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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Commoditization of Killing - Canned Lion Hunting

Wildlife hunting in Africa is suddenly big news. Thanks to a tweet by Ricky Gervais (albeit almost 5 years late) about Rebecca Francis and her killing of a giraffe in 2010, and followed closely by news stories of the US's approval of a black rhino hunting license won in a Dallas auction last year, there's now a spotlight on the issue of trophy hunting. While this controversial subject and its often misleading claims to helping conservation efforts is getting its day in the sun, there is another more deadly practice hiding and growing in the shadows in Africa - Canned Lion Hunting.

Peter Barkham of the Guardian likens canned lion hunting to "shooting fish in a barrel". Adult lions raised in captivity and often drugged,  are released into an enclosed area, with no room to run. Hunters, on the back of pick up trucks are able to pick them off with almost guaranteed success. I say almost, because even with all the odds stacked in favor of the hunter, amateurs often miss,…

Celebrating Earth this day... almost speechless!

Today is Earth Day (if you didn't already know that). It felt important that I say something. But after thinking about it a while I realized I couldn't possibly say it all in one post. In fact, if anything, this entire blog and all the posts I write are a celebration of Earth Day. Every day is Earth Day on www.speckonadot.com.

So I decided instead to dedicate this post to showing you why its so important to celebrate and protect the earth. Every time we travel, my family asks for pictures of my husband and I. Usually that's a tough task, because we almost never take pictures of ourselves. For us, its all about the space we're in and celebrating its uniqueness. Now I can put all those pictures to work, to share the beauty I see everyday, all around me.

Here's the earth in all its glory - sunrise to sunset, seasons changing, creatures big & small. After seeing this, how could you not want to have it live on forever....









Last Rhino Standing...

If there was ever any question about why saving the Rhinos was so important, the story out on major news channels recently, should eliminate all doubt.There is only one... count that... just one male northern white rhino left in the entire world. In fact there are only 5 of the species left in total, two females in zoos in the US and Czech Republic and 2 other females who live with Sudan, the single bull at a conservancy in Kenya.The situation is so dire, that Sudan, the bull, and his two female comoanions are under 24 hour armed guard and wear monitors to prevent poachers from getting to them. Demand for rhino horn, which is believed to have medicinal properties, continues to grow, and is estimated by some experts to be worth more than drugs.In addition to protecting him for as long as needed, frantic efforts are underway to help the two females breed. With age and urgency be in a factor, alternative options like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy with a different white rhino speci…

Saving Trees to be trees... and not a landfiller!

Here's a pop quiz for you -  which of the two scenes below do you think is more likely?

Scenario 1 - I open everything I get in the mail, and suddenly I am a happier person, paying lower interest, owning a better home (after selling the one I'm living in at an unbelievable price), have a home full of great stuff, bought with shiny new plastic, be better educated, and more relaxed.
Or Option 2 - I yank my hair out in frustration at, the hours wasted ripping open bulky envelopes to make sure there's no personally identifiable info, a slew of paper-cuts crisscrossing my tough skin, a new batch of recycling every day, and a sinking feeling at the backlog of other chores. Any guesses?

I know that to many of you, a version of option 2 hits close to the mark, frustration at the volume of junk mail we receive daily is a common complaint, yet, they keep coming, everyday in the mail. Fat, glossy, window envelopes, with sometimes too much knowledge about our lives (it's scary h…

Countdown to another dead Rhino, 8....7....6....

Did you know that while you're going about your 8 hour work day, somewhere in the wilds of Africa, another Rhino is being killed and viciously mutilated? Or that someone in China is stirring rhino horn powder into a drink, while others look on in admiration and envy?
I didn't...until now!

In my ongoing evolution as a writer and a quest for more experience, I volunteer at a few nonprofits to help with their communication needs. I recently connected with and did a little work for a nonprofit called Nikela, a completely volunteer run public charity that is an incredible example of how people with passion and belief in a cause but limited funds can still make an impact in the world. Started in 2010 by Margrit & Russ Harris, driven by a desire to support the extraordinary people trying to preserve African wildlife, Nikela helps by 
“telling stories, raising some funds and doing what we can to support those who give their all to stop the rhino poaching, curb the escalating wild…