Ever considering giving up/reducing meat? Great article to think it through.

February 23, 2010

I thought this is one of the best article on vegetarian questions/issues in a good while. I love how chill he is, how not arrogant.
Interview with Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals at The Atlantic

Hat tip to CT for sharing the link (on the blog of Rev. Scott Wells where he blogs Lent, Google, Animals, and Meat).


Healing Thoughts for Henry

July 5, 2009

Henry is the kitty of one of my dearest friends. I was there the day he was adopted. I adopted our Gustav the same day. Henry fell suddenly ill this week and it is not getting much better. I’m sure he would appreciate healing energy from all the cat lovers out there.

Get well soon, Mr. H.

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A Hard Winter for Animals

December 16, 2008

Here is an article in the Globe that deals with the issue of shelters being overrun (and adoptions being down) due to the economy. This relates to my post just a few days ago about little ways that you can help shelters struggling during this time.


A Free Way to Help Others This Holiday Season

December 14, 2008

(Scroll down for bolded text to get to the gist of this message! And the free way to help…)

So, no-kill (and probably those that also euthanize animals) are being totally overrun in recent months. As people struggle to feed and care for the human members of their families and lose their homes, they are increasingly unable or unwilling to care for their animal companions. Donations are down to shelters. It is harder and hard to adopt cats and kittens OUT to families to make room for more (we have had four kittens since April that we cannot find suitable homes for). There is no room at the “inn” at all for many animals, but also no manger for them either. It is so difficult to watch for those that run and volunteer for these shelters that already operate on a shoestring budget and zillions of unpaid hours by people who really and truly give up big parts of a normal existence in order to care for abandoned animals. We do a little bit, but it is really quite little.

Of course, it is hard for many of us to give more money or time. But, for those that do Chrsitmas shopping online, there are ways to funnel a bit of money to these organizations. Animal Umbrella is a shelter in Revere, MA that kindly took three 15 year old cats from us that we rescued from a woman’s house who left town and left her five cats behind to freeze to death (you might remember reading about it a few years ago on this blog). We found a home for one of the kitties, kept for a year and a half Marisol the attack cat who was finally adopted by a kind and loving woman in New Hampshire who wanted to rescue an otherwise unrescuable kitty, and Animal Umbrella took J.R., Goldie and Mama Calico even though they were already truly overun by cats in a small area. Of course, you can imagine it is hard to find homes for very elderly cats. Someone from the shelter actually adopted them shortly after they moved in because they were so sweet.

Anyway, I realized that Animal Umbrella has a link to amazon.com on their website where they get a small percentage of all of our amazon purchases, and this is where we buy significant portions of our books (we buy a lot of books, as a student and professor) and we also buy many Christmas gifts here.

I bookmarked this link which automatically always links directly to amazon but with the code of the Animal Umbrella so they get some of (y)our purchases. So there is no extra work to do. Also, if you shop at other places online, you can register for igive here and part of your purchase price will go to Animal Umbrella. This lovely shelter operates on such a shoestring that seriously cents matter. So don’t think it doesn’t make a difference! This shelter is especially sweet in that they just can’t say no even if they are out of room. Which is sweet, but also causes a host of other challenges, so they are particularly in need of help.

If you feel like writing a check or gifting someone with a donation to a shelter, we volunteer for Second Chance Shelter in Jamaica Plain, MA and this is another small shelter all-volunteer run (just like Animal Umbrella) that is truly amazing. The person who runs the shelter really has dedicated her life (and her house – she turned her house into a shelter when she married/moved in with her husband) to loving and saving cats.

You can send donations, litter coupons, litter, toys, cat medicine, towels, food, to: Second Chance Shelter, 675 VFW Parkway #266, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I have meant for a while to post something about Heifer International, and will do so soon enough. As you can tell from my lack of blogging, things have been a little hectic lately.

Happy Holidays, all! E

p.s. If you know of other good ways to “donate” without actually paying anything (i.e. clicking through or registering or whatever) feel free to leave in comments.

p.p.s. Isn’t is strange that wordpress spell check flags the word blogging as misspelled? You would think they would add that to the dictionary.


Vegetarianism In the Unitarian Universalist Blogosphere

October 7, 2008

I have taken it upon myself to keep an eye on vegetarianism in the UU blogosphere. Two awesome new posts: one by Peacebang (aka Veggie Vicki) who writes about her first month as a vegetarian and one by Everyday Unitarian who blogs about October as vegetarian awareness month and has a little story about fishing as a child which I can relate to.

Happy Vegetarian Month!


Something Nice (for a change)

September 30, 2008

With all the dire news about the economy and world, and me feeling really quite busy and a little bit overwhelmed with school and work, I am very pleased to sit here and hear our neighbors talking to our cats from their window to the cats in our window. They have just moved into the building next to us and it must not occur to them that we are home (or maybe they don’t care) because they keep going, “Meooowwwww! MEEEE-OOOOOW. Mew mew mew! Hey, there’s another one! Wow, how many cats are there in that house? MEOWWWWW. MEOWWWWW. Mew mew mew. Hey kitty kitty kitty. Meowwwwwww.” It is very cute. Our cats are super impressed.  Except Leo who is hiding. He is shy.

Now back to work.


Murray – April 2007-September 2008 -

September 1, 2008

He was very loved little cuddle bunny who very much enjoyed watching the foster kittens play, being groomed by his best friend Gustav the cat, and eating Papa Johns pizza and as many treats as he could get his paws on. He left us gently this evening at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston after looking at us and saying (with his eyes), “I’m ready to go, okay?” Wolfgang and I were with him as he felt gently to sleep.


The heart has its reasons which reason does not know.

