Sunday, January 28, 2018

Never enough blog posts about & for animals

                                                                                               NYTimes image
US presidents are often referred to by numbers – Obama was #44, then came (shudder!) #45.  I’ve decided this blog post – #41-- warrants a note of thanks to those who helped make it happen. Then I’ll get on with the show. 

Now originating at “,” otherwise known as “AnimalBeat II,” my posts also appear under “blog” on the website of the Animal Protection League of NJ ( – where it all began in December 2016.  Then, about a “blogger’s dozen” posts appeared exclusively on the APL site, thanks to incalculable technical assistance from Angi Metler, executive director, whose myriad skills include being an IT whiz.  

(You can access those initial posts by clicking on “our previous blog” at the bottom of the right-side column of any post.)

After that, largely to ease the burden on Metler, I kept going on AnimalBeat II, a continuation of a years-ago blog of mine. “Same content, different station,” I wrote then, although this blog remains on APL’s site too.  With Metler’s continuing assistance, readers’ comments on posts are easily done via a transfer to “1moreonce” for those who subscribe or read the blog on APL’s site.  And she recently made it possible to print out posts too.  

Now, onward, with animal news to share, as well as a stunning poem.   

First of all, close to home, please note the new identifying number for Senator Linda
Greenstein’s animal shelter bill, carried over from the last legislative session: S725.  More on this bill soon.

“Elephants Are Very Scared of Bees. That Could Save Their Lives.” Talk about attention-grabbing headlines. The story here is that bees can be used as buzzing deterrents, to keep African elephants from foraging in farm land and prompting (possibly fatal) retaliation by farmers.  Plus, setting up bee hives is cheaper than electric fences.  

Bad enough to see lobsters in restaurant tanks before being selected for someone’s dinner – it’s worse to imagine their being plunged alive into boiling water. Apparently there’s been doubt that these crustaceans are capable of feeling pain, but the Swiss have considered the issue, decided lobsters do indeed feel pain, and ordered an end to the practice.

Scientists against this decision say lobsters “lack the brain anatomy to feel pain.”  But for now, the Swiss government advocates electrocution as a quicker, more humane means of death.  (Oh, yes, they’ll still eat the lobsters.)  


 by Tony Hoagland

Crossing the porch in the hazy dusk
to worship the moon rising
like a yellow filling-station sign
on the black horizon,

you feel the faint grit
of ants beneath your shoes,
but keep on walking
because in this world

you have to decide what
you’re willing to kill.
Saving your marriage might mean
dinner for two

by candlelight on steak
raised on pasture
chopped out of rain forest
whose absence might mean

an atmospheric thinness
fifty years from now
above the vulnerable head
of your bald grandson on vacation

as the cells of his scalp
sautéed by solar radiation
break down like suspects
under questioning.

Still you slice
the sirloin into pieces
and feed each other
on silver forks

under the approving gaze
of a waiter
whose purchased attention
and French name

are a kind of candlelight themselves,
while in the background
the fingertips of the pianist
float over the tusks

of the slaughtered elephant
without a care,
as if the elephant
had granted its permission.

(from Donkey Gospel,© Graywolf Press, 1998)


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  1. You're right. That was a stunning poem.

  2. so glad you read and liked and commented! thanks very much.