Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Cheese Bike

This zine is visually pleasing - with a flip out page and a full color photo that describes a summer of making and selling grilled cheese off the back of a small gas scooter. The biggest negative for this zine is the odd writing voice which makes it difficult to determine exactly what is happening. This zine is fun and inspirational but not informational. I like the spreadsheet of sales and the cost of the materials
'Born to Kill Zine'
Cheesebike #5  
Fall 2011
New York City  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Anthropomorphizing Animals

"In western cultures, animals such as serpents, cats, doves, lions and ... wolves, ravens, coyotes, eagles and so on were once honored and looked upon as spiritual forces or god-like creatures. But agricultural peoples have never anthropomorphized the animals they worked with every day and then ate. Sure, the Hebrews told stories about sheep and goats, and the Greeks ... told stories about hares and tortosises, and the the First Nations told stories of raven, coyote and salmon, but only to illustrate important lessons and human concerns. The animals themselves were not sentimentalized into humanoids. 

In Victoria England, however, under the influence of the Romantics' rediscovery of nature, aniamls in a new cuddly format were enlisted into a 'cult of childhood.' Since then, generations of children have grown up surrounded by humanized animals. Think of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle... E.B. White's Charlotte's Web... We in the western world now have difficulty avoiding the anthropomorphized animal because it's everywhere, from cereal boxes to toilet paper." 
- Excerpt from Chicken Poop for the Soul by Kristeva Dowling (page 179-180) 

I find this history of anthropomorphizing animals very interesting. Traditional cultures around the world did look to the animal (and natural) world for spiritual insights and animals were the topic of many parables. This was certainly different than the approach in novels such as Charlotte's Web but perhaps the end result are similar? The author then goes on to say that she clearly does anthropomorphize her animals and "watched them all, and by observation I learned about their unique personalities, their likes and dislikes." I have a diffcult time believing that most (if not all) farmers, present and past, have had similar relationships with their livestock. 

The following is the interesting outcome from a discussion like this "Those people who might self-righteously have an owner arrested for the way he or she treats a dog are able to ignore or simply not respond to the concentration camp-like conditions behind the walls of intensive livestock operations. What are the criteria that put an animal into the food category rather than the pet category?" (181) 

Does Anthropomorphizing animals benefit or harm them?           

Friday, June 13, 2014

Winged Snail Mail Zine

I've become fairly obsessed with snail mail. I've joined multiple mail organizations and correspondence clubs, bought special release postage stamps, nabbed thrift store mail finds, started a postcard collection, purchased mail themed zines, and spent way too much money on postage. 
 (Letter Writer's Alliance Stationary Download that I simply adore)

(The beginning of a stamp collection. Acquired through Postcrossing postcards)

(Recent outgoing mail - with some vintage Canadian stamps)

All of this is a long winded way to reveal a new project of mine! I will be releasing a mail themed zine twice a year. All the details can be found here. A regular column in the zine will entitled 'Eating your Mail' that will cover fun mailing projects like these, as well as recipes that ship well and recipes for things to eat and drink while writing letters. Follow the main blog for tons of mail related information!