Why Vulture Culture 101 Isn’t Only For Beginners!

Despite the “101″ part of Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things, there’s material in here that’s good for both beginner Vultures and those who have been around a while. Some of the things that may appeal to those who already have the basics down:

–A look at the various historical groups and movements that have fed into modern-day Vulture Culture

–A chance to consider your own ethical stance about dead things and why you’ve adopted it (and whether you need to adjust it!)

–Advice on the perennial problem of dealing with people who have negative reactions to Vulture Culture

–Ideas on how to make Vulture Culture more integrated with natural history, acceptance of death, rewilding, and other related concepts and movements

And even those of us who have been around for decades still get people asking us “So why do you have all these dead animals around?” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good book you can point them to–and if you trust them with your library, perhaps loan them a copy?

By the way, we’re just shy of $1000 of the $3000 I’m asking for–and we’re only on Day 2! Head on over to http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101 to back this book today 🙂

The Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo Campaign is LIVE!

The Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo Campaign is officially live at http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101!

Want to help Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things a reality, AND get your copy of the book at the lowest price ever? Want to get neat perks like my other books and art made from hides and bones? Want to help a self-employed author and artist create a valuable resource both for members of the Vulture Culture, and people who are just curious about what it’s all about?

Back the Vulture Culture 101 campaign today at http://igg.me/at/vultureculture101! We’re already well on our way, and early bird specials are going fast. Even if you can’t back the campaign right this moment, please send the campaign to anyone you feel may be interested, and thank you for your support 🙂

Coming Soon: The Vulture Culture 101 IndieGoGo Campaign!

I am excited to announce that the official IndieGoGo campaign for my next book, Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things, will launch on February 6, 2018! More than a book on taxidermy or bone identification, Vulture Culture 101 is a guidebook to the subculture surrounding the preparation, collection and appreciation of hides, bones and other specimens. It’s suitable for both beginners and experienced Vultures and may even appeal to those who are just curious about us and our collections.

The full IndieGoGo campaign won’t be launched til the 6th, but you can get a taste of what will be included at the prelaunch page here. And you can sign up for an email reminder to be sent to you when the campaign officially starts!

As with my wildly successful IndieGoGo campaigns for The Tarot of Bones, this campaign will help me to fund attendant costs for the book, such as paying guest writers for how-to essays on topics like hide tanning and bone cleaning, as well as the cost of printing physical books and having them shipped to me. Anything left over after that will help me cover my bills and other expenses as I finish up the last bit of writing, editing, layout and other work that remains before projected publication in Summer 2018.

I will, of course, make an announcement when the campaign itself goes live, but for now check out the prelaunch page for a taste of what’s to come! And, as always, thank you for your ongoing support.

Vulture Culture 101 Status Update

In case you haven’t headed over to the official Vulture Culture 101 site in a while, here’s a look at the Table of Contents that I’m currently working with:


Chapter 1: Roots and Revival: Historical and Modern-Day Vultures
Chapter 2: The Successful Scavenger: Where Do I Get My Goods?
Chapter 3: Identifying Hides, Bones and More
Chapter 4: Here’s Where It Gets Messy: Processing Raw Specimens
Chapter 5: Put Your Best (Rabbit’s) Foot Forward: Displaying and Caring For Your Collection
Chapter 6: Vultures and Our Neighbors
Chapter 7: Rewilding the Beast: Vulture Culture as a Return to Nature

Appendix I: Further Resources
Appendix II: Recommended Environmental Nonprofits

At this point my portion of the manuscript is most of the way done; I’ve been able to flesh it out a LOT with topic suggestions you all have made over the past few months. And as I’ve mentioned earlier in the year I will be doing a call for writers in spring of 2018 to write tutorials on basic things like bone cleaning, tanning, etc. to be included in the book. Money raised from the IndieGoGo campaign that I intend to launch early next year will go to paying said writers for their work. And I want to have the book out and available for general purchase next summer.

Want to keep up on news and updates? You can sign up for email updates (I send out a few a month, not a flood) by going to http://www.vultureculture101.com, scrolling down the left sidebar and putting your email address in the relevant box.

Really Good Article on Nature Lovers Who Hunt

The BBC website recently ran this article on an Alaskan woman who is a hunter and also a nature lover. It’s often assumed that if you are capable of killing an animal, even for food, that you obviously don’t love nature. And yes, there are hunters (and other people) who only see nature as being good for what it can give us, not good in its own right.

But there are those who hunt and fish who do appreciate the animals they catch for food, and who have respect for them. Indigenous people worldwide have had this complex relationship with nature for thousands of years; it is only in the increasingly industrialized world where we have become more separate from nature, and therefore we forget that there is more than one way to love it.