September 1, 2008

And such is the case with the passing of our Murray. He still breathes shallowly, his little eyes opening just a slit every once in a while. But his time is here. I have written about him several times on here. He has been sick on and off for many months. We thought he might be better. But on Thursday he got much worse, very fast. Our vet tried some alternative treatments. But they merely perked him up for a few hours, until he descended back into that space between this world and the next. We hope he will pass gently on his own, comfortable in his little fuzzy bed, tucked in his favorite closet where he is happiest. But if he hangs on until tomorrow, we will gently take him to the vet and give him the help he needs to let go. I thought that I would be okay with it – sad, but not too sad, knowing that he has always been a bit weak and sickly, and that he would be far more comfortable in some world beyond this one. But instead I am just overwhelmed with sadness and wishing he could be better and it, well, it just hurts. Logic about how this is best for him and was partially expected doesn’t make it much better that my kitty is dying, and he is uncomfortable and, as a mostly feral cat, even less consolable than a regular sick cat.

My partner, Mr. Philospher, told me so ministerially and lovingly that the heart has reasons which reason does not know. It is so true. Our hearts so often just do their own thing, no matter what we tell them.

Such is this life of suffering and joy and struggle and hope.

May your passing be smooth and comfortable, sweet Murray. We love you.

.

Here is Murray just last week cuddling his favorite foster kitten, Juliet.


The Sexual Politics of Meat and PETA

June 8, 2008

Carol Adams wrote a good book in 1990 called The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. While not without its faults (what book is perfect?), I appreciated the way she made connections between oppressions and subjugations, highlighting what is one my key mantras – oppressions and subjugations are related and you can’t just address one without attention to the others (and certainly not at the active exclusion of others). If you could see the small picture on the cover, you would see that it is a woman divided up into “cuts” – and the question written is “What’s your cut?”

A quick summary – women’s bodies are objectified. The bodies of animals who are eaten are objectified – their pain, suffering, life becomes irrelevent to us because they are objects for our consumption, not beings.

But the whole point of this post is an ABHORRENT image that I stumbled-upon this morning from PETA (see below). I know, I know. PETA doing something that angers someone? Upsets them? Being provocative? Even questionable? Not a surprise. But I found it so upsetting that I will be canceling our $10 a month donation to PETA and finding an organization that does work to lessen the suffering of non-humans animals that doesn’t also promote sexism and objectification of women. It isn’t like I didn’t know that they ran sexist ads before, but somehow this was so upsetting to me that it was the last straw.

Because women and cows are alike, right? And you wouldn’t eat a woman so you shouldn’t eat a cow?


Thoughts and Pictures From Ohio

May 26, 2008

I’ve been in Ohio for a week visiting my parents on their farm (which they don’t actually farm), going to Arcanum Old Fashion Days where I used to run around every May with my best friend Katie chasing boys and trying to be cool, visiting the young men I mentor and their beautiful families, working at The Kettering Foundation, and thinking about and trying not to stress over my upcoming Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy Interview on June 2.

I loved the the country, the green, how slow life is, how easy it is to drive, how much space there is to prance around in my parents’ yard, how there are barns to explore if I want to, how you can smell the grass, how police and farmers always wave to you when you pass them on the road, how there are no jack hammers outside your window in the morning, and how I know all the streets and back roads and even how I know people at the grocery store even if I don’t really want to talk to them, introvert that I am.

I loved visiting my parents and being and adult and it being okay to extrapolate myself from family dynamics that you can’t extrapolate yourself from when you are 17.

I like how I can have a bon fire in the back yard and make smoores if the mood strikes.

I love how each tree is a tree I climbed, or how the barns are hideouts we made and adventures we had searching for secret passage ways and evidence of a crime we could solve (like Nancy Drew). Each back road all with their names that only seemed strange once college friends visited and told me so (Hogpath or Schnorf-Jones or Otterbein-Ithica or Dull Rd.) is a story, or a memory, or a home I used to visit of a childhood friend, or where so-and-so lived who married so-and-so.

All the memories are not good. But they are mine and taken together they are the first 17 years of my life. Corn stalks, and woods, and barns, and school mates, and religion and all of it. They are rich and dark and funny and sad and happy and complex. Like our lives.

I love the religious signs and radio stations, in a weird sort of way. I forgot how much more religious Ohio is than Massachusetts. I have documented some of them for you (along with other lovely pictures). My dream would be to make a book documenting this sort of thing, except that several of them have already been written/photographed.

*

This is an awesome looking coffee house in Arcanum (population 2,000). You know coffeehouses are main stream when Arcanum gets one.

This is my parents house from the back yard.

And this is the hole in the wall where the raccoons broke in through the attic, down into the walls and into the extra room upstairs. There are some legendary stories involving raccoons in our attic, a hand gun, my dad, an attacking Mama raccoon, and eight year old Elizabeth, but that, I shall save for another post.

This is Sugar Boy. He graciously allows my parents to live with him and feed him and attend to his every whim.

Their sister Priscilla did not want her picture taken until she looses a few pounds. She currently weighs 18 pounds.

This is Pablo, our foster kitten. Just before we left for Ohio, we lost his brother Logan and sister Maria – the first two kittens we have ever lost. Very hard. Especially for Wolfgang who doesn’t really believe in any sort of kitten afterlife. They were just too young to be away from their Mama (who apparently abandoned them, or was unable to attend to them for some reason) and they just couldn’t pull through. We almost lost Pablo, but he is doing quiet well now.

He is considering taking up blogging about his near-death experience and being abandoned by his mom. Either a blog or a memoir. He isn’t quite sure yet. Since he is only six weeks old, he figures he has a little time to decide.

That’s all from Ohio. And Somerville. For now.


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