Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Many non-profit organizations solicit year-end donations while sending holiday greetings to their supporters. I've noticed that this year, I've received more electronic messages than holiday cards sent in the mail. While I sometimes miss the actual cards being a mail junkie, I know that email is better for the organization's budget as well as to preserve natural resources. 

I thought this greeting from the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), a group dedicated to ending the use of animals in experiments, was precious. AAVS sponsors Animalearn, an initiative to provide alternatives to dissection in science classes. They also work to educate consumers on cruelty-free products. The Tina Nelson Sanctuary Fund provides grant assistance to sanctuaries that provides shelter to animals previously used in laboratories. 

AAVS is a group worthy of a year-end donation. What a wonderful way to celebrate life and peace on earth!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals,"

~Walt Whitman

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration."

~Peter Singer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Animal Rights in the Classroom

On Wednesday, we are scheduled to discuss animal rights as they relate to business ethics. Perhaps I should be more excited about covering this with my students, but I am too close to the subject. In thinking about the upcoming class, I was reminded of an incident in my MBA program.

In my Operations Management class, we had to give group presentations on a topic related to the course. (I can't remember at all what my group's presentation covered.) One day, a group helmed by a student I remember as a jerk presented on slaughterhouse waste. I suppose that the topic was legitimate, and perhaps not even controversial in an Oklahoma classroom, but the group treated the concept as a joke. To me, the death of animals is never a joke, and in fact, the entire premise of slaughterhouses is immoral.

I had to leave the classroom until the presentation was over. It's bad enough that animals are killed in a cruel and inhumane manner, but to laugh about it? This is what they found so humorous:


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pig Friend at the Farm

Pig Friend

I think this is Eric, but might be Jane, one of the piglets who found peace and protection at the Farm Sanctuary.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

45 Million Dead

I know Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of gratitude, and I appreciate that part of the holiday. I am, in fact, grateful to the Farm Sanctuary and all the people and organizations who do so much to help animals. I can't help, though, but be sad at Thanksgiving. Estimates point to 45 million of these curious, precious birds being killed as the centerpiece for dinners across the country. Learn more about turkeys here and visit the Farm Sanctuary's website to see turkeys celebrating the holiday free and at peace. Listen to an NPR story here about last weekend's Celebration for the Turkeys.

Turkey Friends at the Farm Sanctuary

Celebration for the Turkeys

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Babe, this 10 year old terrier mix, has been at the Tompkins County SPCA shelter for two months! His family gave him up in what should have been enjoying the prime of his life. Please visit the SPCA to see Babe or another dog or cat. Remember, don't shop, adopt!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shop and Share

SPCA Shop and Share

The Tompkins County SPCA's latest Shop and Share was today. I love to shop, so this is such a fun way to help the SPCA. Here was the shopping list:

Although the latest Shop and Share has concluded, the SPCA could still use your financial or in-kind donations.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Student

Normally, I don't tolerate sleeping during class, but in Doreen's case, I'll let it slide! She started coming to class on Wednesday with one of my students who is training her as a guide dog for the blind. I wish I had more than a month of this cuteness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't Shop, Adopt!

The Shelter Pet Project is a non-profit organization that advocates the adoption of homeless animals. Face it - if you don't adopt them, they die. Don't shop, adopt!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Help Children Receive Books - Free to You, Free to Them

The Literacy Site helps First Book at Room to Read provide books to children around the world. Each click helps pay for 1% of a book. Please click today - it's free to you and will help children around the world develop a love of reading.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"It is only when you feel you have the legitimate right to say no that you can say yes with utmost certainty, sincerity, and enthusiasm."


Monday, October 31, 2011

Seven Billion

There are now seven billion people in the world today, according to The New York Times. I was number 3,940,422,252. Want to know your place among the many? Check out the population counter at BBC News.

The Center for Biological Diversity, according to the Times, is the only group that is linking the population explosion to environmental issues. The paper reports, "A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed how slowing the country’s population growth rate to 1.5 births per woman from 2.0 could result in a 10 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury and a 33 percent drop by the end of the century."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Working Like a Dog

Norman and Walter

Norman and Walter have taken over grading responsibilities for the semester.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"Getting close to books, and spending time by myself, I was obliged to think about things I would never have thought about if I was busy romping around with a brother and sister."

~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."

~ William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

Monday, October 17, 2011


I made this hat for George using Steve West's "Windschief" pattern. I'm not happy with my decreases, but it's a cool design.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization, which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself." 

