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Remembering Molly Ivins

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I will not support Hillary Clinton for president
January 20, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas — I’d like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It’s about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, “Look, the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” Bobby Kennedy — rough, tough Bobby Kennedy — didn’t do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy’s sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush’s tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do “whatever it takes” to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Go read the whole thing here. Tributes abound ’round the internets; try here, and here, and here.

tweets for 2014-08-21

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

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Friday, January 31st, 2014

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Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Book Review: Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride & Joy, Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona (2009)

Monday, November 18th, 2013

The Kids Are Alright

five out of five stars

What would you do if you found out that your parents were evil? Not, like, run of the mill, parents gotta parent evil – putting the entire family on a diet because your younger brother has to make weight for football, for example, or siding with your klepto sister when she steals your favorite pair of shoes and then proceeds to cut you with one of them (both of which happened to yours truly and still burns some twenty years later) – but real life supervillains bent on world domination evil?

When Alex, Nico, Chase, Gert, Karolina, and Molly witness their parents murder a young woman during their annual get-together, they decide on the most reasonable option: report their “psycho ‘rents” to the police. Only problem is, the LAPD is in The Pride’s pocket – along with the rest of the city. As the sextet sets out to procure concrete evidence of their parents’ wrongdoing, they also embark on an unexpected journey of self-discovery: among their group hide unwitting aliens, mutants, prodigies, and even a prospective time-traveler with her very own pet velociraptor!

I scooped up the first volume of Runaways for a mere buck at a library book sale; ten pages in, and I was hooked. (Hey, you had me at vegan tempeh fajitas!) Fifteen pages, and I’d already ordered the next nine volumes in the set on eBay. (They can’t get here fast enough!) The characters are both believable and relatively diverse; four of the six protagonists are young women, and two are people of color. A little “chubby,” Gert is a welcome deviation from conventional beauty standards, and Molly’s age (at just eleven years old, she’s several years younger than her teenage cohorts) introduces a whole new set of coming of age issues to explore. (Indeed, one plot point hinges upon the confusion caused by Molly’s changing body, assumed to be the result of her first period.)

If this first volume is any indication, it also looks as though Runaways will explore such weighty issues as domestic (child) abuse, and the more general problem of reconciling a parent’s evil deeds with their outwardly “good” personae.

While the general consensus seems to be that the series takes a nosedive somewhere around Volume 9 (bummer!), I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the runaways.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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Sunday, October 20th, 2013

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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

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Thursday, February 21st, 2013

tweets for 2012-12-07

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Tell them stories! Also: vegan experts needed, VegListings, and shopping vegan on etsy.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Emma loves her Papa

Emma loves her papa!
CC image via flickr user Vegan Flower (Molly!).
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Hey there lovely people! I have a homework assignment for the dog people in the audience. Don’t worry, it’s short and kind of sweet and won’t distract from your holiday festivities. Dr. Frank McMillan at Best Friends Animal Society is studying human-nonhuman bonding and, as part of his background research, is soliciting stories of love and devotion from those who share their lives with dogs. How do you know that your dog friend loves you? The answer can be short or long-form, simple or multifaceted. Just TELL HIM STORIES! (Always quote His Dark Materials. ALWAYS!)

Here’s the call for submissions, which appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Best Friends magazine:

BEST FRIENDS NEEDS YOUR HELP

If you have a dog who expresses love toward you, we would like to hear your story.

In a very special new study, we are looking in-depth at the emotions of bonding and affection – love – shown by dogs toward their human companions. For background research, we would like to collect stories of dogs’ expressions of love. The story could be about a single incident of your dog’s show of love and devotion, or the ways your dog demonstrates love within your overall relationship. It could simply be an answer to the question: How do you know your dog loves you? If you would like to share your story, please email it to Dr. Frank McMillan at dr.frank@bestfriends.org.

