock honked in support of our efforts. Plus, we had a great time.

Many Farm Sanctuary staff were in attendance, including the indomitable and sweet Michelle and the articulate and inspiring Matt. A large contingent of IC students from the Ithaca College Vegetarian Community were also there, bringing great energy and enthusiasm to the event.

Thank you all who sponsored me in the Walk. This is an important fundraiser for the Farm, and funds go to their critical work educating, rescuing, and advocating for farm animals. If you did not get a chance to submit your donation, never fear. My fundraising site will be live for another month...visit firstgiving to show your support!

View all of our photos here.

Meg Hutchinson - Seeing Stars

George and I saw Meg Hutchinson play in Syracuse earlier this evening. A great concert!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Walk for Farm Animals 2008 - Update

I'm only 31% ($155) away from my goal of raising $500 for the wonderful critters at the Farm Sanctuary. Please help me help the animals! Sponsor me today by visiting http://www.firstgiving.com/aimeedarsellis.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mean People Wear Fur

After writing my post on Zappos yesterday, I was informed that they sell fur in their online store. How disappointing! I like the shop, but I think I will avoid purchasing from them until they pledge to be fur free.

Zappos Sells Fur Action Alert

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Money for Nothing

Recently, I was visiting the blog "Clearly, You're New Here" where I found a post about Zappos, the online shoe juggernaut. I like Zappos because they make it easy to search for vegan shoes, but also because they pay for shipping--even on returns, which makes the prospect of buying shoes online less risky.

Harvard Business Publishing Blogger Bill Taylor interviewed Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and learned about their Offer. New employees, after a month of working at the company (at full pay) are offered their month's work pay plus $1,000 to quit. Because jobs at the high-growth company are demanding and the atmosphere is chaotic, if gratifying, the logic is that employees who don't fit with the culture or who are not committed to the organization will take the money and run. The $1,000 is less expensive than the long-term costs of having an employee on the staff who fit poorly with the organization.

When I worked with Dr. Tsui, we primarily wrote about fit, and it is true that poor fit, on any number of dimensions, can provide negative consquences for the organization or work group, including low morale, decreased productivity, higher turnover intentions, and greater job dissatisfaction. However, ensuring fit can also weed out individuals who may have demographic differences (e.g., race, age, gender, religion).

Zappos' policy is an interesting one, though, and a bold move to ensure the positive elements of fit for the organization.

HB Publishing Interview

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hidden Meaning of "Aimee"

What Aimee Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Walk for Farm Animals 2008

All around the country, cities are hosting the annual Walk for Farm Animals to benefit the wonderful residents of the Farm Sanctuary shelters as well as to provide funds for their rescue, advocacy, and education efforts. The Ithaca walk is on October 4. As we have in the past, George and I are walking, and I hope you will support us in our goal of raising money for the NPO that is closest to my heart.

Any amount is much appreciated, but I hope you will be as generous as you can. A $50 donation will pay for the feed and care of an abused chicken for five months! The Farm Sanctuary will be responsible stewards of your donation--they have a four star rating from Charity Navigator. Please visit my fundraising page at http://www.firstgiving.com/aimeedarsellis or click on the icon on my blog to make a donation!

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