Some days I wonder if I do enough to help animals. Do you ever feel like this? But then there are other days…and I just know I’m making a difference.
I support AAVS’s Tina Nelson Sanctuary Fund. It’s my small way of helping animals rescued from labs get a second chance at a new, sooo well-deserved life. One of my favorite places that AAVS supports is Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary.
Today, I’m writing with a tearful smile. Friends, let me tell you about Ubee, a darling macaque who lived at Mindy’s Memory. I read about Ubee in a recent Mindy’s newsletter, and her story touched me.Ubee spent most of her life in a research laboratory. When she wasn’t wanted there anymore, she was sent to a roadside zoo, and the living conditions there, if you can believe it, were even worse than in the lab! When the zoo closed, nobody wanted poor Ubee. She was sick, and she was old; to some, Ubee was worthless.
Thank golly the folks at Mindy’s Memory were called. They gave Ubee some much needed TLC. Linda Barkley, who founded Mindy’s, said that she had never met a “sweeter primate” than Ubee, and wondered “how she could remain so sweet with all she had endured.”
Finally, Ubee had a chance to be herself. She was able to go outside to sit in the sun or to take a snooze whenever she wanted. She was given the best of everything, including her favorite foods, cherry tomatoes, as well as peanut butter sandwiches, and she was spoiled with the occasional powdered donut. Yum!
Ubee lived at Mindy’s Memory for just seven months, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they were the best seven months of her life. To Mindy’s Memory, Ubee was priceless.
I’m so glad to know that my support of AAVS’s Sanctuary Fund is used to help animals like Ubee. Some may see it as small potatoes, but to me, every penny pinched is worth it when I hear stories like Ubee’s.
Yes, there’s still much work to be done to help animals on a much grander scale. But to make a difference for one life is to make all the difference in her world. And after all, isn’t that really why we dedicate ourselves to this important work?
Until next time,
PS: Friends, learn more about AAVS’s Sanctuary Fund!
My Dear Friends,
I’m troubled. The other day I read an article about being a voice for the “voiceless.” In this case, the voiceless meant animals. Well, I know this and similar phrases are sometimes kicked around the maypole quite a bit, but I have to say I disagree with the idea of animals not having a voice.
Some howl. Some baaaa. Some cock-a-doodle-doo, while others purrr and rib-bit! We as humans might not always understand what they are saying, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice! I mean, good golly, if I were a dog, sheep, or rooster, I’d get the message.
Animals do have a voice. Our job as advocates is to make sure others hear it.
How can we help get their message across in 2012?
• Stay informed! Subscribe to newsletters, social media, and e-mail from groups (like my fave AAVS) to stay up-to-date on campaigns.
• Catch the news. Whether you read the morning paper, watch nightly news, listen to the radio, or peruse your favorite internet site, make sure you a have a sense of how others view animals and the issues that affect them.
• Write letters. If you disagree with how a news item was reported, write a letter and ask to have all viewpoints of an issue included.
• Share your knowledge. Tell others why you care about animals’ rights. But remember, try to not be judgmental; it’ll turn some folks off.
• Get political! Contact your legislators and ask them to support pro-animal legislation. If you can, make an appointment or go to attend a town meeting and speak with them personally.
• Socialize. Facebook and Twitter are great places to start conversations and spread info!
• Don’t underestimate your impact! No matter how small, no good deed is ever wasted.
Friends, we can all make a difference for animals this year and for years to come…we sometimes just have to work a little harder to make their voices heard.
Until next time…love,
My Dear Friends,
This holiday season finds my heart filled with hope, anticipation for good things that may lay ahead, and peace and tranquility for those who suffer.
Despite the Philadelphia winter chill and the fa-la-la of the season, I can hear the true holiday spirit through the voices of my neighborhood kiddies. Their willingness to share as our community comes together to help others, and their concern for animals, including one particularly shiny, red-nosed reindeer, is heartwarming. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and the rest are truly overworked this time of year! As one little tyke pointed out, “I know magic helps them fly, but the sleigh looks sooo heavy. Don’t they get tired?” lol
Rest assured, the kids’ concern goes beyond mythical creatures. Several are working together on a school project and are volunteering and collecting donations for our local animal shelter. And there are more than a few who walk by my house seeing Miss Caroline Kitty in the window and wave a greeting to her.
