If Your Tears Were Human: A Collection of Poetry for Animals in Agriculture

tearswerehumancoverloWho Chains You Books announces our October new release: If Your Tears Were Human—A Collection of Poetry for Animals in Agriculture by Heather Leughmyer.

If Your Tears Were Human: A Collection of Poetry for Animals in Agriculture is an intensely moving and powerful collection of 25 verses written by Heather Leughmyer and paired with striking photographic images from Vanessa Sarges.

Each year, billions of land animals are raised and killed for their meat, eggs, and milk. To the agricultural industry, they are commodities, dollar signs. But to a growing number of people from all walks of life, these precious souls have purpose beyond our palates. They are unique individuals who experience pleasure and pain. They are companions, they are teachers, and they bring beauty and diversity to the planet we all share.

The poems included in this book were inspired by animals, people and events the author encountered in her activism for animals. Although she has been deeply disturbed by the magnitude of human cruelty toward these innocent beings, she has been just as deeply touched by the people who have bravely protested these injustices and who work relentlessly to make this world a kinder place. These are her heroes; the rebels, the bunny-huggers, those with the largest hearts and the softest souls. These poems honor them and the animals they serve.

The book is available from Amazon and 3rd party booksellers, on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited for those members, and from our CreateSpace site at the below links.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

About the Author:

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Heather Leughmyer graduated from Indiana-Purdue University with a B.A. in English Writing and Linguistics. She is a dedicated vegan, animal rights activist and animal rescuer. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she has advocated for animals. By telling their stories and illustrating their pain she hopes to touch a few hearts and change a few minds with her words. She lives in Columbia City, Indiana, with her husband, daughter and several animal companions.

About the Photographer:

img_2741-2Vanessa Sarges wanted to make more of a contribution to Animal Rights, and felt that there was no better way to do so than to document their lives through her photography.

She began bearing witness with Toronto Pig Save and capturing the souls who were being transported to slaughter and the brave activists bearing witness with her. Although taking those photos is both sad and infuriating, many people have contacted Vanessa to say that her photos were the turning point of their lives and that they were transitioning to a vegan lifestyle as a result.

Vanessa and Heather have been friends for many years and Vanessa has taken great inspiration from their friendship and from Heather’s profound poetry. Vanessa was honoured to be asked to contribute to If Your Tears were Human.

The book is available from Amazon and 3rd party booksellers, on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited for those members, and from our CreateSpace site at the below links.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Join Who Chains You Books as we Participate in November’s “National Novel Writing Month”

dogthief-chosen-loEver wanted to write a novel around your love of animals, but find it all too easy to procrastinate the evenings and weekends away?

Have great ideas for a series or book, but haven’t been successful in forcing yourself to sit in the chair long enough to flesh them out?

We hear you. We do it too.

That’s why founder Tamira Thayne, and—hopefully—some of our other already-published authors, are committing to participating in National Novel Writing month this November.

Join us! It’s FREE to participate, and we can have our own little Who Chains You Books group to encourage each other to write each and every day. Then, at the end of the month we can proudly show off our accomplishments toward our very own ‘Great American Animal Novel.’

Here’s a link to read the ‘rules’, although rebels are always encouraged: http://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works

Simply, you sign up to write a novel of 50,000 words in length or longer during the month of November. First drafts only, and there is no judging or public showing of your work. Everyone who succeeds in writing that much is termed a winner, and what do you win? Well, you’ve written a novel!

That’s pretty cool.

So, are you in? If so, sign up here, and drop us a line at info@whochainsyou.com to let us know you signed up so we can support each other via e-mail and/or facebook.

http://nanowrimo.org/

Happy Writing!

P.S. Explore our published books for animal lovers, rescuers, and activists on our page at http://www.whochainsyou.com/books.html.

 

Doggie Foster Parents: You are Not Perfect…Letting Go of Mistakes

An Excerpt from “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne. Available in both paperback and kindle format from the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

You are Not Perfect…Letting Go of Mistakes

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Truth: You are not perfect, and neither are all the ‘perfect’ rescuers. Everyone, everyone, EVERYONE makes mistakes, and to expect perfection of yourself or anyone else will only make your life miserable.

Tip: Fostering dogs is hard. Expecting yourself to do it perfectly, be the perfect foster parent will only make it worse, so let go of this need. The rescue world is rife with judgment surrounding foster parenting. If others condemn you as not good enough, walk away from them and keep doing your best.

