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Best Blog Posts of 2015

The year isn’t quite over yet, but we can still look at our site stats to figure out which of our blog posts were most appreciated by readers this year. Our top blog posts this year included a couple of perennial favorites along with several new “VINE classics.”

Looking at number of visits (and leaving out announcements and polls), here are the five most frequently read blog posts this year:

  1. How to Write a Letter to a Prisoner — Ever since it was published in 2013, our guide to writing letters to imprisoned activists has consistently topped our charts. We know that friends and relatives writing to people locked up for other reasons also access this post, and we are happy to know it has been helpful.
  2. Open Letter to the Perpetrators of Thug Kitchen — This post published late in 2014 continues to spark discussion (and fairly frequent hate mail). Since the writers of that cookbook continue to profiteer from stereotypes while refusing to acknowledge the privilege that allows them to do so, we’re glad to see that people continue to discover our critique of their bad behavior.
  3. Irked by Black Lives Matter? Here’s What to Do — pattrice was sorry to have to write this post but pleased to see people reading and talking about it. Some replies she’s received privately suggest that, perhaps because of its length, many readers are missing the main points. She plans a more concise follow-up for 2016.
  4. Running a Sanctuary — This recap of a conference presentation offers a candid look at the ethical and emotional rigors of sanctuary life and is a must-read for anybody dreaming of starting a sanctuary some day.
  5. Intersectionality and Animals — This post from 2013 includes a video lecture and an extended explanation of the concept of intersectionality —an essential conceptual tool for activists of all stripes— as it applies to animal advocacy. A follow-up post, including insights gleaned in the intervening years, is planned for 2016.

But what about the posts written this year? Which blog posts published in 2015 attracted the most readers? Here’s that list:

  1. Irked by Black Lives Matter? Here’s What to Do.
  2. Running a Sanctuary.
  3. Fair Week — In this moving and thought-provoking reflection, our Cheryl (who grew up on a small-scale “beef” farm, recollects her youthful experiences in 4H and FFA. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how rural communities turn animal-loving children into animal-exploiting adults. As a sanctuary that has always been located in regions devoted to animal exploitation, VINE knows that we must understand such things if we hope to bring about a plant-based agricultural economy.
  4. What You Can Do to End the Conspiracy Against Vegan Mayo — In classic VINE style, this post drills down through a current event to understand the social and economic forces that drive animal exploitation, giving tips about activism along the way. Includes tips on using petitions along with a video concerning the importance of multi-faceted strategies.
  5. Queering the Notion of Human Rights — Another essay you could only get from VINE Sanctuary, an LGBTQ-led animal advocacy organization. Summarizing a talk given at a VINE-sponsored workshop at a social justice conference, this post asks: What if we thought of human rights as a kind of animal rights? What are rights anyway? Are we sure that’s what we want, for ourselves or nonhuman animals?

Blogs allow readers to write back. The posts provoking the most discussion this year were “Irked by Black Lives Matter?” and our “Yerkes 8 Update.” Stay tuned concerning the latter: Despite thousands of public comments opposed to the export of chimpanzees to a U.K. zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the permit anyway — only to retract that decision in response to a lawsuit by NEAVS. We’ll let you know when there’s something more you can do to help persuade or compel Emory University to release those animal research survivors to a sanctuary rather than shipping them to an overseas zoo.

Our own favorite blog post of 2015? That’s easy! “Fair Week” by Cheryl, hands down.

What’s yours?

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