Book Review: Orphans of the Carnival, Carol Birch (2016)

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Fell a little short of my expectations.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for ableist language.)

She heard a wag in the audience say, “It’s a chimpanzee in a dress!”

Someone shouted, “Loup garou!” She laughed. Her eyes twinkled, her smile was genuine. Now that she was on, she didn’t feel so bad. I’m looking at you, she thought. You are looking at me. And you’re paying.

Funny. After all this time he could still get lost in looking, just looking at her. Marie didn’t have that. Her face, though hairy enough, was completely human. With Julia, you did wonder.

Julia Pastrana was a singer/dancer/musician/actress/all-around performer who lived in the 19th century. The details of her early life are sketchy. An indigenous Mexican born in a small village in the state of Sinaloa in 1834, Julia was raised in the household of Pedro Sanchez, who briefly served as the governor of Sinaloa. Here she was trained as a mezzo soprano and dancer, and also became fluent in Spanish, English, and French, in addition to her native Cáhita. In 1854, she was sold to Francisco Sepúlveda, a customs official in Mazatlán, and was brought to America, where she toured under the management of J.W. Beach and Theodore Lent. She and Lent eloped not long after, and they toured Europe together. Their first baby was born in Moscow in March 1860, but lived only three days. Julia died five days later of “postpartum complications.”

Julia was born with a rare genetic condition called generalized hypertrichosis lanuguinosa, which caused thick black hair to grow all over her body, as well as severe gingival hyperplasia, which resulted in an overdeveloped jaw and thickened lips and gums. She was variously billed as a “Bear Woman”; a human-ape hybrid; and the offspring of an orangutan and a human.

After Julia’s death, Lent arranged to have his wife and son’s bodies preserved by Professor Sukolov of Moscow University. He displayed the mummies in a glass cabinet and toured with their remains for years. Lent found another woman with features similar to Julia’s and remarried. He reinvented Mrs. Theodore Lent: Version 2.0 as Zenora Pastrana, sister of the late Julia Pastrana, and added her to the tour. The show made him a wealthy man. He may or may not have been committed to an asylum in Russia, where he died in 1884.

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Book Review: Little Nothing, Marisa Silver (2016)

Monday, November 7th, 2016

If you can embrace the weird, this is one lovely and amazing story.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including child abuse and rape.)

Pavla revels in her name because she knows that if nothing is little, then it must be something indeed.

“You’re the one who said all time exists,” Danilo says. “The past exists. The future exists.”

It’s true. She did say this. And she does somehow believe that what has happened to her and what will happen to her exist simultaneously, that the story is already written but not yet told. She must be like someone in one of her mother’s stories who has existed for centuries of telling and will exist even after her mother is gone. How else to explain her life? As something random?

“I’m sorry it has taken so long for us to come,” he hears himself say.

Pavla Janáček is born at the turn of the century in a rural village located in a small, unnamed (but likely Slavic) country. She arrives in the twilight of her parents’ lives: after much trying and four miscarriages, mother Agáta finally enlisted the help a “gypsy.” She believes that Pavla’s “condition” is a punishment from God for her blasphemy. Pavla is born a dwarf, with a head that’s too large for her torso and arms and legs that are disproportionately short.

The chilly reception Pavla initially receives from Agáta gradually warms and deepens, as mother and daughter are forced into close proximity by the harsh winter weather. With spring comes love; Pavla is the child Agáta and Václav have always wanted. She ages, but grows precious little; she continues to sleep in her crib for the next fourteen years. She’s a precocious child and a fast learner; she teaches herself to count using the slats on her crib and, when she turns seven, Václav takes her on as his assistant at his plumbing business. She starts school a year later, where her cunning eventually wins over her classmates.

And then Pavla hits puberty and her parents get the foolish notion to “fix” her: for what will happen to their lovely daughter (and Pavla is indeed a beauty, ‘from the neck up’) when they’re gone? They begin dragging her from doctor to doctor, hoping for a miracle cure, until they wind up in the office of the biggest charlatan of them all: Dr. Ignác Smetanka, whose outlandish and cruel “treatments” leaved Pavla scarred, traumatized – and bearing the countenance of a wolf, seemingly overnight. But the transformation from dwarf to (average-sized) wolf-girl won’t be the only metamorphosis Pavla experiences before her story’s ended.

Pavla’s strange journey intersects at multiple points and in unexpected ways with that of Dr. Smetanka’s young assistant Danilo – the clever boy who built the rack that once again made Pavla an object of shame and terror.

