I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about animal welfare issues. I have done a lot of research and have a TON of passion for promoting kind treatment of animals. After watching terrifying PETA videos and reading awful things about the meat industry, I abruptly stopped eating meat 5 years ago. I didn’t stop with the dairy though. Like most people, even health- and environmentally-conscious ones, I thought it was relatively harmless to drink milk and eat cheese.
What I didn’t realize for a very long time was how devastating the dairy industry is for animals (not just cows, but also goats, sheep and any other animals that produce milk)….perhaps even more devastating than the meat industry (if that’s possible). The reality is that the females are continually impregnanted (basically raped) so that when they give birth, the farmer can separate the baby from his mother immediately to steal her milk. These newborn babies, brand new to the world and wondering where their mothers went, are usually sent straight to slaughter. These so-called farmers do this over and over to ensure that the mom is always lactating. When she’s finally spent, after all the abuse she’s endured, for who knows how long, they haul her off to slaughter too. So they not only kill the babies, but they kill mom too. Females usually fare worse than the males for this reason. Because the farmers want their babies/milk, their abuse is prolonged but they meet the same fate as their babies eventually. In the end, all the animals are hauled off to slaughter because at some point, they stop producing and they are worth more dead than alive. This is disgusting to me and it makes me embarrassed to be human at times, to be perfectly honest.
THIS is the reality of the meat and dairy industry. How does that milk taste now?
It is no secret that I am an avid animal lover and by far the most satisfying part of my life right now is volunteering with the local animal shelter and a local cat rescue group. My day job is rather unfulfilling but I love helping animals feel loved and finding their forever homes.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of being involved in a nationwide adoptathon hosted by the good folks at Maddie’s Fund, a foundation named after a sweet little schnauzer named Maddie who passed away in 1997. The foundation was started by Dave Duffield, a former software company CEO, and his wife Cheryl to honor Maddie by helping homeless pets and supporting the no-kill movement. Participating shelters across the country were awarded donations ranging from $500-$2000 by Maddie’s Fund for each animal adopted on June 1st and 2nd. All adoption fees were waived to those adopting the animals.
It brought me great joy to be involved in the adoptathon. It felt so amazing to see so many animals go home with their new families. The shelter I volunteer at adopted out 65 dogs and 45 cats and raised nearly $70,000 thanks to the great people at Maddie’s. The cat rescue I volunteer for adopted out 17 cats. Across the country, over 6,500 animals were adopted in just 2 days. Amazing!
The second best part of all of this (the first was seeing so many wonderful furry friends go to their new homes!!) was that this restored my faith that good people still exist. Not just the people who came into adopt, or the good people who volunteered alongside me to help these great animals find homes. But also the 2 people who made this all possible – Dave and Cheryl. Two billionaires who could just as easily spend the summer on their yacht and only concern themselves with buying fancy stuff and counting their own money. But they don’t. They put their money where their mouths are and actually make a difference in the world. These amazing people instead choose to use their money and power for good, which is something I admire so much that it made me tear up just thinking about it. They even stopped in the shelter…both beaming from ear to ear… and thanked us all volunteers for our hard work. They singlehandedly helped me believe that the world can be a better place if everyone chips in and does their part. You don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference. You just have to want to…and do something, no matter how small, to make the world a better place.
Check out Maddie’s Fund for more info!
These ideas for healthy, vegan house cleaning products are from Monica Parodi (www.monicaparodi.com):
Floor Cleaner Wood/Tile/Laminate:
Per Bucket of water:
1/2 cup white vinegar
10 drops of lemon oil
7 drops of oregano oil (antiseptic/removes bacteria)
40 drops lavender oil (Fragrance- you can pick other scents)
**Every other week I use Black Tea on my wood floors after cleaning. The tannic acid in tea brings a BEAUTIFUL SHINE to wood floors so ditch the Quick Shine!! Use 5 to 6 tea bags in a large pot of water- let cool before using.
Spray bottle of water
4 drops oregano oil
2 drops tea tree oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
20 drops lavender oil (use more or less for desired fragrance)
These are great at disinfecting, making the house smell amazing & reducing the toxins your family is exposed to.
“To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.