Repeat after me: I’m doing my best, and getting it done is more important than getting it perfect. I am taking the best care of my fosters that I can, and letting go of my mistakes.

I would prefer to keep excessive negativity out of this book (or blog post, as the case may be)—as in talking bad about other rescuers—because I think we all get enough of that in our daily lives. This book is aimed at forgiving yourself (and others) for true mistakes, learning how to do it better, and giving yourself the time and attention you need too.

However, at this point I must say a few words about the cruelty and vindictiveness that runs rampant in the rescue community.

It’s bullshit.

Too many rescuers think that every other rescuer is not as good as they are for all manner of reasons. I’ve been slammed by people for not being perfect enough, not doing this right, not doing that right.

It’s exhausting!

In just one example of the myriad out there, one person who thought she could do it so much better than me had a house full of dogs—eight, if I’m not mistaken (she had a problem letting the dogs go once they crossed her threshold). I know for a fact—having seen it with my own eyes—that her dogs spent their entire lives either trapped in the kitchen, in a crate, or in a tiny 10×20 yard.

They never went for walks; she claimed they didn’t need them.

Were these dogs chained or penned, no. Did they live inside, yes. Was she clean, yes, she seemed to be. Would I have badmouthed her efforts, even though I didn’t think it was ideal?

No. It is my opinion that her dogs did not have the best life available to them, and she should have let some go. But, at the same time, I believed that she loved them and had good intentions. I accepted that her standards were not mine and keep my eyes focused on the real and true abusers out there.

By contrast, at that time I had two separate large fenced areas (approximately 1/2 acre total), two doggie doors, the ability to separate dogs into packs so they could roam free inside the home, and a super-sized crate plus smaller crates for use when absolutely necessary. They were rarely used once dogs got acclimated.

I learned this person had been judging my rescue and foster efforts and finding them wanting. Why?

Because she believes she’s the perfect rescuer. Perfect foster parent. She is unable to see the log in her own eye for the splinter in mine.

Another time I was accused of being a bad rescuer because I adopted a dog into a home where, a year later, he was alleged to have been hit by the male caretaker. The informant was his sister. Turns out that, coincidentally, they were involved in a family brawl over their mother’s death and her will, and weren’t speaking to each other.

sammysosa

Sammy, the ‘abused’ dog, in his yard, looking happy and healthy.

The dog, Sammy, and I became mere pawns in their family game of pain.

In order to disprove the internet rumors, I made the decision to take a whole Saturday, make the two hour drive to the dog’s home, and take photos and video of what appeared to be a happy and well-adjusted dog.

If the guy was taking a swat at the dog, I saw no signs of it. I had no proof, just unsubstantiated allegations; the dog appeared in good health, happy, and well-loved. He showed no fear of his caretakers, and he was just as sweet and loving as the day I adopted him out.

To you good folks out there who are so discouraged with fostering and rescue because of the meanness of other rescuers, I feel your pain.

If you know in your heart you are kind and doing your best for your foster dogs, then block the person from your life. Delete their e-mail, ban them from contacting you through social media, whatever you have to do so you don’t see their abuse every day. You don’t need that stress.

However, I will encourage you to do as I did with Sammy and take the time to first rebut the lies. Take photos and video of the dog/s in question, and post all your evidence that disproves the allegations. Don’t get me wrong—they will still badmouth you and disbelieve you­—but they will lose a lot of support when others see your photos and video. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I’ve found that to be true.

After I took photos and video of Sammy happily playing in the stream with the family’s other dog, and running in and out the doggie door, people moved on to the next person to attack with their pitchforks and computer mouses.

Honestly, to those of you who spend your lives torturing other rescuers, get off it! Keep your eyes focused on the true abusers. Leave your fellow rescuers alone, unless you see real problems such as hoarding, chaining, 24/7 crating, or lack of medical attention. These things need to be taken seriously.

If you really believe a fellow rescuer is abusing their animals, you’d better get proof, and you’d better be prepared to step in to take the dogs off their hands so the dogs don’t pay the price by ending up dumped and killed in the shelter.

Otherwise, keep your head in the game and focus on the ‘real’ bad guys…

mommybanmanlo3

The author with Banshee, whose saga features prominently in the book.

An Excerpt from “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne. Available in both paperback and kindle format from the following links:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue