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I have a 22-year-old son, Jonathan, and a beautiful daughter-in-law, Allison, and they made me the happiest ever by having a little boy named Oliver who is my sunshine and then brought the sweetest little girl into world who looks just like a babydoll. I am a Mimi, grandmother, and love everything about it. It's true what they say that you love your kids with all your heart, but Oliver just smiles and I melt; he knows he can control me too, and don't even get me started about Juliet. They are all my life. Oliver has been calling me sweetie lately because I sometimes call him Sweetie. It's so adorable. I feel that I am truly blessed. I have best family in the world. ABOUT ME: My Causes/Beliefs: I'm against animal cruelty and animal testing, etc. I really try to stick to a vegan diet! I make mistakes, but keep on trying. I try really hard not to use makeup or household products that have been tested on animals or wear clothing, use purses, shoes, etc., that have been made from animal products. I am constantly checking to making sure that products that I use are not animal based or animal tested, although I may make mistakes in this from time to time. HOW I BECAME VEGAN: I actually have an eating disorder and, in one of my desperate attempts to lose weight yet again, I turned to the book "Skinny Bitch. As if I wasn't neurotic about food enough, just what I needed was another diet book. After reading just a few pages summarizing in graphic detail of what happens on factory farms, slaughterhouses, dairy farms, etc., I was completely mesmerized, yet horrified! I then started looking up vegan sites on the net and wandered onto the www.peta.org website as well as www.goveg.com. While there, I saw several videos documenting the cruelty to the defenseless animals which are raised on these so-called factory farms. I started researching more and more; of course, becoming steadily obsessed as is my nature. I can never do anything halfway; everything is either black or white, all or nothing!! Okay, this is where I admit I became TOTALLY confused. As I started researching different sites which assist in helping people become vegan or vegetarian, I started pondering the beliefs that encompass the vegan mindset and lifestyle. My mind started racing, and the whole concept started snowballing on me. If I don't eat meat, then what about eggs? If I don't eat eggs, then how can I fathom the thought of consuming dairy products? Wait, I love yogurt! Okay...if I don't eat dairy products, what about wearing leather or using any leather products, i.e. belts, purses, OMG, all my shoes!! Then, of course, the ultimate hit me!!Makeup, cosmetics, shampoo, household products, anything really -- my mind was spinning!! Everything seemed to be connected â being vegan, saving animals, as well as trying to conserve energy, recycling, being concerned about global warming, all that plastic we use and discard without a second though, the health and condition of the oceans, sea life, etc. -- all this just by reading one friggin' book! Why me? Why, oh, why did I ever pick up this book!?! "I truly believe we all need something to really stand strong for OR against, whichever you prefer. In so doing, we should lead our lives in keeping with our own individual belief system without being so radical, avid, or, in some cases, LOUD about a particular issue that we, by example, turn people against the very thing we are trying to advocate - does that make any sense?" When I initially wrote that, I really meant it, but, as I become more interested in the animal cruelty/rights movement, I cannot help but get more avid and speak more LOUDLY and more passionately about the subject. I think that is one of the reasons that, while I love my family and friends very much, when I try to discuss my beliefs with them or any other non-vegan person, they sometimes can become offended because the subject matter is too delicate and/or graphic, they just don't want to discuss it, they aren't ready to discuss it, or they just plain like meat way too much!! Of course, my intention is not to offend; I am just very passionate about this because I truly believe in it 100%! I don't want to hurt anyone, I want to ENLIGHTEN. Okay, it's like this -- remember when you were in grade school and you got your very first A+ on a spelling test, and you COULD NOT WAIT to share it with everyone, your family, your friends, you aunts, your uncles, your dog, your cat, your stuff animals, your dolls, anyone who would listen, because you wanted everyone to know how smart you were, all the knowledge you possessed -- even if it was for that small moment of time!! Okay, that's a bad analogy, but, you see my point, don't you? It's like something clicks within you and you want to shout it out -- HEY PEOPLE -- LISTEN TO ME, I FINALLY HAVE SOMETHING WORTHWHILE TO SAY! I just want to be able to DO SOMETHING, anything, to help these poor, defenseless animals who are undergoing unspeakable acts of torture, maybe even closer than your think, perhaps a neighbor's house (cruelty can happen anywhere), testing laboratories, in the oceans, in the slaughterhouses, on factory farms, so many other different places, even as we speak; it's a horrible nightmare that has to stop. I just want to aid in the fight in stopping it...why is that wrong -- I am just looking for my starting point? Why were the Shac-7 wrong? Why were the AETA-4 wrong? Why were the AETA-2 wrong? I call these people heroes; the government lock these people up and call them terrorists. For what, they have never killed or harmed anyone. Quite the opposite -- they have rescued animals before they were murdered and killed. Who are the "real" terrorists here? Now that we have the knowledge, we cannot just ignore it! Isn't it our responsibility to try to do what we can to help. We have to listen to what our heart and conscience are telling us is right? If it comes to a life, irregardless of species, and being humane and kind, SAVING LIVES CAN'T BE WRONG -- can it? PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT! I totally believe in EVERYTHING that veganism and the animal movement promotes. I believe that animals are sentient beings, created by a higher power just as you and I were, who have sophisticated central nervous systems and can feel pain and suffer just as we do. I believe that animals have the innate instinct to want to survive and take care of their babies, without them being stripped away at birth so they may become a meal on someone's plate or for milk. We are the only species that drinks another species milk as adults; no other species does that. Occasionally, one species will feed babies of another furry friend, but they donât play a part in abuse toward milking cows who are kept pregnant and hooked up to milking machines the majority of their life. They will get infections and mastitis and all the pus and infection are passed on in the cow milk you obtain from grocery stores. These infections will need antibiotics to clear the infections and the antibiotics are passed on to humans through the milk. Cow milk is for their babies, just as breast milk is for our babies....it is not interspecies connected. I believe that animals who die in animal tests is an abomination as it has been proven that testing on animals for human purposes is just a waste of time. Their metabolism and chemical makeup is different than ours and therefore not a valid source for testing. With the technological age, there have been so many advances in science that there is NO NEED to test on animals. These animals are tested upon with no anesthesia, no care given whatsoever of their pain and suffering except to further some mindless experiment which ends up in the trash anyway. That is the reason why they do clinical trials on actual humans now for a number of things, because the animal testing is always inconclusive. Ignorance is bliss, I understand that. You do not want to see the pictures because you do not want to see the suffering because then maybe you might have to look at the food on your plate a little differently. Animals should not be used to feed our endless appetites! I refuse to use my body as a graveyard for something that was once a living, feeling, breathing being. I do not want to eat something that was put on my dinner table through horrific violence. I donât want that violence in my body. I do not believe that animals should be used for our amusement, i.e. bullfighting, dog fights, circuses, rodeos, etc. They are abused in the process and they endure so much pain at the hands of humans in this capacity. Veganism is really about compassion and caring about the world we live in, not turning a blind eye to all the suffering. If more people turned to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, we could take the food that we feed all the livestock we breed for ourselves and actually use it to feed the needy and the hungry, not just locally but abroad as well. Veganism is not about using animals for humans' selfish financial gain as the beef/poultry/pork industry, dairy industry, circuses, rodeos, bullfighting, dog fighting, and so many more, most certainly do on an everyday basis. It is so sad that we have come so far to the truth...that being, all species should and, one day, will be treated as equals. We all strive to survive and fear death!