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Hudson Valley Book Fair

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

I’ll be doing a reading and signing books at the Hudson Valley Book Fair from 11:00am to 5:00pm on December 12th in Beacon, NY. Come say hi and meet other local authors! Book Signings * Live Readings * Used Books * Baked Goods * Gift Wrapping The First Presbyterian Church of Beacon, 50 Liberty Street, Beacon,...

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A Close Encounter with Wolves: Gods or Street Kids?

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

Last month, I reconnected with Maggie Howell at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY. Maggie had been an invaluable resource for me as I was writing The Trap.  She took me back to the wolf enclosure (acres of woodlands) where a few of them waited to greet us. I was so moved by the rare opportunity to be so close to the wolves, I wrote the following piece for Elephant Journal....

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The Alpha Wolf

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

Glad that the NY Times published my letter in response to Carl Safina’s editorial regarding the male alpha wolf. For your review:  ...

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Dogs on the Inside

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

If we could do this in every prison, the world would be a better place!

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Using Story for Effective Animal Advocacy

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Writing | 1 comment

Most fiction writers know that a good story is the key to a memorable book, article or screenplay. But business leaders and marketing specialists have been using the art of storytelling for years as a motivational tool. They realize that stories drive transformational change by putting facts into an emotional context. In the short, instructive video below, Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, discusses a University of Pennsylvania study on how to best raise money for the Save the Children Foundation. Two versions of a marketing pamphlet were created. The first provided statistics about the magnitude of problems facing children in Africa. The second pamphlet provided the same statistics, but also told the story of Rokia, a little girl from Mali who faced the threat of severe hunger. What the researchers learned surprised them. As animal advocates, our mission is in large part about persuading people to open their eyes to industrialized animal suffering – and not just be willing to look at it, but also to change how they respond to it, i.e. stop eating meat and dairy, stop buying fur, etc. Making such changes in one’s lifestyle are rarely made by virtue of an intellectual decision. Whether we are aware of or not, our decisions are driven by emotion. And it’s natural when advocating for ideas to go straight to statistics, facts and convincing arguments. But studies show that by sharing a story, people are more likely to remember the message, be persuaded by it and most importantly, feel personally connected to the message – three good reasons why story should become an important part of any animal advocate’s tool box....

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Will Animals Survive? Will They Want To?

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Writing | 0 comments

 It doesn’t take long to tell a story. Here, in one minute, fifteen seconds, and three characters – a powerful, compelling story about where we are headed. Very emotional, as all stories must be. Watch and learn. Post by ‎ההרצאה הכי טובה ששמעתי...

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Metamorphosis of the ‘Day by Day Girl’

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Writing | 4 comments

I came across a compelling letter written by Norm Phelps to his fellow Unitarian-Universalists (UU) regarding their long history of being in the vanguard of social progress (see link below). Phelps scolds the leaders of UU for having lost the spirit of “moving the boundaries” of compassion forward to include animals. He points to the religious liberal community’s support of abolition, civil rights, feminism, immigrant rights and LGBTQ rights, but now sees that fight for social justice frozen in time. The letter prompted regret that I was not aware of the plight of animals in my early days as an actress. As the vocalist on the iconic song “Day by Day” from the musical Godspell (original cast album and film cast album), I had a “platform,” of sorts. I was certainly no rock star when I performed in the show, but there were many opportunities to have brought the notion of moral equality for nonhuman animals to the fore. There were TV and radio talk show appearances, media interviews, and more importantly, a keen interest in Godspell from religious groups. I think of all the fan letters I received from young Christians (which I rarely responded to) and the opportunities (which I could have taken and which would have been welcomed) to speak to youth groups. These lost chances make me sad. I wish I had known. Forty years later, however, the world has changed. With a burgeoning awareness of animal exploitation, social media, undercover videos, and the work of animal advocates, it is near impossible to avoid confronting inhumane treatment of animals. And the failure in the Christian community – or any community that speaks of compassion and espouses social justice – to enter into the discussion is a travesty. It is not an easy topic, but neither is slavery, racism, or gender prejudice. As Phelps so eloquently writes: Suffice it to say that animal exploitation is the most universal, most deeply entrenched form of oppression that has ever existed, both in our society and in our individual psyches. Moral equality for animals challenges our pride in ourselves as the crown of creation (or the acme of evolution, if you prefer), in a way that no other social justice movement ever has. It would deny nearly the entire human population pleasures of appetite that are among the most primitive and powerful that we experience. And the animal liberation movement is working to drive out of business an industry that takes in trillions of dollars every year and provides hundreds of thousands of jobs. We all enter the discussion with a strong bias against animal liberation that can only be overcome by drawing upon the deepest wells of our compassion. So I will continue to “enter into the discussion” in my work as a writer and animal advocate. But from here on, anyone who wants to communicate with me about how uplifting “Day by Day” was for them (and I still get a few on occasion), will get more than a thank you. I missed my chance then, but will not miss it in the future....

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#HydrateDonate Challenge Accepted

Posted by on Sep 13, 2014 in Writing | 0 comments

I’m still not entirely sure of the rules, but here is a video of me accepting fellow author Mark Hawthorne’s challenge.

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Bearing Witness

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Writing | 1 comment

  Did you know that pigs are highly intelligent? Scientific studies have shown that they have better memory and cognitive problem solving skills than a 3-year-old human. Pigs also feel remorse, empathy, and affection; they are playful and often show a silly sense of humor. Most people are unaware that during transport to slaughterhouses, pigs are crammed into trucks. In warmer months they suffer extreme distress from overheating and dehydration – in the winter, they arrive at the slaughterhouses with frostbite. Most of these pigs are only 4-6 months old – they are confused, frightened and in pain. This September, 2014, I am dedicating 50% of all sales of The Chain to help Toronto Pig Save – a dedicated, grassroots organization that seeks to put “glass walls” on Toronto are slaughterhouses. They have inspired an international Save Movement to help all farm animals. Watch below some of their work. Bearing Witness is the beginning of...

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The Power of Guerilla Art

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Writing | 0 comments

Some amazing activism is happening on sidewalks and decaying walls around the world.                                                       And of course – the amazing BANKSY!!                  ...

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