Friends, these may seem like small things. But I tell you, small acts of kindness are meaningful, and not just for the recipient. The giver also grows enriched, each act positively reinforcing compassion and kindness, worthy traits to be carried throughout life.
As we mature, compassion shapes our ideals. It shapes our lifestyle, what we buy, watch, and wear. It’s why we pledge to go cruelty-free. It’s the moral compass that directs us to embrace veggies and push away the steak. It gives us strength to stand on our principles, despite opposition. It fills our eyes with tears as we read about elderly chimpanzees who once suffered in labs now having a new lease on life, finally, finally having an opportunity for peace and tranquility.
I see the seeds of compassion being sown in the little ones in my neighborhood and it warms my heart. It gives me hope for a better tomorrow….and peace on Earth for all animals.
May your holiday season be filled with compassion and good will. Happy holidays!
Much love and joy,
November in Philadelphia…there is that chill in the air that just makes me want to cozy down with Miss Caroline Kitty, good book in one hand, comforting treat in the other. Friends, I say, “Why not feed two birds with one scone?” Grab a cookbook and tantalize your taste buds to savory town!
I love books, all kinds of books. But sometimes there’s nothin’ like fishin’ for new recipes. Nowadays there’s great vegan cookbooks and countless fab-u-lous vegan recipes that are just as easy to prepare as they are tasty. And, btw, if you’ve been thinking about going vegan, but are afraid it might be too overwhelming, you should check out The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Full of encouragement, cooking tips, and, of course yummy recipes, this book will give a boost to anyone striving for a healthy vegan lifestyle.
Another helpful hint I have is to check out older recipes. You see, back in the day, things like milk and eggs were not always easy to come by, so don’t be surprised if you find some vegan-by-default recipes in Grandma’s cupboard. Such as wonderfully scrumptious desserts…. hmmm, what could better than cake? ….Maybe chocolate cake?
Here’s one of my all-time fav-or-ite treats! Super easy and super fun.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup cocoa, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Combine remaining dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Add to creamed mixture, alternating dry and wet ingredients. Beat till smooth. Pour into a 9 inch, greased and floured pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
When cool, top off with your favorite icing or cover with powdered sugar. But most of all, enjoy!
Until next time, Friends…keep cookin!
I’m back from the Taking Action for Animals conference in DC, and I’m feelin’ refreshed and rejuvenated! I met so many wonderful people…and talked with my friends at AAVS, too…such a pleasant visit. Every year I go to this conference, I learn something new and come home…well, ready to take action!
Friends, now, more than ever, I’m convinced that the way to make positive change for animals is through education. Some think it’s cliché, but knowledge is power, and as a retired librarian, I’ve seen folks, especially kids, blossom with interest and energy, ready to be proactive for the greater good after learning about those in need. Kids, I do believe with aaall my heart, are key to creating a better future for animals, and for all of us.
The start of a new school year is near, and I’ve got a plan to help kids help animals. I contacted Animalearn…Laura and Nicole who work there are sooo fab-u-lous! They gave me a lot of great information about humane science education to give to the district office and schools in my area. Check it: for the young kiddies, the cutest stickers (ever!) and Fascinating Animal Profiles; for teens, students’ rights brochures and must knows about animal dissection; and for teachers, Science Bank catalogs and the most recent AV Magazine titled “Humane Teachers for Humane Students” (word!).
Anyone can donate these kinds of items to their local schools…it’s a great way to reach out! Many, including teachers, just don’t know about humane science education, and Animalearn tells me that most teachers are surprised when they learn how high tech some of the dissection and training alternatives are.
Kids who are nurtured to have empathy and to respect animals will grow up to be compassionate adults…citizens who will make choices being aware of how those choices might affect animals, choices that will ensure a healthier, happier world for all.
I’d love to hear more ideas about how, together, we can do more to create compassionate classrooms. Friends, write me! I’m always glad to hear from you.
Until next time,