What Should You Do When You Feel Prejudice Against Others?

Feeling prejudice against someone because of their race is pretty foreign to me, but this past weekend I was blindsided by a tsunami of my own prejudice. My husband and I had finished a walk in Acadia National Park near where we live, and I heard a group of people speaking Russian – a language I’ve studied,…

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Be a Force for Good for Ukraine

I am a humane educator, someone who teaches about the cruelties, destruction, and injustices we perpetrate on other humans, animals, and the environment and who helps people cultivate compassion and integrity and become solutionaries able and motivated to build humane, healthy, and just societal systems. It is in this capacity – rather than as an expert in geopolitics or…

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Don’t Pit People Against Animals

On January 5, 2022, Pope Francis spoke in Rome and described people who have pets instead of children as selfish. He went on to say that pet keeping was “a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.” There’s so much that is wrong about his statement. 1. Spoken by someone who himself chose not…

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There’s a Path When Times Are Dark

I’m writing this post on the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year. As I watched the sunrise this morning, and as the vermilion clouds put on the stunning show captured in this photograph, I felt my usual complex feelings on this day. The first day of winter, when we enter the coldest…

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Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation: An Interview with Ariane White, Ed.D., M.Ed.

Introduction: Ariane White began working in education in 2003 as a high school teacher before earning her M.Ed. degree with the Institute for Humane Education in 2010. She earned her doctoral degree in education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 2019. LMU has recently launched a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, which…

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Humane Education Through History, Art, and Inspiration: An Interview with Robert Shetterly

Introduction: After graduating from college and moving to Maine in 1970, Robert Shetterly taught himself drawing, printmaking, and painting, becoming an illustrator at newspapers and of approximately 30 books. After the 9/11 attacks, Rob painted a portrait of Walt Whitman, etching a quote from Whitman on the painting. Thus began his Americans Who Tell the…

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Schools are becoming an epicenter of culture wars, but there is a solution to the conflicts

School board members are receiving death threats. School board meetings have become shouting matches. The national news is regularly reporting about the most local of politics—school board elections in tiny districts. The two primary topics causing all this conflict are COVID-based mandates for masking and/or vaccination and teaching about racism in social studies classes. This post is about…

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Integrating Humane Education into the High School Classroom: An Interview with Mike Farley, M.Ed.

Introduction: Mike Farley has been teaching middle and high school Geography and Environmental Studies for 20 years in the Toronto District School Board and currently at University of Toronto Schools. Over the past decade he has explored animal protection with his students, including running virtual field trips to animal sanctuaries during the pandemic. Mike is a frequent presenter at conferences…

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Be a Solutionary, Make a Difference, and Find Meaning in Your Life

When I observe our dogs, I often envy their seeming ease in the world. Sure, Pippin gets anxious when we leave the house (and the couch cover gets a wee bit more torn up as a result); Poppy cringes when treats are tossed her way (perhaps because she was abused before we rescued her); and Hershel has a pillow…

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We Create Others’ Realities, So Be Careful What You Attend To

In late July, I set out to find baby gray tree frogs. They’re emerald green and (I’ll just say it) incredibly adorable. They are also very difficult to find because they’re well-camouflaged, sitting as they do on green leaves. But because I’m looking for them, I often find them. I see what I’m attending to….

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