You may recall that I’ve written about Dr. McMillan’s research previously in this here space; see, e.g. Scientists, Poets, Changemakers and Heroes (Volunteer Opportunities & Action Alerts). (Wow, has it been two years already?) Participating in vegan-friendly research projects such as this is an awesome and fun way to contribute to science. And easy, too!

Dr. McMillan posts notices of current research opportunities in Best Friends magazine, which comes “free” with a $25 donation to Best Friends. (We made a donation in Ozzy’s name for their annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony.) In the future, I’ll try to relay new notices as quickly as possible, for those who don’t get the magazine. Forgetting is easy, since a) I tend to let my subscription lapse and b) the notices are somewhat inconspicuous and easy to miss! But I’ll do better, I promise. This stuff is important, yo!

While we’re doing the bulletin board thing, joyful vegan goddess Colleen Patrick-Goudreau recently posted this notice on her FB page:

Call for vegan experts: I’m building a directory of everything from vegan wellness practitioners (chiropractors, acupuncturists, dietitians, naturopaths, nutritionists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, veterinarians) to vegan cooking class instructor and chefs. Wherever you are, if you are vegan and fall into any of the first categories, please email lisa@compassionatecooks.com so we can include you. If you teach cooking classes or have a catering company or are a personal chef, please email colleendavis@compassionatecooks.com. We need the city and state your in, your name, and your website! PLEASE PASS IT ON!

Also, VegListings is a newish directory for vegetarian and vegan businesses; it might come in handy for shoppers as well as business owners, especially with the holidays fast approaching! In the past I’ve put together social justice-themed buying guides; this year, I briefly considered compiling a list of vegan shops on etsy (love me some etsy!) – and then I stumbled upon the Vegan Etsy Team page, making my idea seem redundant.

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…and I hope you will too!

So go, browse, buy (if you can). If not, maybe you’ll be inspired to give gifts crafted by your own two hands this holiday season. It’s fun!

(Image via Herbivore, by way of Vegan Etsy.)

Update, 4/9/12: Due to a recent negative experience on the site, I’m afraid that I can no longer recommend etsy to my friends, family, and readers (and ESPECIALLY not for expensive and/or custom orders!). While the majority of transactions do go smoothly, don’t expect any help from etsy’s customer service on those rare occasions when you have a problem with a seller. Seriously, they were a nightmare to work with – worse even than the seller who never delivered on my custom order, even after six months of haggling.

That said, I still love and support the many vegan storefronts on etsy, and will continue patronizing those that have a presence elsewhere on the web.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins for the Birthday Boy

Monday, October 10th, 2011

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Ralphie! Everyone’s favorite one-eyed wiener dog turns fourteen years old today! FOURTEEN! He’s not old, he’s distinguished. Doubly so with all these surgical scars and skin tags and patches of missing fur. His motto? “Bitches dig scars.”

Hey, Rennie can’t get enough.

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(Note peeping Peedee off in the background. Pervert! Nevermind that I’m photographing their intimate moment.)

Rolling with the weather, we celebrated his birthday a wee bit early this year. On Friday, I baked him a batch of Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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and made him dress up in a silly hat -

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but not before he got the first taste of his pre-birthday treat.

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(The other six canines were pitching a fit, locked in the house away from mom and her nomz. I think Ralphie enjoyed that as well – almost as much as the muffins!)

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Is there another way to win a maiden? | Kindness, courtesy, good works, that sort of thing.

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Still fro The Last Unicorn

“What can I do for you?” Prince Lír asked. “Nothing very much just now,” Molly Grue said. “The water was all I needed. Unless you want to peel the potatoes, which would be all right with me.”

“No, I didn’t mean that. I mean yes, I will if you want me to, but I was talking to her. I mean, when I talk to her, that’s what I keep asking.”

“Sit down and peel me a few potatoes,” Molly said. “It’ll give you something to do with your hands.”

They were in the scullery, a dank little room smelling strongly of rotting turnips and fermenting beets. A dozen earthenware dishes were piled in one corner, and a very small fire was shivering under a tripod, trying to boil a large pot of gray water. Molly sat at a rude table which was covered with potatoes, leeks, onions, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables, most of them limp and spotty. Prince Lír stood before her, rocking slowly along his feet and twisting his big, soft fingers together.

