Chennai, India: Kindness Kids spread a message of compassion

Echoes in the Mist


Looking into how animals, especially elephants, in the temples in Chennai are being treated, B. Akshaya, a student at Grove School, participating in the Kindness Kids program, found that even when the animals are considered sacred, they are not necessarily being well cared for. Her awareness of the needs of the animals enabled her to notice discomfort they were feeling that many of the worshippers simply were not aware of.

Another student in the Kindness Kids program, R. Santhanalakshmi, took photos of conditions in a goshala, where cows are kept, and found that it was clean and very well managed.

Rishab Dasgupta, at the age of nine, after accompanying his father to a chicken stall, declared that he “didn’t want to eat meat anymore.” Though he is so far the only one in his family to become a vegetarian, his father was very proud of his son’s decision and very…

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The Wild Holler Cacti are in Bloom~

Cindy Knoke


All The Holler cacti are wild and untended, with the exception of the Protea. Some unknown someone planted the Protea a long time ago and it now grows free and unfettered all over Hollerdom. I love this mystery person who planted the plants that still thrive at The Holler so long ago. I wonder who he or she was, and what they would think about how well their plants have grown and thrived? There are no homesteads here or abandoned houses explaining who it was. We are surrounded by lemon, grapefruit, pomegranate and avocado orchards, and I suspect the person was someone who lived her fifty or so years ago and tended the orchards. This person planted Coral Trees, Proteas, Almond Trees, Camellias, Pride of Madeiras, Hibiscus, Orange Trees, Passion Fruit, some flowers I can’t identify, and much more. All have reproduced and prospered. Flowers can be picked year round…

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Science on the Land

Some amaranths (pigweeds, Amaranthus spp.) are useful for people to eat or to feed to animals. The grain amaranths had a long history of being people’s staple food in parts of the Andes until Spain colonised there. After that, these crops were driven almost completely from cultivation.

Brian Clark Howard at the National Geographic tells us how amaranth could be the new quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa).

Could an amaranth comeback happen? With enough investment and political will, perhaps it could happen. Here’s a book about breeding better amaranth.

Would an amaranth comeback be a good thing? Only if the people who grow the crop reaped its benefits. Sam Eaton at The World says poor people could be glad of amaranth.

As my fellow blogger Noah Zerbe at Global Food Politics explains, some say that the International Year of Quinoa backfired. If there’s an amaranth…

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The meat industry could be driving wildlife extinct

Exposing the Big Game
by Lindsay Abrams

Ok, so you don’t feel bad about cows having to die in order for you to enjoy a hamburger. That’s fine — most people feel the same way. But what about the grizzly bears? Or the wolves? Or the 175 other species threatened by extinction? Would you keep eating that burger if you found out it was endangering all of those animals, too?

Well, would you?

A new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity is presenting a broader perspective on the environmental damage wrought by the livestock industry. NPR has the scoop:

The conservation group says that some populations of grizzly bears and wolves have already been driven extinct by the livestock industry, and an additional 175 threatened or endangered species, like the prairie dog, could be next. Most of this drama is playing out on federal lands, where the needs of wildlife conflict with…

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New from The Treetalker:

news from (and about) the trees

This week, “The NOT-SO-SECRET GARDENER.” Author-activist, botanist and medical biochemist Diana Beresford-Kroeger champions rare and endangered trees.


and, the President’s new budget proposal promises to make catastrophic forest fires “natural disasters,” making 1 billion in U.S. government funds available for firefighting efforts.

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Montana Supreme Court Affirms Bison Can Roam

Exposing the Big Game

Rejects unreasonable demand to return to widespread buffalo slaughter

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

March 12, 2014

Helena, MT — The Montana Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a lower court today, allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. The ruling upholds a February 2012 decision by state agencies to allow bison seasonal access to important winter and early spring habitat outside the north boundary of the park in the Gardiner Basin area until May 1 of each year.

The ruling rebuffs demands by some livestock producers and their allies to require aggressive hazing and slaughtering of bison that enter the Gardiner Basin area from Yellowstone National Park in the winter and early spring in search of the forage they need to survive.

“Today’s state Supreme Court ruling represents a victory for all those who want to see wild bison as a living…

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