Friday, October 21, 2016

They Could Have Had a Second Chance at Life

There have been two pig transport crashes this month. One in Burlington, Canada and one in Arizona, USA. The first crash happened on the 5th of October and the second one occurred earlier this week in Arizona. Okay, so two trucks bound for slaughter crashed, some pigs were killed and the ones that weren't were taken to slaughter. What's the big deal? The big deal is that some of these pigs could have had a second chance at life.

Shortly after the crash in Canada several animal activists gathered on the scene, including one of the parents of Esther The Wonder Pig. While forty of the one hundred pigs were killed in the crash, there were some that were injured, but due to the nature of their injuries, they were not fit for meat consumption. These pigs were lying a few hundred feet from the truck and while they were not able to walk, they were very much alive and conscious. One of Esther's parents was generous enough to ask if he could take them to a sanctuary, because while these animals were not able to be consumed for meat and were injured, their injuries could have healed and they could have lived out their days in peace. The request that they be taken to a sanctuary was completely ignored. And on that beautiful sunny day, these pigs who were injured, lying on the grass, were killed by a bolt gun to the head.

These injured pigs could have had a second chance at life. They could have lived out their days surrounded by love. Instead, this simple and generous request was ignored and they were killed. It wasn't painless, pretty, or quick. These pigs seized and seized, convulsed and convulsed, until they became unconscious and their hearts stopped. Once they were dead, they were picked up by forklifts and taken to be dumped, and disposed of.

Of course the workers couldn't do this in plain view because it would have upset the public. The workers, who were on the scene of the crash, held up large pieces of cardboard and tarps to cover up and conceal what was going on. Because if the public had really seen what was going on, they would have been appalled and saddened.

This crash was traumatizing for these pigs. After already having gone through the crash, they were then hoarded out of the tipped vehicle with what looked like giant fly swatters. Although there were people trying to cover up what was occurring at the scene, there are videos where you can hear the panicked screams of the pigs. You can just sense their distress and fear.

I don't know why these workers and officers couldn't have just let the few pigs go with Esther's parents to a sanctuary. It makes me sad that these injured pigs could have had a second chance at life, but because they were "defective" they were treated just like any other object. Their lives were ended and they were just thrown away.

These kinds of atrocities don't have to continue. Please just leave meat off your plate. Open your eyes to see that these animals deserve love and respect just like your dogs and cats.

Thank you to the parents of Esther The Wonder Pig for attempting to give these few pigs a second chance at life.


*Photo is not my own and was taken from Smithfield Pig Save Facebook's page. Original photo is by Andrea White*

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our First Vegan Presentation

Joy and I had the honor and privilege of sharing our vegan journey and feeding lunch to our church youth group, youth leaders, and special guests today and what a great time we had!

Since receiving the invitation a few weeks ago Joy and I have been planning our menu and working on a Powerpoint slideshow to share what we have learned about the animal cruelty and environmental destruction caused by factory farming as well as the health benefits of a plant-based diet.  In addition, Joy designed a brochure for all our guests to take home to answer questions they might have about how to go vegan as well as resources they can look to for more information.  She did such a great job presenting the information and making it relevant for her peer group!

Those who attended were not only attentive to our presentation but also receptive to trying new foods, which consisted of Mexican veggie and deli-style wraps, vegan mac and cheese, fresh fruit, chips with salsa and hummus, and of course, brownies and cookies.  Although I had planned to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the skeptics, I completely forgot to but that did not hinder anyone. We came home empty-handed, with not so much as a leftover sandwich!

Vegan Mac and Cheese
Joy prepping the avocados for the Mexican veggie and deli-style wraps

A nice array of wraps -- not one was left

Chips & dips, fresh fruit, and vegan desserts

Chef Joy and her proud mom

Joy's passion has been the driving force in our decision to go vegan and our desire to educate others.  We hope that this will be the first of many opportunities to share our journey to a healthier, more compassionate way of living.

"Feeling veggie good" and very very blessed!

Dee Dee and Joy

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hunting: Not Really Conservation

This subject is weighing very heavy on my heart this morning and I feel compelled to write about it. I know I'm not going to gain any friends by posting this blog because some people are very touchy about this subject. A lot of people probably won't even read this blog, and the ones that do may become defensive and angry. But that's okay, because I feel like it is my duty as a vegan to educate others and express my own thoughts and feelings on various subjects.

Shortly before going to bed last night, I saw a photo on Instagram that just made my heart sink. The photo I saw was of a girl,who's my age, and she was posing with an antelope that she had just killed. She was holding up a rifle with a scope in her left hand, and was holding up the neck of the antelope in her right hand. The caption read "I guess you could say I've got aim." I scrolled through the few comments and was saddened to read one that said "I'm so proud of you!!!!!." Yes, that's how many exclamation points were used. I'm not calling this girl out to point fingers and make her feel guilty, because I can assure you she doesn't. I'm just showing a real life example of hunting in this country. A teenager, one my age, who willingly shot and killed a creature. The sadder thing is kids far younger than sixteen and seventeen kill animals just like this. Why?

