Oct. 5th, 2008

naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
I've had a few very polite enquiries about this, and it is an entirely valid issue for concern, so I want to make a few notes about the skulls and other animal bones I use.

I do sometimes get skulls from other crafters-of-dead-things, but most of my skulls are from dealers like Moscow Hide and Fur, Skulls Unlimited, and several eBay sellers who specialize in bones.

The vendors from whom I acquire my bones obtain them from a variety of sources: deceased zoological animals, roadkill, game park culls, destroyed nuisance animals, and so on. The majority of these skulls, however, are byproducts of hunting and trapping. The skulls I buy are all legally obtained from areas in which the species is not threatened.

As I have said before, I personally do not have any moral objection to hunting and trapping when it is done respectfully and responsibly,* and when the animals are plentiful enough in the area to sustain the casualties.**

Every species I have worked with so far is abundant in the wild, though perhaps not in all parts of its former range. It is for this reason that, unless I can come by a skull secondhand or acquire one from an animal that suffered an accidental death or had to be put down, I may never work with animals that are vulnerable or threatened, and which may become endangered in the near future: mountain lions and wolverines are examples of species whose status is in dispute. I work with non-threatened species, and with only one exception (Violet; the spotted hyena's non-threatened status is conservation-dependent), they are species of least concern.***

I don't expect everyone is going to be okay with this. Some people are against hunting, period, same as some people are against eating meat, period. I completely respect that, and I'm not going to harass anyone about their opinion. I do expect the same in return, though. I have researched the issue and have come to my own conclusions, and I'm doing this in a way that I feel does not contribute to irresponsible wildlife management or to undue suffering.

By doing what I do, I am not encouraging irresponsible use. No animal was killed specifically for the bones I am using. I am simply making art from something that would otherwise be discarded. By doing so, I do not feed directly into the supply/demand loop of the fur trade, and yet I am encouraging the use of all parts of animals that are killed.

So far, the pelts I own are from domesticated animals, food game, or – like my wolf pelt – were obtained secondhand from other collectors or crafters selling off parts of their collection. I intend to try to keep it that way.

Those of you who have read me for any length of time are aware of my deep devotion to living animals, so I think I can be believed when I say that respect extends to the dead animals with whom I work. I treat them with the utmost care, and I try to honor their remains by using them in a respectful manner.

I hope that clears up any lingering worry or questions anyone has about my sources or my motives. If someone disapproves, I at least don't want them to think I am doing what I am doing because I'm ignorant or uncaring. I care very much, and am always aware of exactly what it is I am working with.

* Hence my opposition to methods like aerial hunting and poison.

** Which has all along been my beef with the delisting of the Northern Rockies gray wolf. I do not object to wolf hunting; I object to the wholesale slaughter of the wolf those states had proposed, which at this fragile point would destroy their ability to re-colonize their former range. The states involved have woefully inadequate game management plans for the wolf, and until that is rectified I will not support the delisting of the gray wolf, nor the sport hunting of any wolf in the lower 48.

*** ETA 10/08, 11/08, 05/13: This policy has not changed, but I wish to note that I have, in fact, come into possession of an ethically-sourced wolverine skull, a secondhand African lion skull, and a legally-obtained cougar skull. And, while we are hardly endangered, I feel obligated to say that I have a human skull-cap. I did not pay for it, it was passed on to me, and no, it was no-one I knew. And I have some of my dad's teeth. Just so you all understand that I'm being totally honest.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Keyboard Kitty)
I want to thank you all for helping [livejournal.com profile] omimouse out with her itteh bitteh kitteh problem. Her very very cute problem.

Costs have been covered, and a home has been found. The plan thus far is, Omi takes care of her until she's a month old, then she goes to her forever home, which will be equipped to deal with her by then. I will keep you updated periodically, and if anything else comes up, I'll let you know.

As a reward, here are pictures of her in a sock sweater.





She climbed out of it shortly after these pictures were taken, alas, but it was adorable while it lasted. There are links to other pictures from Omi's journal. I got all teared up.

