compassion

One of those very rare moments when I regret not living in NYC anymore

Design and Violence Debate: Debate III (MoMA):

Design and Violence is an ongoing online curatorial experiment that explores the manifestations of violence in contemporary society by pairing critical thinkers with examples of challenging design work. Contributors’ weekly essays have been published since November 2013, creating a body of opinion and a set of case studies that spark discussion and bring the ambiguous relationship between design and violence to center stage for designers and the people they serve—all of us.

Design and Violence is organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Jamer Hunt, Director, graduate program in Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons The New School for Design; and Michelle Millar Fisher, Exhibition Coordinator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.

The third debate will center upon Temple Grandin’s “serpentine ramp,” a slaughterhouse design modification that attempts stress reduction and a more humane death for animals. Professor Gary L. Francione (Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers, and author, Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals) and Nicola Twilley (editor/author of Edible Geography.com, co-founder of the Foodprint Project, and director of Studio-X NYC) will deliver debate motions, moderated by Design and Violence co-curator Paola Antonelli.

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One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

endangered-gorillasHuffington Post reports that the wildlife camera trap network from TEAM has captured its one millionth animal photo. TEAM, or Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring Network works to provide comprehensive, real-time data about our world’s remaining forests.

Click here to see more images from daily life in the forest.

If you too care about our world’s forests and their residents, please, help stop deforestation. Go vegan, reduce/reuse/recycle/repair, and try to reduce your negative impact on the environment. You might not save the forest all by yourself, but you’ll know you tried to help. As Albert Einstein said,

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

Click here for action suggestions from Greenpeace.

Richard Turere saves lions and cows

Richard Turere saves lions and cows

richard-turere-tedRichard Turere, a 13-year-old Maasai from Kenya, invented a solar-powered solution to lions killing cows, and humans killing lions: A device that mimics the look of a person walking with a flashlight, to scare lions away from cow sheds, preventing humans from lethal retaliation against the endangered predators.

Vegans may be interested in educating themselves about the Maasai, who present some very interesting questions regarding animal exploitation. They are able to live in desert and scrublands that are otherwise uninhabitable, and are extremely self-sufficient. And yet their way of life could not continue without the exploitation of cows. A debate between a fundamentalist abolitionist vegan and a Maasai person would be very interesting!

Via NPR; photo by James Duncan Davidson

A love story between a dog and a town

Huffington Post writes about Bear Dog, a canine resident of Castle Rock, Washington:

One black Lab mix is so popular that he has become the exception to his town’s “no pets allowed” rule… According to the Longview Daily News, locals love him so much that he’s been written into posted signs barring animals… The town will likely erect a monument when Bear Dog passes away, Mayor Paul Helenberg told the paper.

Doggy Talk

Last week a man named Michael Upchurch was doing his route on the back of a garbage truck in Muncie, Indiana, when he heard someone crying. He found a six-week-old puppy in a recycling bag: “This ole’ doggy here hollering, ‘Save me.’ I guess in doggy talk.” More

Dave Thomas and Buzz Lightyear, reunited: An object lesson in animal personhood

This viral photo is the sad document of the moment when Dave realized he was going to lose Buzz. Click here for the heartwarming story of how these two friends were reunited with the help of a photographer named Maria Sanchez. More

Acting on shame

I read about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) today, for the first time – specifically, Opposite to Emotion Action. This is a psychological self-help technique wherein a person feels shame or anger, and reverses their actions to alleviate the feeling. The idea is that sometimes, one feels these negative emotions for a good reason, and the best way to relieve the emotion is to “fix” the situation that caused it in the first place. Theory goes, the emotions will change for the better, as you change your behavior. Sound familiar? More

Thankful for Turkeys

A turkey helped me stay vegan when I was doubting my decision.

I grew up eating animals and loved the flavors and textures. It was a big part of my life – my dad’s southern cooking, my mom’s midwestern deliciousness: Pork chops, BBQ ribs, scrambled eggs, cheesy casseroles, I loved all of it.

So going vegan at 18 was really hard. It was a phase at first, an experiment, and at a certain point I was feeling like I had to decide if I was going to keep going or if I was going to give it up.

I went to Farm Sanctuary to check in with the animals, since that was who I was doing it all for anyway. There was this rescued turkey there, who ran up to me and let me pet him. He closed his eyes and purred, pushing his head up into my hand, like a cat. After that moment, I never doubted my decision to go vegan, ever again.

Thank you, dear turkey. Here’s to a future where Thanksgiving is about gratitude for a good harvest, not about hurting sweet little people like you and all the other animals we humans tend to forget love peace and good food just as much as we do.

Click here for Gentle Thanksgiving recipes.

Meet the turkeys at Farm Sanctuary, in New York or California, at this year’s Celebration for the Turkeys! Or, click here to “adopt” (sponsor) a rescued turkey.

Photo: Rhonda, a rescued turkey

An incredibly useful video

Dear vegans, please watch this! It’s so helpful. I can’t wait to read Dr. Joy’s books. Have you? What did you think? And what do you think of this video?