Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
My passionate love for, and fascination with, animals began at a young age. My sister and I used to spend hours pretending to be animals! If we were in the pool, we were dolphins...trying our best to mold our bodies into their beautiful forms as we sprang into the water.
On land, we became wild horses. While other girls played with Barbie dolls I have to admit the animal kingdom had my attention. As a young girl I visited a farm in Springtime and met piglets. From then on...I wanted a pig for a pet. No such luck....
I did have some not so usual pets, like seahorses, turtles and hermit crabs, the easy on my mom ones. She refused, understandably, to allow me to have a pig in our suburban home. My sister and I routinely rescued wildlife from the neighborhood cats and set up a hospital in our playhouse.
By college I became vegetarian, partly because of lack of money. The real turning point was my job as a cook. The large portions of animal meat that needed sliced was more than I could look at. I had made the connection that meat was in fact, an animal. The beings I adored.
Fortunately, my compassionate manager let me try my hand at vegetarian entrees. Well, they took off. Soon I was designing and managing a second restaurant.
As a vegetarian in the late 70's I ate a lot of dairy and gluten products. Ahh, if only we knew then what we know now. Around that time I accepted a challenge to eat macrobiotically for 30 days. A macrobiotic cuisine is animal (some consume fish) and dairy free. I was told I would feel better and have more energy. I didn't believe this could be true since I already felt great. I was wrong. Removing dairy from my cuisine made a notable difference. And, the inclusion of sea vegetables, miso, and fermented foods started me on a new journey. I went on to cook for thousands of people....and discovered the blessed opportunity of nourishing others.
My life work has been rooted in service, mostly around cooking, or some aspect of sharing tools for healthier living. I knew I wanted to do more, especially for farm animals. Three years ago I co-founded A Meat Free Month with the intention to help animals, humans and our environment. Please check out our site for great resources, insightful information and you can sign up for a free daily recipe. If you're not yet vegan, please consider taking our 30 day challenge! And, check out A Meat Free Month on Facebook
Our organization, and my recipes, have made their way into hundreds, if not thousands of kitchens and bellies. As deeply rewarding as that is....we've yearned to reach more people.
Called to Rescue is a documentary that will be released this year. Our film shares the stories of sanctuary founders, volunteers and inspiring individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping farm animals. These rescued animals are becoming inspiring ambassadors for all of the other less fortunate. Please visit Called To Rescue for information about our upcoming release and like us on Facebook.
Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~ Norman B. Rice