Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dear Ziggy

Dee Dee with her hero Ziggy, a few months
after this post was written.
You've been on my mind today.  I am really sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you the last time you were in town.  I tried.  I came across your chalk drawing at the Victory Monument in Yorktown, so I was close -- really close.  Maybe next time you are in town I can meet you.  You have become a hero to many of us humans.

This afternoon my daughter Joy and I stood on the corner of a country highway with a bunch of people we didn't know, to raise awareness of the unnecessary slaughter of your kind by people of our kind.  It made us so sad to see truckloads of your fellow pigs pass by on their way to the slaughter house, not knowing the horror that awaited them there.  Some of the humans who were there for the Smithfield Pig Save walked up to a truck that was stopped at the light and talked to the pigs that were on the truck.  They told the pigs that they were loved.  They told the pigs how sorry they were that they couldn't do more for them and promised to continue working so that other pigs wouldn't have to make that journey.  Their hearts were broken, but their efforts were not unnoticed. Many passersby honked and waved in support of what we were doing. We just pray that we are making a difference by holding these peaceful demonstrations.

On my drive home I thought of you and wondered how you would feel standing on that street corner with us. I could almost picture you side-by-side with the human activists, oinking a message of peace to the unfortunate passengers in the back of the transport as your eyes filled with tears of sorrow for them while your heart burst with gratitude for your human parents and the good life they have given you. God bless them for saving you so that you coud inspire so many of us!

I also wondered how the pigs in the truck would feel if they saw you. I wondered how many would envy the good life you have had and ask why their lives had to be so hard and cruel. It's a good thing you weren't there.  It would only have broken your heart and made their trip more agonizing.

Thank you for being my Facebook friend.  Know that I will fight every day for animal rights and an end to animal cruelty because I believe that every animal deserves a good life, just like the one you enjoy.  Please pray for me, that I will be fearless in my efforts and that like you, I can make a difference in the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Be happy, Ziggy -- you have brought hope and happiness and inspiration to so many!

For the animals,

Dee Dee Wike

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dare to Be Different -- You Won't Regret It!

Recently Joy and I have had a couple of opportunities to share our vegan journey with curious friends.  Having experienced a lackluster response to our blogs and Facebook posts, these conversations were a great encouragement to us.

Being a vegan is not a whole lot different than being a Christ-follower. As much as we want others to believe as we do, some people just aren't open to the good news we have to share about something that could be of great benefit in their lives. Aren't we all that way at times? Intellectually, we read or hear compelling information and see evidence of positive change in the lives of others, but we aren't willing to step out of our comfort zones and be "different" enough to give it a real try.

In this new season of life -- this vegan adventure on which Joy and I have embarked-- a new passion has been ignited to share with others the truth about the many benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet -- not just for better health but for a better world. Having learned about the abuse being perpetrated upon God's creatures because of our human appetites for food, products, and clothing that come from animals, we have joyfully made the choice to live without "good" things in favor of things that are better -- for the animals (life without suffering), the environment (a cleaner world in which to live and raise a family), and our own health and well being.

The thing that puzzles and saddens us is that even those who see and acknowledge the benefits of choosing a meatless existence, refuse the better choice for themselves because they don't see how they could ever possibly make the change. Before ever giving veganism a try they decide that it's just too difficult. We are living proof that it doesn't have to be!

God calls us to be good stewards of all He has created and provided for us -- our money, health, and the world in which we live. Veganism is giving us the opportunity to live with new purpose and passion.  As this journey unfolds we eagerly anticipate seeing what He has next for us -- perhaps an opportunity to volunteer or work for an animal advocacy group or even the chance to go to Washington as a voice for change.

Joy and I invite you to join us on this journey! We will continue providing and sharing helpful information and tips to help and motivate you, and we encourage your questions. Please visit our Facebook page or email us at with any questions you may have.

We're not experts, but we are hungry for change and committed to finding ways that will help us all live healthier and more compassionate lives!

