Author Website and Blog

9 03 2012

Thank you for checking in to this Building an Ark blog.

I now have an author website set up at There, you’ll find a blog where I’ll be posting updates on my writing projects. Please visit the the new website and blog and feel free to share your thoughts.

All the best,
Ethan Smith

Animals at the Movies

7 02 2011

Does anyone out there have any favourite movie scripts that inspire reverence in animals and the environment?

If so, please share. 




Kudos for The Switch

26 01 2011

I rented The Switch yesterday – a fun Hollywood film with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. My favourite aspect of the film, however, was the character of Aniston’s son, Sebastian, played by Thomas Robinson. Young Sebastian loved animals reverently, and displayed real emotion and deep caring for the natural world.

Often in Hollywood films, people who care for animals and the environment are portrayed as living on the fringe; standing up for ridiculous ideals.

Sebastian’s character is inspiring, sensitive and hopeful. I would love to see more films show this side of children. Then other kids will watch these shows and know it’s okay to be reverent – to stand up for animals and the environment.

The Switch is not about protecting animals or saving the world. But such a well-placed character within a mainstream film is perfect to awaken a bit of awareness in viewers everywhere.

To the writers of the film, I say, “thank you.”



Image from The Switch -

Vegan Health in the Long Run

21 01 2011

I wonder if any long term vegans out there would like to share the stories of how their diet has effected their health.

I’d really like to hear from vegans who have blue-collar, physical jobs and are as strong as ever after ten years or more of veganism.


The Ark is Still Sailing

19 01 2011

It’s been a long while since I blogged on here. I’ve been building my family a home, raising my daughter, writing a couple of fiction projects, and being distracted by all kinds of other things.

Meanwhile, however, Building an Ark has been gaining a wider readership, courageous people are working tirelessly to help animals and the environment, and there are many reasons to feel hope for the future of the natural world.

Of course there are tons of things to worry about. climate change is happening, factory farms are expanding, animal suffering continues everywhere.

But I’m here today to tell you I’m back. I’m getting back to helping the rest of you who are creating a healthier world for us all to live in. Building an Ark was written to inspire reverence, action, and hope. New Society Publishers gave it their full support. So did Jane Goodall, Guy Dauncey and a team of dozens of advisors. Over the past year or so, I keep getting emails from people who have been touched by the book; people who believe in what we’ve done and wondering what’s next. I feel eternally grateful for those messages and for the continuing book sales.

But enough’s enough. No more procrastinating. I’ve got work to do. There will be more blogs, now. More projects. For animals, the environment, and kindred spirits everywhere.

Photo from Ark file/WSPA



Balancing Family and Advocacy

13 04 2009

I’ve had difficulty finding time for the blog this past month. Not because of any lack of enthusiasm or lack of material to write about, but because I’m building my family a home on my own. The amount of time and energy that go into that, plus the time and energy that go into being a father and earning an income for my family, leaves me with very little time or energy for writing and activism.

So I put this out there to all you parent/activists: do you have any insights or suggestions for balancing family and advocacy?

It has been my experience so far on this path that most of the successful activists I meet are single or, at least, childless. But that cannot be the answer for a more ethical, sustainable world. We who love this Earth must have another generation of committed, compassionate, and enthusiastic people to pass the torch along to.

I know there are other parents out there who are making this work. I also know there are others who – like me – are finding themselves spread too thin. That’s why I’m opening up the floor for ideas.

I will continue to write and promote articles about animals and the environment on this blog as I find time to do so. There are mountains of stories to be shared, oceans of ideas. I have six writing projects (and counting) on the side-burner until after I’m done building our house (a process that will produce a book of its own).

So, please, parents out there, share your wisdom with me and others. How do we do this? How do we save the world for our children while we’re busy raising them?



Breaking News for Seals – Let’s Get On It

4 03 2009
Everyone – this just came to me. Please read, take a deep breath of hope, and act on it.
One for the seals,

Fantastic news!

IFAW has just returned from Parliament Hill where the Honourable Senator Mac Harb announced a bill that could END Canada’s commercial seal hunt.

That’s right, for the first time in Canadian history, a politician is proposing a law to end the suffering of baby seals. 

No half-measures, no excuses. This is our chance to end the hunt forever.

Senator Harb has shown incredible leadership and courage by speaking out on behalf of the majority of Canadians on this issue. But he cannot win this fight on his own.

You and I must act quickly to ensure this bill is passed into law. 

Senator Harb has asked every caring Canadian to send emails and cards expressing support for an immediate end to Canada’s commercial seal hunt. He wants to fill his office from floor to ceiling with messages of support for the “Harb Seal Bill” and I’ve promised IFAW supporters will stand by him every step of the way.

Our goal is to collect over 200,000 emails, action cards and letters in the next few weeks (one message for every seal that will be killed in this year’s slaughter ) so I’m counting on you to act right now.

Please click here to send an email to the Canadian Senate

urging swift passage of this landmark legislation. It only takes a moment to add your name, and Senator Harb says every email is critical at this historic moment. This is our chance to ensure no more seals are skinned alive or shot and left to suffer.

Please don’t delay. Let’s flood the Senate’s inboxes with messages. Let’s show them Canadians care deeply about this issue and are tired of being ignored by their government. Senator Harb has opened the door. The time to act is now. 

The world is watching.

Let’s show them what we can do,

Olivier Bonnet
Director, IFAW Canada