Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best is Yet to Come

2016 was a year like no other.  Although life was fairly normal in terms of work, family, and our activities, in an unexpected twist Joy and I became vegans, launched our website, and began advocating for animal rights. We met Ziggy the Traveling Piggy, volunteered at the animal sanctuary that bears his name, and made new friends who share our interest in better health, a cleaner environment, and ending animal abuse and suffering.

So many things have weighed heavy on my heart this year...the ignorance most of us have regarding the abuse animals are subjected to in order that our appetites can be satisfied, the realization that we are destroying our planet and our health because of our food choices, and the desire to see my loved ones embrace a healthier lifestyle and experience the sense of well-being and happiness that a whole food plant-based diet provides. So many of my friends and family suffer from chronic conditions or serious illnesses that could be helped simply by changing the way they eat, yet they remain unconvinced that such a change would be possible or beneficial, even though I am living proof that a plant-based diet works.

In 2016, God gave me a new purpose and set my feet on a journey I never thought I would take.  He opened my eyes to injustice and the need for greater compassion toward all His creatures, human and non-human alike. I find myself praying for open doors to fulfill the purpose of educating others and sharing my experience as a new vegan and opportunities each day to positively impact and make a difference in the lives of the people and animals He has placed in my life.  Perhaps for the first time in my life, I feel driven to live for a cause much larger than myself and to take as many people with me as will come.

2017 is just around the corner. I believe that God is working and has exciting things in store for those of us who will heed His call and step into the great unknown with Him. My plan for the New Year is to do what I have done for the past several years -- wake up each morning, spend time in His Word and in prayer, and give Him permission to have His way in my life, knowing that each day will be an adventure as I do what I can to fulfill His purpose.

What will you do with the clean slate God is handing you? Will you continue living in your comfort zone or will you take a leap of faith and embrace the journey He has prepared for you?

I pray that 2017 will be a year of new beginnings, better health, and great adventure as you fulfill the purpose for which you were created.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

Dee Dee

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Have a Confession to Make

Before you gasp and exclaim, "OMG, she ate meat or dairy or eggs!" let me stop you right there. I have not eaten any meat, dairy, or eggs and I don't plan to for the rest of my life. This blog is about how I've been eating the past few months as a vegan. So I apologize if the title is misleading, but I do feel like I need to get something off my chest.

As some people may know I was vegetarian for about a month and a half before I went vegan late last spring. During the months of spring and summer I had access to a variety of fresh fruits. It was fantastic. But as summer turned into fall, and now winter, I haven't been consuming as much fruit and I've been consuming too many vegan sweets and meats. I love fruit and I'm a firm believer that the more you eat an abundance of fruit the less you will crave processed sweets and sugar. I've really missed eating a lot of fruit these last few months because fruits are so good! I look at all the different varieties there are and I'm in awe. I think to myself, "Wow. God created all these delicious and nutritious foods for us!"

Over the past few days I've started watching "what I eat in a day as a vegan" videos on YouTube. And as I've been watching these videos, I've realized that I am consuming vegan meats WAY too much. To be honest, I think I've know this for a little while now. But there's always that excuse that "they're plant-based," which is true, but that doesn't mean that they're healthier than whole plant foods.There is such a variety of plant foods, and endless combinations you can make with them, so there's really no need to consume vegan meats as much as I do. They should be more of a treat and less of a main course.

I think cutting out vegan sweets and treats will be fairly easy. The holidays are practically over and I can start fresh in the New Year, only consuming vegan sweets about once a month or so. Like I said before, if I'm eating an abundance of fruit there's no need to consume a lot of vegan sweets, especially ones that contain added sugars and oils. I love fruits, vegetables, and grains, and I've been missing out on them recently. I'm looking forward to indulging in more plant foods! I'm also excited to try new things this year, and healthier vegan recipes.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't been upset with myself for the way I've been eating the past few weeks. It isn't how I truly want to be eating. I know I can do better and I intend to. And I know that once I change the way I've been eating I'm going to feel so much better than I already do. I'm going to ditch the excess oils, limit my intake of vegan meats and sweets, and increase my intake of whole foods.

I encourage you all to join me. Jump on the vegan bandwagon in 2017! My mother and I will be posting healthy, weekly recipes for you all to try starting next week, January 6th, on our first ever #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday.

Wishing all of you better health in the new year,

P.S. If you're struggling to go vegan, but you really want to, don't be afraid to try all the different and delicious vegan meats and cheeses out there. The fact that you're vegan is what really matters. These products aren't unhealthy but they're not as healthy as pure plant foods. The first couple of months I was vegan these vegan meats were really nice. But now that I'm several months into this I do think I need to limit my consumption of them. It's just my personal choice and what I feel like will be best for me.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Joy of Doing What We Can

It has been nearly nine months since Joy and I stopped consuming meat and animal products, began promoting a plant-based diet, and started advocating for animal rights. I can honestly say that I have never felt better physically or emotionally, even though my heart has at times been broken by the plight of animals slaughtered to satisfy the appetites of humankind.

Painfully aware of animal suffering and the harm to our environment and health as a result of factory farming, we are more committed than ever to eat vegan, consume products not made of or tested on animals, and to educate and encourage others to do the same.

More and more people are turning to a plant-based, whole food diet and we are excited to be part of a
movement that can change our world and foster peace and compassion toward all living beings.

