Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rescue. Adopt. Foster.

Many years ago I worked at an animal shelter/animal hospital as a vet tech. We had a 'quarantine' ward where the sick animals were housed. We would put on personal protective equipment including gowns to treat the animals in that room. This one little sick, bleary-eyed cat who had been taken from a severe situation (in ‘quarantine’ because she had URI and FIV) would always try to hide in my gown and make herself disappear, she was so scared and so shy.

One day I was working when one of the veterinarians came in and requested assistance. It was *time* she said. I dutifully followed her into quarantine. Then it hit me.

I looked at this sick, sweet, shy cat...hiding in her box, scared and alone. She was dying, the vet assured me. I looked again. She certainly looked like she was slowly dying…

At that time I had no cats and wasn't really looking to adopt one, especially one in her condition. I thought I should just let her suffering end. I had only a matter of seconds and my brain was going in a thousand directions. This poor little cat was utterly pathetic and had certainly been through a lot of trauma (had come to us from a law enforcement situation)…

She came home with me that day. They couldn’t keep her and I couldn’t let her go. I decided to provide *kitty hospice* for her and let her die in a warm and loving home. She ate very little for the first 2 weeks but seemed comfortable (I wouldn’t just let her suffer), and she hid in the farthest room away from us under a table…but her eyes were a little brighter each day. We spent hours lying on the floor with our arm extended under the table just to touch her, reassure her, and give her treats. It took a really long time before she began to trust us…

But each day, she didn’t die. Each day, she made another gain. As the days passed she came to the full realization she had been rescued. The look in her face changed completely. The love she looked at us with is beyond anything I have experienced before nor since. I love ALL my rescues, I love ALL my babies…but the connection I made with this one little sick cat is unlikely to ever be replicated.

Ultimately she went in to kidney failure and we lost her. While she was here we were given boundless “thank-you kisses” and love. She lived for about 2 years after finally coming *home*. She changed my life.

She also helped save several cats since that time, as I could not ever imagine a house without a cat(s) again. I miss my little ‘Papooska’ so much (came to me named Sissy).

Admittedly when I lost ‘Papooska’ I wanted to replace her. Yup, I said that right. I wanted another Papooska. I wanted that exact same connection. Even though my reasonable brain should know better (I did say this was a long time ago!).

I checked some rescue sites and even came across another cat with FIV. I *jumped* on him and brought him home as soon as I could arrange.

lol anyone with pets, especially adult rescues (there are plenty of puppy and kitten rescues if for some odd reason a puppy or kitten is a MUST), knows what happened…lol. As said, I am not sure what I was thinking other than the devastating loss of my *child* who I grieved so desperately for. I wanted her to come back.

So home comes Beau, somewhere in the ballpark of 7 years old. He ultimately came to be known as Mr. Bobo Sillypants lol. He was NOT Papooska! He was fiercely independent, he had been found outside in rough shape and he was used to being on his own. He was loving in his own way, and he identified my husband as *his* person. He cried incessantly to go out, so we finally bought a Chihuahua collar and leash and began walking him once each day (amidst many neighbor comments!!!). No matter the weather, Mr. Bobo expected his walk and daily tree scratching. He was charming and strong and he helped our next adoption (Baby Girl) become brave and strong too. We lost Mr. Bobo in 2014.

‘Baby Girl’ (AKA Jet) is now an old lady. Born outside, trapped and rescued by a wonderful human as a feral at only a few months old. She LOVED our dog right from the get-go lol – so weird. She would head butt the dog and purr but we couldn’t get anywhere near her for a bit. Beau was her guide and helped her feel safe. Slowly she acclimated and allowed love and chin scratches but would hide if there were any ‘strangers’ around (and she still does!). Last year - after having her here for about 11 YEARS – she climbed up and sat in my lap for the very first time! Apparently, she had to REALLY make sure I was trustworthy lol! Now she will sit in my lap a few times per week for a few minutes for rubs, and twice she even forgot herself and took a short nap.