*this is the antelope that the girl shot*

Long before I ever went vegan I largely disliked hunting. The thought that someone could go into a creature's habitat and stalk, ambush, and kill them made me sad and sickened. Even more so when they posed with the poor creature and hung their head up on a wall as if to say, "Yeah. That's right. I just killed you. I'm bigger and stronger than you and I made a good shot." I just didn't understand. I believe that some people think that they're doing the right thing by hunting. They're helping to control the population. But then I believe that some people genuinely take delight in killing an innocent creature and for those people there's probably nothing I can do to change their minds. But for those who don't know about hunting, I'll provide you with some information.

Hunting does not conserve a species population, but actually leads to overpopulation. Hunters go into a species habitat and disrupt the natural cycle and order of species. Populations have a way of controlling themselves with the strong preying on the weak. However, hunters mess with this natural cycle by killing off the biggest, strongest, and fittest animals they can find. It's not just deer that hunters kill, they also kill other animals that prey on deer like bears, wolves, and coyotes. If these animals are taken out the ecosystem then there tends to be an increase in the population of certain animals, like deer. Ecosystems have been taking care of themselves for millions of years and the human population has no justifiable right to go into them and disrupt them.

Hunting is not a sport because usually in a sport you have two willing parties who are participating in a game where they are adhering to rules set by a referee, where the goal is to achieve the highest score. Hunting is not a sport because there is only one willing participant: the hunter. 

Hunters most likely never give thought to what they're killing. To them it's just a deer, bear, duck, coyote, etc. Do they ever dwell on the thought that they just killed a mother, father, son, or daughter? These animals that are hunted have families and lives. They have a home that we come and tramp into to take away their life. No animal wakes up on the day they're going to be killed and thinks "I wonder if I'm going to be shot today" because hunting is a surprise and complete shock to the animal. Hunters come into a habitat to wait, stalk, ambush, and ultimately kill their prey. The animals get no warning, no sign that something is coming. They only briefly hear the sound of the gun and then boom. They fall to the ground. Sometimes they won't even hear a sound, because they won't be shot, but impaled instead by a bow and arrow. What if they hunter misses the mark and doesn't strike the heart? Will the animal suffer in pain?

For many families hunting is the norm. My father did it, his father did it, I did it, and now I'm teaching you to do it.  What message are we sending to our children when we demonstrate to them that it's okay to kill another creature? How are we teaching our children respect, and compassion, when we go tramping into an animal's habitat and wipe them off the face of the earth. There are plenty of other ways to have bonding experiences with your children. Build a tree house, build something they can use like a tool box, play a REAL sport with them like golf, football, or Frisbee.

Hunting is not necessary and it's a sad "sport." Would that woman who commented on the girl's picture have said "I'm so proud of you!!!!!" if the girl had killed a person? Of course not, she would have been horrified, upset, saddened, confused, and probably angry. But because this animal had four legs and couldn't talk, what she did was totally justifiable and acceptable.

"Take a picture, not a trophy. This is how real men shoot animals." - Ricky Gervais

Want more information on hunting? Here are some links

"Hunters kill more than 200 million animals yearly"

"The delicate balance of ecosystems ensures their survival—if they are left unaltered."

Deere, ducks, bears, wolfs, coyotes, elk, birds, squirrels, turkeys, and any other animals that are hunted for recreation, deserve the right to live their lives on this planet that we share with them.

               Thank you for reading,

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

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Buzz About Bees

Along with not eating any meat, dairy, and eggs, vegans do not eat honey. Using these bees to get honey is just another form of exploitation.

Here's a cute simple answer why eating honey is wrong as told by a  bee: Bee Movie Clip

A lot people probably don't think that bees are harmed in the making of honey, but they are. Queen bees can actually have their wings cut by a honey producer so they can't leave the colony. Bees aren't free to fly around, instead they're kept in confined white boxes on farms. And let's not forget that the bees are often smoked too.

"To make one pound of honey, a colony must visit over two million flowers, flying over 55,000 miles, at up to 15 miles per hour to do so."

It takes a lot of effort to produce honey and even more to produce beeswax.

We need pees to pollinate fruit, vegetable, and seed crops. But we are abusing, misusing, and killing them to get a product we don't need. If bees disappear what will happen to the beautiful flowers you admire in the springtime? And the fruits and vegetables on your table?

There are other alternatives to honey like rice syrup, molasses, sorghum, Sucanat, barley malt, maple syrup, and organic cane sugar.

Bees need their honey just like baby calves need their mothers' milk. However, we are messing with the cycle of nature by abusing these creatures and robbing them of their natural ways of life.

