• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... Political animals.


CURWOOD: This week's swearing-in of the 106th Congress comes at a time of partisan battles between the 2 major herds of political animals: the donkeys and the elephants. The creature caricatures both come from the pen of political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Mr. Nast first represented the Democrats as donkeys in 1870 in a Harper's Weekly cartoon. Perhaps he'd been inspired while thumbing through a version of Webster's Dictionary. It defines a donkey first off as a domesticated ass. The second meaning: a person regarded as stupid, foolish, or obstinate. Four years later Mr. Nast used the elephant to represent the Republicans. Webster's describes the elephant as huge and thick-skinned. If the beasts themselves were to vote a straight party line, the nation would be overwhelmingly run by Democrats, since there are an estimated 140,000 donkeys in the US and only 600 elephants. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth