Monday, January 18, 2016

Send me to Antarctica!

Dear Friends,

Oceanwide Expeditions is running a contest to send someone to Antarctica, and I have entered! As many of you know, I have spent much of my life championing the environment, and working to promote a better, sustainable future for the planet. Antarctica is on my bucket list of places to visit, but financially, it is very much out of reach, and unfortunately I don't see that changing any time soon. With the effects of climate change already beginning to show, I fear that I may never get to see this wonder before it is drastically changed, if I am able to make it at all. Please consider voting for me so that I can take this trip of a lifetime!


Thanks,
Jeremy

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Who is Jeremy?

Who is Jeremy? That's a great question! I will try to explain just who I am in this post, or at least try to give you a little more insight if nothing else.

I was raised on a farm in the country, but I am not what I would call a redneck! I don't listen to much country music, preferring rock and alternative, and have never driven a beat up pickup truck. Honestly, unless you need a big truck for work purposes, driving one just to drive it is one of my pet peeves. The thought of going mudding or tearing up the countryside with an atv, dirt bike, or snowmobile sounds like a terrible waste of time to me, not something fun in the least. These vehicles really should be banned from public land and restricted to private property. The ranchers and militants currently holed up at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are terrorists, and should be treated as such. They give ranchers a bad name.

I consider myself to be an environmentalist, and a liberal Democrat. I have little patience for or tolerance of the right-wing conservative portion of our society, who seem determined to put the country and planet on a fast-track crash course with an oil and coal based death sentence. Most of the current candidates for the Republican presidential nomination are so out in right field that the thought of any of them being elected is terrifying. Donald Trump is one of the biggest imbeciles alive, and almost everything that comes out of his mouth is repugnant. The same can be said for Ted Cruz and James Inhofe. I also have little patience for organizations like The Heartland Institute, which are nothing more than shills for the Koch Brothers, the fossil fuel industry, and ultra-conservative right-wing so called Christian factions. I believe in the right to marry whoever you want, a woman's right to choose what to do with her body, and support the legalization of marijuana.

I believe that climate change is indeed one of the biggest threats facing us, and that if something is not done about it, we will face a very uncertain future as a species. I am a proud supporter of many different environmental and conservation organizations, including the controversial to some Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, even though supporting them is part of why I currently work 7 days a week. 

I have degrees in environmental biology and sustainable business. Some may call me a tree-hugger, which is fine with me, but I am not a vegan or vegetarian, and enjoy having meat as part of my diet. I abhor animal abuse, but I am not an animal rights activist. I have no problems with hunting, when it is used for subsistence or as a management tool, but killing something simply for the thrill or to add a trophy to your collection is not something I agree with. I hate poaching, and believe that the perpetrators should be tried the same way as murderers and terrorists.

I like birds and reptiles, rhinos and dinos. I love trees and mountains and the ocean, and am a huge advocate for marine life. However, I also believe in the sustainable use of natural resources, and don't think that development and the environment are in opposition to each other. Fossil fuels on the other hand need to be phased out and the rest left in the ground.

I am a big fan of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and the movies Braveheart and Avatar are two of my all-time favorites. I like dragons, fantasy art, and mythology, and am a big fan of the medieval period. On the other hand, I think video games are generally stupid and a waste of time. I am a history buff and very into genealogy, and collect several things, including houseplants, coins, stamps, bottles, rocks/crystals, animal figurines, books, several types of art, fossils, and antiques. I have a bunch of pets, including birds, reptiles, fish, and a rabbit.

Forest green and black are my favorite colors. I greatly enjoy taking photos, hiking, traveling, visiting museums and lighthouses, and exploring cemeteries and historical sites, although time and money don't allow as much as I would like. My favorite foods are steak, seafood, and sushi, although I will try just about anything once. The Rocky coast of Maine is one of my favorite places to be, and I have had great visits to the island of Dominica and various parts of the Adirondacks and Catskills. Besides New York, I have also lived in Texas and Florida, and have worked as a zookeeper, biologist in the Everglades, pet store department manager, and environmental educator. I currently edit a kids nature magazine.

