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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Inhumane

Nathan J. Winograd On Reforming Animal Shelters

The real roadblock to widespread implementation of No Kill is shelter directors who have dug in their heels and who are legitimized and defended by the ASPCA and HSUS. There’s a shelter in Davidson County, North Carolina, with a 96 percent rate of killing cats. On top of that, it puts animals of different species into the gas chamber together. Despite this, the HSUS gave it an award in 2012, calling it a “Shelter We Love.”

Keep Off The Grasslands

Mark Dowie On Conservation Refugees

I do think conservationists are starting to realize that any land worth conserving — because the biological diversity is high, the soil is fertile, and the original endemic species are still there — exists only because native human populations have been good stewards of it. The trick is to preserve the land and leave the stewards there.

The Run-On Sentence

Eddie Ellis On Life After Prison

Because of its flawed policies and dysfunctional institutions, this society incarcerates more people per capita than does any other nation. We can’t continue along this path. We cannot afford to keep viewing these issues in a vacuum. We’ve got to do a better job of connecting the dots.

Out Of Our Heads

Philip Shepherd On The Brain In Our Belly

Our story insists that our thinking happens exclusively in the head. And so we are stuck in the cranium, unable to open the door to the body and join its thinking. The best we can do is put our ear to the imaginary wall separating us from it and “listen to the body,” a phrase that means well but actually keeps us in the head, gathering information from the outside.

The Undiscovered Country

John Elder On The Wild Places Close To Home

But to find the sacred only in the wilderness would be like finding it only in a beautiful church on Easter. Unless the sacred is imbued in your day-to-day life, in your work, in the food on your table, in the attitude you take toward the health of your own community, its value is limited.

Swept Under The Rug

Ai-jen Poo On The Plight Of Domestic Workers

Domestic workers are in a fascinating position. They are poor or working-class women who live in both their own world and the upper-class world of their employers. They witness the difference between these realities daily. They might accompany their employers on vacation, but they never get a vacation themselves. They see employers taking taxis, but they return home on the bus. They know when one of their employers would rather spend four hundred dollars on a pair of shoes than pay them a living wage, because they watch it happen. It’s a brutal reminder of inequality.

We Are Not Worth More, They Are Not Worth Less

The Odyssey Of S. Brian Willson

I think of myself as a recovering white male, recovering from my early conditioning about how to be successful. The value system I was raised with dehumanized me to the point that I followed an order to travel nine thousand miles to participate in destroying another people. It’s incredible that I could do that, and without really thinking much about it. That’s why I wrote the book — to understand how it was so easy for me to do that.

Wrong Turn

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake On How Science Lost Its Way

I suggest that morphogenetic fields work by imposing patterns on otherwise random or indeterminate activity. Morphogenetic fields are not fixed forever, but evolve. The fields of Afghan hounds and poodles have become different from those of their common ancestors, wolves. How are these fields inherited? I propose that they are transmitted from past members of the species through a kind of nonlocal resonance, which I call “morphic resonance.”

Indefensible

David Krieger On The Continuing Threat Of Nuclear Weapons

The path to security can only be through total nuclear disarmament. We cannot indefinitely maintain a world of nuclear haves and have-nots, and we cannot go attacking every country that we think might be on the path to making a bomb.

If Your House Is On Fire

Kathleen Dean Moore On The Moral Urgency Of Climate Change

Every decision that we make — about where we find information, where we get food, what we wear, how we make our living, how we invest our time and our wealth, how we travel or keep ourselves warm and sheltered — is an opportunity for us to express our values both by saying yes to what we believe in and by saying no to what we don’t believe in.