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 🙂

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 🙂

Vulture Culture 101: What Do You Want To See in a Book on Vulture Culture?


Hi, all! I am pleased to announce my next book project: Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things!

What compels me and many other people to fill our homes with the preserved remains of animals, and how can you join in the fun? Vulture Culture 101: A Book For People Who Like Dead Things explores the modern revival in acquiring, preserving and creating art with these natural specimens. More than just a book on taxidermy, it explores such diverse topics as the roots of Vulture Culture, where to get specimens, what’s legal and what isn’t, how to identify what you’ve got, and so much more! And for those willing to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty, there’ll be how-tos on tanning, bone cleaning and other preparation work.

You can find out more about the work-in-progress, to include a working outline, at the official website, If you want the chance to read excerpts as I work on the manuscript, which is very close to 30,000 words now, consider becoming my Patron on Patreon at for as little as $1/month and get access to the Patron-only feed!

In the meantime, I have a very important question for you: What would you like to see in a book about Vulture Culture? You can reply here, or email me at lupa(at) – and thank you 🙂