Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals
Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals by Karen Dawn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Thanking the Monkey” is an eye-opening animal welfare classic just like “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer. Written in an incredibly engaging style and visually-intriguing illustrations, this book offers something interesting for readers both in content and images. What I find particularly interesting is the author’s boldness to cover areas of animal welfare that I had never even considered. Karen Dawn’s message is not simply that we should be kind to animals. It is that we need to analyze our relationship with animals in a more comprehensive and active way. We need to consider whether eating factory-farmed chicken that are so stuffed with antibiotics that they can’t sit upright and have their beaks chopped off. She asks us to consider whether we need to kill and skin dozens of animals for just one individual to make a fashion statement. She also questions whether we should have animals subjected to frivolous tests (cosmetic testing, smoking tests) when there are non-animal alternatives that are readily available. She also questions whether we should subject chimpanzees to smoking tests while pregnant, even though we already know that this damages a fetus.

Karen Dawn isn’t content to stay there, however. She analyzes animal welfare organizations, from Greenpeace to the World Wide Fund, openly questioning some of their recent decisions to allow hunters and other animal-harming supporters into their fold in order to raise funds. She also criticizes the organic and open-range movement. While stating in several places that free range and organic farming, she questions the brutality and treatment of animals in these environments that are supposed to be more “humane”.

This book was truly an eye-opener because I always considered myself knowledgeable about animal welfare issues, but this book showed me how much I lacked. I didn’t even consider the fact that the only way we get from a cow is if they are pregnant. I never considered what happened after the bullfight is over in the “Running of the Bulls”. I also never considered what happens to animals that perform in the movies after they are retired. Her book cause me to really re-evaluate my common assumptions about modern man’s interactions in many situations. We have been really cruel and careless to animals for a very long time in a lot of different ways!

I highly (emphasis) recommend this book if you are interested or involved in animal welfare on any level, this will deepen your interest and desire to help animals. This book is not for the squeamish, however, Karen Dawn has no problem going into the gory details to prove a point!

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Skinny Hercules


From Morgue File

Body standards are for women,
Of men, there are none
I just need to start exercising again,
You know start building up some.

My arms could use a little more muscle,
My stomach could be a little more flat.
My obliques have a little extra cusion.
I don’t need to take care of anything after that.

Wait, a minute!
My calves are pencil-thin,
My back could use a little more muscle
and then I’ll win!

Body standards for women,
Of men, there are none.
I just need to start exercising again.
You know start building up some.

Rich as Hades

By Ealdgyth (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ealdgyth (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Dearest Persephone,

my Kingdom is yours,

for the asking.


Just ask it and you shall have it.

Dearest Persephone,

my Heart is yours

for the taking.

Just ask it and you shall have it.


Dearest Persephone,

my Wealth is yours,

all that mortal man makes

all that mortal man takes

ends up in my realm

Just ask it and you shall have it.


Dearest Perspehone,

all of Mine is yours,

if you will do one favor,

Let me have your soul,


Just tell me it and I will grab it.

Sun & Moon

Rallé [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Rallé [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Underneath the bonds of chastity,

an ungrateful heart

loses hope

of ever tasting

the forbidden fruit.



While she passes,

an adulteress

follows in the shadows

praying for just a moment

in the shadow of

the sweet fruit of grace.

Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year
Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year by Tavis Smiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Death of a King” is one of those books that changed my life after reading it. Never have I read a book that so intricately described a person that I have heard about so much in my life. Tavis Smily (with David Ritz) put together a truly powerful book that shows the complexity of following your heart, even when the crowd is no longer with you.

In this book, you see the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after the “I Have a Dream Speech”. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who had to battle people questioning his moves against the Vietnam War, questioning the efficacy of non-violence, and people questioning whether Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. really could bring about the “Dream” he so believed in.

Yet, you also get to the see the other side of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that is rarely discussed. You see the Dr. King, who likes to joke, is worried about his duties as a father, listening to Aretha Franklin, and trying to keep his struggling non-profit together. You’ll see the depressed side, the personally morally conflicted side, the angry side, the tired side, and more.

After seeing so many frozen images of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. as a civil rights activist, this was the first book I read that treated him as a human.

It’s a truly multi-faceted and well-researched book that I would put in the same category of Alex Haley’s “Autobiography of Malcolm X”. I encourage anyone who wants to do a deeper study of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his life to read it.

I got this book from the library, but I’m buying it for my personal collection. There is great content for reflection in each chapter. It is amazing that Tavis Smiley was able to capture the essence of Dr. King’s life in one year in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Freelance Writer's Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com
The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com by Kevin Casey
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

As a freelancer, I’ve had my “tour of duty” with freelancing websites for writers (Textbroker, Constant Content, Blogmutt, Yahoo Voices-when it was available, etc.) and sites that offer writing jobs (oDesk, Elance, Guru, etc.) Of all of those sites, Constant Content was a site that I made absolutely no success on. I submitted one article, which was rejected, and haven’t submitted any others. I have visited the site several times planning to writing an article, but never really got the confidence to try it again. The process was just too complicated.

“The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money” offers readers a chance to avoid the negative experience I had by detailing the extraordinary experience of a writer who made quite a bit of money on the site. This should have been the guide I looked over before joining the site. I found it to be a very honest and helpful guide to some of the areas that I never even bothered to discover on Constant Content. The author goes into more personal detail than other authors in similar books on freelance writing would. For example, the author doesn’t just cover how to use Constant Cotent, he explains the rules behind the submission process, provides examples and dollar amounts of articles he’s written, as well as some of the common obstacles to getting paid.

Having said that, here are 3 caveats:
1. This is not for beginning writers looking to make quick money using Constant Content as a content mill.
2. The writer is an experienced writer, which makes his understanding of Constant Content different from the people in the point I made above.
3. The author has an almost gushing appreciation for Constant Content ( I don’t blame him, because he make a profit!).

Overall, I’m still not sure if Constant Content is for me. I am a little more aware of the process and things I could have done to improve my failed article attempt. I just don’t have the energy or time unless some idea or inspiration really hits me.

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Source: tianobookdesign.com

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