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." - St. John Chrysostom 

Even small creatures deserve kindness and respect,


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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Veganism for the Business Traveler

Those who embrace the vegan lifestyle think it is perhaps the greatest thing in the world. As a new vegan I am inclined to agree. It certainly has been a positive experience for me.  What's not to love about dropping 20 pounds, improving my cholesterol numbers, and seeing an overall improvement in my health and energy without feeling deprived or making choices that cause harm to animals and the environment?

Maybe you have considered trying a vegan diet but think it impractical or difficult because you travel a lot.  If you are a business traveler, you probably wonder, What's the point of having an expense account and meal allowance if I don't take full advantage of it and eat the things I wouldn't normally eat at home? Right? The problem with that mentality, particularly for those who are not disciplined, is that before long you pack on unwanted pounds. The convenience and allure of that expense account begins to take its toll on your health, leaving you with guilt and less energy to meet the busy demands of family life once you return home.

If you are enjoying the benefits of eating a plant-based diet at home, then perhaps with a little creative planning and discipline you can find it possible to eat vegan on the road. The possibilities truly are endless but here are a few suggestions off the top of my head to keep you healthy and energized while you are away from home.
  • If staying in a hotel that furnishes a fridge and microwave, use your expense account to do a little grocery shopping.
    • Stock the fridge with fresh fruit and veggies from the produce section or salad bar.
    • Purchase (or pack in your luggage) non-perishable nutritious snacks such as granola bars or nuts. Just read the labels carefully and stay away from added sugars or refined flours.
    • Vegan freezer meals prepared in the microwave could be a healthier alternative to a heavy restaurant meal. With the time you would save dining out, you could even hit the hotel workout facility and energize yourself with some cardio or weight training exercises.  What a bonus!
    • Worried about how to save unused portions?  Pack some Ziploc bags in your luggage to store leftovers in the fridge, especially if you will be staying the week.  If you have to throw away a little food before you check out, don't sweat it.  You probably saved the company quite a bit of money by shopping and eating in. If you shop wisely, there won't be much waste anyway.
    • Make sandwich wraps using whole wheat tortillas instead of bread. A package of tortillas and plant-based deli slices, topped with veggies from the store or salad bar, could keep you deliciously and nutritiously fed all week.  Don't forget to pack brown bags or a soft-sided lunchbox, too, so you can take your lunch to the office.
  • If you must dine out with a client or co-worker, choose restaurants that offer vegan options (no meat, dairy, eggs) for business dinners and lunches.
    • Most restaurants these days have vegetarian or vegan options, and those that don't will generally accommodate any reasonable request for altering a menu item to satisfy you, the customer.
    • Search online for restaurants that have vegan or vegetarian menus, or visit the website for the restaurant where you will be dining to see what they offer.  You may just be surprised!
Happy, healthy trails to you!

Dee Dee

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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Storytime: DC VegFest

Ugh! I feel like I haven't written a blog in forever! I've been getting back into the swing of school and figuring out my schedule. But hopefully now my blogs will be more frequent and consistent. I have really missed writing blogs these last few weeks and I guess it's because I never really realized how much I enjoy writing them.

Last Saturday my mom and I drove up to Washington, DC for the day to attend a vegan festival up there. There was music, activities for kids, lots of vendors, and of course awesome vegan food! We walked through the crowds of people, going to different vendors getting information and free handouts. My mom and I, having worn our "Vegan for the animals" and "Don't ask me why I'm a vegan ask yourself why you're not" t-shirts, got several compliments from kind strangers telling us that they loved our shirts.

One thing I haven't had since going vegan is macaroni and cheese, but last Saturday that longing was fulfilled. I had some REALLY good macaroni and cheese that was just as good, if not better, than dairy based macaroni and cheese. It just goes to show that anything can be made vegan.

My mom and I also shared some delicious potato salad, and a loaded cheese steak. Both were amazing!

If you have not been to a vegan/vegetarian festival I highly recommend going. The people at these events are so open and welcoming. They don't shun you and make you feel bad, they're just happy that you're there! These people are more than happy to answer any questions you might have and give you free information and ideas. If you're interested in attending a vegan/vegetarian festival... you have an opportunity next month! Come to the Festival Center in Virginia Beach for the first ever Hampton Roads VegFest! My mother and I are planning to attend and would love to see you there.

If you see a photo of vegan food and are intrigued, instead of just thinking "wow that looks really good" say "wow that looks really good and I want to learn how to make that!" Make an effort. Try looking up some vegan meal ideas and incorporating them into your weekly meal plan, try swapping out meat for vegan meat alternatives, or try going vegetarian or vegan! If our Facebook page, blog, and Instagram (@feelingveggiegood) inspire you to think outside of yourself and try some vegan food and cruelty-free products, then do it! Look for different food options in grocery stores and Google things! Don't be afraid to try something new. There's an entire vegan community out there cheering you on. You're not alone and your choices can make a difference.

  “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” -Albert Einstein

Finding veganism was a blessing and I'm so grateful God allowed me to find it.


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