“Jenn, you are one of the most conscientious sellers I've come across. Plus you are so sweet on a consistent basis!”
- Cindy, Artfire Buyer


“My granddaughter loves it!! Thanks for making it "her size"!! “ - Janna from Etsy


“Jenn, I love my perfect little avatile!!! It's adorable. Thanks so much, I'll be ordering MORE! xxoo” - Holly from SpoiledBratzWear


“My fave! Love it!” - J, Etsy Buyer


“Jenn, I love the custom pendant you made for me - it is perfect!”- Marion from Artfire


“Super fast shipping! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!” - Etsy Buyer


“Absolutely GORGEOUS!! Great service, FAST shipping - beautiful work!! I'll be back for more!! Thank you!”
- BWDesigns (Custom Order), Artfire


“All I can say is WOW!!! This is one of the MOST beautiful pieces I have ever purchased - wonderful seller, great communication and gorgeous work!!!! Thank you!!” - Judith (Custom Order), Artfire


“I love it! Thanks!” - Etsy Buyer


“I received my pendant today and it arrived in perfect condition. Thank you so much... it's beautiful and I love it!!!”
- Custom Order, Artfire


"This turned out better than I could have imagined! Even the packaging is A++++! I LOVE IT!! THANKS NINJA!!" - Laura (Avi-Tiles Custom Order), Artfire


"Ninja, so sorry it took me so long to tell you how much I love my cats! I guess it never occurred to me there were 2 pages of purchases! This is purrrrrrfect!" - Ali, Artfire Buyer


"absolutely gorgeous. I will wear her proudly...thanks Jenn" - Joy, Artfire Buyer

23 March 2009

Soy's Wolves

DISCLAIMER: This post is NOT craft/handmade related. This post may also have some views that you disagree with. In no way am I claiming that all the information in this post is 100% factual, but I did the best I could to cite only credible sources and to stick to verifiable facts. My sincere hope is that I don't offend anyone with this post. I am posting this because I feel strongly about the subject matter. Additionally, I made a promise to a fellow artisan that I would help her spread the word, and I believe VERY strongly in following through on any promise I make. I hope you will take the time to read this post, but if you choose not to, I totally understand. If you do continue reading, I hope you can see that I am not trying to spark any sort of political debate, nor am I trying to incite any riots. I am simply trying to draw attention to the plight of a group who can not speak for themselves. <3

When I first joined the Artfire community, I became an active member of the forums there. Not long after, I had the pleasure of meeting Val from SoyScentual. My first impression of Val was that she was kind, witty, and extremely passionate about her beliefs. It wasn't long until I saw those beliefs in action.

Val started a thread in the forums trying to bring attention to the fact that Sarah Palin has no regard for wildlife in the beautiful state of Alaska. Unfortunately, the thread quickly took a turn for the worst (as such sensitive topics often do), and Val's well-intentioned thread was moved to a "lesser seen" forum. While I understand the reasons it was moved, it saddened me that something so obviously important to so many was now being overlooked. So I offered to help Val spread the word by posting about the topic here. It's taken me a while to write this, and for that I truly apologize. It isn't often that I have such a hard time writing something, but this time I wanted to be sure that I was both being honest and doing this topic the justice it deserves. I sincerely ask you to continue reading with an open heart and an open mind, and to let go of your political biases long enough to hear what Val, myself, and so many others are trying to say.

So, with that in mind, here's the issue:

Sarah Palin, as governor of Alaska, has repeatedly and purposefully created and enacted legislation that endangers the wildlife of her state. She has used tax payers' money to carry out her personal agendas, and she has completely disregarded the voices of her constituents time and again. She has offered bounties for the legs of freshly killed wolves, promoted ariel hunting of those same wolves (even though the state of Alaska has voted TWICE to ban this practice), and she is suing the federal government to prevent polar bears from being listed as endangered. She also sued to have the Cook Inlet Beluga whale removed from the endangered species list. As is sadly obvious, Governor Palin is no fan of wildlife preservation.

In the past, Governor Palin has used various reasoning to support these actions, the most prominent being that "Alaska has a wolf overpopulation issue" (which is not true) and "Alaskans need moose for food, so the wolves (natural predators of moose) need to go" (this too is bad logic, because it costs FAR more to kill the wolves than it would to just feed the hungry in her state). Realistically, it appears that Mrs. Palin, a very active big game hunter, is just using her political platform to further her personal interests. IMHO, it's a sad thing when someone who has the potential to make changes for the better chooses to use her power to harm our already overworked planet.

Regardless of whether you are a republican or a democrat, a liberal or a conservative, I think we can all agree that humans are steadily eating away at this planet's resources. As it stands right now, Alaska is the last state where one can see such magnificent wildlife in its natural habitat, and for that reason, if no other, I feel we should pull together and lobby for a change. As artisans, we often talk of "saving the planet" and "being earth friendly"... we recycle, we try to reduce our waste, and we try to do the right thing at every turn. But I ask you: what good are these actions if we leave ourselves as the only species on the planet when it's all said and done? Are we saving the planet for the planet's sake, or are we just saving it for our own selfish use?

If you agree with me that every aspect of this planet is worth saving, then please, take action to do what is right. Write a letter, make a call, donate to the right organizations... anything you can think of. And if you can't think of anything, feel free to ask me or Val... I'm sure we can point you in the right direction.

<3

p.s. Thank you for taking the time to read this far. It means a lot to me.