They are all so different and we have to appreciate their individuality. Too many animals I have seen surrendered because they did not fit what the adopter wanted them to be, or what they expected them to be.

Lucy (AKA Weegie) is a good example. She is another one of our current fur babies. She came to us after her human guardian died. She had then been adopted someone who had expectations of how her cats should behave and she wanted a cat to cuddle. This cat was not supposed to have her own personality, she were supposed to be a cuddle kitty. Unfortunately this kitty did not so much appreciate the idea of cuddling! She was about to be dumped off in a shelter and was not in a happy situation (isolated in a back room while she found another kitty to cuddle) when someone reached out to us. It is now 3 years later and Weegie still does not appreciate cuddling though does allow cautious belly rubs - in the bathroom only - between the approximate hours of 8-10am and again between 5-7pm… lmao…cats, right?

I could go on, I have lots of animal stories. But this was about my Sissy girl. The cat who changed my life. Had I not rescued her I would not know that incredibly unique bond that feels likely to be once-in-a-lifetime. This is not a commentary on loving any of my other rescues less because that is simply not so. But many more will have a safe, loving home and our protection because of that special, sick, little bleary-eyed cat who captured my heart. And no matter *who* they are, I will always let them be whoever they want to be. They are certainly not on this planet to serve me.

Rescue. Adopt. Foster. Never buy from pet stores or breeders. Pets of all shapes, sizes, and breeds are available for rescue. Please make the extra effort and save lives. We can stop the incessant killing if we stop the incessant for-profit breeding that hurts animals in so many ways (mills, inbreeding, severe health issues, rape racks, overpopulation, physical ailments and mutation due to breed-specific desirable characteristics, etc., etc., etc.). I have seen it for myself. I have seen the deceptive pictures a breeder will paint to sell an animal, and I have seen the reality - which is always tragic and terrible for the animals.

Provide them a safe home. Protect them. Please do not impose expectations, standards, or anthropomorphize who they should be. Revel in their uniqueness. Understand that they are not as *adjustable* as people believe, especially for older animals. Many ARE loving and immediately outgoing and friendly, but for others it can take many years to fully understand that they are safe and loved and have found their way HOME. Rehoming them during this process only causes them more emotional trauma, so please take your commitment seriously no matter how long it takes. Remember - it took 11 YEARS before Baby Girl climbed in my lap - but when she did? The feeling was simply indescribable for me. And it probably was for her, too.

I love my cuddle-bug babies, but my often temperamental little Lucy Weegie is loved equally at our house (I have been known to call her Lucy-fur [e.g. Luc-i-fer lol]).

I miss you my little Papooska…every day I still miss you so much. I love you and thank you.

Rescue. Adopt. Foster.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Unhappy Vegans

For some reason nonvegans often accuse vegans of being “angry” or “negative” or even “unhappy.”

These accusations seem to be more of a reflection of their own thoughts, because I know a tremendous amount of people who are both vegan and nonvegan, and vegans are (as a general statement) a pretty damn happy and optimistic bunch!

Nonvegans are possibly misunderstanding our feelings... Because vegans don’t hide from the truth anymore we are able to openly discuss and share, even when these conversations or topics may be uncomfortable truths for the nonvegans who would rather look away and transfer their discomfort. Sharing and being aware and open to information does NOT make us unhappy…quite the opposite! I can safely say that most (possibly all?) of us feel this deeper sense of understanding that is really meaningful and inspiring, and we are incredibly grateful. We also frequently wonder how nonvegans can continue to pretend that they don’t *see* or that they are somehow not responsible.

So, no - we are not “angry” or “negative” or “unhappy” – we just openly talk and share about the terrible reality nonvegans cause but often refuse to face - and any accusations of these terms are likely just a mirror of the nonvegans uncomfortable feelings towards having to confront their own actions – the crimes they perpetrate on others.

