Last Thursday night, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert interviewed Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money." As they bantered about the dire economy, big pictures of fuzzball kittens and puppies flashed behind them. Predictably, the audience greeted each with delighted laughter. The message? Perhaps only fluffy, adorable critters have the power to distract us from our fears about the recession. Unless, of course, we belong to the growing number of pet owners whose dwindling finances force them to "relinquish" their animal friends at a local shelter.
In this, our annual Animal Issue, we report on that trend as well as other news and views from animal lovers, rescuers, trainers, farmers, hunters, merchandisers, and, well, consumers. Yes, some members of the animal kingdom end up on our plates. But, as entries to our "Best of the Beasts" photo contest demonstrate, the ones we call pets make us happy.
Check it out:
» Furry Fare: A local bakery caters to critters by Suzanne Podhaizer
» On the Lamb: A Vermont shepherd-filmmaker takes stock of his flock by John O'Brien
» Shelburne Family Sets Up A Fund to Support Retired Police Dogs by Ken Picard
» Whole Hog: Sometimes it takes an office to eat a pig by Alice Levitt
» VIDEO: Stuck in Vermont 119 — Dog Artist Stephen Huneck by Eva Sollberger
David Hohenschau: Community Workshop in Vermont specializes in community building events like this! Check them out at http://www.communityworkshopllc.com/
Holly Brileya: It's sad that muslim women celebrate wearing hijabs or burkas in this free country yet in some countries…
Andrea Suozzo: Zack - thanks for pointing that out! We've corrected the caption.
Raquel Kirzner Kastner: Yeap, MAGIC is right!!!! and i had the honor of have gotten a bit of it when he…
Zack: I think the light statue is from the Bader field Atlantic city shows not the Halloween shows. Either…