My January blog about wild birds touched a chord among readers. Two websites reposted it on their platforms, spreading the word further. If you missed it, take a look here at the true story about an emerald bird called Emi.
I was honored to be featured in a short documentary called BEEF made by a fourteen-year-old, Sevy Lortie. An inspiring young man, he says: “I’d like to grow up into a kind and peaceful world. I hope to help make the world more green, and work to raise awareness and take action around climate change.” Watch the 16-minute film here.
I have the story of a lifetime—a story from the very jungles of Costa Rica.
My husband Aamer and I were driving from an ecolodge to a biological reserve in Costa Rica and decided to stop for a break. We sat in a restaurant and looked out the window to find a cat meowing as it stared up a tree. A green bird perched on a branch, her eyes closed, her feathers fuzzy.
We learned from a Swedish couple in the restaurant that she’d hit her head by flying against the glass windows, and now could no longer fly properly. The cat was waiting to eat her. In fact, cats kill billions of wild birds and mammals each year in the United States alone, posing an immense threat to wildlife.
My husband Aamer Hasham and I visited Costa Rica in January 2017 and found it to be a beautiful country of misty forests, waterfalls, and sandy beaches. It has also taken important conservation steps such as protecting around a quarter of its land as national park and banning sport hunting. That said, deforestation poses a major threat to the country’s biodiversity, much of it due to cattle ranching and animal agriculture. In the photos below, ranging from the stunning to the strange, you’ll learn how tiny bats survive and why trees in Costa Rica show, but don’t tell, their age.
At a charming ecolodge and wildlife refuge where we stayed, Arenal Oasis, the large and small among the feathered kind dropped by for fruit. Their favorites were banana and papaya.
As I look back at 2016, here are 25 of my favorite notes from readers of Project Animal Farm during the year. I am deeply humbled by all the support.
“Sonia – I have to say, ‘Thank you for writing Project Animal Farm.’ When I retired a year ago, I made it my goal to read every day…and I have…Your [book] is at the top of my ‘Best Ever Read” list.’” – Steve
“I was repeatedly blown away and humbled by the insightfulness of your writing.” – Lucas
As I wrote in a piece for Huffington Post two years ago, “The roots of Thanksgiving lie in expressing gratitude for harvests of crops. That’s right—Thanksgiving is actually a harvest festival.” Here are some delicious recipes to try:
I had the pleasure of meeting with Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo on October 28, 2016 during his trip to Toronto for the International Festival of Authors. I interviewed him about his writing career, which has spanned three decades from the publication of his first book Mohawk in 1986 to the publication of his most recent book Everybody’s Fool in May 2016. The book is a sequel to Nobody’s Fool, published in 1993 and made into a feature film.
Here is a quick little excerpt from Chapter Two of Project Animal Farm. It continues off from Chapter One, which I shared in the September newsletter. In case you missed it, here is the link to Chapter One. Happy reading!
BIG news: We’re taking Project Animal Farm global. The e-book became available globally in English earlier this month. The paperback became available here for residents of the United Kingdom and Europe. If you have friends or family in the U.K. or Europe, please spread the word!
I loved my speaking engagements at the Ottawa and Kingston Writers Festivals in the last couple of weeks. I spoke at the Kingston Writers Festival on September 29 and the Ottawa Writers Festival on October 15. Both attracted a terrific array of people of all ages.
The event in Kingston featured my youngest audience to date, mostly middle school students. They were incredibly engaged, interested, and intelligent. The event in Ottawa featured a conversation on stage with the festival’s Founding Director Neil Wilson, as well as an audience interested in food literacy. I am humbled to say that Project Animal Farm was well received at both events!
I am grateful to the festivals and their sponsors for hosting me. Both events were also supported by wonderful bookstores and tech teams as well.