This is an email from Love Me, Tenderly, a newsletter by Tenderly.

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Louis Renard, from These Fantastical 300-Year-Old Marine Life Drawings Will Blow Your Goggles Off

Friends of Tenderly,

As the U.S. and many other countries pass the six month mark of the Coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns and quarantine measures impacting our lives in myriad ways, many of us seem to be hitting a wall. Add to that the tension of living under an increasingly openly fascist leader who is threatening the legitimacy of an election that is now weeks away, and you have a recipe for total meltdown. Pour some “genuine terror about the future of reproductive rights” on that meltdown like lighter fluid and watch yourself burst into flames!

This week’s newsletter is coming at you late 🌚 (hello fellow night owls) and is going to be a quickie, because, well, see above. Seems like many of us are all feeling some kind of way, which is why I’m so glad that yesterday was the 21st of September.

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Photo: Gadi Shmila, from 33 Stunning Photos That Show the Delicate Beauty of Birds

Behold the breathtaking winners of the 2020 Bird Photographer of the Year competition, chosen from among 15,000 entries from over 60 countries. These photos celebrate “avian beauty and diversity” and are an incredible reminder of the vast richness of life out there.

Read Arabella’s vital, personal new essay about coming to veganism through disordered eating, and how conflating veganism with weight loss dieting is damaging to humans and other animals. She writes:

Diet culture is intrinsically linked to racism, sexism, and fatphobia. Since the values of veganism include abolishing oppression in all forms and advocating for the freedom of all beings, vegans should logically be fighting against diet culture as well, instead of trying to make veganism fit inside a toxic system of beliefs.

Micro-photographer Thorben Danke captures insects on their level to show how beautiful and striking they can be, and as a way to provoke interest and passion about the fate of their species, many of whom are threatened with extinction, and who are an integral part of the ecosystem that keeps our entire planet healthy and alive.

Recipes for the Past, Ethics for the Future is a new entry in Alicia’s essential series of vintage vegetarian cookbook reviews, this one on 1968’s Meatless Cooking: Pegeen’s Vegetarian Recipes. The book’s recipes are best left in the past, but the author’s ethical thinking is still refreshing.

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Laura shared her new animal aphorisms, which serve as simple and wise words to live by and possibly future cliches-to-be.

As pictured above, publisher Louis Renard’s 300-year-old aquatic life drawings are out of this world. 🐟🐠🐡

If you make mistakes, it’s fine. Just learn from it, and pick yourself up again. I know a lot of people who are super hard on themselves if they break vegan — like, “What’s the point, I’m a disgrace to vegans,” all of that. I see a lot of people who fall off the wagon because they make a mistake. But honestly, as long as you’re always trying, even if you’re not 100% vegan, if you’re 80% plant-based but always working towards that goal — every little change does make a difference.

— From Casey’s new interview with Lisa Le of the Viet Vegan!

Cop these simple recipes for staples you can make at home instead of buying them at the store, saving money and waste — from kimchi to cleaner!

An autobiography in awkward animal activism anecdotes (can you say that five times fast?) — and what you can learn from your mistakes when you’re passionate about doing the most you can

Pour yourself a chaotic drink — the only kind of drink this time in our lives deserves. Laura’s latest Bartenderly trio includes a champagne-Guinness cocktail (!), a rum-vermouth mashup (!!), and a non-alcoholic option for those of us turning primarily to caffeine (sip of my night coffee, anyone?).

As the world has been shaken by grief in so many big and small ways, I have thought often of a piece we published just a few weeks before things got bad — a very personal story about the loss of a soulmate, coping with grief, and, well, Star Wars. I lost my own soulcat last year and found so much comfort in Iselin Gambert’s reflections on her Cubbie.

I didn’t set out to adopt an Emotional Support Animal when I brought Cubbie home, but the truth is that in the decade we shared, he was without question my biggest source of unending, unwavering, unconditional love, support, and presence.

Presence. It’s one of those slippery things that feels mundane when you’re in the midst of it but more precious than diamond when it’s gone. To be loved by Cubbie was to take a master class in the art of presence: he never had anywhere else to go, or anything else to do, or anyone else with whom he’d rather be. Can you say that about a single human being you have ever known?

From the moment we met, Cubbie’s presence pierced through the darkness and illuminated the space between us and around us. He was my companion in life in big ways and small, clocking thousands of hours by my side, and on my lap.

In conclusion, a message from our friend Delicious Bradley:

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It means a lot to me that you choose to follow Tenderly and we are always working to make it worth your time — if you have requests, ideas, or kindly-worded critique, you can reply to this email to reach me. Take care of yourself and each other!

— Summer Anne Burton, Editor-in-Chief of Tenderly

Written by

Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tenderly. Former BuzzFeed exec. Moomin. Texan. Vegan for the animals. 💕

By Tenderly

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