An examination of my past unlocked the beliefs I hold today. It all began when my father decided to buy a ranch when I was in grade school. The farm became a hobby for him and a place where he could dig fence posts while designing roads and creating a mini-town. The land prevailed as his blank canvas, a place where he could develop outside of his office.
My family called the place the farm. Humans did not live on the land. The occupants were several barn cats and hundreds of cattle. My father began raising Angus cattle; then he moved on to breeding Simmental cattle. He held a love for all animals to a point. Nevertheless, he did not realize the connection between animals and food on our plates.
I often went with my father to the farm to feed the animals. I would climb up on the fence post as he called these magnificent creatures from the pasture to come to dinner I can still hear his voice calling the cattle in a song voice repeating the words, “Hey cattle, come on cattle.”
The cows would walk swiftly to the trough of grain as they were eagerly anticipating their treats. As I watched the cattle, I noticed their different personalities. Like people, their personalities ranged from shy, friendly, brave or skittish and a mixture of characteristics. The babies prevailed as courageous and often held an intense curiosity. Of all the cattle, Jethro the Angus bull was my favorite. Jethro weighed over a ton, and his gentle disposition juxtaposed his appearance. I remember walking up to the fence where he would greet me and let me rub his curly head right above his eyes. He prevailed as a sweet-tempered creature. The barn cats loved him. Jethro laid in the pen while the cats would rub underneath his giant head. Both derived great pleasure from each other. Dad let him live out his life and never sent him to the slaughterhouse. It stood as an example that a big bull’s life existed as worth saving and not eating.
The animals left a tremendous effect on me later in life. They set forth a message of compassion that reached me many years later. As an animal lover, I finally connected the dots.
PETA rocks my world! A dear friend lives in a part of Texas where the good ol’ boy rules (happens to occur in most of the state). Anyway, my friend had complained and complained to the Sheriff’s Department and the SPCA about the way these people were abusing their dogs. The Sheriff and the SPCA would do nothing!!! Occasionally, one of the 30 dogs managed to escape and run to my friend’s home. She would take the dog to a veterinarian because they were always sick, and then find the dog a furever home. These neighbors existed as unstable (long story for another time), and my friend feared if she stirred up trouble that they might cause her harm. Finally, she couldn’t take the animals starvation any longer, and she asked me to call PETA. I did, and within five days all the 30 dogs and several cats were rescued. PETA is my hero! PETA gets tough and will fight for those that can’t speak. I won’t tell you my friend’s name or where she lives for her safety. Inner peace exists in the knowledge that 40 animals will sleep better and eat tonight because of PETA. Thank you, PETA!
Please, give what you can to help those that cannot speak. There are many animal rescues where your dollars can help and here are a few below. I am sending you love and light.
As one types and clicks to buy those holiday gifts, remember our animal friends. The plant-based lifestyle not only includes the practice of eating vegan but avoiding animal products in other purchases, such as shoes, bags, coats, etc.
Here is a list of some of my favorite retailers for vegan products.
There are several reasons why going vegan is becoming mainstream. The motives include health benefits, animal welfare, and concern for the environment. One thing is for sure, the vegan lifestyle is much more acceptable as the knowledge expands throughout the food movement. There is also a tendency for others to try the plant-based lifestyle if they know someone that is vegan and view the benefits. Another reason to go vegan deals with the big C group, the curious and the creative. It’s the ability to change one’s thinking from the image that vegans eat only dull salads. The big C Vegans enjoy experimenting with food and coming up with delicious recipes by way of transformation. Not only are restaurants adding vegan options, but there are vegan pop-up markets, plus many vegan ingredients are at grocery stores. Whatever the reason you choose to become vegan, know that the love and compassion you put forth in the universe is needed more than ever today.
Tip: As you cook and cut up your vegetables, place the unused parts of the vegetables in a large freezer bag. When the bag is full, you can add it to a pot of boiling water and season with salt and pepper to make home-made vegetable broth. Note: Here is the A to Z list of vegetables one should use or exclude.
As I began the plant-based diet, I knew eating would be difficult especially since I lived in a place referred to as Cowtown. The stock show is the most significant event in Fort Worth every year where the end climaxes with the auction of a cow for its meat. Here is a quote from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the champion. Notice how they used the word ‘processed.’
“The zoo keeps it for a year, then sends it off to be processed.”
It is a visual trick. The meat industry wants people to believe in the meat fairy, and the illusion that meat magically appears at the grocery store. When one hears the word ‘slaughter,’ instead of ‘processed’ a visual reality is pictured. The meat industry does not want you to think about what they do to animals. For this reason, it is difficult for anyone to get close to a slaughterhouse nowadays unless one is an employee. It is against the law for anyone to take photos or film inside a slaughterhouse in most states. The meat industry lobbyists spend a fortune hiding the truth about slaughterhouses from consumers. If an individual saw the creature they were about to eat slaughtered, they might think twice before wanting an animal killed for their consumption. I will never forget the time I went to Red Lobster, and the waiter brought a wriggling live lobster to the table and asked me if the crustacean met with my approval. I said, “Nevermind.” I could not eat it.
Melt Chocolate chips with 1 tsp. of coconut oil in microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds, then stir for a minute.
Place bowl back in microwave for another 15 seconds.
Take out of the microwave and stir until all chocolate chips are all melted.
Set a baking rack on counter and place paper towels underneath.
Dip each pretzel in chocolate and place on rack.
Then splatter with Mr. Sprinkles.
You deserve a party!
Now use a coffee cup and a small ice cream scooper to fill with ice cream. Pour about 4 ounces of liqueur over ice cream. Top with two of the chocolate pretzels.
Children’s version: Substitute liquor for non-dairy milk, and add a few more sprinkles.
As many individuals get on the road to join their family and friends for Thanksgiving, it reminds me of how humans have the incredible ability to disconnect. The mind allows one to drive seventy mph on the highway in a five-thousand-pound car next to other vehicles doing the same without much concern. If one thinks about the dangers of driving, one might never get on the road again. A part of disconnection is significant for an individual to accomplish daily activities. Nevertheless, the same detachment happened to me when eating meat. I disconnected from the reality of consuming an animal. I discovered that eating meat was not necessary for my survival. A bonus to the plant-based lifestyle is that vegans are responsible for letting animals exist naturally. As an animal lover, I felt happier knowing that I was not contributing to the death of an innocent creature. Every year that I don’t eat meat two hundred animals will live out their natural existence, per PETA. A bonus of the plant-based diet includes remarkable health benefits.
PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) https://www.peta.org
Living by compassion and speaking by way of actions for those that cannot speak.
I met Norman in 2015 at the Texas Veggie Fair. He is loved and admired by so many. Below is a short video of Norman at Southern Methodist University. His personality shines bright for so many. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lIcLLAtzIU