Wisdom, wonder and the nature of creation

BC_WisdomandWonder_Shadow

I should know better than to volunteer to read and reflect on a book written by an historically renowned theologan. I usually take my theology with two dog biscuits and a pot of tea.But when offered the chance to reflect on "Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art" by Abraham Kuyper, I raised my hand before I realized what a challenge it would be.Not intellectually challenging. Despite my "aw shucks, I'm a dummy" attitude, I'm actually a college educated, deep thinker. … [Read more...]

Meat consumption down, fur sales up?

This is a mink. Someday he'll become a coat. And maybe some lipstick. (Photo credit Jesper Clausen/Fur Commission USA)

Last week, I stumbled upon an editorial New York Times' columnist Mark Bittman did for American Public Media's Marketplace questioning whether America is still the land of "meat and potatoes". In the commentary, Bittman cited a Department of Agriculture statistic that predicted meat consumption in America will be 12 percent less for 2012 than it was in 2007.I've been mulling that over for the last week as I contemplated why that might be - more people aware of their food choices? Meat too exp … [Read more...]

Romney’s son follows “Crate Gate” with another pet that “rides outside”?

romneyfish5

I told you this week about the story of Mitt Romney and "Crate Gate," the 30-year-old story about a family trip where Seamus, the family dog, was forced to ride on the roof in a carrier.Several people have asked me if maybe it was time to forget about the story, given that it happened 30 years ago. I think that if there was a sense that Romney realized that making a dog ride for 12 hours strapped to the roof of a car was a bad way to treat an animal, then yes, I would say it's time to … [Read more...]

If dogs think and feel, do aversive training techniques cause harm?

"It's better to be hurt by someone you know, accidentally, than by a stranger, on purpose." - Dwight K Schrute, "The Office" Oh boy. Dog trainers are butting heads again over a post on Ruth Crisler's blog, called "Undo Temperance." Butting heads figuratively, of course. Because we don't want to ever butt heads literally. That would be aversive. Although if I understand Crisler's post, she's not opposed to an occasional aversive head butt.But I could be misreading the whole thing. In which … [Read more...]

New Year’s resolutions for animal lovers: #3 – Be a better pet owner

Scout hates going to the vet, so we make it fun by playing "catch the bubbles" until the doctor comes in. Make the visit a game!

As we continue to talk about ways we can make 2012 a better year for our animal friends - or "anipals" - here's #3: resolve to be a better pet owner.I know that in my lifetime of having dogs, I've been a good, responsible dog owner - and a terrible dog owner. I confess I had the dog that ran the neighborhood. I didn't always pick up poop. But twenty or thirty years later, I've learned more about my four legged friends and quite honestly I'm embarrassed and ashamed at the way I treated … [Read more...]

New Year’s resolutions for animal lovers: #1 – Think before you eat

This is where your bacon comes from.(photo FarmSanctuary.org)

As 2011 comes to a close, you're probably making a few New Year's resolutions. Lose weight, exercise, stop smoking, the same old, same old.If you're an animal lover, how about making a resolution that'll benefit both you and your favorite animals? This week, we'll look at 5 resolutions that are perfect for animal lovers. Since yesterday was a holiday (translation: I didn't get off the couch all day) we'll do two today and one every day for the rest of the week.Our first resolution: Think … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: animal welfare and the church

"Still, there is a growing awareness that how we treat animals is a measure of our own humanity—that violence inflicted on animals is inexorably linked to human-against-human violence, that compassion is a big enough idea to encompass animals as well as humans." Christine Gutleben,  senior director of the Faith Outreach program of The Humane Society of the United States, in a piece about animal welfare and the church … [Read more...]

Deer hitch a ride on Alaskan fishing charter (photos)

Photos of these deer hitching a ride on an Alaskan fishing boat are making the rounds on Facebook.

Photos of these deer hitching a ride on an Alaskan fishing boat are making the rounds on Facebook.I love when stories make the rounds on Facebook, because they're often very inspiring. But oftentimes they're not completely true. The latest story making the rounds is about four deer who hitched a ride on an Alaskan fishing boat. True story, but not recent.It was October 2010 when captain Tom Satre, along with his daughter Anna Satre, brother Tim Satre and sister Sharon Kelly, were … [Read more...]

Year-End Study Names 2011′s “Five Best States to be an Animal Abuser” (Where does your state rank?)

The best and worst states for animal abuse laws

The Animal Legal Defense Fund this week released its annual report ranking animal cruelty laws across the nation, and according to the report Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota are the five best states in the country to be an animal abuser.Based on a detailed comparative analysis of more than 4,000 pages of statutes, tracking fourteen broad categories of provisions, the report recognizes the states where animal law has real teeth and calls out those like Kentucky – the s … [Read more...]

Streams of contentment and lessons learned from animals

streamsofcontentment

In the classic song, “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” John Denver sang, “Life on the farm is kinda laid back”; I’ve always wondered what he meant by that. I visited a dairy farm once and believe me, the amount of work needed to feed, milk, and otherwise care for cows and then get the milk to processing was certainly not laid back. It was arduous to the nth degree.Now that I'm older, I realize Denver wasn't talking about the physical life on the farm in that famous song, but instead the mental a … [Read more...]


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