“I killed another dragon this morning,” he said presently.

“That’s nice,” Molly answered. “That’s fine. How many does that make now?”

“Five. This one was smaller than the others, but it really gave me more trouble. I couldn’t get near it on foot, so I had to go in with the lance, and my horse got pretty badly burned. It was funny about the horse —”

Molly interrupted him. “Sit down, Your Highness, and stop doing that. I start to twitch all over just watching you.” Prince Lír sat down opposite her. He drew a dagger from his belt and moodily began peeling potatoes. Molly regarded him with a slight, slow smile.

“I brought her the head,” he said. “She was in her chamber, as she usually is. I dragged that head all the way up the stairs to lay it at her feet.” He sighed, and nicked his finger with the dagger. “Damn. I didn’t mind that. All the way up the stairs it was a dragon’s head, the proudest gift anyone can give anyone. But when she looked at it, suddenly it became a sad, battered mess of scales and horns, gristly tongue, bloody eyes. I felt like some country butcher who had brought his lass a nice chunk of fresh meat as a token of his love. And then she looked at me, and I was sorry I had killed the thing. Sorry for killing a dragon!” He slashed at a rubbery potato and wounded himself again.

- Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn (1968)

vegan v-day miscellany

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

So I know I’m a few days early, but for Valentines Day I made a double batch of Pink Pooch biscuits for my dog loves! Bone- and heart-shaped, natch:

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I mostly followed Molly’s recipe, but subbed in cranberry sauce for beets, since I didn’t have any on hand. (Also: a few added tablespoons of raspberry jam for extra coloring.) It took a bit of kneading before the jellied sauce was fully integrated into the dough, but once it was mixed in, it gave the biscuits a nice pinkish-purplish hue.

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The color faded a bit upon baking, but luckily the dogs don’t seem to mind!

For the heart-shaped biscuits, I just used regular Valentines Day cookie cutters that are available in most box stores this time of the year. The larger hearts are obviously too big for my little guys and gals to handle with ease, so I cut ‘em in half, all jagged-like, before baking. I told Kaylee that that’s what she does to my heart every night when she refuses to cuddle with me in bed, but I don’t think she got the hint. Either that, or she’s just acting obtuse. She can be crafty, that one (and especially where food is concerned), so I wouldn’t put it past her. Harumph.

In other v-day news, I temporarily bumped this post – originally published two years ago – up to the front page in honor of the occasion. (I admit it – I love all the photos of gratuitous canine canoodling!) As has been the custom for several years now, I still plan on “tossing Valentines Day to the dogs.” The weather is supposed to warm considerably next week, and I hope to spend all my free time outside, soaking in the sun’s depression-busting rays, out-speed walking the winter blues, BDFs (best dog friends) at my side.

Whatever your plans for v-day, make them as cruelty-free as possible, mkay? If you’re still shopping around for edible goodies, please use the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List as a guide. Better yet, give your sweetie some handcrafted sweets, made by you with love (and vegan, fair trade chocolate, of course!). May I suggest peanut butter cups, coconut bonbons, rocky road bark, or chocolate covered pretzels? Or perhaps some chocolate-shaped vulvas for the vegan feminist in your life? (Oooh, me me! Pick me!)

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Friday Food (on a Thursday Holiday): Season Finale!

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Friday Food…on a Thursday, you ask? Yes, ma’am! I shall be too busy chowing down on frozen pizza and pie – not to mention catching up on The Walking Dead – to bother with a “real” post today. And it’s the veganmofo Friday Food Season Finale, at that. How exciting!

(Seriously, the husband and I are opting/lazing out of the traditional Tofurky and mashed potato feast this year. But feel free to visit ghosts of meals past, mkay? See, e.g., 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.)

Whether you choose to observe the holiday or not, may your Thanksgiving day be a gentle one, friends.

