Mark Your Calendar: Jeffrey Masson at Powell’s April 3

faceonyourplateWell-known for diving into the depths of animal emotions in books such as Dogs Never Lie About Love, When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, and The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals, author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has a new book out this month that focuses on who ends up on our plates and the consequences of eating them.  Heralded by one reviewer as “Intelligent, absorbing and very easy to digest, this is an essential book for any person who thinks and/or eats,” The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food (W.W. Norton, 2009) examines the health, environmental and spiritual impacts of industrial agriculture and of eating animals.

Masson will be appearing at Powell’s (1005 W. Burnside) here in Portland, Oregon  on Friday, April 3, at 7:30 pm. Here’s his current book tour schedule.

Ordinary Hero: 3 Cups of Tea, a Man Transformed, Thousands of Children Educated

In 1993 a failed mountain ascent by a climber led to an encounter with a tiny village in Pakistan and the children who had no school there, which led to transformation and a new life’s purpose. Greg Mortensen vowed to the children he met in that village that he would build them a school. Since then, Mortensen has helped establish nearly 80 schools for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he has focused on educating girls, believing that “You can drop bombs, hand out condoms, build roads, or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated a society won’t change.”

Mortensen co-authored a book about his experiences, called Three Cups of Tea. The award-winning best-seller has inspired and motivated others, and it has been so popular that Mortensen has created a version for young adults, as well as a children’s book called Listen to the Wind.

Mortensen has also created a non-profit, the Central Asia Institute, to help with the education of children (especially girls) in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Pennies for Peace, an educational and fundraising campaign for kids to learn more about helping other kids.

~ Marsha

How Are You Spending the Days of Your One Precious Life?

calendar31“Time only seems to matter when it’s running out.” ~ Peter Strup

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

“At some point in your life, you’ll only have thirty-seven days to live. Maybe that day is today.” ~ Patti Digh, author of Life is a Verb

I’ve been reading a book called Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. The book came about because, 37 days after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, the author’s step-father died. That experience led her to think long and hard about how she would spend her time if she only had 37 days to live; she discovered that what was most important to her was “living each individual, glorious day with more intention.”

Part of what I really like about this book  is that it makes me think hard about how I’m spending the days of my life. Am I making choices that truly reflect my deepest values? Am I really positively contributing to the world? Am I living joyfully and fully?

None of us knows how many days we have, which is all the more reason to make sure that our time is spent in ways that are truly meaningful to us and nurturing to the world.

Ask yourself: if you were at the end of your life, would you be satisfied with what you’ve contributed? With how you’ve lived? What would you want to be able to say about how you’ve helped create a just, compassionate, sustainable world? If you don’t like your answers, there’s still time to transform your life so that it more deeply reflects your values.

~ Marsha

Mark Your Calendar: Vegan Cookbook Author at Herbivore

When the newbie veghead or veg-curious asks me for cookbook recommendations, one of the first names out of my mouth is Sarah Kramer. I have her first 3 cookbooks — How It All Vegan, The Garden of Vegan, and La Dolce Vegan (the first two were done with Tanya Barnard) — and they are gloopy and stained from frequent use. I like her simple, tasty recipes, laid-back style and wit, and the fun extra non-food tidbits that are included in each book.

Sarah’s newest book is Vegan a Go-Go!: A Cookbook and Survival Manual for Vegans on the Go (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008). It includes 150 easy-to-prepare-requiring-minimal-ingredients recipes, many of which are new (others are redesigned from previous books). The other part of the book focuses on strategies, ideas and tips for the vegan traveler, from what foods are most travel-friendly to how to say “I am vegan” in different languages. And the book is smaller, so it’s easy to grab and go.

Sarah will be at Herbivore here in Portland (1211 SE Stark Street) on Tuesday, October 7 at 6:30 pm to talk about her book and to share a few treats.

~ Marsha

New Book Alert: At Rest with the Animals by Colman McCarthy

At Rest with the AnimalsSyndicated columnist, peace activist, peace instructor and founder/director of the Center for Teaching Peace, Colman McCarthy has turned his attention to our relationship with animals in At Rest with the Animals: Thoughts Over Thirty Years. Published this month through the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Society Press, the book offers a collection of McCarthy’s essays from over more than three decades (most written during his time at the Washington Post), exploring “the human family’s sometimes cruel, sometimes kind relations with animals of all sizes and stripes.” (You can find out more about the book from one of HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle’s blog posts.)

Since I haven’t yet read the book (it’s not even available at my public library yet), I can’t recommend it officially. However, I have read a couple of Mr. McCarthy’s books (2 are part of my own personal library), and his writing is amazing and inspiring, so I can only imagine that this book is, too.

McCarthy has been teaching courses and workshops on nonviolence and peace since 1982. When I read his book I’d Rather Teach Peace (highly recommended), I was incredibly inspired and so sad that I hadn’t been fortunate enough to be one of his students. I would have killed to be in his class! (Wait — that’s not nonviolent; uh, I would have really treasured being in his class.)

Just a few choice quotes from McCarthy:

“Wars aren’t stopped by fighting wars, any more than you can fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water. You fight violence with nonviolence.”

“Unless we teach our children peace, someone will teach them violence.”

“Over the years, I’ve had suggestions from other teachers to offer what they call ‘balance’ in my courses, that I should give students ‘the other side.’ I’m never sure exactly what that means. After assigning students to read Gandhi I should have them also read Carl von Clausewitz? After Martin Luther King’s essay against the Vietnam War, Colin Powell’s memoir favoring the Persian Gulf War? After Justice William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall’s views opposing the death penalty, George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein’s favoring it? After a woman’s account of her using a nonviolent defense against a rapist, the thwarted rapist’s side?”

So, email your local library and ask them to buy this book, and read his other books while you’re waiting. (And, once you’ve read his book(s), feel free to send us your review for potential posting.)

~ Marsha