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My 2-cents-worth

November 25, 2006

In ancient times when I was a senior at the University of South Florida, one of the required texts for an elective course in environmental policy was titled Man in the Web of Life, by John Storer (New American Library, 1968). My original copy’s gone astray, so sooner or later I’ll order a copy and re-read it. Meantime, my recollection is that it discussed the relationship between humans and all the rest of life, with the implication we aren’t on this planet for purposes of domination but for purposes of fulfilling our capabilities — interdependent with all other life forms. The idea that’s stayed with me is the basic systems concept as applied to ecology, in essence, the butterfly effect.

Last year I ran across another title that’s also a keeper: The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity: An Illustrated 10th Century Iraqi Ecological Fable, translated by Rabbi Anson Laytner. With creative content and production intertwining Muslim, Jewish and Christian traditions, this parable makes you stop and think about how humans treat animals — and how we should treat them.

Right now I’m reading a history of the animal advocacy movement in the U.S., For the Prevention of Cruelty, by Diane Beers. Another eye-opener. Post-Katrina, as I’ve become increasingly motivated to translate good intentions into action where humane activism is concerned, this book is giving me lots of insight into how we got to where we are today in the world of non-profit organizations. In terms of formal knowledge of this topic, I’m a relative newcomer. But I’ve been an avid reader of several humane society and SPCA websites and email newsletters, and a subscriber to the hard copy of several vet school health newsletters for dog owners as well as popular dog culture magazines for many years. While I don’t profess to be an expert, I do have a good sense of, well, what makes good sense. And that’s a big part of what I anticipate writing about as this blog evolves — what makes sense in a 21st-century urban/suburban dog mom’s life, someone who cares deeply about preserving and protecting the environment and making the best choices for the animals in her care.

Welcome to my web of life.

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