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Book Review: Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, H.P. Wood (2016)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

An Entertaining Coney Island Mystery With a Side of Social Commentary

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for racist/sexist/ableist language and sexual harassment.)

May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.

Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.

Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder’s is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.

But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.

(Synopsis via Goodreads.)

Everything about the Cabinet is grimy and fusty and strange. Nazan smiles. It’s everything she’d hoped it would be. It’s perfect.

Along the street comes the clip-clop of distraction. Spencer recognizes the tinkling bells of Children’s Delight—a portable fourseater carousel pulled along by a fine white horse. The Children’s Delight was such a part of his childhood; he and Charlie used to search for it on every family visit to Coney. What a relief that some things never change. And yet. A young girl with pigtails, no more than ten years old, sits atop the cart. It is packed with corpses.

2015 saw the publication of so many wonderful carnival- and circus-themed novels that part of (me the bookish part) was sad to see the year end. There was Kristy Logan’s The Gracekeepers, in which North and her bear cub traverse the sea (which now covers most of the planet) with their circus troupe on the Excalibur. Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels follows Coney Island sideshow performer Odile Church as she travels to Manhattan in search of her sister, who fled The Church of Marvels when it burned to the ground, taking the sisters’ mother – and their livelihood – with them. In The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler weaves an imaginative tale about a librarian named Simon who comes into possession of an old book – a circus ledger dating back to the 1700s. Only by unraveling its secrets can he lift the curse that’s plagued his family for generations. And then there’s Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers, a retelling of Romeo & Juliet featuring two rival families of performers, the Palomas (mermaids) and Corbeaus (tightrope walkers/tree climbers). Last but not least is Rachel Vincent’s Menagerie, an “accidentally vegan” tale that features cryptids, hybrids, and shapeshifters, which quickly became an all-time favorite.

While this year doesn’t seem quite as rife with carnies and “freaks,” I was overjoyed to see early copies of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Woods and Juliette Fay’s The Tumbling Turner Sisters on NetGalley. I’m also eagerly anticipating the release of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval in early 2017.

Anyway, the point is that I have a soft spot for stories starring circus performers, and H.P. Wood’s Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet is a welcome addition to the genre. Of all the books I mentioned, it shares the most in common with Church of Marvels: set in a similar time period (1895), it too features a distraught young woman scouring New York City for a missing loved one in the wake of a personal tragedy.

Set in 1904, Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet involves an outbreak of the pneumonic plague, a pack of wayward leopards, a mysteriously vanished Englishwoman, and a corporate and political conspiracy. At the center of it all is Theophilus P. Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a dime museum located on the “wrong end” of Coney Island. While the dusty old museum doesn’t see much traffic, the basement bar known as Magruder’s Unusual Tavern serves as a gathering place for Coney Island’s extended family of “freaks” – or Unusuals, as they like to call themselves. (By the same taken, “normal” people are “Dozens” – as in “a dime a.”) When Unusuals and Dozens alike start dropping like flies, Magruder’s becomes the base of operations – and, when the quarantine threatens to rip Coney Island apart, Magruder’s is their last stand.

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Mini-Review: The Mermaid Girl: A Story, Erika Swyler (2016)

Friday, May 27th, 2016

A short prequel story to The Book of Speculation.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free ebook for review through NetGalley.)

The problem with stealing the magician’s assistant from a carnival was that you were always waiting for her to disappear. […]

The problem with marrying the mermaid girl from the carnival was knowing that one day she’d swim away.

— 3.5 stars —

Simon and his younger sister Enola were just kids when their mother drowned. A former circus performer – a mermaid, in fact – Paulina bid her children farewell one day, walked the steps from their crumbling, 1700s colonial house down to the beach, and continued right on into the Atlantic Ocean.

Years later, Simon – now a librarian at Napawset library – comes into possession of a mysterious ledger dating back to the 1700s. His grandmother’s name, written all the way in the back, sets him on a journey through his family’s past – seemingly set on a collision course with Enola’s future. Simon makes a sinister discovery: all of the women in his matrilineal line die. They die young, but not before having a daughter; they die of drowning, even though all are mermaids; and they die of apparent suicides, even where no clear history of mental illness exists. Most shockingly of all, they all perish in the same way on the same day: July 24th.

The story begins in late June, and Enola has just announced that she’s returning home after a six-year absence.

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Book Review: Menagerie, Rachel Vincent (2015)

Monday, September 28th, 2015

“I deal in morality, not in law.”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for rape and other forms of violence.)