Being vegan has only enhanced how happy and life-satisfied I am and there has been many amazing and positive effects on me - in so many ways that it would take pages to attempt to describe. I LOVE living vegan, as do the growing numbers of vegans across the world. I am so glad I changed and I am NEVER going back.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Question 3 MA 11.8.16

Question 3 passed in MA so animals can continue to be abused, mutilated, exploited and/or chopped into little pieces under generally the EXACT SAME conditions as prior EXCEPT now the consumer believes we are *humane* in our abusing and killing and therefore they will pay more for it. A BIG win for animal abuse and exploitation, and an ongoing dumbing-down of the consumer who is quite happy to remain perpetually ignorant to the truth and to be further duped into the magical unicorn of "humane meat and eggs".

Meanwhile there is absolutely no biologic need to do so but simply because we *feel like it*
It was actually a trick question, but I am sure many MA voters are feeling really good about a win *for the animals* (??????)

Such a pervasive *illness* of society...when we could just stop behaving as barbarians.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Country of Origin, Cruelty of Origin

Our diet is mostly country of origin and not on rational thinking. Do the people who call vegans *extreme* realize they would happily be eating dogs if they were raised in another country and they’d be defending their "personal choice" to butcher dogs while being upset with vegans for pointing out it was completely unnecessary to hurt them?

(they don't make any sense but they don't even know they don't make sense and they don't even see how ridiculous that is and I have no idea how to tell them in a way that would understand just how obviously insane their behavior is but damn read what I just wrote above how in the hell is that not obvious how is it possible not to see rational thinking when it is presented to you why in the hell do they avoid thinking reasonably and objectively based on some really bizarre twisted addictions particularly to eating slowly rotting animal flesh and consuming breast milk omg would they drink dog milk or giraffe milk such distortion of what is acceptable someone once told me who to care about and who to kill and exploit and I accepted that as OK when in fact it wasn't OK with me at all what they hell was i thinking for so long they would be killing and eating dogs and clearly I would have too but now I'm awake and I know there is no difference...)

Vegan because it is clearly just the right thing to do. I love my dog and I would never harm her...make the connection. 

My sweet pit bull Taaja

If I Had the Right Words Would You Stop?

Many times I have wondered if there are any adequate words to brilliantly summarize the reasons people should stop turning their backs on the suffering they cause. I am simply unable to come up with anything so amazing and motivating that awakens people to the depravity they are supporting and causes them to decide to stop.

When I realized I didn’t have to kill or exploit anyone to live a happy and healthy life, I welcomed this concept. It seemed absurd I had continued on such a violent and ignorant path for so long (more than 30 years of my life).

I knew I had to tell the others about the horror…the many people I knew who “loved animals” just like I did. The people who were decent and kind – they would NEVER willingly participate in such atrocity - surely they would want to know!

I thought all we had to do was tell them…

Needless to say, I was a bit na├»ve! I was SHOCKED to find out that other people preferred to look away – to willingly turn their backs – it was SHOCKING. Many chose to instead become angry or defiant with me for even trying to talk to them!

Hubby and I have been vegan about 10 years now. It can be hard to look at the world as I sometimes now see it. Many of the people I meet who I sincerely want to believe are decent and kind so easily turn their backs and willingly support the worst forms of abuse and exploitation of other gentle beings. I cannot relate to that person any more than I can relate to someone who abuses dogs, cats, children, etc.

Without *seeing* the truth – without thinking for myself - I could never have imagined how absolutely ghastly these *industries* are. Any *industry* that exploits animals guards dark secrets – ‘routine industry practices’ - that would sicken and seriously disturb all but the most violent and twisted psychopaths.

And the truth is right there, for anyone who cares to find it. They may not put it on the advertisements, but in the age of internet the reality is literally right at our fingertips. Still many choose not to *see* and thus the violence they perpetrate continues. It is both maddening and utterly perplexing.

I see *nice* people whose actions are much worse than the worst horror film I have ever seen. I also see who they believe they are, the definite goodness and decency they have within. I sincerely want them to truly be that person. I believe in them. No matter how long we have managed to deceive ourselves there is always the potential for that one day…that moment of clarity.

Every day I go out into this world of people – people who try to help others, people who rescue stray dogs and cats, people who give to charity, people who share cute animal videos - and I see what the millions of exploited animals surely see – a world full of violent monsters masquerading as peaceful “animal-loving” people.