6 comments:

Kristin Summerlin March 24, 2009 at 7:23 AM  

As an Alaskan, I appreciate you doing this. I'd also like to point out some of the things that make many Alaskans stop listening when "outsiders" talk about wildlife in our state.

Subsistence hunting is an important part of being Alaskan. There are many families in the Bush (both Alaska Native and others) who live largely on moose, caribou, salmon, berries and other things they hunt and gather for themselves.

But subsistence hunting isn't only a Bush thing: Many city-dwellers also prefer to hunt (or fish) for meat to stock their freezers. I don't hunt, but I never turn down a gift of game meat or fish, because it is much healthier than factory-farmed chicken, salmon or beef. And I am not a vegetarian.

I believe most honest hunters are offended by the predator control projects (wolves and bears both). These are initiatives supported primarily by the Alaska Outdoor Council, which is a hugely powerful group of mostly trophy hunters, hunting guides, and those who shoot for sport -- people who believe the outdoors is there for them to exploit. The Palins are the poster family for this group.

People who hunt to put food on the table generally understand and respect the predator/prey relationship and realize that where moose populations are depressed, it is primarily from over-hunting by human beings, not wolves. Hunting for food is hard, heavy work, and those who do it only take what they need.

Hunting in any form is distasteful to many outsiders, but to me, this puts human beings in an unnatural position of not being a part of the environment in which we live. Oddly enough, it separates us from nature -- which, while beautiful, is not always fuzzy or cute or nonviolent.

Ethical Alaskan hunters also don't want to unbalance things like in the states, where the predator/prey relationship is so out of whack that you have deer starving and diseased from overpopulation.

The people of Alaska have twice voted no to aerial hunting of wolves, but Palin has ignored the voice of the people. Many of us are angry about that.

However, you will not hear a lot of fondness for the "greenies" from outside who come across as "bunny lovers," with no understanding of or appreciation for people who hunt for their food.

If you don't want to be greeted by scorn when you try to address these Alaskan issues, it's important to try to understand how people live, why they live that way, and not condemn them for their choice of food or the means of getting it.

I think Palin is a frightening, smart but intellectually incurious, cunning woman with an agenda: She's running for President in 2012, and she's running now.

I don't know what the solution is for the short term on "predator control." But I do believe there are many more Alaskans who would be active in working against it if people from outside would take the time to listen, learn about what we do and why, and address the issues respectfully.

Please do call, write, and donate to organizations you believe in. But please also take the time to understand the subtleties of the issues, and be mature enough to understand that everything is not cut and dried, black or white.

Sorry to be long-winded, but this is a subject close to my heart, too, and I just see too many people "talking at" each other instead of to each other.

Jenn March 24, 2009 at 3:09 PM  

kristin -

i want to drive to you and hug you right now!

i too am from a hunting family (although not an alaskan one! LOL) and i understand completely hunting for USE... i firmly believe that hunting when you actually eat/store what you kill is respectable and that there is NOTHING wrong with it...

i get upset at the "greenies" who say "oh no! please don't kill that! it's cute!" or the like... and i SINCERELY hope that i didn't come off that way... lord... maybe i need to rewrite this whole post now! (wonders...)

my only issue is with hunting for the sake of killing... or hunting in a manner that leaves the prey no fighting chance... and stands to wipe out an entire portion of a species in one area..

i think it's greedy and selfish of us (as humans) to use methods like ariel hunting, and i think it's stupid when big game hunters wish to eradicate one species so a "trophy" species can still exist... IMO nature is a finely tuned machine... and nature put BOTH those species in that particular place for a reason... and i don't think it's our job to try to upset that balance

i REALLY hope i have NOT offended any "true hunters" with this... and i REALLY appreciate you taking the time and effort to write such a thoughtful and heartfelt reply

Thank you,

<3

Kristin Summerlin March 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

No, of course not! In fact, it's because you didn't come across that way that I commented at all. Nothing you said would offend any hunter (at least, that I know. My comment was aimed at people who might read your post who haven't thought through all the issues.

I'm really enjoying your blogs. Thanks for being so thoughtful.

Jenn March 24, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

whew! thanks again kristin! it's nice to hear that i wasn't offensive, but it's FAR nicer to hear that someone is reading and enjoying!

readers like you make all the difference!

<3

VaL March 26, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

I spent about 20 minutes typing a post in here. clicked submit or whatever it is you click and *poof* my 20 minutes worth of posting vanished.

So.....here is an update. See the Pro-Palin ad below? Well.....I emailed google a nice long email regarding that ad on here. No response yet.

Last week Palin's henchmen annilihated 84 wolves. Next comes the denning of cubs. If she allowed it last year, she is not going to stop this year.

People! It is not the wolves killing all of your food sources, it's your governor! Wake up! Smell the Blood!

Well, the Feds are hot on her heels and so is the National Parks Service.

More to come.....at work don't have time right now.

Jenn March 27, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

val-

first let me say thank you for inspiring me to write this!

as to the palin ad below, when i got here it was already gone, and i SINCERELY appreciate you writing to google... i would have been INFURIATED if i'd seen it, and as such, i am comtemplating removing ALL their adds from my site!

i HATE that you lost your post.. it's happened to me too and i wish i knew what cause it so i could fix it... i would LOVE to have heard what you had to say!

thanks for reading and commenting, more than that, thank you for being passionate enough to stand up for what you believe in! you're truly a role model!

<3

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