~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Puppy Rescue Mission

The Puppy Rescue Mission helps soldiers in war zones helps brings the dogs that give the men and women comfort when they are deployed to forever homes, many in the United States but in other countries as well. I donated to help cover the costs to bring Ranger to the U.S. Today, I received this cute Paw Salute. What a great way to help both animals and soldiers. If you can, donate today to help their mission.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

March for Animals

We had a fun time at the March for Animals, although the grass was a little wet for Walter's taste. Norman enjoyed seeing all the other people and dogs. We appreciate everyone who sponsored us and helped raised money for the Tompkins County SPCA. If you didn't get a chance before the walk, there's still time! Click here.

Friday, September 30, 2011



George is very happy about the arrival of his grapes - 150 pounds of them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health."

~Michel de Montaigne

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Countdown: March for the Animals!

The 2011 March for the Animals is next Saturday at Tompkins County Community College. The March is one of the biggest and most important fundraisers for the SPCA of Tompkins County. Please help George, Walter, Norman, and me raise money to support the lifesaving work of the SPCA. Sponsor us here!

These funds help the SPCA provide medical care to the animals at the shelter. They are hoping the event will raise $100,000, but right now, only 23% of that amount has been raised. It may sound like a lot, but every little bit helps. Please sponsor us!

Firstgiving Donation Page

Friday, September 23, 2011

Save the Flying Squirrels!

From the Center for Biological Diversity:

In 2008, the Bush administration removed Endangered Species Act protections for the West Virginia northern flying squirrel. This removal came despite dire projections from global warming models that predicted complete disappearance of the squirrels' habitat and a lack of evidence to show the species' populations had rebounded.

In response to a suit from the Center and allies to restore protections for the squirrel, a federal judge in 2011 reinstated its endangered status, holding, in a precedent-setting ruling, that the Service had violated the Endangered Species Act by not following its own science-based recovery plan for the species.

Rather than accepting that pro-science ruling, the Obama administration has decided to appeal it. Apparently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not want to have to follow its own recovery plans when deciding whether protections should be retained.

Please contact the Interior Department to help put the squirrels back on the endangered species list - it is the right thing to do. Remember, extinct is forever. We can't bow to short-term thinking when considering the health of the planet and its inhabitants, especially those who can't speak for themselves.

My First Prezi

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quotation of the Day: Current Events Edition

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.... Keep a big hunk of it but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward to the next kid who comes along,"

~Elizabeth Warren

Please watch this video for the entire quotation - Warren makes an excellent point about the public resources that facilitate private wealth creation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Seneca Lake
Seneca Lake

Sweet Land Farm
George Bearing Gifts
On Saturday, we went up to Seneca lake to see about a "lake retreat." Ultimately, it didn't work out, but we did have a nice drive, walk on the lake, and side trip to Sweet Land Farm.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off the International Spectrum of Sane Behavior

Noam Chomsky was on Democracy Now this morning. I love his response to Amy Goodman's question. (He is also great in the movie The Corporation.)

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to wrap for a minute by asking you two quick questions. One is about politics in this country. Do you see a big difference between Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry? Do you think there would be a drastic change in policy if a Republican were to win in 2012 and if it were Perry or Romney? 

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I must say that politics in this country now is in a state that I think has no analogue in American history and maybe nowhere in any parliamentary system. It’s astonishing. I mean, I’m not a great enthusiast for Obama, as you know, from way back, but at least he’s somewhere in the real world. Perry, who’s very likely—very likely to get the—to win the primary and win the nomination, and maybe to win the election, he’s often in outer space. I mean, his views are unbelievable. Bachmann is the same. Romney is kind of more or less toward the center. These are—the positions that they are taking are utterly outlandish. I mean, as you mentioned before, I just came back from Europe, where people just can’t believe what they’re seeing here, what people are saying. I mean, take one of the really crucial issues for the human species: doing something about environmental catastrophe. Well, you know, every single one of the Republican candidates—maybe not Huntsman, but every major one—is a climate change denier. It’s kind of ironic in the case of Perry. He says there’s no global warming, while Texas is burning up with the highest temperatures on record, fire all over the place, and so on. But it doesn’t matter, it’s just not happening. In fact, the one who has conceded that maybe global warming has taken place is Michele Bachmann. I heard a statement of hers in which she said, "Well, yes, maybe it’s happening. It’s God’s punishment for allowing gay marriage," or some comment like that. I mean, this—what’s going on there is just off the international spectrum of sane behavior.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Libyan Animals in Crisis

Because of the Civil War in Libya, the animals at the Tripoli Zoo are in crisis. Please make a donation today to help them. Hopefully, when the crisis is over, they will be able to move to more appropriate habitats. CNN aired a story on these animals several weeks ago, and they are still in desperate need.

From the International Fund for Animal Welfare

(Yarmouth Port, MA) - The Tripoli Zoo received critical funds today from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW- that extend a life line to animals caught in the middle of the ongoing armed conflict in Libya.

Moments after the National Transitional Council (NTC) took control of the Libyan capital, IFAW’s focus turned to the animals living at the Tripoli Zoo. The zoo is located in very close proximity to Gadhafi’s former compound at Bab al-Aziziya which was the center of intense fighting. More than a thousand animals live in the zoo including a tiger, lions, hyenas, hippos, deer and monkeys to name a few.

“The situation in Libya is still very unstable but we’re doing everything in our power to help the animals caught in the middle of this crisis,” said Dr. Ian Robinson, IFAW’s Emergency Relief Director. “The arrival of this initial aid into Tripoli gives us hope and we continue working hard to establish long-term support for the animals.”

The cost to feed the animals at the Tripoli Zoo is close to $2,000 a day. Large carnivores like the tiger and lions can eat 20-30 pounds of meat a day. IFAW’s support will help ensure that animals have sufficient food and water. Extended power outages in the capital city have also disabled the zoo’s refrigerators. Under scorching temperatures the existing veterinary medicine has been rendered useless. Not currently available in-country, these medicines are also desperately needed and IFAW is working on ways to get these and other supplies into Tripoli.

“We thank IFAW so much for their interest and support of the Tripoli Zoo in this time of great need,” said Dr. Abdel Fattah Husin, Director of the Tripoli Zoo.

From the onset of social and political unrest in the Middle East last spring, IFAW stepped in to help the Tunis Zoo in Tunisia and two animal welfare groups in Egypt. In 2003, IFAW rushed a team of experts and supplies to the Baghdad Zoo and worked there for weeks to ensure the well-being and survival of over 400 animals including lions, tigers, brown bears, wolves and primates.

P.S. I do not approve of the conditions of the Tripoli Zoo but do not believe these animals should suffer due to human conflict.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quotation of the Day: Sunny Edition

"I'm not fat... I'm cultivating mass,"
~Mac (Rob McElhenney), It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Friday, September 16, 2011

Antje Duvekot in Syracue

antje duvekot

Everyone aboard on the merry-go-round
Some things will rise up so that others come down
If the devil don't dance, heaven won't shine
It's a mighty thick haze and it's a pretty thin line
If the facuet is tightened up the love won't flow
If the love isn't bright enough the corn won't grow
If the night isn't dark enough the moon won't glow

~Antje Duvekot, Merry-Go-Round

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fracking Turns Water Into Posion

Sandra Steingraber, a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College, was one of 10 recipients of the prestigious Heinz Award which come with a $100,000 cash prize. (See press release.) Steingraber has written a powerful response explaining what she plans to do with her award.

The Heinz Award and What I Plan to Do With It
–Sandra Steingraber

I’m thrilled to receive a Heinz Award in recognition of my research and writing on environmental health. This is work made possible by my residency as a scholar within the Department of Environmental Studies at Ithaca College. Many past and present Heinz Award winners are personal heroes of mine–and Teresa Heinz herself is a champion of women’s environmental health–so this recognition carries special meaning for me. And it comes with a $100,000 unrestricted cash prize. Which is stunning.

As a bladder cancer survivor of 32 years, I’m intimately familiar with two kinds of uncertainty: the kind that comes while waiting for results from the pathology and radiology labs and the kind that is created by the medical insurance industry who decides whether or not to pay the pathology and radiology bills. Over the years, I’ve learned to analyze data and raise children while surrounded by medical and financial insecurities. It’s a high-wire act.

But as an ecologist, I’m aware of a much larger insecurity: the one created by our nation’s ruinous dependency on fossil fuels in all their forms. When we light them on fire, we fill the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases that are destablizing the climate and acidifying the oceans (whose plankton stocks provide us half of the oxygen we breathe). When we use fossil fuels as feedstocks to make materials such as pesticides and solvents, we create toxic substances that trespass into our children’s bodies (where they raises risks for cancer, asthma, infertility, and learning disorders).

Emancipation from our terrible enslavement to fossil fuels is possible. The best science shows us that the United States could, within two decades, entirely run on green, renewable energy if we chose to dedicate ourselves to that course [1]. But, right now, that is not the trail we are blazing.

Instead, evermore extreme and toxic methods are being deployed to blast fossilized carbon from the earth. We are blowing up mountains to get at coal, felling boreal forests to get at tar, and siphoning oil from the ocean deep. Most ominously, through the process called fracking, we are shattering the very bedrock of our nation to get at the petrified bubbles of methane trapped inside.

Fracking turns fresh water into poison. It fills our air with smog, our roadways with 18-wheelers hauling hazardous materials, and our fields and pastures with pipelines and toxic pits.

I am therefore announcing my intent to devote my Heinz Award to the fight against hydrofracking in upstate New York, where I live with my husband and our two children. Some might look at my small house (with its mismatched furniture) or my small bank accounts (with their absence of a college fund or a retirement plan) and question my priorities. But the bodies of my children are the rearranged molecules of the air, water, and food streaming through them. As their mother, there is no more important investment that I could make right now than to support the fight for the integrity of the ecological system that makes their lives possible. As legal scholar Joseph Guth reminds us, a functioning biosphere is worth everything we have [2].

This summer I traveled through the western United States and saw firsthand the devastation that fracking creates. In drought-crippled Texas where crops withered in the fields, I read a hand-lettered sign in a front yard that said, “I NEED WATER. U HAUL. I PAY. “ And still the fracking trucks rolled on, carrying water to the gas wells.

This is the logic of drug addicts, not science.

I also stood on the courthouse steps in Salt Lake City while climate activist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in federal prison for an act of civil disobedience that halted the leasing of public land for gas and oil drilling near Arches National Park. Before he was hauled away by federal marshals, Tim said, “This is what love looks like.”

After two months of travel, my children and I arrived home to the still unfractured state of New York. After stopping at a local farm stand to buy bread, tomatoes, cheese, and peaches for dinner, we celebrated our return along the vineyard-and-waterfall-lined shore of Cayuga Lake. I watched my son skip stones across its surface. Under his feet lay the aquifer that provides drinking water to our village.

This is what security looks like. Please join me in the struggle to defend the economy and ecology of upstate New York. Bring what you can.

1. M.Z. Jacobson and M.A. Delucci, “A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030,” Scientific American 301 (2009): 58-65.
2. “The Earth’s biosphere seems almost magically suited to human beings, and indeed it is, for we evolved through eons of intimate immersion within it. Many of us are animated by moral and religious impulses to treasure and respect the creation that sustains us. We cannot live well without a functioning biosphere, and so it is worth everything we have.” Joseph H. Guth, “Law for the Ecological Age,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 9.

Meanwhile, gas companies from out of state are suing local municipalities that have instituted bans on fracking.(Ithaca Journal).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Primary Day

Distance Marker

I Voted!

Quotation of the Day: Hollywood Edition

The Good Girl"That day I read the story Holden had wrote for me. It was kinda different from the other ones but kinda the same. It was about a girl who was put upon, whose job is like a prison, and whose life has lost all meaning. Other people don't get her, especially her husband. One day she meets a boy who is also put upon and they fall in love. After spending their whole lives never getting got, with one look they get each other completely. In the end the girl and the boy run away together into the wilderness, never to be heard from again."

~Justine (Jennifer Aniston), The Good Girl

I spend a lot of time feeling put upon. But don't go reading any more into it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quotation of the Day

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love,"

~Mother Teresa

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Craving an Oreo?

This cute pup, Oreo, an 8 year old boxer mix, has been at the Tompkins County SPCA for a few weeks. Do you have room in your home and heart for him?

He is precious, but was given to the SPCA when his family moved to smaller housing and couldn't take him along. To make matters worse, the staff thinks he was mistreated in the past. Poor Oreo shouldn't have to pay for people problems. The SPCA says the shelter is stressing him out a bit, and that he'd do well as an only dog, where his sweet personality can shine.  Can you help him out? Why don't you visit him today!

Flash Flooding

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for the area. The Tompkins County Sheriff issued an emergency road closure this morning (now lifted) and classes at Ithaca College and Cornell were delayed until the afternoon.

Walter and I decided we better get prepared for the worst.

walter and aimee
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