So it is with Vultures, who love nature and also collect the remains of deceased animals as part of an expression of that love. Cultures worldwide have cared for the remains of their human relatives who have passed on; many Vultures feel the same about the hides and bones in their homes.

Ideas For Vulture Culture 101 Crowdfunding Perks

Hi, folks!

I’m laying plans for the IndieGoGo campaign for Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things. My plan is to kick it off early in 2018, possibly mid-January? I’ll keep you posted on that.

Aaaaaaaaaanyway, I was thinking about what sort of perks to offer, in addition to the book itself, of course. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

–A limited special edition of the book with full color images and perhaps some extra photos not in the regular black and white edition

–Perk packages with some of my other books and/or the Tarot of Bones; for example, a “Dead Things” package with Vulture Culture 101, The Tarot of Bones, and Skin Spirits: The Spiritual and Magical Use of Animal Parts

–Handmade hide and bone artwork. I offered deerskin pouches for the Tarot of Bones, and I could come up with options for this campaign as well

–A sticker of the wolf skull design that I’ll be using for the cover

Anything else you might like to see as a perk?

Vulture Culture Laws

You may have seen the Animal Parts Laws pages on my primary website, a collection of links to US federal, state, and international laws concerning the sale/trade and possession of various animal remains. In Vulture Culture 101, I’ll dedicate an entire chapter to legalities and ethics. This includes a detailed summary of some of the more prominent laws, like the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Obviously I can’t discuss every single law, since there are a LOT of them. But it covers a lot of bases, and it introduces the concept that we Vultures need to be responsible for knowing the laws that affect us, as well as anyone we may do trade with.

I am not a legal professional and this isn’t offered as legal advice, just a resource for you to better educate yourself. When in doubt, contact your state’s fish and game or natural resources departments.


Vulture Culture Myths and Misconceptions

I’ve run into the idea before that in order to be a true Vulture you have to process your own specimens. That means picking up roadkill, salvaging the hide if it’s fresh enough, and finding a way to clean the rotting meat off the bones. While these are certainly part of Vulture Culture, they’re not required for you to be a part of this community. It’s made of taxidermists and bone cleaners, artists and collectors, and people who simply enjoy the aesthetic beauty of hides, bones and more.

In Vulture Culture 101 I’ll be addressing some of the myths about Vultures, like whether we kill animals for hides and bones (no!) and whether you can be a vegetarian Vulture (yes!) What are some of the myths and facts you’d like to see discussed in my book?

Update Time!

Hi, folks!

I’m still plugging along on the manuscript for Vulture Culture 101. I’m well over 40,000 words now, and I’ve managed to incorporate a lot of suggestions you all have given me on what you’d like to see in the book. I still have some sections to add in, and I’ll be incorporating some photos as well so I need to work on planning those shots.

There WILL be an IndieGoGo campaign early in 2018! This will give you the opportunity to pre-order the book for less than its retail price, as well as getting some neat Vulture Culture-related perks. And, of course, it will help me fund the printing of the book, as well as paying for other incidental costs.

One of those costs will be paying guest essayists. Once the campaign is done I will be putting out a call for writers to create tutorials (photos included) of some basic processes like tanning and bone cleaning. Since these are not central to my work–I’m an artist working with already preserved specimens–I want to include techniques employed by people who do tanning, bone cleaning, etc. on a regular basis so that readers can learn how, too! I’m still figuring out what I want included and what to put in the call for writers, but look for that in the first part of 2018 as well.

I’m hoping, if all goes well, to have the book out in the world sometime in Summer of 2018. Again, this is going to be a self-published project, so while it means that I get primary creative control, I also am doing most of the work. By backing the IndieGoGo campaign once it’s live, you’ll be helping me bring this important resource into full manifestation.

By the way, if you want to get in on WIP excerpts off the manuscript-in-progress, be my patron on Patreon! For just $1/month you get access to my Patron only feed with lots of exclusive content. And there are plenty of other Patronage levels, too, all of which get you on that feed along with other great perks. You can join the fun at http://www.patreon.com/lupagreenwolf 🙂

Help Me With My Glossary!

Hi, folks! I am still working on the manuscript for Vulture Culture 101; I had to take a bit of a break to wrap up my festival vending schedule for the summer, but now that things are quieting down some I have more writing time. As of this blog post the rough draft of the book is over 35,000 words and I still have plenty to say and share with my readers.

One of the things I’m including is a Vulture Culture-related glossary. While some of the terms are in regards to general natural history, others are more specific to Vulture-ish activities. Here’s what I have so far:

Brain tan
Cape (as in taxidermy)
Case skin (also barrel skin)
Dermestid beetle
Dry tan
Natural history
Open skin (also abdominal cut)
Vulture Culture
Wet Specimen
Wet tan

What else do you think I should include? Should I put in really basic terms like “bone” or “pelt”? Comment with your suggestions, and thank you 🙂