Why Environmentalism and Veganism Go Hand in Hand.

Published January 20, 2012 by vegansloveanimals

While companies may claim ways in which to make animal exploitation more “environmentally friendly”, there is absolutely no way in which to make environmental exploitation “animal friendly”…this is why I feel quite strongly that ethical reasons to become vegan should be based strongly in environmentalism AND respecting the rights of non-human animals.

This is the basis for anti-civ vegans, and I’m absolutely sick of being written off by other vegans because I am a green anarchist (though I personally distinguish between this and a primitivist, as I don’t condone hunting in any way). I am able to think for myself, and I certainly don’t blindly follow Derrick Jensen or John Zerzan or anyone else, though I may feel they have some very valuable things to say.

Clearcut forest–ask yourself, what do the animals think of this?

The exploitation of the environment (logging, mining, factories spewing all kinds of toxic chemicals from their smokestacks, cars and their roads, cell phone towers, planes, coal, oil drilling and oil pipelines and refining oil for our cars, etc etc etc) all DIRECTLY cause harm and exploitation to non-human animals. So just being vegan and driving a Prius doesn’t make us non-contributors to the direct exploitation of animals.

Strip mining for coal–how many animals lost their homes? How many died?

I’M NOT PERFECT. I know many of you vegans will scoff and say,”Well there you are typing away on your laptop, using electricity!” Yes, and I also have a cell phone, which contributes to the death of millions of songbirds each year. I also have a car, which was and is destructive as the materials to build it were mined and refined and manufactured, as the roads I drive on were paved over where once pristine habitat for wild animals existed, as the oil I use to power my car was drilled for and sent through pipelines or on polluting ships, as driving causes toxic, unhealthy emissions for both human and non-humans everywhere. But at least I am able to admit how destructive civilization is, for humans AND for animals. DIRECTLY.

With the human population nearly hitting the 7 billion mark, what would happen if every one of us did indeed go vegan? Would animal exploitation stop? Of course it wouldn’t. We’d still have to have massive agriculture, which means acres of land plowed over and replanted with crops for people. Water would have to be diverted from natural streams, rivers, and lakes for our agriculture. The food would have to be shipped to people living in cities, so roads would continue to exist, even continue to be built! Only a few examples.

Yes, people should ABSOLUTELY be vegan for animal rights and liberation. But they should also realize that environmentalism and animal rights go hand in hand, paw in paw, feather in feather. I am an abolitionist through and through. I am always against the exploitation of animals, and I am always against the exploitation of Nature, because they are inexorably linked.

Go vegan for the animals. Go vegan for the Earth, so that all who live upon the earth can live. And realize that even vegans do not have all the answers.


Nice Cream!

Published January 13, 2012 by vegansloveanimals

I love pet-friendly businesses!

“Mama, true love means sharing your ice cream!”

My dad had a sweet tooth like no one else. He used to run miles every day, and participate quite regularly in various races. I remember he once told me “some people run to stay healthy–I run to eat!” His favorite present on birthdays and holidays was a batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies–my homemade specialty!

Dad was always open to vegan food–especially treats! Maggie Mudds was an ice cream parlor in Bernal Heights in SF with an extensive vegan menu. We’d often go there but it was a bit out of the way. One day dad called me and told me about a place on 9th ave between Irving and Judah called Holy Gelato!, an ice cream parlor with special vegan noms–or my personal phrasing: nice cream! He claimed it was even better than Maggie Mudds–which must be true, as MM is now out of business while HG! is happily still open to feed my expanding belly!

The first time I tried Holy Gelato! (yes, that exclamation point is supposed to be there, no it is not the end of the sentence!) I was in love. My dad and I typically visited every time I was in the city–I remember once when dad was in UCSF hospital he sent me out for some nice cream. Holy Gelato! is very close to UCSF so I walked over. The super awesome and nice manager (I always assume he is the manager or owner anyway–he doesn’t know my name nor do I know his–but we definitely know each other! And he DOES know Rikki’s name!) asked how my dad was, knowing him to be sick. When I said he was in the hospital I was given the nice cream FREE! And another huge super sweet plus: Rikki is ALWAYS allowed inside!

My dad passed away March 10, 2011. He had Leukemia. I was holding his hand when he passed, and I will always be incredibly grateful for that. Rikki and I still eat at Holy Gelato! whenever I am craving something yummy while in San Francisco. It will always bring back happy memories of my dad. 🙂

My sister and our papa sharing some nice cream at Holy Gelato!


I’m in Love with My Dog.

Published December 14, 2011 by vegansloveanimals

It’s true. I’m in love with my pit bull.

Ewww, not like that.

Nevertheless, I love her something fierce.

