Barb is my very fat and very lovable tabby cat. I know it may seem strange to write a post all about my cat (insert crazy cat lady jokes here) but she has a lot to do with my reasons for being vegan. But lets start from the beginning.
I got Barb almost two years ago from a friend of a friend whose newborn baby was allergic to cats. I was interested in getting a cat since I lived alone and growing up our home almost always had pets. She had contacted me and asked me how I felt about adopting a full-grown cat. I must admit I was nervous since I wasn’t sure how the cat would bond to me since she grew up from a kitten with her previous owners. I quickly accepted since the next option for the cat was the Humane Society.
The day came when my new cat was arriving and the entire family came to see her off. She was wrapped in a purple blanket like a baby and seemed very shy of new people. The mother told me her name was Muck-Muck and I assured the family, including a very sad little girl that I would take very good care of her. The mother warned me that Muck-Muck liked to hide in closets and is a little indifferent. With tears in their eyes the family left and Muck-Muck quickly found the closest hiding spot. I changed her name from Muck-Muck to Barbara after Barbra Streisand and Barbara Walters, two women I greatly admire.
After the first few days I tried everything to get her out of hiding from treats to toys to catnip and nothing worked. I accepted that maybe she was an indifferent cat and would hide all the time. Finally after a week she came out of hiding one very late night and slept on the edge of my bed.
Sleepy kitty and now fur covered blanket
Then things took a surprising turn. She became this aggressively affectionate cat; every sit on the couch I would take she hopped on my lap, sitting at my desk she would attempt to jump onto my desk and when she couldn’t she meowed until I picked her up.
This is normally how I write my blog minus the wine. It just happened to be a Friday when this picture was taken.
She truly hates all electronic devices that you are more paying attention to because it means you aren’t paying full attention on her. If you are standing up too long like while doing the dishes or working on a recipe she will paw at your legs so you will sit down so she can sit on you. This indifferent cat turned into a snuggle machine.
Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with me becoming a vegan. With Barb lying on my chest I could feel her breathe on face and her chest expanding. I feel her purring from my embrace and no matter where I am in the house she needs to be near me. This made me think about other animals and their interactions with humans. Unfortunately most of their encounters with humans have violent ends after a miserable life.
I have never snuggled up to a chicken before but it made me wonder about human to animal interactions besides a house pet. It bought me back to my childhood where my neighbors had two horses, both saved from a travelling carnival. We were told the big one; Tico was not as friendly as the smaller one Kat. We would come over with our apples and carrots and soon enough Tico warmed up to us. Despite being ridden all day by children they seemed happy to see us. It amazed me how just a little kindness went a long way for these horses. I am not suggesting you should find a tiger and bring him a treat but all animals deserve kindness and this kindness also including leaving them alone in their natural habitat.
Having and loving Barb made me wonder why I would eat one animal and not the other. I think pigs are adorable but at one time in my life I loved the taste of bacon and couldn’t imagine giving it up. After researching how animals are actually treated on a farm and the process they go through I am so glad I made the switch. Now being vegan I just feel better, body and mind.
Considering going vegan? Great! Don’t think you could give up meat and dairy? Ask yourself: Is that moment of eating worth all the suffering? Did your pet have any influence over your veganism?