I was raised Protestant, and find religion fascinating, but I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. I am extremely interested in the biblical history of the Middle East, but it has not resonated with me personally as a faith path for many years. I am very interested in the earth-based traditions and Eastern philosophies, but don't consider myself to be an active follower or practitioner of any specific path. The druid path resonates with me very strongly, and I am also very interested in Celtic and Norse culture, ancient Egypt, Asian culture, and the occult. Although I am neither Catholic nor Buddhist, I admire both Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama.

I spend a lot of my time alone (and have been single for much of my adult life) and am also somewhat lonely at times, but I prefer the company of animals to most people. I have never been a very social or outgoing person, and I have been under treatment for depression for many years, but those are not the only reasons for my somewhat self-imposed isolated existence. Many people simply annoy me, or I have trouble finding anything in common with them or relating to them. 

So, there you have it, Jeremy in a nutshell... Yes, there is more to me than can possibly be summed up here, but I think this at least gives a little better idea of who Jeremy is...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Two week update

Well, I am 2 weeks into my fundraiser to raise money for rhinos in honor of my upcoming 40th birthday. So far I have raised $300 of my (perhaps too lofty) goal of $10,000 - who wants to help me reach this goal? My campaign has been covered by The Dodo (http://www.thedodo.com/man-donates-birthday-rhinos-1176446967.html) and Africa Geographic (http://africageographic.com/blog/a-40th-birthday-in-honour-of-a-40-year-old-rhino/) and has been shared and tweeted by many. If you are on Twitter, follow me (https://twitter.com/jeremyjtaylor) and help me spread the word! You can also follow me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jeremyjtaylor) and share it there as well! Every little bit helps, and the rhinos need all the help they can get! 

View my campaign and donate at http://www.crowdrise.com/jeremysrhinowish and help me make a difference as I turn 40!


 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jeremy's Rhino Wish

I will be turning 40 in July, and I want this momentous occasion to do some good! Sure, I could ask for money to help pay for my week in Maine this summer, or for the new camera I want to get, but this birthday, I want to help save rhinos! These magnificent creatures are facing extinction within my lifetime if something is not done, and I don't want to think of a world without rhinos. There were an estimated 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia at the beginning of the 20th century, and now there are believed to be less than 30,000 left. Over 1200 were poached in South Africa alone last year... There are many organizations working to help prevent the global extinction of rhinos, and for my 40th birthday, I am asking you to please help me to help them! I already support a few of these organizations, including a small monthly donation towards the care of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino in existence. I work 2 jobs to help make ends meet, and give a portion of every paycheck to wildlife and conservation organizations, but the little bit I am able to give on my own just isn't enough. PLEASE help me make a greater impact and save these magnificent creatures! All money raised will be donated to one or more of the organizations working so hard to save these animals.

Some of you might be wondering, why rhinos? Isn't Jeremy a bird person? Yes, I am, but rhinos are something I have been strongly interested in for many years. I had my first real encounter with them many years ago while working at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I was a birdkeeper, but during one of the open houses other teams sometimes held, I was able to get up close to some of the white rhinos, including petting one. It was an amazing experience being so close to them, and I have been very interested in them ever since! I am a bird person, but more than that, I am an animal person, a nature person, an environmental person. I am doing this to try and help raise money for those who are working on the front lines to keep rhinos from going extinct. Organizations like The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Helping Rhinos, International Rhino Foundation, Save the Rhino International, Forever Wild - Save the Rhino, Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, Saving The Survivors, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, African Wildlife Foundation, Northern Rangelands Trust, Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, and others. There are too many organizations for me to support them all, but the more I raise, the more I will be able to help! As I mentioned, I already have "adopted" Sudan #LastMaleStanding at Ol Pejeta, through a small monthly donation, but I want to do more! Won't you please help me make this birthday make a difference and help save these amazing animals?! #Stars4theLastMaleStanding #SaveRhinosNow #rhinos #WildinfeinCrisis #iam4rhinos #savetherhino

 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Please Help Me Get to Hog Island!

