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Thank you to everyone who sent contributions to the Non Human Observer and Vegitails cook book. These are sure to be delightful projects and I'm personally very happy to be able to support them. The first issue of NhO is set to come out June 16!

The web shop will be opening up again for shirts and cassettes. I apologize to anyone who's been anxious about this extended break.

IFIAAR will also be working back in NYC this summer with a summer series! There will be a monthly event June through September bringing together concepts, speakers, and activities related to greater non-human animal topics.
Details coming soon!

Meanwhile, its time for my rumination/rant.
This month I had the great privilege of following a travel dream of mine to Egypt. Like most, since seeing images of hieroglyphs and bird gods in middle school, I've had an intense curiosity about the grandiose and extremely aesthetic world of Egypt's ancient civilization. While if I were to have gone as a child, this alone would have been the point of my obsession, during my trip I felt more curious about how this ancient world- most of whose direct history became cut off from adapting into contemporary Egyptian history- still plays into the world we know now.

Its easy to gaze at the art of ancient Egypt and feel connected to the animal presence rendered so carefully and detailed and believe there was some kind of reverence there different from our own. As we went from temple to temple learning the stories and really examining the sequences though, it became obvious how symbolic these relationships were and how incredibly anthropocentric Egyptian religion and society was. Yes there were temples where an individual of a species was selected to represent that god/dess but this did not translate to any larger protection or acknowledgement of the species as a whole.
Watching some men by the Nile aggressively pull and push and force their donkeys into the water (for a bath), I really felt like probably next to nothing has changed in our perception of animal relations in thousands of years over the majority of the globe. This scene felt no different from watching someone in Manhattan drag their dog across the sidewalk when it decides to stop walking. Animals have been tools of human society- transportation, laborers, soldiers, food, symbols of power, pets.... and this dominant perception has carried over generationally since human society formed. We know how to be kinder, gentler, to get actions we desire without reinforcing fear and discomfort, but its not incorporated into our way of growing up or pressured by the peers around us. Of course there are minorities of individuals or groups who preach patience, positive reinforcement, vegetarianism or simply live by those standards, but dominant society (ancient Egypt to neo-liberalism) so often undermines or mocks these attempts to act and think different.

I was left wondering what exactly we have been doing for thousands of years that's very interesting... I'll admit I loved the pyramids, you got me there, and yes I do love Manhattan, but I was definitely left a little in awe of our actual lack of spiritual or psychological 'progress.'



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Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations · 751 Bushwick Ave · Brooklyn, Ny 11221 · USA

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