A new football stadium rises in downtown Minneapolis, its glass facade a death trap for the thousands of birds anticipated to collide with it each year. The National Audubon Society, meanwhile, puts out a blockbuster report finding that the looming specter of climate change threatens nearly half of North America’s native bird species. And a Minnesota “blogger on bird-related subjects,” who you’d think just sits around waiting for billion-dollar construction projects to fight, instead argues that when compared to that far greater threat, a few thousand birds sacrificed in the name of aesthetics is “nothing.”

Franzen feels “bullied” by climate change’s dominance over all other environmental issues


Our 2015 Brooklyn Artists Ball will once again feature artist-created immersive table environments. However, unlike years past which tapped a new crop of artists each time, the gala’s fifth incarnation welcomes back eight previous participants to create larger scale installations for this year’s festivities. We will be spotlighting each of these artists over the next few weeks.

For our BKM community, Brooklyn-based artist Swoon hardly needs any introduction. From her signature paper portraits to her figurative installations, Swoon’s various projects celebrate everyday people and explore social and environmental issues. She is best known for her large, intricately-cut prints wheat pasted to industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. You may also know her from her 2014 site-specific installation, Swoon: Submerged Motherlands here at the Museum.

Returning for this year’s #BKArtistsBall, Swoon’s installation will draw on a creative practice deeply connected to all her work, the visioning and scale modeling process. Modeled after projects old and new, these table environments will bring the viewer into this aspect of Swoon’s process and into the imaginative space of potential that we gain access to when looking at scaled down representations of life.

I think I would take less issue with many of these vegan bloggers if they ever took the time of day to understand why not everyone can go vegan and not give us shit for “caring about some animals/environmental issues but not others”

A lot of people can’t afford to change their entire lifestyle on their budget, a lot of us are “picky-eaters” or have eating/anxiety disorders that make it extremely difficult to adjust to a vegan diet and/or lifestyle.

I am one of those people.

A while back, I’d tried becoming vegetarian at a time when I was pretty psychologically vulnerable. I’d developed weird habits regarding what I let myself eat or buy in an attempt to be smarter with my money and to feel less guilty about eating animal products; however, a lot of vegan groceries are pretty expensive and less accessible where I live, and I didn’t (and still don’t) find many vegan recipes that appealing. A lot of distorted thought processes that I’m not going to go into detail here got me to a point where I’d suppressed myself enough to seldom ever feel hungry; I’d unintentionally starved myself and I’d dropped down to 98 lbs. I went to the hospital and my psychiatrist, who changed my anxiety medication and took me off of AD/HD meds (which are also appetite suppressants), and then I had to relearn how to eat. Which meant eggs, dairy, and some meats, but I didn’t care. I figured that I wasn’t ready to commit myself to this kind of change just yet, maybe I never will be.

Which brings me to my next point: I feel like I try to be active in living “greener” or more sustainably or in issues about animal welfare/wildlife conservation to compensate for my current situation. Yes, I consume meat (not very much), dairy (almond and soy milk are icky), and eggs. But I still give a shit about these issues. It’s the least I can do, and it’s disheartening to see this “holier than thou” attitude from vegan bloggers writing off non-vegans’ distancing themselves from their lifestyle as “an excuse” when it’s frequently much more than that. /rant