Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quotation of the Day

‎"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere." 

~Elie Wiesel

Friday, December 7, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Golden Arrow of Consumption

The fury over Black Friday and Cyber Monday has made me think of the Golden Arrow of Consumption in the materials economy so cleverly and concisely illustrated in The Story of Stuff. The sales encourage consumers to purchase more of what they don't need - or even really want - to participate in the ritual of shopping and to take advantage of the deal.

I saw some organizations asking people not to shop, but to spend time with friends and family on Friday. There is also the Buy Nothing Day campaign. I'm not sure those campaigns had the same momentum as the shopping weekend. I did find myself running to the grocery store on Thursday, before our dinner, to pick up some ingredients I'd forgotten earlier in the week. Though grateful my local store was open, I felt a significant amount of guilt that the workers were missing out on their families' celebrations for my convenience. I was also very cognizant of the strikes by Wal-Mart workers to raise awareness of their abysmal working conditions.

I myself was overwhelmed with hundreds of emails promoting sales from Thursday through Cyber Monday. Even though I know better, I found myself caught up in the mental trap: but if I don't buy it, I'm missing this great deal! I forgot to ask myself if I actually wanted the product advertised, not to mention if I needed it. (No, and no.)

Our frenzied shopping cannot bring us happiness. Even worse, laborers at home and abroad, animals, and the environment suffer from our consumer culture. A significant percentage of municipal solid waste comes from packaging (14 million tons of plastic packaging in the United States alone, according to the EPA).

I'm not saying that you shouldn't shop. I certainly am not saying I'm done with shopping. However, I resolve to be mindful about what I purchase. I hope you will, too. Please watch The Story of Stuff  so that you understand all that precedes and follows the act of consumption.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

~Happy ThanksLiving!~

For the sixth year, we attended the Farm Sanctuary's Celebration for the Turkeys in Watkins Glen, New York. Turkeys are funny, affectionate birds and each individual has a unique personality. Susie Coston, the Farm's National Shelter Director, shares ten things you may not have known about turkeys.

It's so fun to watch the birds as the guests of honor during this holiday that where so many are killed and consumed. After the ceremony, I was interviewed by YNN for a story that aired on Sunday.

George and Chris came out to the Farm with us this year. This was their second Celebration for the Turkeys.

We got to meet the precious and sweet Tweed (behind me) and his buddy - I think it is Arnold, who were rescued last year.

I also hung out with my adopted pig Eric. Here I am with Sebastian, Eric, and Jane.

The pigs love pumpkins!

Happy ThanksLiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quotation of the Day: Thanksgiving Edition

"If we have the choice between doing something kind and doing something cruel, we should choose kindness. If we can do something merciful or something that adds to the level or misery in the world, we should choose mercy. And that’s a choice we make every time we sit down to eat."   

~Bruce Friedrich, Farm Sanctuary

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today marks the fourteenth observation of the Transgender Day of Remembrance to recognize and mourn the individuals who lost their lives as a result of transgender hatred or prejudice. Already this year, worldwide, sixty people have died as a result of transgender violence. Over half of transgender youth report being assaulted. The day is also a day to raise awareness of the violence and prejudice faced by transgender people and acceptance of their identity.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quotation of the Day

"You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back."

~ Barbara De Angelis

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One Day in November

Hollywood Housewife asked her readers to document their daily lives on November 14, 2012. Here's my day:

My day begins with the dogs, feeding them and taking them outside for a walk.

I do a little work and then read with horror about the latest Mercy for Animals undercover operation in which abuse of turkeys at Butterball factories was documented.

Next, up, some cuddles with the dogs!

Later tonight, I am going to a birthday party, but I won't be home before then, so I make some stitch markers to take as a gift.

Another faculty member and I are giving a workshop on "Hard to Assess Learning Outcomes," so I head to the Center for Faculty Excellence on campus.

Usually, the center displays some student or faculty artwork. Today, they had pieces from the show Turn up the Transparency: 35 mm Slide Art. These were my two favorite pieces.

We didn't have a lot of folks attend the workshop, but it was a good conversation nonetheless. However, we didn't have much time to debrief because my colleague and I both had meetings immediately following the workshop. No time for photos between the two events! By the time I was done with the meeting, it was dark outside.

I headed over to the Clark Lounge in the Campus Center where there was a wine and cheese reception for faculty members. I noticed on my way that the TerraCycle Brigade had put a collection bin in the common area.

Some of our brilliant music students performed at the reception.

After some hurried mingling, I went to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of the women who comes to knit night. 

George had his own dinner tonight, a celebration of the end of the season with his co-workers at the farm, so I hardly saw him today. I ended the day, as I started it, with the dogs.

