Why I Went Vegan and My Tribute to Jake

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!

I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.  Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake.  Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years.  Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies).  He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long.  Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).

Jake became ill in September 2016.  We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection.  Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer.  We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful.  All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable.  We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.

Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away.  We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough.  When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do.  She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it.  Jake was gone by the following Sunday.

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What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people.  You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live.  I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life.  There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc.  So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?!  At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.

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I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me.  It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!

 

How I Feel About Prop 12 and Why I Didn’t Vote on It

Hello everyone, happy post Election Day!  I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that it is over!!  The decisions, the signs and the anxiety are enough to drive anyone crazy!  I found this ballot to be pretty easy to make my mind up about, except for one proposition that we had here in California, proposition 12.

Proposition 12 “establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals. Prohibits sales of meat and egg products from animals confined in noncomplying manner. Fiscal Impact: Potential decrease in state income tax revenues from farm businesses, likely not more than several million dollars annually. State costs up to $10 million annually to enforce the measure.”

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Having read the information you would probably wonder why, as an animal rights activist, I didn’t immediately jump on board with this proposition.  Here are my reasons why even today I am quite unsure….

My first thought when the prop came out was who is going to regulate this?  Many propositions have passed before and have not been regulated.  For example, cage free hens are absolutely not cage free and rarely see the light of day.  My worry is that people will think that these animals have a better life and better standards, when nothing has changed.  This will only encourage them to eat more meat without feeling guilty over their decisions (I used to do the same thing; I would buy the most expensive, organic, and humane meat thinking that it made a difference.  In reality, there is no difference other than the term that the industry uses to make us feel better about our choices).

Here was a CON on the proposition 12 page: “This outrageous sell-out to the egg industry betrays animals and voters. Californians already voted to ban cages by 2015. This cruel measure legalizes cages until at least 2022! And hens get just ONE SQUARE FOOT of space. Vote NO on farm animal cruelty by voting NO on Proposition 12.”

The other reason why I was confused by this proposition, was because so many people from the animal agriculture industry supported it while strong animal rights groups like PETA were against it.

While I completely understand that not everyone is going to stop eating meat and that animals should have a better life while they are here, I am not quite sure that this is the step in the right direction.  Are we just misinforming and lying to the public?

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Regardless, proposition 12 passed by a landslide!!!  And here is the positive side of this entire campaign trail.  The commercials opened people’s eyes about how animals are suffering and are being confined.  In addition, the “yes” vote shows how compassionate people truly are about animals (I am hoping someday that people realize that if they are so compassionate about animals, then they should stop eating them….). In addition, I have had some amazing conversations with people who are ready to be educated about where their “food” actually comes from and it’s opened their eyes.

Having said all of this, I completely admire and respect everyone who worked so hard to get this proposition passed and to fight for the animals!  You are all amazing and we have to do what we can to take steps in the right direction.