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

There Are No Words

Very few things in life have affected me as much as my journey these past few months.  The joy and inner peace I feel knowing that I am treating my body and God's creation the way he intended are indescribable.

There are no words to adequately describe how I feel at this moment.  I am astonished by the atrocities animals are made to suffer and my own ignorance of how our food is processed.  Each day I am learning things that jar my conscience and discovering better alternatives for eating and living that don't carry the high price of animal suffering.  In the few months that I have been vegetarian/vegan I have experienced better health and become more environmentally conscious.  I have learned so much on this journey and benefited personally in so many ways.  It is my hope that others will see the positive effects of veganism and consider the possibilities for themselves.

Daily I am becoming more aware of injustice, not only in the animal world but among our own human race. How is it that we humans -- created in the image of God -- can live such ungodly lives and perpetrate such violence against others?

As a Christian, my greatest desire is to live my life in such a way that people see my good works and glorify my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). I want to be an instrument of God's encouragement and a vessel he can use to bring salvation to those who are lost.

But for me, it no longer stops there. As surely as I will continue living for God and encouraging others with the truths of his Word, I will also be an advocate for compassionate living and the animals God created -- human and non-human alike.

We can all be better stewards of God's love, provision, and resources in our world. Why aren't we?

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Comfort in a Cup: Easy Microwavable Cake for One

Recently Joy happened upon a couple of quick and easy dessert recipes that we're still ooh-ing and aah-ing about.  One is a microwavable cobbler (coming soon in another post) and the other is the mug cake below.  Imagine our delight in finding an easy microwavable dessert that satisfied our sweet tooth without great expense or guilt! We hope you will enjoy this dessert as much as we do!

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Mug Cake (Click HERE for the official recipe)

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a ceramic mug or glass bowl, mix dry ingredients together, then stir in the almond milk, syrup, vanilla, peanut butter and mix with fork until cake batter consistency. Microwave on high for one minute (more or less, depending on wattage). One minute was perfect in our microwave.

Step 1:  The batter

Step 2:  Hot and delicious, straight from the microwave!

Step 3:  Chocolate chips make this dessert even better!

Chocolate-Lovers Variation
Using the same ingredients above, Joy added 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa to make a chocolate cake, adding chocolate chips after pulling the dessert out of the microwave.  It was SOOOO good!  Although we didn't have any on hand, this would be delicious topped with non-dairy vanilla ice cream.  Steve topped his with marshmallow creme (non-vegan) and said it was to die for!

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Just Ask Yourself One Question: Why?

I had started a blog a couple of days ago but felt the urge to switch from writing that blog, to writing this one instead. A lot of people reading this know that I have made the transition and am now eating vegan. And a lot of people think that it's great. It's great that I have found something I enjoy doing and am passionate about. It's great that I'm spreading a positive message to the world, and it's inspiring to some people. I've even had a few compliments, which is very nice and considerate. I mean, everyone enjoys getting compliments. But instead of getting compliments, I want to see people actually watching some of the documentaries that I, and my mom, have recommended. I want to see people looking up information about being vegan. Instead of being told something like, "You're doing a great job here. Keep it up!" by someone who then goes out and gets a  hamburger, I want to read a comment like, "I just watched Cowspiracy and I want to learn more. Thanks for the recommendation." I don't say any of this to be disrespectful, but I feel like writing these blogs is pointless if no one is going out there and taking action. Few people are watching any of the recommended documentaries. They're not researching anything. Instead, they're reading these blogs and taking them through one eye and out the other.

Why? Why aren't you doing anything? Is it because you don't have access to any of the documentaries or the internet? Is it because you think you could never go vegan, or at least vegetarian? Is it because you're afraid to learn the truth, or because you think factory farming and animal agriculture isn't as bad as everyone says it is? Are you afraid of what your friends and family might say if you looked some things up and decided to try being vegan or vegetarian? Or are you just too busy to put in the effort?

