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 …

Read moreFor the Animals: Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism

Book Review: Frog Pond Philosophy: Essays on the Relationship between Humans and Nature by Strachan Donnelley

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University Strachan Donnelley founded the Center for Humans and Nature in 2003 after years of pondering the ethical responsibilities of humans within the natural environment. Early on in his life after receiving a doctorate in philosophy, he became a member of the Hastings Center, the think …

Read moreBook Review: Frog Pond Philosophy: Essays on the Relationship between Humans and Nature by Strachan Donnelley

Book Review: The Cow with Ear Tag #1389

We want to believe that cows live happy lives. From our childhoods of Old MacDonald and his farm, field trips and cartoons and stuffed animals, we are raised to believe they are happy. The dairy industry tells us they are happy. The advertisements we see on TV reinforce the illusion. But it is only an …

Read moreBook Review: The Cow with Ear Tag #1389

Book Review: The Man with Bees in His Beard by Brian Dempsey

I enjoy reading children’s books that help kids connect with the environment and spark a passion for conservation. The Man with Bees in His Beard by Brian Dempsey, published by Chatwin Books, is advertised as just such a book. The main character in the book is an old man wandering in nature who has a …

Read moreBook Review: The Man with Bees in His Beard by Brian Dempsey

The best environmental books we’ve read in 2018

This is our third year of recapping the best books we’ve read over the past year. Here are the 2017 and 2016 lists. We’re so glad that the number of both readers and reviewers of EcoLit Books have grown enough to now have an annual tradition of celebrating our favorite books of the year. And …

Read moreThe best environmental books we’ve read in 2018

The Friend: A Novel

Sigrid Nunez’s new novel, The Friend, is a meditation on grief, writing, and the transcendent power of the human-canine bond. It is also the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for fiction. How is one to mourn the sudden death of a loved one? For the novel’s narrator, whose best friend and literary mentor …

Read moreThe Friend: A Novel

Book Review: The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds by Gavin Van Horn

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University In his “Prologue” to The Way of Coyote, Gavin Van Horn, Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature, leaves no doubt as to what his book is about. Before coming to Chicago, his “Plan A” was to inhabit a cabin …

Read moreBook Review: The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds by Gavin Van Horn

The Great (Unknown) Pet Massacre

The title of this book almost begs incredulity. The Great Cat & Dog Massacre? When I first saw the book cover I struggled to imagine what the book was about exactly. One of the pictures features men in helmets carrying animals, so I initially assumed the massacre was the result of bombings. But, no. This …

Read moreThe Great (Unknown) Pet Massacre

Where Song Began

What I most missed after a trip to Australia last year wasn’t the beaches or the local accents. It was the sounds of the birds. The plaintive cries of the Australian ravens, the laughing kookaburras, and the screeching cockatoos. I realized after I returned home that I never had associated Australia with exotic birds. This …

Read moreWhere Song Began