“She won’t serve her dish cold,” the oracle mumbled, almost giddy with joy as chill bumps rose all over her skin. “And two graves won’t be near enough…”

What was I, if I had no name, no friends, no family, no job, no home, no belongings, and no authority over my own body? What could I be?

In a sudden surreal moment of epiphany, I realized I was incubating not a child, but a cause.

The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? – Jeremy Bentham

I have a curious affinity for circus stories: tales that unfold under the Big Top, or books starring carnival performers. Thus far 2015 has been a great year to be a fan of such stories. Kirsty Logan imagines a world vastly transformed by climate change in The Gracekeepers. After her parents were mauled to death by the captive bear featured in their act, North was forced to take up their show, alone – save for the bear’s cub, North’s only companion. Two orphans, traveling the world with the floating circus troupe known as Excalibur. Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels follows Coney Island sideshow performer Odile Church as she travels to Manhattan in search of her sister, who fled The Church of Marvels when it burned to the ground, taking the sisters’ mother – and their livelihood – with them. In The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler weaves an imaginative tale about a librarian named Simon who comes into possession of an old book – a circus ledger dating back to the 1700s. Only by unraveling its secrets can he lift the curse that’s plagued his family for generations. And then there’s Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers – which I’m currently a quarter of the way into – a retelling of Romeo & Juliet featuring two rival families of performers, the Palomas (mermaids) and Corbeaus (tightrope walkers/tree climbers). There’s also The Wanderers, by Kate Ormand, which I didn’t enjoy nearly as much (I DNF’ed at 41%), but I’ll get to that one in a moment.

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Book Review: The Weight of Feathers, Anna-Marie McLemore (2015)

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

A magical retelling of Romeo & Juliet – and with a much more satisfying ending, at that!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including domestic abuse, as well as rape.)

The rain on her dress and his shirt would stick them to each other, dissolve the skin between them, until their veins tangled like roots, and they breathed together, one scaled and dark-feathered thing.

Lace’s first encounter with Cluck is in the parking lot of a convenience store located on the outskirts of Almendro, California, a sleepy little town. Three of her cousins are attacking Cluck, pummeling him with their fists and feet, for no reason other than his perceived difference. Well-versed in the art of taking a beating – thanks to his older brother Dax – Cluck just lies there, taking it, hoping that his lack of participation will sap some of the fun out of their “game.” Lace chases his attackers away, and then offers Cluck ice cubes wrapped in her scarf to sooth his cuts and bruises. Both mistake the other for a local – when, in fact, they are members of two rival families of traveling performers.

The Palomas and Corbeaus travel all across North America, but always cross paths in Almendro; the crowd drawn there by the annual Blackberry Festival is just too good to pass up. For years, they were simply rivals, showpeople competing over the same sets of eyeballs. But one flooded lake and two dead performers – one from each family – turned them to enemies. Each blames the other for the “natural disaster,” with the stories and superstitions becoming more outlandish year after year. Each family can agree on one thing, however: the only acceptable way to touch a Paloma (or Corbeau) is in the pursuit of violence.

(More below the fold…)

DNF Book Review: The Wanderers, Kate Ormand (2015)

Monday, September 7th, 2015

 

A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?

(Synopsis via Goodreads.)

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Book Review: The Book of Speculation: A Novel, Erika Swyler (2015)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

“Even Pandora’s Box had hope.”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Churchwarry laughs, and I begin to understand some of his delight in passing books on. There’s a certain serendipity, a little light that’s settled in my sternum.

How could I have known that goodbye meant goodbye?

Simon Watson comes from a long and storied line of performers: travelers, carnies, circus folks. Divers and breath-holders (half-mermaid women!) as well as fortune tellers and tarot card readers (psychics and witches!). Like his predecessors, Simon is a master of reinvention. Rather than taking up the family business, as did his younger sister Enola – who bailed on him and joined the circus the moment she turned 18 – Simon has chosen a more practical vocation: he’s a librarian at the Napawset library. And unlike his distant, nomadic relatives, Simon seems rooted to a single spot: the crumbling, 1700s colonial house that he and Enola called home.

After Simon’s mother Paulina committed suicide – one day, she bid him and Enola farewell, walked into the ocean, and never came out; a mermaid who drowns? how does such a thing even work? – father Daniel became nearly comatose in his grief. It was Simon who looked after Enola; Simon who bandaged her cuts; Simon who taught her how to how to dive and swim and hold her breathe for ten minutes straight, just like his mom the mermaid showed him. And when Daniel finally dropped dead of a heart attack, it was Simon who worked several jobs at a time to put food on the table.

