(Re)learning to Sew

Last quarter, I taught a new course at University of Washington — En Vogue: From Feathers to Leather — about the animal, human and environmental impacts of the fashion industry and garment production (with a focus on leather, wool, feathers, and fur). Going into the course, I really had no idea how students would respond […]

Concerned about animal suffering? Do something!

In the face of stories like the calf at auction from earlier this week, it can be easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by the enormity of animal suffering in the world. To end the week on a positive note, I thought I’d compile some ideas for getting involved to help animals. Last weekend, Serenity […]

Rethinking “Rescue”?

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” –Lilla Watson, Australian Aboriginal artist/activist I saw this quote posted by a friend on Facebook this morning and it really resonated with me. I’ve […]

Raising Children and Animal Activism (Part Two)

Continuing the conversation about the choice to have children from Part One, I wanted to write a post specifically about having children and animal activism. I was at a NARN (Northwest Animal Rights Network) meeting this weekend and one of the speakers asked us to remember that we can all make an effort to be […]

Thoughts on Marriage & Childrearing (Part One)

When I was growing up, I always thought that someday I would get married and have kids. That’s what most people around me thought because that’s the dominant discourse we are exposed to—we grow up, go to college, get married, buy a house, have a child or two, raise them, send them to college and perpetuate the cycle. This is familiar, of […]

Help to End Child Slavery

Chocolate is a luxury many of us enjoy quite a lot. For years, I’ve been making a concerted effort to buy ‘Fair Trade Certified’ chocolate, coffee, tea and sugar with the aim of ensuring that producers around the world get a fair wage for the products they grow. Thus, you can imagine my horror when […]

Picturing Death: Photography as Activism

Talk about a powerful and heartbreaking form of activism. Taiwanese photographer, Tou Yun-Fei spent two years documenting last moments of stray dogs before they were scheduled to be put to death in shelters. 70% of dogs in shelters in Taiwan are killed within 12 days of arriving at the shelter.   In a formal portraiture style common in […]

Reflections on Religion and Activism

I had the opportunity about a month ago to read and review an amazing book for Our Hen House—Animals and World Religionsby Lisa Kemmerer (review was posted today). This book in many ways restored my faith in the potential of religion to make social change. When I was growing up, my relationship with religion involved a […]

Sharing Testimony: An Activist Project for Animals

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July. Here, we had fairly minimal animal freak outage, which was good. Maizy had a few moments where she hid under the table, and a few more where she took refuge hiding completely under a blanket on the couch. But otherwise, everyone seemed to survive […]

Will Potter in Portland, OR

I had the pleasure of going with Eric and my dad earlier this year to hear Will Potter speak at the lovely Elliott Bay Bookstore on Capital Hill in Seattle. The event at Elliott Bay was intimate and Potter was intelligent, thought-provoking and politically on point. Potter is a journalist whose latest book, Green is […]