Blog

Resources for #WeNeedDiverseBooks

by Marsha Rakestraw When I was a child, I read a lot of books. A lot. And other than the occasional title, like The Snowy Day, the people in all those books looked like me. White. Able-bodied. Heterosexual. Despite our growing population of children of color in the US — who now outnumber white students…

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Embracing Compassion Toward All: An Interview With Author Mark Hawthorne

Mark Hawthorne is an activist and the author of three books on animal rights and social justice: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing A Life Of Compassion Toward All; Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering; and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which empowers people around the world to get active…

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humane holiday

Resources for Humane(r) Holidays

by Marsha Rakestraw Spending on holiday gifts increases nearly every year, and despite the pandemic, the National Retail Federation forecasts overall holiday spending of just under $30 billion for 2020. A lot of that money will be spent on clothing made in sweatshops, treats created with child labor and animal exploitation, and packaging-heavy disposable products full…

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12 Tips for Saving Money and Making Humane Choices

by Marsha Rakestraw Although the economy is growing and poverty has slightly declined, many people still struggle with finances and look for ways to save money. Many people look to “dollar” and discount stores for their purchases, which saves them money, but also means that they’re making choices that harm people, animals, and the earth….

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11 Children’s Books About Nonviolent Protest and Resistance

by Marsha Rakestraw Protests and nonviolent resistance are an integral part of human culture. On any given day, there are protests happening around the world. Protests have helped bring about civil and workers’ rights, environmental protection measures, and better treatment of nonhuman animals. And with so many protests in the news (and in the streets…

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Ending the Violence With Meaningful Solutions

I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the capacity and the will to prevent such violence from continuing…

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kindness

14 Children’s Picture Books About Kindness

by Marsha Rakestraw Kindness seems like such a simple quality, but unless we’re taught to be kind to ourselves, other people, nonhuman animals, and the earth, it won’t become an integral part of our humanity. Reading and discussing children’s picture books is a great tool for helping children embrace kindness for others as a daily…

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Widening Our Circle of Compassion: An Interview With Animal Rights Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur’s love of animals began when she was a child. She says, “The neighbour had a backyard dog who didn’t live a very exciting life so I would take him for walks, despite his enormous size and my small stature.” In her 20’s, Jo-Anne realized that she could combine her empathy with her photography…

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child labor

9 Books for Youth About Child Labor

by Marsha Rakestraw “The change starts within each one of us, and ends only when all children are free to be children.” ~ Craig Kielburger Have you recently purchased a soccer ball? Something embroidered? Something made from cotton? Chocolate? Clothes? Produce? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased something made from child labor. Child…

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Teaching About Issues Related to Elections and Voting

Resources for Teaching About Issues Related to Elections and Voting

by Marsha Rakestraw I don’t ever remember seeing as much discussion, passion, vitriol, or engagement as I have with this election period in the U.S. Elections may be a regular thing, and voting may be one of our (mostly) fundamental rights, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything easy about exploring these issues. Especially in classrooms,…

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