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Book Review: The Gracekeepers: A Novel, Kirsty Logan (2015)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Positively Enchanting

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

Alone in their coracle, they were not performers, not burdens, not dangers, not weapons, not food. They were family.

Her whole life she had been afraid of the sea, terrified that it wanted to swallow her whole. And here she was, and it held her.

What’s the use of a clown who doesn’t subvert? What do they bring to the crowd? Everyone has sadness, and rage, and frustration – and so everyone needs a clown.

Callanish Sand will always remember the bear.

She was just a little girl when the Circus Excalibur visited her island, North-East 19 archipelago – home of the sacred World Tree – docking only long enough to put on a night show for the landlockers’ amusement. (And some food and provisions, gods willing.) Everything was going swimmingly (pun intended); the acrobats, fire-breather, and equestrians performed to the audience’s delight. And then the show reached its climax: a veritable bloodbath.

Two adults, a man and a woman, performing a courtship waltz with a giant bear, when something went tragically (yet predictably) awry. Even today, Callanish isn’t exactly sure of the what or the why, shielded as she was from the fray by her mother’s steady arms. Before she was carried away, Callanish saw three fallen bodies: those of the man, the woman, and the eviscerated bear. “And in the center of it all, […] two figures: one draped in white, one furred black; both with eyes open moon-round and empty. A small girl and a small bear, hands and paws still linked.” The children of the dead, left to pick up the pieces.

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Book Review: Church of Marvels: A Novel, Leslie Parry (2015)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

“I have witnessed the sublime in the mundane…”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free ARC for review from the publisher.)

But this story, in truth, is not about me. I am only a small part of it. I could try to forget it, perhaps. I could try to put it behind me. But sometimes I dream that I’ll still return to the pageantry of the sideshow, hide myself beneath costumes and powder and paint, grow willingly deaf among the opiating roar of the audience and the bellow of the old brass band. It will be like the old days – when Mother was ferocious and alive, before the Church of Marvels burned to the sand. But how can I return now, having seen what I have seen? For I’ve found that here in this city, the lights burn ever brighter, but they cast the darkest shadows I know.

Why, he wondered, did he have to peddle his difference for their amusement, and yet at the same time temper it, suppress it, make it suitably benign?

How would it feel to know there were people who’d chosen to live as they felt, not as they appeared, and never looked back? Could she bear their happiness, as shunned as they were? Was she brave enough?

She had seen it done. Wherever they glittered in the afterlife – flying among the high rafters of heaven, swimming with her mother in an undersea cave – she hoped the tigers had known it, and roared.

For the first time in her seventeen years, Odile Church is alone. Her mother’s sideshow carnival, the Church of Marvels, burned to ash in the spring, the casualty of a freak fire. With it went her mother, many of her friends, and the only life she knew. Her twin sister, Isabelle Church, was spared – only to run off to Manhattan not long after. That was three months ago; three months without a word.

And then Odile receives a cryptic, ominous letter from Belle: “If for some reason this is the last letter I should write to you, please know that I love you.” Armed with little more than an old map of her mother’s and Belle’s letter, Odile hops the next ferry to Manhattan in search of her sister.

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Book Review: Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940, Katherine H. Adams & Michael L. Keene (2012)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Challenging Gender Roles from inside the Big Top

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

From 1880 through 1940, the circus was the main form of entertainment in America, and the most common live form of entertainment. The circus brought the exotic and transgressive to big cities and small towns alike, exposing Americans to the strange, unusual, and death-defying: trapeze artists and tightrope walkers, equestrians and lion tamers, clowns and magicians, strong men and tattoo artists – and scores of women who challenged gender roles on multiple fronts. Sometimes these subversive acts proved as simple as displaying one’s “freakish” body in public; other times they involved highly skilled and dangerous stunts which required years of training to perfect.

Bearded women, tall women, fat ladies, and other “born freaks” challenged traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity, while daredevil performers such as female equestrians, sharpshooters, animal trainers, hot rod tricksters, and human cannonballs claimed masculine realms as their own. Likewise, skeletal and short men – particularly when paired with their feminine opposites – also toyed with viewers’ perceptions of masculinity. “Manly” women were sometimes presented as the logical conclusion of feminism (i.e., women with facial hair are the next step in the evolution of the New Woman).

