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Book Review – The Tusk That Did the Damage

Posted by on Nov 11, 2018 in Writing | 0 comments

  In my pursuit to find contemporary animal-themed fiction, I came across a remarkable novel called The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James. It is told in the alternative voices of an elephant, a poacher and a filmmaker – each of whom provide a different perspective on the state of conservation in India. The elephant is nicknamed The Gravedigger. Orphaned by poachers as a calf and sold into a life of labor, he has finally escaped the abuse by one of his caretakers and has gone on a deranged rampage in the Indian countryside leaving human victims. The poacher is the younger son of a poor rice farmer drawn into the money-making world of poaching. Into the story is thrust an idealistic young American filmmaker who is trying to capture the inner minds of elephants. It is,...

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Review of The Wildlands by Abby Geni

Posted by on Sep 30, 2018 in Writing | 0 comments

  I have long believed that a powerful way to reach people about the sentience of animals and our  shameful treatment of them is through fiction. Thus, I keep my eyes open for good novels with the courage to tackle that difficult topic. The most recent read is a remarkable literary thriller called The Wildlands, by Abby Geni. A couple of years ago, I had read Geni’s earlier book, The Lightkeepers, an atmospheric, slow-building suspense novel about a nature photographer who travels to the Farallon Islands on a long residency. The tension between man and animals is woven into the story beautifully, but I found this most recent book a step up in her willingness to blend compelling narrative with a sense of social justice for animals. The Wildlands opens with a Category 5 tornado that ravages the town...

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For I will consider my dog Percy

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Writing | 1 comment

For anyone who has ever loved an animal. By the poet Mary Oliver. For I will consider my dog Percy. For he was made small but brave of heart. For if he met another dog he would kiss her in kindness. For when he slept he snored only a little. For he could be silly and noble in the same moment. For when he spoke he remembered the trumpet and when he scratched he struck the floor like a drum. For he ate only the finest food and drank only the purest of water, yet he would nibble of the dead fish also. For he came to me impaired and therefore certain of short life, yet thoroughly rejoiced in each day. For he took his medicines without argument. For he played easily with the neighbor’s Bull Mastiff. For when he...

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The Experiment

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments

To get a glimpse into the 3rd book of The Kinship Series, watch this amazing video by Beagle Freedom...

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Kaley – the rock star of TAFA 2016

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Writing | 1 comment

It’s always been hard for us to leave our rescue dog Kaley for any length of time. She’s a rather nervous girl and often won’t eat or even chew on her favorite bone when we’re away. And it’s hard for us to leave her with even the most responsible dog sitter. It would always remind me of when my husband dropped off our five-year-old son at Kindergarten for the first time. When my husband assured him that he would do just fine, the little guy clung to his leg and said, “But you don’t understand. No one here loves me.” That’s our problem leaving Kaley. We know she’ll be fed, taken for walks, and petted. But she won’t be loved. Not the way we love her.  SO… This year, we took her to the Taking Action for Animals Conference in Arlington, VA. Certain she would freak out...

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“Hey Sundance, Who Are Those Guys?”

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Writing | 2 comments

Each day that Ammon Bundy and his band of armed militiamen stay holed up at the Malheur Refuge, they make us wonder, in the words of Butch Cassidy, “Who are those guys?” They’re adamant that they will not leave until the federal government gives them back their land so they can graze livestock wherever they want.  Yet in actual truth, they do graze their cattle and sheep pretty much wherever they want. Approximately 230 million acres of federal land out west is allocated for livestock grazing, with the grazing fees less than 10% of what ranchers pay to graze on private lands. Yet even then, most western ranching operations are not economically profitable. And cattle grazed on public land represent less than 3% of the national beef supply. So who are the Bundys and the others who would threaten...

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