Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Knowledge and Compassion: The Agricultural Approach

"Puppy Mills have been around for decades... You essentially take an agricultural approach to dog breeding. You treat the dogs like agribusiness treats cows or pigs or chickens and you rear them in confinement and you churn out new animals in order to gain in commerce." - Wayne Pacella

Knowledge and Compassion: Eating Animals is an Option, not a Requirement

Eating animals is an option, not a requirement, and it comes with serious ethical implications.

Exploiting and killing animals for food is inherently violent and inconsistent with our natural empathic tendencies, so we have developed social and psychological mechanisms to maintain our meat-eating habit. We have become largely disconnected from the painful reality of exploitation and slaughter, keeping it out of sight and out of mind. In the rare instances when we are forced to confront our subjection of billions of animals each year to unnecessary suffering, we fall back on the human brain’s great capacity for rationalization. We have come up with good reasons to do bad things for thousands of years. The techniques we use to excuse the eating of meat are the same we have used to justify other violent institutions and prejudices throughout human history.

Humans are social animals, and we learn behaviors, including how and whom we eat, from those around us. In carnistic societies, members unwittingly support businesses that engage in systemic cruelties and conspire to look the other way. But humans are also hardwired to feel empathy. The concept of carnism is a useful tool to understand and deconstruct a dominant institution that stifles our innate compassionate impulses.

From the blog post Why Carnism Matters by Gene Baur

Knowledge and Compassion: We are the Lucky Ones

With so many problems, we have many opportunities to help improve existence for all. The first step is gaining knowledge. The more we know about a topic, the better actions and decisions we can make. Knowledge is truly empowering and is the gateway to self-growth and change. The more we know, the more we can connect the dots and the interconnectedness and value of all life is unquestionable and easy to see. See yourself in others. We share this blue planet with our family- all life, every individual, each incredible artifact of life on planet earth is a rare gem in a sea of space where we have yet to discover another planet that sustains life. We are the lucky ones.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Knowledge and Compassion: Gombe- 50 Years of Research and Inspiration

Knowledge, Compassion, Action.

Orphan chimp getting some shut-eye at Ngamba Island Sanctuary in Uganda.

Nani at Ngamba Island Sanctuary in Uganda.

Kika with her baby Maria.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Passion Pit cover of Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins


In the resolute urgency of now
The indescribable moments of your life

The impossible is possible
Believe in me as I believe in you

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gratitude Journal

• Lots of great library books, including Conversations with Carl Sagan and Dear Professor Einstein.

• Pilates

• Not having children

• Watching Rosebud sleeping in the sunlight coming through our office window

• New York anticipation (looking forward to shooting a wedding in Montauk, a day after session, and an engagement shoot in the city, as well as spending the night on Farm Sanctuary, and visiting Central Park (Strawberry fields and the Alice in Wonderland statue). And I can not wait to explore the American Museum of Natural History (which also is The Rose Museum for Earth and Space with the Hayden Planetarium)!

• My talented husband