You are all such wonderful people. Thank you to everyone who spread the word, donated, and offered good kitty vibes. Another happy ending courtesy of youall. You do good work, and it couldn't happen without you. Thank you most humbly.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Keyboard Kitty)
I want to thank you all for helping [livejournal.com profile] omimouse out with her itteh bitteh kitteh problem. Her very very cute problem.

Costs have been covered, and a home has been found. The plan thus far is, Omi takes care of her until she's a month old, then she goes to her forever home, which will be equipped to deal with her by then. I will keep you updated periodically, and if anything else comes up, I'll let you know.

As a reward, here are pictures of her in a sock sweater.





She climbed out of it shortly after these pictures were taken, alas, but it was adorable while it lasted. There are links to other pictures from Omi's journal. I got all teared up.

You are all such wonderful people. Thank you to everyone who spread the word, donated, and offered good kitty vibes. Another happy ending courtesy of youall. You do good work, and it couldn't happen without you. Thank you most humbly.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Chi)
We've bought a house but aren't living there yet. It's like having the world's biggest Christmas present with the world's most assembly required waiting for you to open it.

I think about all the work I have to do and I want to bury my head under my pillow and lie there until the cat falls asleep on my ass. At the same time, I want to see it when I'm done, and I won't be able to do that if I don't get in there and freaking paint.

In reseraching insomnia, I ran across something truly horrific. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you fatal familial insomnia.

What a horrible way to go. Oh my god.

Mine is thankfully not that bad. Tazendra helps by lying on me like a little lead weight until I fall asleep. She is an angst-sponge.

Cut for pictures of me snuggling my cat. )

In other news, if you liked the old "Dystopia" LJ viewing scheme, but don't know how to apply it to journals created since its obsolescence, or have switched over and can't switch back, there's a way to fix that! I love Dystopia, and am very glad I found the workaround. They just make it damn hard to find, as the usual viewing options pages doesn't list it anymore. Go here to choose it. They are no longer specifically supporting it, meaning they don't test new layouts and so on with it, but you can still choose it!

Artwise, I've got a massive backlog of stuff to post, which I suppose is good, and will keep me from going silent during the worst of the move in a couple of weeks. We'll start on Monday with more bones. I've got boxes to post pictures of, but I'm still wrestling with myself over when I am going to take commissions again. This hasn't been a good year for me, art-wise, and I am reluctant to take on any more than I already have. Posting box photos always rouses interest, and I hate to not be available when that happens.

I think that's all I have in me right now. I'm going to brush my teeth and turn in, and hope the cat can work her de-stressing magic on me. I'm way too wound-up. But, you know, most of it's in a good way, so that's all right.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Chi)
We've bought a house but aren't living there yet. It's like having the world's biggest Christmas present with the world's most assembly required waiting for you to open it.

I think about all the work I have to do and I want to bury my head under my pillow and lie there until the cat falls asleep on my ass. At the same time, I want to see it when I'm done, and I won't be able to do that if I don't get in there and freaking paint.

In reseraching insomnia, I ran across something truly horrific. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you fatal familial insomnia.

What a horrible way to go. Oh my god.

Mine is thankfully not that bad. Tazendra helps by lying on me like a little lead weight until I fall asleep. She is an angst-sponge.

Cut for pictures of me snuggling my cat. )

In other news, if you liked the old "Dystopia" LJ viewing scheme, but don't know how to apply it to journals created since its obsolescence, or have switched over and can't switch back, there's a way to fix that! I love Dystopia, and am very glad I found the workaround. They just make it damn hard to find, as the usual viewing options pages doesn't list it anymore. Go here to choose it. They are no longer specifically supporting it, meaning they don't test new layouts and so on with it, but you can still choose it!

Artwise, I've got a massive backlog of stuff to post, which I suppose is good, and will keep me from going silent during the worst of the move in a couple of weeks. We'll start on Monday with more bones. I've got boxes to post pictures of, but I'm still wrestling with myself over when I am going to take commissions again. This hasn't been a good year for me, art-wise, and I am reluctant to take on any more than I already have. Posting box photos always rouses interest, and I hate to not be available when that happens.

I think that's all I have in me right now. I'm going to brush my teeth and turn in, and hope the cat can work her de-stressing magic on me. I'm way too wound-up. But, you know, most of it's in a good way, so that's all right.

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naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
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