Meet the Deodar Cedar: Ashland Tree of the Year 2002

By John Yunker,

In Ashland, you can spend years walking right past a Tree of the Year and not know it.

Like this pair of Deodar Cedars, right smack in the middle of the Haggen grocery parking lot.

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Due to their parking-lot location, these two beautiful trees are probably among the most overlooked in Ashland, despite the fact that they provide much needed shade.

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Next time you’re on the boulevard, or at Haggen, be sure to look up … these trees are well worth checking out.

Vegan shopping in Portland, Oregon

By Midge Raymond,

Tell any vegan you’re headed to Portland, and you’ll be asked, “Are you going to the vegan strip mall?”

But of course.

This little strip mall is home to Sweetpea Baking Co., a divine vegan bakery with a large seating area and a wonderful selection of pastries (you can also special-order cakes (including wedding cakes), pies, cupcakes, and cheesecakes).

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We got a chocolate chip cookie, which was nice though not outstanding (it was a bit dry), and a chocolate croissant, which was dry and had so little chocolate I thought we’d been given the wrong item.

The almond twist, however, was incredible beyond belief — it was gigantic, melt-in-your-mouth sugary, sweet, buttery, and smothered in icing and crunchy almonds.

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Just a couple doors down, is the vegan grocery Food Fight, which was wonderful to visit in person, since we usually order online.

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It’s a small, regular-looking grocery store, but the beautiful thing is that everything inside is cruelty-free.

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Food Fight has fresh foods and juices, as well as an abundance of dry and prepared foods — and an excellent selection of vegan junk food, from Earth Balance sour-cream-and-onion potato chips to rice-cereal crispy treats to caramel sauce. There’s also a good selection of eco-friendly and vegan household items.

And the vegan message is not just in the food and goods but everywhere in the store.

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There’s a wonderful selection of artisan vegan cheeses, and had we not been traveling we’d probably have purchased at least one of each. (Click here to see some of the options.) Since Food Fight doesn’t ship these perishables, next time we visit Portland, we’ll be sure to bring a cooler and head straight home.

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Don’t miss this vegan strip mall next time you’re in Portland!

Happy Typewriter Day!

By Midge Raymond,

That’s right — June 23 is World Typewriter Day. And we’re celebrating with a special promotion for our vintage typewriter notecards.

This mixed set of 12 notecards features three each of these antique typewriters: the Remington Rand Portable (circa 1940) and the L.C. Smith & Corona Model 8 (circa 1929), both from our own collection, as well as The Chicago (1899) and the Crandall, New Model (1886), from the spectacular Martin Howard Collection.

This Typewriter Day special saves you 40 percent (or more, depending on how many boxes you order), and shipping is free for all U.S. orders. (If you’re a typewriter aficionado who lives outside the U.S., please contact us!)

Wishing you all a very happy Typewriter Day.

An early review of Jacki Skole’s DOGLAND…

By Midge Raymond,

A review of Jacki Skole’s DOGLAND: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem

by Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LMHC, Humane Education Learning Programs (H.E.L.P.)

It’s time to wake up, America.

Americans love dogs. I woke up watching Good Morning America on May 20, 2015. At the time I was about halfway into reading Jacki Skole’s seminal book, Dogland.

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The story that played out on my television screen was of two Colombian National Police Officers who performed a daring rescue of a dog who was caught in rapid waters. The dog was moving fast and bobbing and disappearing under the waves. The two brave officers, clearly risking their own lives, finally intercepted the struggling pooch and pulled him to safety. They performed CPR on the riverbank as the camera caught the dog’s limp and nearly lifeless body as it revived. The newscasters were celebrating and rightfully commended the police officers on a dangerous rescue well done. I was also incredibly grateful to witness the compassion and kindness displayed by these officers.

It left me wondering why we Americans who love dogs so much, who are so happy when we see feel-good stories like these and who spend billions of dollars yearly on our pets, continue to allow the mass euthanization of thousands of healthy, adoptable pets every day in our nation’s shelters.

Read Dogland to understand why. We will never adopt our way out of the killing. Companion animal overpopulation is a multi-faceted problem that requires multi-faceted solutions. Most of all, it requires that we all become educated and do our part to eliminate the senseless suffering and death of countless sentient beings. Suffering that extends to both animals and people. As Dogland rightfully points out, non-human animals can’t thrive if people aren’t thriving, too.

The first way out of the problem in our nation’s shelters is to know the plight of homeless pets. Thank you to Jacki Skole for taking the steps to understand this complex issue and for writing this important book to inform the rest of us. The question is what we, as a nation of animal lovers, will now do with this information. My hope is that Dogland compels us all to truly work together to stop this senseless problem. Animal protection is one of the most pressing social justice issues of our time. Once you are aware of the daily suffering animals endure, you can’t not know. Not looking at animal suffering doesn’t make it go away. Education and compassionate, informed action is what makes it go away. We all need to do our part. We all need to wake up, America.

Ms. Skole’s dog Galen was the inspiration for Dogland. I hope that, just as Galen wakes up the author’s daughters every day with licks and love, Galen will also wake up our nation through this seminal work.

 

Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA, LMHC, is a forensic psychologist, doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), and New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with more than 20 years of experience working with children. She is also a founder of Youth Animal Protectors (YAP) in New York City, an organization that teaches children and teens empathy, compassion, problem solving, and related social emotional skills through learning about animal protection issues. YAP Club empowers young people by raising awareness and developing a greater understanding of others’ perspectives – both animal and human – in exploring how choices impact local and global communities.

To learn more about DOGLAND, coming in August, click here

Join the National Museum of Animals and Society in June for a gala event

By John Yunker,

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This is an event we wish we could attend — a fundraising gala for The National Museum of Animals and Society.

The event will be honoring Moby and actress Tracey Bregman, two vocal animal rights activists.

The museum is in the process of moving into a larger location, which is scheduled to open in the fall.

If you’re in the LA area, check it out!

  Category: On animals, Vegan
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