Deer America: Rewilding begins outside your front door

Deer are a common sight here in Ashland, Oregon. And a common source of conflict between residents. Some want to see the deer killed and others (like us) want to see the deer left alone. Fortunately, the deer have been fairly expressive as of late and one deer penned this letter for High Country News …

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Join the ASLE Virtual Conference: Emergence/y

ASLE (The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment) is holding its conference online from July 26 to August 6. Keynote presentations include: Aimee Nezhukumatathil, poet and author of World of Wonders Brionté McCorkle, Executive Director of Georgia Conservation Voters Anthropologist and geographer Zoe Todd and sound artist AM Kanngieser, collaborating on “Environmental Kin …

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Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Studies of animal intelligence have demonstrated the impressive cognitive abilities of certain animals: rhesus macaques, crows, bottlenose dolphins, border collies.  Recently, there is another animal gaining increasing recognition for its intelligence: the octopus. The Soul of an Octopus is, as its subtitle aptly describes, “a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness.”  Written by Sy …

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Bear Markets and Beyond: A Bestiary of Business Terms

Why do animals lend themselves to economic and financial jargon? Perhaps it’s because we need visual and tangible ways or relating to concepts that are so vague, confusing or downright opaque. Bear Markets and Beyond by Dhruti Shah and Dominic Bailey provides an A-Z compendium of animal financial jargon. From an “alligator spread” that has …

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Review: The Yield by Tara June Winch

I didn’t plan to read the nonfiction book Dark Emu shortly before reading the novel The Yield by Tara June Winch. But I couldn’t think of a better pairing. While Dark Emu deconstructs colonial myths about Australian Aboriginal civilizations, The Yield illustrates how these myths were used to justify tearing apart families and cultures. In …

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Animal Resistance: When animals fight back and when humans listen

Animal Resistance

In the first chapter of Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era, Sarat Colling tells the story of Emily, possibly the most famous cow to have escaped a slaughterhouse. It was 1995 and Emily was being led to her death when she hopped over a five-foot high gate near the killing floor and disappeared into …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2020

Not surprisingly, we’ve been doing quite a bit of reading this year. Here are some of our favorite books. And not all of them were new in 2020. We reviewed Braiding Sweetgrass back in 2019, and it’s comforting to see that book rise to the top of our collective consciousness (a seven-year old overnight success …

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Dark Emu: Rethinking Australian history (and our own)

Who were the first humans to bake bread? If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have probably guessed the Egyptians. But what if it was the Aboriginal Australians? And not by any small margin. There is evidence to suggest that Australians were cultivating grains and baking bread more than 30,000 years …

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Building Reuse: Why your old house may be more environmental than you think

I live in an old house. So old that it tilts off to one side and you can feel a winter breeze coming up through the floorboards. When we had it renovated several years ago, I wondered if it would have made more sense, environmentally, to tear it down and build a LEED-certified (whatever exactly …

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