(That's Survivor on the television.) I also did a little bit of knitting.

Today was fairly atypical - I am usually not running around quite so much! I am glad that Laura chose today for the project, otherwise you'd probably only be getting pictures of the dogs.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cover Girl

My photo of the Centennial Clock in Central Park is on the Ardmore, Oklahoma ziplocal telephone directory! They'd contacted me several months ago to obtain permission to use the photograph, and my copies of the directory just arrived. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Vote!

I was voter #350 in our precinct. Since I like numbers divisible by five, I thought that was an auspicious sign. My friend Jim goes to the same polling place, and he said he got stuck behind a row of school buses. I wonder what all the kids think about the adults coming into their school for these elections.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

World Vegan Day

Celebrate World Vegan Day, November 1, to kick off World Vegan Month. Remember 269!

Indigo Girls at the State

Rachel and I saw the Indigo Girls in concert Tuesday night at the State Theater. A great show!

The crowd in the balcony is excited!

If I remember correctly, Stephanie (on the right) introduced me to the Indigo Girls when she played their first album for me at the June 1990 Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.

OSAI (June 1990)

When Allen and I took a road trip to the Grand Canyon in 1992, we bickered because I only wanted to listen to "Rites of Passage."

Brian and I saw the Indigo Girls in Park City in 1997 or 1998. 

For over twenty years, the Indigo Girls have been part of my life's musical landscape, so I was delighted to see them in a more intimate venue. In addition to playing songs from their new album, "Beauty Queen Sister," they played all the old standbys, including "Closer to Fine" and "Galileo." 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

They Should Study Their History Books

"History speaks pretty clearly that the markets do better with Democrats. Republicans' ideas of what constitutes fiscal responsibility simply are not good for the stock market. Democrats have many tendencies, but one of them is to look after the workers, and actually that tends to be good for demand and good for markets. These capitalists who ware desperate to elect Republicans should study their history books,"

~Jeremy Granham, co-founder of GMO

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quotation of the Day

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” 

 ~ Henry James

Friday, October 12, 2012

ACTION ALERT: Save Bill and Lou!

At the end of October 2012, Bill and Lou, the hard-working team of oxen for Green Mountain College’s Cerridwen Farm, are scheduled to be slaughtered. Bill and Lou have worked as draft animals on the school’s farm for over ten years. They have provided many services for the college and are mascots and friends to many students, past and present. Since Lou sustained a recurring injury to his left rear hock, he no longer has “value” to GMC, so they decided to purchase a new team and send both of these oxen to the slaughterhouse to be "processed" (euphemism for killed) for their meat. Please encourage Green Mountain College to allow Bill and Lou to be adopted by the VINE Sanctuary in Vermont where they can live out the remainder of their lives. They've worked so hard for the college for 10 years and deserve a better fate than ending up on someone's plate!

Bill and Lou deserve better! Please sign the petition and send an email to lend your voice to the campaign to save Bill and Lou from slaughter and allow them to live in peace at the VINE Sanctuary!

Sign the Petition!
Send an Email!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

National Coming Out Day

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day. I am OUT for marriage equality! I am proud to be a straight ally: I want my gay and lesbian family and friends to enjoy equal rights under the law.

Read about the history of National Coming Out Day here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reading is Dangerous

Banned Books Week (September 30 - October 6) celebrates the freedom to read. 2012 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the event. How many of these frequently challenged classics have you read?

In high school, we were to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck in my junior or senior year English class. A student complained about the cuss words, so our teacher had us read a ridiculous dramatization of it instead. I decided to engage in civil disobedience, and I refused to read the magazine-script version of the classic, but instead read the actual novel, even if it meant that I was going to get a reduced grade.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

World Farm Animals Day

Today, October 2, on World Farm Animals Day, please remember the 65 billion land animals who suffer and die each year for human consumption.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why I Am Vegan #1001

Photo from the Humane Society of the United States
Factory farming is a cruel industry, where animals suffer unspeakable pain and injury, as in the photo above. Please visit the Humane Society's Farm Animal Protection Campaign page to learn how you can help.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

March for the Animals

The March for the Animals was at the beautiful arboretum at Cornell Plantations. Unfortunately, it was a very rainy day, but we had fun anyway! The March raised around $90,000 for the SPCA. Thanks to everyone who sponsored us!




World Rhino Day

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Invasion of the Chihuahuas

After a request came in from Best Friends, the Tompkins County SPCA took in 20 little pups from high-kill shelters in Los Angeles. Most of the dogs were adopted within days! This is one of the reasons we are marching to help raise funds for the SPCA. You can still sponsor us today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quotation of the Day

“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” 

~William Penn

What kindness have you shown today to other beings?
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