Recently, marine biologist Daniel Pauly — a person whose work I greatly respect — wrote a piece about what the new, flashy Netflix documentary “Seaspiracy” got wrong.
While I agree with all his points, and this is not necessarily a response, I would like to really pull the light down on what I think a major point of the documentary was: fish can feel enough pain to warrant our not eating them if we have the option.
Have you ever thought about something so big that it seemed unfathomable, and maybe even unreal? Well, if so, you have likely encountered what is called a hyperobject. According to eco-philosopher Tim Morton, hyperobjects are those “…things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to human.”
I admit, it does sound a little complicated but it might sound familiar because humans are currently dealing with a dangerous hyperobject: climate change. A ‘thing’ of massive proportion that seems out of reach for us organism who live only a short 100 years if we are lucky.
So let’s talk more…
When I was a teenager, I really wanted to be a vegan.
I had become passionate about this from dissecting a squid (which made me think about meat) and then watching PETA videos. The animal websites I visited didn’t have to try hard to sell me on the message… I believed straight away that raising animals for slaughter couldn’t be right if there were healthier alternatives.
Someday I will be a vegan, I thought with a sigh while biting into one of Mom’s freshly baked brownies, which contained dairy and egg.
If 2021 Phoenix had a message for my earlier…
A couple of months ago, I signed the lease. A day later, I was handed the keys to my new place. It was a big step, but not really because of the move.
I reveled in this situation because for the first time in my life, I would be able to live in a completely vegan household. You see, my roommate Cam, a buddy from college, is vegan too. For months, we had fantasized about having our own place with plants in the window, oat milk in the fridge, Oreos in the cabinet, and Peter Singer on the bookshelf.
I wish I had found Challenge 22 sooner. How I’ve longed to directly engage with folks who want to go vegan and encourage them! Thanks to Chris Yun, @yungains on Instagram, I’ve finally been introduced to this amazing opportunity to facilitate an animal-friendly lifestyle.
An Israeli nonprofit started the challenge in 2014. How it works is that they host friendly private support groups on Facebook, where people try eating vegan for 22 days. Some of the groups are country-specific and others are international.
What separates Challenge 22 from a vegan starter kit or just joining a regular Facebook group is:
In the glazed eyes of society, some places are deemed more valuable than others.
When sacrifices are made — as they too often are — this notion leads to the destruction of locations that are less worthy: The National Parks are preserved, while the great-great-grandparent’s garden is rolled over. What’s often overlooked in these calculations are sentimental values. The relationships we build with locations are valuable because of the meaning they hold and the humanity that manifests when we preserve them.
In his essay “Buckeye” Scott Russel Sanders argues that recording these relationships gives places a particular type of importance…
How might we humans aid in nature’s rehabilitation after tragedy? A really neat article in Popular Science by Meera Subramanian gives us 5 accounts of nature and humans tag-teaming restoration.
Civilization is yet again at a crossroads. Change: either for better or worse.
Every year, scientists and other scholars from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists gather to discuss the current status of the world with a particular interest in world-ending activities. These officials determine whether or not the hands of the Doomsday Clock, which symbolizes how close were are to the apocalypse, should be moved closer or further from midnight. And midnight in this context is Doomsday.
This year’s statement from the Bulletin is crystal clear: we are 100 seconds from midnight.
Why? And, what should we do about…
Farming can be tough. Let’s say you are a farmer and your crop is being badly infested by squishy snails and/or ravaged by hungry grasshoppers. Not your lucky growing season, huh?
You just can’t get rid of the little pests eating up all your crop. What should you do? Before you reach for the car keys to run to the first farm supplier to grab liters of slug pellet or locusticide (yes, there are pesticides just for locusts in case you need them), wait. Have you tried ducks?
Yes, you read that right. Ducks — the quacking cure-all for pest…