 

Feed the Turkeys ceremony at Animal Acres Thanksgiving!
They got pies, salad, and stuffed squash!
CC image via Flickr user prideandvegudice.
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Food, delicious food!

Caramel Apple Pie from Apryl Knight @ Vegan Etsy

Vegan Lemon Bars from I Eat Trees

Chocolate Chestnut Tart from The New Vegan Table

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips from Manifest Vegan

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from Cooking at the Pacific Outpost

Cornbread Casserole, Dirty Dumpling Soup and Coconut Fudge from bite me, I’m vegan.

Smokey Maple BBQ Beans from Vegan Guinea Pig

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes from Sweet Treats and Vegan Eats

Hindbærsnitter from Seglare in Copenhagen

Lentil Walnut Pate Lettuce Wraps from thefrenchvegan

Garlic-Glazed Green Beans and Candied Sweet Potatoes from the vegan crew

Thousand Island Dressing from Our Veggie Kitchen

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Decadent Delight Muffins for a One-eyed Wiener Dog (Also: A Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole for His Humans)

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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A freshly baked (quarter-) batch of Molly’s Decadent Delight Muffins sits on a small plate, behind which lurks two identical, plush reddish-brown wiener dogs. Only, the dog on the right is missing one eye (his right one, even!), along with the tip of his nose. One of the first three adopted dog-kids – Ralphie, Peedee or O-Ren – chewed them off years ago. Do we have a psychic in the pack, perchance?
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Friday night, I made a batch of Decadent Delight Muffins (recipe via Molly @ It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life – the meeter of at least 75% of my dog treat recipe needs!) for the dog-kids. I wanted to pamper them a little bit, since we had an especially rough week. But first treats, then kvetching!

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Perched on the back of the couch, Rennie stares into the kitchen, entranced by the unbaked muffins sitting on the countertop.
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Packed with flax seeds, shredded carrots, natural peanut butter and freshly made (somewhat fortuitously, as I just so happened to be brewing the final batch of the season) applesauce, these muffins are both healthy and delicious. (And vegan!) I much prefer baking my own dog treats over buying commercial brands because I know exactly what goes into each batch. Plus, they’re really very easy to make and store well in the freezer, if need be. (With five dogs, treats are eaten up pretty quickly round these parts!) Of course, the dogs also enjoy licking the spoons and bowls. And what better way to a dog’s heart than through her stomach? Five paws up!

Okay, so enough of the muffins. Let’s move on to the one-eyed wiener dog, shall we?

To Ralphie

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Ralphie.

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VeganMoFo, Day 10: Shiny happy birthday treats!

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

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That’s right, we have another canine birthday in the house! Ralphie, our first-born dog-kid, turned 12 years old today. That’s 69 in dachshund years, he’ll have you know.

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He doesn’t look a day over 55, I tell you what.

Normally, I would have spent the day outside with the old boy, letting him walk me ’round the neighborhood, or watching on as he digs for buried treasure (read: carcasses) and whatnot, but he’s on house arrest for the time being. The vet hacked him up good on Thursday, removing a bunch of lymphomas lipomas (!*) (floating fatty deposits, so fun to poke and prod and play with!), cysts, and miscellaneous gross body growths. This is all old hat for him – he’s already had a few (two? three? four? I lose track.) lymphomas lipomas removed previously, but they just keep springing up in the same spot – serendipitously located in his right “armpit,” right where his harness runs under his leg. Once they grow to the size of a large grape, it’s time for another round of slicing and dicing and teeth cleaning.

Even so, this was by far the most growths he’s had removed at once, and I wasn’t at all prepared for the Frankendog who returned home after a day at the veterinarian’s:

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It’s hard to make out in these photos (or any one photo, for that matter – so extensive are his injuries!), but Ralphie’s got sutures on his head, under one ear, and on the side of his neck, in addition to the several obvious cuts on his (Buddha) belly. He’s taken it all in stride, though he’s a bit miffed that we won’t let him go outside and dig in the mud. Damn fascists!

