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The Urban Pantheist

Loving Nature While Living in the City

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External Services:
  • jefctaylor@gmail.com
  • urbpan@livejournal.com
Hello! This is my journal about loving nature while living in the city. It grew out of a zine with the same name which I produced from 1998-2003. In recent years this has become more of a photo journal.

Urban means "Human." I'm fascinated with the interrelationships between different organisms, especially the many different kind of relationships between humans and non-human animals. I'm interested in discussing animals as food or sources of food (I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 15 years), as pets or beasts of burden, as pests (I'm a pest control manager for two zoos) or threats to safety (I started the animal_attacks community), as objects of fear or fascination, and any other way that animals are important to people. I'll happily discuss any subject on my interests list, for that matter.

Blog Projects:
2006: 365 Urban Species. Every day I posted a picture (by myself or my partner cottonmanifesto) and wrote a short article about a different animal, plant, or other life form found in the city.
2009: The Muddy River. From March to December I took a picture of the small river that runs from Jamaica Pond to the Charles River, through Brookline and Boston.
2010: Daily Urban Nature Picture. Sort of like 365 Urban Species, but I'm not limiting myself to living things or trying to imitate an encyclopedia.
2010: 50 more Urban Species. I'm challenging myself to find a species a week that I didn't cover in the 365 project.
2011: 100 species in my yard. I'm challenging myself to find 2 species a week on the half acre of land where I live (just outside of Boston).
Ongoing: 3:00 Snapshot. When my alarm goes off, I take a picture. It comes and goes, but is generally ongoing.

On Pantheism:
Honestly, I'm not a very religious person. I think there are natural explanations for everything. If there is a divine force in the Universe, I can't imagine it as somehow separate (from us, from "the material world"). Pantheism is the belief that the Universe itself is divine, and that "God" is everywhere, and everything. I think that "God" is the laws of nature expressing themselves, as matter, energy, consciousness, and the Universe. If you want to know more about pantheism, go here. One of the reasons I chose to use the word "pantheist" is that it is used by anti-environmentalists as an insult for those of us who care about the environment. It amuses me to embrace their insult. I hug trees, too.

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