As women began to make up more and more of the circus audience after the Civil War, their roles in the circus changed, becoming more frequent, visible, and varied. Unlike actors, circus performers lived their roles; it was who they were. Women often got to “play the hero” – a role not usually open to them in the larger world. In many ways, a life in the circus afforded women greater independence and more opportunities for self-expression than women could find in the outside world. By 1910, women made up 1/3 to 1/2 of circus acts; as early as 1880, female aerialists earned more on average than men. Many of these were family affairs, with family acts immigrating to the U.S. to join more prestigious outfits. In this way, the circus was truly a microcosm of the “American Dream.”

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Delivering her from the "happiest place on earth."

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Over at Change .org, Stephanie looks at some of the rank sexism and speciesism – both of which are played for laughs, natch – found in last night’s Super Bowl ads. We’re talking chimps in suits, simulated animal abuse, “exotic” “pets” and nagging, insufferable potato-headed women – and that’s just for starters. (For more feminist analysis, see Feministe and geekdad at Wired.)

Instead of adding to the pile – which is too easy, really – I’d like to single out a commercial that actually made me blub-smile: Budweiser’s Clydesdales / Circus ad:
 


 
In the ad, a dilapidated, run-down traveling circus sets up camp next to a pristine, idyllic pasture. Over a white picket fence, the eyes of two horses meet – love at first sight. On one side of divide is Daisy, the circus’s “show” horse; on the other, our hero Romeo, a [Budweiser] Clydesdale. The two horses run to one other – in cinematic slow motion – and embrace. Daisy and Romeo’s loving gazes and sweet nuzzles are rudely interrupted by the circus owner, who hauls poor Daisy off into a creaky old trailer, promptly kidnapping her off into the sunset, away from the distraught Romeo.

Set to strains of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Romeo sets out in search of his love, traversing meadows, rivers, cliffs – even golf courses and city streets thick with traffic. Once Romeo catches up to the circus, he bursts into the tent in which Daisy is performing. The circus owner catches Romeo’s eye and knows what’s coming; Daisy bucks her rider, and she and Romeo escape together, ripping through the canvas of the tent for extra-dramatic effect.

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Kinship Circle: Dear TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sat, May 17, 2008 at 4:58 PM
Subject: Dear TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

5/17/08: TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus

EMAIL kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net FOR WORD DOC OF A FORMATTED LETTER.
Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-05-17 - TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus 01

LEFT: A Ringling performance.

Kinship Circle - 2008-05-17 - TNT, Tell The Truth About Ringling Bros. Circus 02

RIGHT: Animal Protection Institute photo, January 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida, shows Ringling elephants chained immediately after exiting a transport train (AP Photo/API, Bradley Stookey).

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API: Speak Out for Sea Lions and Animals Used in Rodeos and Circuses

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Born Free USA Newsletters – donotreply [at] apiforanimals.org
Date: Feb 8, 2008 7:48 AM
Subject: Speak Out for Sea Lions and Animals Used in Rodeos and Circuses

Alerts at a Glance:

* Speak Out to Save Sea Lions Along the Pacific Coast
– Submit your comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service to prevent the tragic deaths of sea lions.

* Help Santa Clara County Ban Rodeos and Circuses with Animals
– California residents are urgently needed to attend hearing Tuesday, February 12, and to write to Supervisors to urge ordinance approval.

*Other Ways to Help Animals
** Honor Your Valentine with a Gift from the Heart: Receive a free, organic, cotton T-shirt with your donation of $75 or more to our 2008 campaigns.

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Kinship Circle: LETTER/ Deliver Tina And Jewel From Lifelong Abuse

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sep 11, 2007 7:34 PM
Subject: LETTER/ Deliver Tina And Jewel From Lifelong Abuse

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY
PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

Kinship Circle posted 3 letter-writing campaigns today:

1. 9/11/07: Conscious When Cut: Horror On Deer Kill Floor
2. 9/11/07: Deliver Tina And Jewel From Lifelong Abuse
3. 9/11/07: Target: HLS Shareholder Wachovia

If your email provider blocked any of our alerts, request them again at: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

9/11/07: Deliver Tina And Jewel From Lifelong Abuse
KINSHIP CIRCLE ACTION CAMPAIGN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:

Urge the USDA to Confiscate Ailing Elephants Tina and Jewel
http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/tina_and_jewel

Tina and Jewel: Caught in the web of circus industry neglect and abuse
http://www.helpelephants.com/feature_070905.html

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easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 09-11-07

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Action Alerts

Center for Biological Diversity: Save Panama Biosphere Reserve From Dams
Please join the growing international movement to protect this ecological jewel and voice your opposition to the proposed Hydroelectric Projects.

