18. Honour a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.
For the next three days I will be working at the Brisbane OzComicCon, so while I'll still have posts going up here and on Instagram, I won't have much time to be reading and commenting on posts until Monday. However I will catch up with everyone next week, promise. :)
It all started with a duck. When I was in primary school, I was at the duck pond at the University of Queensland (where my mum worked). I had been there many times before, but on this particular day there was a family of Australian Wood Ducks (look them up, they are super cute!). I clamped eyes on the little ducklings and their parents and something melted in my heart. I would love to say that I went vegan then and there, but no, I just stopped eating duck. However, while I had always loved animals (I have had cats from day one), I really credit this as the moment I made that first little link in my mind between animals and what was on my plate. These ducks now hold a very special place in my heart.
Fast forward to now, when I have been a vegan for 15 years. The reason I went vegetarian and then eventually vegan, and the reason I remain absolutely committed to veganism, has always been about the animals. Sure, there have been some health benefits and it is good for the environment, but the animals are what it is all about for me. Of course, it helps that these days the food is absolutely delicious! But honestly, it isn't even about the food. Though I certainly enjoy it!
I think that farm animal sanctuaries are some of the most important places. Not only for the second chance they give so many beautiful animals (my heart breaks for all the animals who are not so lucky), but they are also a wonderful place for people to see these animals as the individuals they are, and they are a beautiful place for vegans to visit and recharge.
We are lucky to have a farm animal sanctuary not far out of Brisbane, Farm Animal Rescue. I've been out a few times for their open days, which they have a lot! These photos are from a couple of years ago, apparently the last time I went out I didn't take my camera.
Last year, when I went to Melbourne, I was extremely lucky and was able to have a tour of the new Edgar's Mission property. I think Edgar's Mission is definitely the most well known of Australia's sanctuaries both here and overseas. I was thrilled to be able to go and meet their animal residents.
That little black and white guy in the last photo is Bandit, who I just fell in love with. Bandit had a rough start in life, both his front legs were broken after a difficult birth. Remarkably, the farmer contacted Edgar's Mission to see if they could help save this little guy. And they did! You can see he still has his bandages on in this photo, but he was still getting around with some of his friends. He was a quiet, serious little guy when I was there, and we had some very lovely moments together.
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post: Month of Gizmo
I also honour Gizmo's memory every day by trying to make the world a better place for animals. She was abandoned at four years old at a vet clinic I was doing prac work at, and was due to be put to sleep the next day because no one wanted an older cat. I couldn't let that happen, and we had eleven magical years together that I will always treasure. Remember, spey and neuter, adopt and don't shop, and consider an older friend if you are looking for an animal companion!