FEATURE ARTICLE BY CAROLITA McGEE August 2018 Note from Trees for Tigers: One of the most rewarding consequences of starting our company a year ago is the privilege of meeting some incredible people doing incredible things. One of these people is Carolita McGee. We met online while campaigning for a mutual cause and soon realized that our approach to improving animals’ lives was very similar—basically “taking action to effect change.” Carolita is unique in that she has had a special connection...
By Carolita McGee My love for reptiles started with a snake bite. I know that seems a bit odd, but when I was a child, I lived surrounded by the forests of the Appalachian Mountains in Poconos, PA. Almost daily I would meet these critters, especially when playing in the woods. One day, my father surprised me with my first interaction with a garter snake, (aka garden snake). When I was ready to handle it, the snake bit my hand, startling my dad since I bled & it hurt a bit. After releasing...
- Cry of the Kalahari (Part 1 of a Trilogy), by Mark and Delia Owens
“This is the story of the Owens’ travel and life in the Kalahari Desert. Here they met and studied unique animals and were confronted with danger and drought, fire, storms, and the animals they loved. A unique story by traditional researchers for both travelers and animal lovers alike.”
- The Eye of the Elephant (Part 2 of a Trilogy), by Mark and Delia Owens
“Expelled from Botswana for writing Cry of the Kalahari, the Owens’ set off across Africa. They settled in Zambia, where they soon found their peace shattered by the gunfire of elephant poachers. This is the story of the couple’s battle to save the elephants and their own lives.”
- The Secrets of the Savanna (Part 3 of a Trilogy), by Mark and Delia Owens
“In this riveting real-life adventure, Mark and Delia Owens tell the dramatic story of their last years in Africa, fighting to save elephants, villagers, and…in the end…themselves. The award-winning zoologist and pioneering conservationists describe their work in the remote and rugged beautiful Luangwa Valley in northeastern Zambia. There they studied the mysteries of the elephant population’s recovery after poaching, discovering remarkable similarities between humans and elephants. A young elephant named “Gift” provided the clue to help them crack the animals’ secret of survival. A stirring portrait of life in Africa, Secrets of the Savana is a remarkable record of the Owens’ unique passions.”
- Ranch of Dreams by Cleveland Armory
“The renowned animal lover shares the heartwarming stories of the various animals that inhabit the Black Beauty Ranch, animals that have been saved from death’s door, from chimpanzees and elephants to buffalo, prairie dogs, and cats.”
- Beyond Words – What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina
“I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: “Who are You?” “Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina’s landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In “Beyond Words” readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack’s personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.”
- The Photo Ark – One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals by Joel Sartore and National Geographic
“The lush and unique photography in this book represents “National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals – especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them.”
- Saving the White Lions by Linda Tucker
“In this captivating, suspenseful memoir, conservationist Linda Tucker describes her perilous struggle to protect the sacred White Lions of South Africa from the mafia-like trophy-hunting industry. The story begins with a heart-stopping vacation gone wrong: Tucker and her companions find themselves stranded on a dark night in the Timbavati bushveld, a pride of angry lions closing in. Miraculously, a local medicine woman appears, calming the lions and helping the group escape….Compellingly written in the intimate style of a journal, the book describes with unflinching honesty all of Tucker’s hopes, fears, and dreams, recounting an unforgettable tale of adventure, romance, spirituality, and most of all, justice.” See website at https://www.whitelions.org
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
“Named the best book of the year by multiple book reviewers. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury and disease from harrowing to manageable. But, when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should.” This transformative book appears to be transformational insofar as elaborating the “big three” threats to an again aging population and how they relate to confined, rescued animals throughout the world. Boredom, Loneliness, and Helplessness represent major potentially fatal physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological threats to both animals and humans alike.
- A Street Cat Named Bob – And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen
“This instant classic about the power of love between man and animal has taken the world by storm….When street musician James Bowen found an injured cat, whom he named Bob, curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining that he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.’
10. THE BOND – Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States
In countless fascinating ways, our relationship with animals is an essential part of the human experience. Now, one of the world’s leading champions of animal welfare offers a dramatic examination of our age-old bond to all creatures. Pacelle reveals scientists’ newfound understanding of animals’ remarkable emotional and cognitive capacities as well as describing animal cruelty in its many varieties that still exists today.