Be jealous, be very, very jealous! Who wouldn’t die of happiness to wake up every damn morning to this face:

If it were up to me, Rikki and I would NEVER be out of each others’ sights! We would grocery shop together, go to school together, travel on airplanes together (with Rikki in the seat next to me of course!), etc! Being separated from this giant mushy love machine is physically painful. I think about her when we’re apart–which admittedly isn’t much.

I think Rikki is the world’s most kissed dog. I have about a bazillion pictures of her trying to get away from my incessant smooching. I kiss her at the dog park almost as much as I kiss her at home. I think I kiss her in the car more than anywhere though–because she’s always right near me…

…so I can just grab her face and ::SMOOOOCH:: !

I grew up with cats, so I’ve known for quite some time that I’d be exquisitely happy living alone in a huge Victorian-styled, rundown house with a bazillion of them–rescued & fixed, of course. How was I to know that 2 and a half years ago I’d find that life couldn’t be complete without a pit bull in the mix, as well?

“I know a sucker when I see one. Dis lady will be my slave for life! I shall mark her wiff my slobbers!”

And I am so. fucking. thankful that Rikki is in my life. I wake up each morning and stare happily at her sleeping face. Her floppy lips, floppy ears, wonderfully stinky dog-breath. She has brought so much happiness, joy, and laughter into my life that it is indescribable. This blog doesn’t do Rikki justice, nor does it do justice to the love I have for her. She has one of the most genuine, loyal, loving souls that has ever existed in the history of the universe–of this I am certain.

If you are depressed please remember all the wonderful animals who are dumped in animal shelters every year. Millions of them won’t ever make it back out, and they die alone.

If you are lonely, I encourage you to volunteer at a local shelter or rescue. Help is ALWAYS needed. You can walk dogs, clean cages/kennels, socialize cats, play with kittens, foster kittens or puppies and/or animals recovering from surgery or sickness, etc. And if your home life permits, I strongly encourage you to adopt!

And don’t always go for a kitten or puppy. Adult animals already have established personalities, and they will be so incredibly grateful to be given a real chance to love and be loved! It amazes me that Rikki lived without me for around 2 years. What was her life like? There wasn’t much evidence that she was really part of a family–she had no idea what toys were, didn’t know what chasing a ball or stick was about…I guess it doesn’t matter now. What matters is that she is finally truly loved, truly safe. No one will ever hurt her or neglect her. She will never go without love, food, vet care, or tons of toys and treats.

And I will never go a day without pit bull kisses. Now that’s a great trade-off!

Next time someone calls you a rat, give them a big hug!

Published December 12, 2011 by vegansloveanimals

I can’t stand hearing people use “rat” as a derogatory term. Neither can my good buddy, Angus:

As you can see, my new sweatshirt is VERY warm! Every one of my rats who I’ve picked up for some shoulder cruisin’ while wearing this new hoodie has snuggled down inside and then peeked their little heads out like this (more Angus):

My newest boy, Digit McStubby,  prefers a sleeve:

My foster, Jasmine, prefers the fleece in her cage! Her sister loves me, but Jazzy still isn’t terribly thrilled:

And in case you need “scientific” proof of how awesome rats are:


Some experimenters had to lock a rat in a tiny little box-thing in order to learn that-oh my!!-rats have much more empathy than they themselves!

One rat was free, while the other locked in a tiny little space. The free rat became visibly distressed to see his/her friend locked up, and pretty much every rat didn’t rest until they’d managed to free their imprisoned companion, which was actually not an easy task.

Yes, humans have a lot to learn from rats. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me!

Like, OMG, hi!

Published December 11, 2011 by vegansloveanimals

I’ve decided to start a blog. That’s right, Facebook-ing my animal stories doesn’t allow me to go into enough detail! It doesn’t allow me to post a series of images to illustrate the sheer adora-bull-ness of my pit bull or the rest of my critters.

Currently, my family consists of a female Pit Bull/American Bulldog (Rikki), two cats who are brothers from the same mother (Antonio and Magellan), two of my own male rats (Angus and Digit McStubby) and two female rats who I’m fostering for a small animal rescue (Jester and Jasmine)(for North Star Rescue!)(<3!!!)(that’s a heart, in case you can’t tell!).

My rat population changes a bit more frequently, as I tend to adopt older rats who sadly pass away. Most recently I lost Bobby, who I adopted the moment I laid eyes on him in Pet Food Express in Ignacio. He wasn’t actually up for adoption–someone had simply left him in his filthy cage outside the store before they opened in the morning. I just happened to stop by to get a dog treat for Rikki, as we had been babysitting the night before in the East Bay. One of the store employees freaked out when I walked in because she knows I do some rat rescue–it was love at first sight between Bobby and I. He was covered in bald patches, had dumbo ears–and despite his crappy previous home life he was super duper extra sweet! So of course I swooped him up and spent half my babysitting money on his initial vet bill that very morning.

Because I am a SUCKER. Big time! Animals know this about me. They absolutely smell it, or see it written on my forehead or something. Whatever…I’m fine with it.