From July 19-24, National Audubon Society is holding their "Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week" program at their Hog Island camp in Maine. I work as an environmental educator, and editor of a kids nature magazine, so this would be an excellent educational and networking opportunity for me. I have applied for some scholarships to attend, but my employer does not provide travel funding for things like this, so if I can't raise the funds, I won't be able to go. I already work 2 jobs just to make ends meet, and have not had a real "vacation" in years, so this is something I am really hoping to be able to do! I also have a life-long interest in birds, nature, and environmental education, making this an incredible opportunity. The information about the program can be found at http://hogisland.audubon.org/sharing-nature-educator-s-week for those of you who are interested in helping me to get there!

If you are interested in donating, you can do so online at my personal fundraising page, "Help Get Me to Hog Island" on Indiegogo.

I greatly appreciate your consideration in helping me reach my goal!!

Jeremy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

God Help Us


Soon another school year will be coming to an end, and with it will be ending the careers of countless teachers around the country, their jobs sacrificed while the school administrators save their own asses, even giving themselves raises to do it.  What happened America?  When did teaching go from a noble, safe, all but guaranteed profession to the career version of Russian roulette?  Explain to me how placing the future of our youth in jeopardy makes sense?  The country is in bad enough shape as it is, how in the hell does giving our future leaders less of a shot at a good education make any sense at all?

What has happened to this country?  When did it become ok for corporate fat cats to run their companies into the ground and then spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail them out, when the average American is struggling to get by?  Why do so many work multiple jobs to just barely eke out a living, when so many of our richest citizens refuse to even pay their fair share?  What sort of future will we be leaving to our children if we continue down this perilous path?  Explain to me why nearly a quarter of my tax dollars go to national defense, with the bulk of it financing overseas operations, when less than 4 percent goes to education and job training?  Why does our environment and natural resources deserve only 2 percent of my taxes?  Why is law enforcement and immigration only worth 2 percent?  Why do science, space, and technology only get 1 percent and natural disaster response less than half a percent? Do I think that we should be helping to promote peace and democracy around the world and rid the world of terror?  Absolutely!  Should it come at the cost of our own citizens?  Hell no!  We have people dying in the streets of starvation and disease, unable to afford medical care or a decent meal.  We have seniors, the very people who helped to make this country what it is, forced to work into their 80s or older because they cannot get by on the pittance that is doled out to them each month.  Explain to me why this is?  WAKE UP AMERICA!

Shame on you Wall Street, shame on you corporate executives, and shame on you sports stars and celebrities.  Shame on all of you for demanding such high salaries for doing so little work.  Since when did playing a sport or singing a song or making a movie mean that you should earn more in one year than most will earn in a lifetime? Shame on you elected officials, shame on you all for allowing this to happen.  Why do we pay you to serve us and yet you can barely agree on what color the sky is, let alone figure out a way to keep this country from collapsing. 

Shame on all of you who drive gas-guzzling SUVs around with nobody in them except yourself.  Shame on all of you who live in your McMansions when so many can’t even afford to rent a room.  Shame on our greed-driven society, shame on the manufacturers and advertisers who insist that we cannot get by without the latest and greatest new gadget, when the last “next big thing” only came out 6 months ago.  And shame on all of you who are buying them, encouraging this cycle of greed and waste and excess to continue.  Shame on you for letting videogames and computers babysit your children, shame on you for not taking them camping or hiking or fishing. The world is meant to be explored in person, not in a videogame simulation.  Go and see the ocean, sit out at night and look at the stars, take a walk in the woods, go and see the world around us, don’t just go and see a movie about it.

To the younger generations, our future leaders, get off your lazy butts before you are dead of a heart attack at the age of 20, get out in the world and see and learn and experience reality, don’t just make due with virtual reality.  Take heed in the lessons of today, and try not to repeat or continue the same mistakes of our current “leaders”.  Learn from our mistakes, learn from the past, and forge ahead, make this country strong once again, save what is left and make it worth something, before it is gone and there is nothing to save.  Good luck to you, since you will be trying to accomplish this in overcrowded classrooms with teachers who are over-burdened, underpaid, and worried if they will have a job at the end of the school year. 

God Bless America? Not good enough anymore I am afraid….  God Help America is more like it.