I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hurtful and disappointing  that few people have taken any of these blogs to heart. It's hurtful and frustrating when I try to make a difference by sharing my passion and those closest to me don't get it. I try to show and tell them the truth, but it doesn't sink in and they make up excuses about how it's okay. It's hurtful when they make sly jokes or comments about my convictions even though they know I'm serious about this lifestyle.
 It's obvious that they don't care or understand, and it's hurtful because I do care and understand and want them to care and understand too.
I've done all I can do. I can't make anyone change. I'm happy being vegan and plan on remaining vegan for the rest of my life. I just have to enjoy my vegan lifestyle and let everyone else do their own thing. I'll keep writing blogs -- even though I've considered stopping -- because someone has to stand up and do something about the animal abuse and environmental devastation caused by animal agriculture. These factory farms and money making corporations cannot win. 

"Could you look an animal in the eyes and say to it, 'My appetite is more important than your suffering'?" - Moby

"We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature. "- Rachel Carson

So why do this? Why contribute to animal abuse simply to satisfy our appetites?
"Here's why: habit, addiction, peer pressure, convenience, and taste. And none of those are a necessity." - Erin Janus

Please consider doing something. Anything. The planet is suffering, animals are suffering, and people are suffering.
      -- Joy 

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hair Color Product Review -- Naturtint

Several weeks ago Joy and I decided that we would color our hair upon completion of the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, for fun and to celebrate our new lifestyle. Since we are trying to replace our personal care and cosmetic products with cruelty-free ones, we chose Naturtint Permanent Hair Color.  Our goal was not only to have a little fun but also post a product review that might be of use to others looking for a more natural hair color product not tested on animals.

What we loved about Naturtint:
  • It is a plant-based formula "with a botanical base, that is eco-friendly, ammonia-free, paraben-free, and vegan friendly" (Source: 
  • It does not have the harsh chemical smell of drug-store or salon brands.
  • It did not irritate our scalps. 
  • It was packaged with both a shampoo and a conditioner.
  • The shades are mixable.
  • It was easy to apply.

What we didn't love about Naturtint (on our first try):
  • Our color choices did not turn out as blonde as the photos on the packaging, BUT Joy was pleased with how well it lightened her roots and I was pleased that the color I selected did a decent job of evening out my color and covering my gray.  [Note:  Joy started out with quite dark hair and my hair was very gray (nearly white in front) with dark hair "peppered" in the back.]
  • The price.  At nearly $18 a box, it is more expensive than drug store brands; however, we are willing to pay the price knowing that the product is manufactured without animal testing.

Where we purchased Naturtint:
  • Naturtint is available online and in some retail stores. We were able to purchase our product locally at Health Trail Natural Foods and discovered that it is also available at Whole Foods in Newport News.

Our first impression and results:
Having been gray for a LONG time I was hesitant to color my hair.  I have tried many commercial hair color products through the years, but never with consistency due to the harsh chemicals they contained and the frequency of reapplication required to keep the color looking good. The thought of trying a "permanent" hair color was a little scary.  However, after reading the reviews for Naturtint I knew I wanted to give the product a try.

Joy wanted to go much lighter, back to the blonde of her childhood.  I simply wanted to cover my gray to help achieve a more youthful look consistent with the way I feel, but not using a color so dark that the look would be a harsh contrast.  Although I had intended to go with the darker Wheat Germ Blonde pictured here, that shade was sold out at the store where we purchased our hair color so I opted for the next lighter shade, Honey Blonde.  Joy went with Light Dawn Blonde.  Our before and after shots are shown below.

Before:  Dark Brown  -- After: Light Dawn Blonde

Before: Salt & Pepper -- After: Honey Blonde
Will we use Naturtint again? Definitely, especially since we have found a cruelty-free product that is ammonia-free! Joy will continue to lighten her hair and if blondes really do have more fun, I may try the Wheat Germ Blonde next time or mix it with the Honey Blonde pictured above.

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.