On the morning of Saturday, July 4th, one day before we were scheduled to welcome our five rescued cows to VeganLand, we arrived to discover that eight of the condemned cows who graze on our neighbor’s land had somehow made their way onto our property.
Our first thought was that we must have left a gate open, but a quick look revealed they were all closed.
We could hear their herd mates calling from the field next door, and as we tried to understand how they had managed to get through, eight dispirited and mistrustful mothers stood staring back at us, with what we confirmed, in retrospect, was accusation in their eyes. …
A number of years back, while staying in my home town of Wellington, New Zealand, I visited an historic house constructed in the 1800s. The ‘Colonial Cottage’ had housed children and grandchildren of the original settlers who built it, until it was bequeathed to the city in the 1960s.
As we came down a set of narrow steps and through an old wooden door, our guide informed us that we were now stepping into the ‘wet kitchen’. …
A few days ago, I heard someone I love very dearly letting out a sneeze.
It was a glorious, bright-blue-sky, beautifully sunny day; not at all the kind of day when the coronavirus would dare to come around, and certainly not a day when it would dare to come near anyone I loved. Certainly not my 83-year-old very dear friend who also happens to be afflicted with an underlying heart condition that almost killed him after coming to light when he suffered through a bout of pneumonia two years ago.
Depending on who we are, our utterance of the words bless you or gesundheit (health) in response to a sneeze can be anything from a reflex reaction, to a throwaway courtesy, to something almost comical. …
Life begins the day you start a garden.
— Chinese proverb
After the death of my paternal grandmother in 2009, my aunt asked me if there were any of Nana’s belongings that I would like to have as my own. There was only one item that came to mind, and that was a framed embroidery that used to sit on her mantle. …
It is with a sad heart that I take up my pen to write this little note to you — sad because I feel you are grieving for me and this you must not do.
So wrote my grandmother on September 4th, 1972, in a letter to the mother of her husband, one week after his death at only 54 years of age.
It is hard for us to even try to understand why these things happen — all who knew Tom seem terribly stunned even as I was. …
“Strange times, huh?” I said to the bank teller, as we said our goodbyes.
She has been my favorite teller at our local credit union since I was unexpectedly moved by a thoughtful inquiry she once made as to the wellbeing of someone I care for. This was over a year ago now, when I had accompanied a dear friend into the branch in an attempt to help him navigate a world of mundanities that had previously been managed by his newly deceased wife of 52 years.
I can’t remember exactly why, but it was some peculiar red tape issue that had obligated my friend to visit the branch only a few days after his wife’s passing. I don’t know that he had ever gone in since the day they had opened the account together, and here we were trying to explain to the teller that he had no knowledge, whatsoever, of how to access his money. …
“pertaining to the animal kingdom” (as opposed to vegetable or mineral)
“any sentient living creature” (including humans)
Less than 24 hours after Joaquin Phoenix took the stage to accept his well-deserved (and long overdue) award, the internet was alive with commentary about what was, without a doubt, a cultural moment worthy of our attention.
Given Joaquin’s history, it’s possible that Big Dairy might have seen it coming. Practices such as forced insemination and separation of mother from baby are fundamental to their continued existence and, as evidence of these dreadful facts continues to come to light, it seems the best they can do is try and convince us that it’s all “for the protection of the animals” and that, (quite in defiance of evolutionary principles) cows used for dairy are, conveniently, the only mammal that lacks any maternal instinct. …