Companion animals have been an important part of my life since I was a child, but it wasn’t until there was Boo that I made the connection between the cherished life at my side and the life denied on my dinner plate. Boo wasn’t a farm animal; rather, she was an eight year-old Westy who had been rescued and brought to our door by a compassionate veterinarian. But over the 1,642 joyous days that remained in her incredible life, Boo taught me through love the value of a life saved. I learned about rescues, and in the process, I learned about factory farms. And before Boo passed, I promised her I would dedicate the rest of my life to ending the unconscionable suffering of similarly sentient beings. Compassion for Farm Animals is my promise to Boo.
Over 10 years ago, when I was a completely ignorant first time dog owner, my veterinarian told me to roll my puppy onto his back to assert my “dominance.” It never felt right, but I did it anyways, and his behavior problems only got worse. I started reading and learning more about how dogs actually learn, and as my knowledge grew, I turned towards force-free dog training and became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Ernie, while still a spunky challenge that keeps me on my toes, has blossomed, and I love our force-free relationship. As I have embraced the benefits of living a force-free lifestyle with Ernie and his younger brother Binson, the artificial divide between companion animals and farm animals has become more apparent. I am eager to help Compassion for Farm Animals break down that artificial divide and pursue a force-free relationship with all living creatures.
Through all of my life I would have described myself as an "animal lover." I was the little girl rescuing everything from spiders to squirrels. My domestic animal menagerie welcomed animals from grasshoppers to a spider monkey and everything in between. As time went on I grew more and more uncomfortable with our society's, and thus my, "relationship with animals." How could I "love them" and eat and wear them too? As my awareness of factory farming grew, so did my discomfort with my lifestyle. I first gave up eating anything other than live born creatures, eating only fish and fowl. When a vegan friend suggested that I switch to beef in order to subject fewer creatures to torturous conditions and even worse slaughter, a light bulb went on over my head. My newly adopted vegetarianism quickly progressed to veganism as I learned about the horrors of the egg and dairy industries. "If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others...why wouldn't we?" (From Edgar's Mission, Australia). I am happy and proud to be a part of Compassion for Farm Animals.