(More below the fold…)

VeganMoFo, Day 1: Birthday Muffins for Kaylee & Jayne (& Ralphie & Peedee & Rennie!)

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Kaylee & Jayne Birthday/Adoption Day Mashup 01

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Yesterday we celebrated Kaylee (11) and Jayne’s (5) birthdays, as well as the three-year anniversary of their adoption. Whereas Ralphie and Peedee were owner surrenders with known DOBs, all of the girls are ex-strays, so we’ve really no idea how old they are. Instead of pulling birthdays out of thin air, we celebrate Kaylee, Jayne and O-Ren’s birthdays on the days of their adoption. This means the girls are cheated out of a second “special day” every year – which is why I try to make their celebrations extra-special!

I really, really wanted to make Kaylee and Jayne a birthday cake – ganache, anyone? – but alas, I haven’t been able to find vegan carob chips or carob powder locally, so no luck there. My backup plan worked out beautifully though: I made a batch of mini-muffins using Molly’s Apple Cinnamon Muffin recipe, and topped them off with a “frosting” of blended silken tofu and peanut butter.

Here are the muffins, sans frosting:

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and frosted:

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The ridiculously cute embroidered placemats in the background, by the way, were a gift from my aunt (last x-mas, perhaps? I forget.). She made one for each of our six nonhuman animal kids; the front of each features a species-appropriate pattern, and the animal’s name is on the back. Naturally, the dogs’ mats are shaped like bones, whereas Ozzy gets the sole fish. I think she thinks I didn’t like the gift because I don’t actually use them as placemats for the animals’ food – but I love them so much that there’s no freaking way I’d risk staining them! (So if you’re reading, Aunt Cindy, there ya go!)

Anyway, back to those muffins. Mostly I followed Molly’s lead, with the following modifications:

- I substituted vanilla soy milk for the water; and

- I didn’t have any flax or hemp seeds, so I used a flax/nut/seed combo from Matilda’s Kitchen Flax & Company.

My initial impulse was to frost the muffins with peanut butter, but I decided to blend the pb with a brick of silken tofu in order to water down the fat content a bit. The recipe is pretty simple:

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The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 20

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

FYI: the polls are open on Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere Survey!

Over the years, Technorati has been tracking the State of the Blogosphere. Our annual study investigates how blogging is growing and changing, as well as its impacts on current events and the bottom lines of businesses and bloggers. Please share your perspective by participating in our survey.

We think you’ll find the survey interesting. It should take just 15 minutes of your time, and of course your answers will be completely confidential. Please feel free to send this link to other bloggers you know. And be sure to check back on Technorati in October for a summary of the results.

Please take a minute – okay, ten or fifteen – to complete the survey. Vegan bloggers represent!

Also, Molly of It’s A Vegan Dog’s Life has launched a sister blog, It’s A Vegan Dog’s World, in order to

show others that it’s possible for dogs to live happy, healthy vegan lives while giving your dog a chance to be in the spotlight.

If you know a vegan dog, share your friend’s story here.

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Campaign for America’s Wilderness: Ask Sec. Vilsack to Uphold Roadless Rule

Center for Biological Diversity: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: No More Coal

DawnWatch: “Killing Wolves for Fun” — fun NY Times columns 9/9/09

DawnWatch: Wolves, elephants and glorious dolphin news 9/4/09

Defenders of Wildlife: Help Save Sea Otters and Other Wildlife from Dirty Drilling

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): Finally! A Chained Dog Abuse Case in Pennsylvania Goes as it Should when Dogs Deserve Better and Pennsylvania SPCA Team Up to Save Four Neglected Chained and Penned Dogs near Tyrone, PA

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): Billboard Campaign

Earthjustice: No Drilling in America’s Arctic!

Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal: Questioning World Bank Palm Oil Funding and Forest Carbon Finance in Indonesia

Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal: Join Borneo’s Penan Indigenous Peoples in Standing up to Malaysian Rainforest Destruction

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