I completely understand how it is possible to spend a long period of life and not even once really think about the many ways we unnecessarily exploit animals. What I could NEVER understand is someone who is given this critical character-defining information and continues to choose to look the other way based on a perceived minor inconvenience or fear of change. No matter how hard you perceive change is (it isn’t actually very hard), I assure you what you are putting our fellow Earthlings through is MUCH worse.

I have never stopped believing in people and I never will. It only takes that one moment of clarity and the willingness to take responsibility for our choices. And willful ignorance does not absolve their abhorrent actions.

End speciesism.
Be Kind.
Empathy. Ethics. Justice.
Vegan for life.

Not. One. Moment.

Anyone who says these pictures are the same is untruthful. It is that simple. We know in our hearts it is not the same. When we look we know it is not the same. If you are not vegan - please take personal responsibility for the suffering you are inflicting. We know this is not right. We know in a quick glance that the photo on the right is appalling.

We can blame the truck driver, or the slaughterhouse, or the *farmer* who profits from the suffering, but if you are not vegan then you are truly the one who is culpable. A direct supply your hard-earned money to the most vicious criminal activity and animal abuse – actions so horrific we would put you in jail if done to dogs or cats.

How deeply are you entrenched? Are you able to believe that they do not suffer the same or that your actions do not directly lead to this perpetration of violence? Do our morals REALLY allow this? Or are many people just so suffocated by this utterly contradictory societal thinking that would have them eating dogs if raised elsewhere? Have they completely lost their ability to determine right from wrong? Because I think it is obvious.

Do they not feel pain? Do they not suffer? Are they not suffering and in pain in this photo? I believe they are. Do you think there is suffering in the photo on the left?

I also believe they are terrified. I know they probably have not been offered food or water for some time. I know they are about to be violently assaulted. And I know they will never be shown one iota of mercy. Not just by the truck driver, or the *farmer*, or the slaughterhouse – we already know they will not show mercy – but also by the nonvegans...the ones who perpetuate the horror – the ones who pay them to abuse and exploit the most vulnerable among us.

I have been vegan a long time now. I will NEVER live one moment of my life again as a nonvegan again.
Not. One. Moment.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Instinct to Help, We Have No Instinct to Harm

This butterfly drew my attention when s/he appeared to be stuck on a flower and was fluttering madly to break free. Immediately I jumped to action and headed over to help. Within a few seconds, and before I even got there, s/he had freed themselves and flew to another flower nearby.

First I looked at the flower s/he got caught on – wondering what was there that could have trapped such a large butterfly. Seeing nothing and still wondering what had happened, I headed over to check on the butterfly. That is when I noticed the injury (the picture isn’t great, s/he insisted on being against the sunlight no matter how much I tried to get a better angle).

I wondered if losing part of his/her wing hurt – like humans get phantom pain or something - is that crazy? - not sure of the science on butterfly CNS. I assume s/he knows of their injury, as undoubtedly it is affecting their flight - and is surely the reason s/he got caught on a flower - from the irregular tatters of the posterior wing.

I watched this fascinating and beautiful earthling for a little while and I was relieved to see this determined critter continue to do what all sentient beings seek to do – simply LIVE.

As I watched, entertaining unrealistic wishes such as surgically repairing my little butterfly buddy, I also thought about the reaction of people I know. I think everybody I know would have done the same – had they seen a beautiful butterfly struggling - they would try to help, and if unable to help they would feel a bit bad for their helplessness.

But these same people often have trouble grasping vegan ethics, never realizing it is the exact same thing. The human(e) feeling all decent people have - the protective feeling we get when faced with a vulnerable, innocent being - the feeling we were taught to ignore, at least when it came to *certain* earthlings. How we were BEFORE we were taught it was *normal* to cause the suffering and death of *some* but not others.

Vegans just stopped ignoring the obvious – every single sentient earthling is a beautiful *butterfly*…

…if you wouldn’t harm the butterfly…???