11. THE HUMANE ECONOMY – Animal Protection 2.0, How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers are Transforming the Lives of Animals, by Wayne Pacelle
From the leader of the Humane Society of the United States comes an inspiring frontline account of how individuals’ conscience and creativity can address society’s widespread of mistreatment of animals by bringing our moral values in line with our business practices, the “humane economy” is driving a revolution that is changing forever how we create wealth and treat our fellow living creatures.
13. ELEPHANTS ON THE EDGE – What Animals Teach Us about Humanity by G. A. Bradshaw.
“Elephants on the Edge is a wide-ranging, passionate, well-researched, and urgent call to action. These magnificent, intelligent, and emotional giants
Are quintessential poster animals for the wounded world in which we live.
Read this book, share it widely, and please do something to increase our
compassion footprint before it’s too late. Healing demands collective cross-cultural action now.” Marc Bekoff.
14. CARNIVORE MINDS – Who These Fearsome Animals Really are by G. A.
“This exploration into the lives of carnivores offers two messages. First,
If conservation only preserves wildlife numbers and bodies without tending to wildlife minds and societies, then it will fail. If they survive, elephants,
grizzly bears, and orcas will exist as mere shells unless their souls are nurtured. The second message hits closer to home. For by vanquishing myths that mask the true identity of carnivores, neuroscience reveals a disconcerting truth; it is not the bear, shark, or crocodile who possesses the villainous qualities of which they are accused, but our own species. The terror does not lie without, but within.” G.A. Bradshaw
15. THE ELEPHANT LETTERS – The Story of Billy and Kani by G. A. Bradshaw
“Every child that reads the very moving story of little Billy and Kani will be
able to relate to the fact that “Elephants are just like us,” which is
something that Dr. Gay Bradshaw has publicly stated. To this I would add
“in fact, better than us,” for they can teach us Humans a great deal about caring and nurturing, and also about forgiveness.” Dr. Dame Daphne
- Blog by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of Humane Society of the United States. To subscribe, go to https://blog.humanesociety.org
Pacelle writes a daily blog that will keep you informed of all that is happening in the world with animal welfare.
NOTE: Update February 2018: This blog is no longer written by Wayne Pacelle, as he has resigned as President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States due to accusations made against him. Unfortunately, the animals could not cast their votes, and they lost a friend and 30+ year advocate. Human ego (and it comes in all genders) again strikes a blow at any positive changes the animals on this earth desperately need. The blog is being continued by Kitty Block, Acting President of the HSUS.
In Jan. 2016 Tom Knudson published an article after an investigation for Reveal, the publishing arm of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting. The article describes modern-day fur trappers, their methods, and the international market for our wildlife comprising more than 20 species and most recently– bobcat pelts. If you care about wildlife, please read this fascinating article at https:/www.revealnews.org/article/americas-trapping-boom-relies-on-cruel-and-grisly-tools.
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness*
On this day of July 7, 2012, a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientistsgathered at The University of Cambridge to reassess the neurobiological substrates of conscious experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals. Read the article: Cambridge Declaration On Consciousness
REIKI FOR ANIMALS: THE POWER OF PEACE TO HEAL.
Mark Bekoff, Ph.D., co-founder with Jane Goodall, of “Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” also writes a science column about animals’ emotions for “Psychology Today” and has published 30 books. In the Feb. 16, 2019 issue of Psychology Today, Mr. Bekoff interviews Kathleen Prasad, meditation teacher, author and Animal Reiki expert about her successful work with animals with her “Let Animals Lead” method. Read Here
RACING EXTINCTION – Academy Award-winning filmmakers expose the forces that are leading our planet to its next mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. A never-before-seen view of an international wildlife trade, operating in the shadows, reveals how creatures that have survived for millions of years may be wiped from Earth in our lifetime. Hidden in plain sight, the other great force is the one the oil and gas companies don’t want the world to recognize. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, “Racing Extinction” exposes these two forces in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it.
GODS IN SHACKLES – Founding Executive Director for “Voice for Asian Elephants Society,” Sangita Iyer is an awared-winning documentary filmmaker. She directed and produced the globally acclaimed documentary “Gods in Shackles,” which was nominated at the United Nations and has garnered over a dozen international awards. Sangita received the highest aware for women making a difference in India, awarded by the country’s president for her courage in exposing the plight of captive elephants exploited for profit behind the veil of culture and religion.
SHARKWATER EXTINCTION – Filmmaker Rob Stewart travels across oceans to expose the illegal and violent underworld of shark finning that threatens the survival of the worlds’ sharks.