DawnWatch: UK media on meat and global warming 9/9/07
“Activists take Gore to task on his diet”

Defenders of Wildlife: Protect Utah Prairie Dogs and Other Wildlife
Fill out the form below to urge your Representative and Senators to support the Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2007 (H.R. 1422 and S. 700), important legislation that would help private landowners protect Utah prairie dogs and other imperiled wildlife that live on their property.

Earthjustice: Say No to the Blowing Up of Appalachia
Tell the administration to stop trying to diminish the buffer zone rule and start enforcing it!

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Tell the U.S. Navy to Stop Killing Whales!
Ear-splitting military sonar is needlessly killing whales and other marine mammals throughout the world’s oceans. Yet the Navy has refused to put effective safeguards in place during testing and training.

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easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 09-08-07

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Action Alerts

Defenders of Wildlife: Don’t Let Great Cats & Rare Canines Vanish Forever
Tell Congress to do its part — and join in the effort to protect these creatures world-wide.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): Stop the Spying!
Tell the government to stop surveillance of Americans’ communications without a warrant.

People for the American Way (PFAW): Tell Congress: End Warrantless Spying on Americans!
Tell your members of Congress how you feel about the Bush administration’s warrantless spying on Americans.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): ‘Bambi Butchers’ Horror
On August 26, 2007, a PETA investigator filmed the slaughter of deer at Musicon, Inc., a deer farm and venison sales company in Goshen, New York.

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS): Urge Congress to Hold Strong on a Clean Energy Bill!
Please tell your senators and representative that America’s new Energy Bill must include a 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard AND a 15 percent renewable electricity standard.

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easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-31-07

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Action Alerts

American Freedom Campaign: Tell your Senators to confirm an attorney general who will defend the Constitution.
Tell Senate: No more Albertos!

American Rivers: RiverAlert: Tell the Army Corps to Close Hurricane Highway
Urge the Corps to properly close the MRGO. Comments are due Tuesday, September 4, so please act today!

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): California: Urge Governor to Sign Pet Protective Order Bill
California Pet Protection Bill Now Before Governator! CA SB 353, a bill that will allow courts to include animals in restraining orders against batterers, has passed both houses of the Legislature.

Audubon: Last Wild Whooping Cranes Threatened
Tell the Army Corps of Engineers to put this development project on hold until proper environmental review can be conducted.

Audubon: Close the ‘Hurricane Highway’ in New Orleans
Let the Army Corps of Engineers know why restoring coastal wetlands is both good environmental policy and good for New Orleans.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-24-07

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Action Alerts

International Fund for Horses: Wag a Straw: HR 503 and S 311
Take Action Today Against Horse Slaughter! Wag a Straw at Congress Asking Them to Swiftly Pass The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act

The Wilderness Society: Off-road vehicles threaten largest recommended wilderness in Lower 48
Send the Forest Service your letter today to help protect the Salmon-Challis forest and its wildlands, sensitive ecosystems and wildlife habitat, and quiet recreation opportunities from unmanaged dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles.

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA): Support the Bear Protection Act
End the Illegal Trade in Bear Bile.

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA): Help WSPA end cruel contest in Taiwan
At Taiwan’s “Pigs of God” contest hundreds of pigs that have been force-fed to increase their weight to grotesque proportions are slaughtered while fully conscious as part of this so-called “festival”.

Campaign Updates, Press Releases, etc.

The Petition Site: The Wolf and the Donkey, Update
End their misery – Free this wolf and donkey in Albania

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-17-07

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Action Alerts

American Freedom Campaign: Encourage the presidential candidates to sign the American Freedom Pledge
I pledge to fight to protect and defend the Constitution from assault by any President.

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI): Pro-Animal Bills Pending in U.S. Congress: Please Visit Your Legislators
Pet Safety Protection Act, American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act & Dog Fighting Prohibition Act

Consumer’s Union: Don’t lick Elmo!
Urge your members of Congress to ensure that the products and food that end up on our shelves are safe.

Earthjustice: Stop the Owl Extinction Plan: Political Interference Puts Birds, Forests, and Science At Risk
Please take action to tell the Fish and Wildlife Service by August 24 not to bow to the timber industry while our nation’s forests, rivers, and wildlife pay the price.

Ecological Internet / Climate Ark: Jet-Setting Leonardo DiCaprio the Convenient Environmentalist
Growth in aviation threatens the Planet, celebrities flying in private jets are no friend to the environment, and shared climate sacrifice means the super-rich must swear off jet-setting ways.

(More below the fold…)