Braiding Sweetgrass: Finding a way through environmental despair

At the ASLE conference earlier this summer I heard this book referenced in a number of sessions. And now, having read it, I realize why. Braiding Sweetgrass is a rich collection of essays about plants and animals, indigenous and scientific awareness, and our tenuous relationship with nature. But more than that, it is the story …

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Allowed to Grow Old, Portraits of Elderly Animals From Farm Sanctuaries

By Isa Leshko Foreword by Sy Montgomery Essays by Gene Baur and Anne Wilkes Tucker University of Chicago Press, 2019 First, a disclaimer. While I wouldn’t call it a sanctuary, my husband and I do take in livestock rescues from time to time, so I have a warm spot in my heart for the creatures …

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Dominion: A Christian writes about hunting, factory farming, and other sins against animals

Several years ago, I heard about a Republican, a former speech writer for George W. Bush, who had written a book in favor of protecting animals. I also heard that he was vegetarian (now vegan). I initially wondered if hell had frozen over. I’m joking, but only slightly. Because it was just a few months …

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Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment: And our irrational, insatiable, unsustainable desire to control nature

I feel ashamed to admit this, but until recently I had not read, end to end, Silent Spring. I had read parts of the book over the years and have been acutely aware of what the book is about — and perhaps this was the reason I avoided it for so long.  But when I saw …

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Book Review: The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

Dahr Jamail’s The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption is at once a memoir of the author’s experiences in nature and a report of the state of the planet amid rapid climate change. This well-researched, passionate book is about the end of more than ice—Jamail takes us …

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LitHub’s climate change library

If we lived on this planet only one day a year then perhaps celebrating one “Earth Day” a year would make more sense. But as LitHub points out, every day is earth day. And they are assembling an ambitious list of 365 books for your climate change library, beginning with the classics. It’s nice to …

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The One-Straw Revolution: On saving the planet, one garden at a time

I thought I knew a thing or two about gardening. But since undertaking a rather intensive gardener training program I now know just how little I actually knew about gardening. I’m not alone. It turns out that so much of what we’ve been told about gardening and farming over the past few decades — from …

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Book Review: Through a Vegan Studies Lens

Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism, edited by Laura Wright, is part of the series “Cultural Ecologies of Food in the 21st Century” from the University of Nevada Press, bringing attention to the ways in which our food choices “produce ecologies of effects, environmentally and otherwise.”   I am thrilled to see …

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For the Animals: Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism

The cover of Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism, a collection of essays edited by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey, features a photograph of a rescued chicken taken by Jo-Anne McArthur. Rescued is an optimistic word because the life of a chicken freed from a factory farm is often all-too-brief. Chickens bred for food are pumped so …

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