In 2017, Joy and I plan to:

  • Meet in early January with Gloucester County, VA school officials to discuss the need for better nutrition and more vegetarian/vegan-friendly options in our school lunch and breakfast menus. We know that this is a first step, that we will likely encounter opposition, and that we will have to work hard in order to effect change, but we are determined. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated as we advocate for healthier nutrition in our schools.
  • Continue our work with Smithfield Pig Save, attending their monthly vigils to raise awareness and bear witness to the animals headed for slaughter at the meat packing plant at Smithfield Foods.
  • Support the work of Ziggy's Refuge, both financially and by volunteering as we are able.
    We had the privilege of volunteering there in early December, meeting Ziggy and his family, and founders Kristin Hartness and Jay Yontz, who have committed themselves to providing a loving, nurturing environment where rescued farm animals can happily live out their lives without fear of being abused or slaughtered.
  • Attend more vegan festivals and Save Movement events, both locally and regionally. We hope to make a trip to Toronto sometime in 2017 to participate in a Toronto Pig Save vigil.
  • Publish new blogs and information on our website, as well as on our Facebook page and Instagram account. 
Doing what we can to ease the suffering of animals and to promote a whole food, plant-based diet has been  one of the greatest joys we have ever known. Joy and I are thankful for the opportunity to raise awareness and fight for the well-being of all God's creatures -- human and non-human alike.  

May God grant you purpose, peace, and good health in 2017!

For the animals, the planet, and you -- 

Dee Dee

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Dear Sweetheart

Dear Sweetheart,

I couldn’t wait to meet you. I had seen photos of you that your mom had posted and you looked beautiful. With your big pink ears and soft, sweet features your name perfectly suits you. It was so heart-warming to see you surrounded by your animal friends at Ziggy’s Refuge, because when I’ve seen your kind before it hasn’t been at a kind place like Ziggy’s.
I’ve seen your kind in scary silver trucks with holes in the sides on their way to a frightening place. They don’t get to grow up in a safe, peaceful, and loving environment. They grow up in cramped spaces in dark buildings with no ability to roam the outdoors, like you have the ability to do. And they only live a couple of months before they reach the end of their journey here on Earth. You are special, Sweetheart. This could have been your fate, but you were rescued and now get to grow up and live your life in a sanctuary.
It brought such joy to me seeing your smiling face as you wandered eagerly among a group of volunteers, seeking their attention and wanting to be loved on. You trotted alongside us as we toured the farm and were able to see your other animal friends at Ziggy’s Refuge. You’re special, Sweetheart. You have a wonderful home and wonderful parents who will love you as long as you live. I wish all of your kind could get to experience the love and compassion you receive at Ziggy’s Refuge. And there are people out there, like your mom and dad, who are trying to make that happen.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your other animal friends at Ziggy’s Refuge. Looking at Toby the turkey and petting his soft coat of feathers I was saddened to think that millions of people consume his kind every year. Toby is sweet and has his own personality, just like all the other animals at Ziggy’s, yet his kind are treated like objects instead of the sentient beings they are. They’re separated from their mothers and raised in closed up sheds with no access to the warmth of the sun. And after only a couple of months they too reach the end of their life here on Earth and are transported to that frightening place I mentioned earlier. The same can be said for the spunky chickens that you also share your home with, Sweetheart. Their kind live in hell every day and they don’t get to experience the feeling of dirt and grass beneath their feet. They don’t get to run around with their friends and play like the chickens at Ziggy’s Refuge.
You’re special, Sweetheart. You and Ziggy stand as a reminder that the farm animals we consume have personalities, emotions, feelings, and just want to live in peace on while they’re on this Earth! You and your parents show the world how your kind can live, and how all animals should live. I was blessed to meet you, Sweetheart. You make me want to fight even harder for the rights of animals. I’m sorry that every day my kind consume your kind and those like the other animal friends at Ziggy’s. I wish more people would open their eyes and their hearts to see the harsh reality of what all farmed animals have to go through. I miss you, Sweetheart, and all of your other animal friends at Ziggy’s, but I’ll be back soon. You’re special, Sweetheart, and you hold a very special place in my heart.    

All my love, 


To the people who contributed to making Ziggy's Refuge a reality, I want to say thank you. We all helped make Kristin and Jay's dream a reality. I know most of Ziggy's supporters most likely do not eat meat, and may not eat other animal products, but for those of you who do I have something I'd like to say. 

All farmed animals deserve to live like Sweetheart and Ziggy do. Chickens, turkeys, cows, etc. are all abused and tortured every day just so we can consume them. Most of them live in absolute hell. I know it can be hard to open yourself up and allow yourself to see the harsh reality of what these animals go through, but sometimes it's necessary. It's okay to cry and get angry, and it's worth it because once you make that connection to what you're eating, and then you stop eating it, it's amazing. It's RELIEVING. You feel happy and awakened and filled with joy! 

If you eat other meat (except for pork), I would ask that you would take the plunge and ditch all meat and other animal products, because all farmed animals deserve to live like the animals at Ziggy's Refuge.  There are amazing meat and dairy alternatives out there so I promise you won't lack for anything. Please take the plunge and go all the way. My mother and I would be happy to offer help and suggestions for meal ideas and planning. 
"Peace begins on your plate."
Thank you again,

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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Vegans are for Humans Too

I think a lot of people look at veganism as being crazy, far-off, or extreme because they believe that vegans are a group of radical animal lovers. However the truth is that a lot of people don't even come to veganism for the animals. Instead, they come for their health or the environment, and then later, learn about the horrendous things that happen to these animals. While the majority of vegans choose this lifestyle because of the animals, some vegans simply respect the animals enough to realize that what happens to these animals is wrong and unnecessary. They wouldn't want what happens to these animals, to happen to themselves.

Veganism is for a lot of things besides just saving animals. It's for our planet that is slowly self destructing because of global warming and the side effects of the animal agriculture industry. Veganism is for the health of our species, because having your chest cut open and taking five different medications everyday, in most cases, isn't necessary if you eat a plant-based (vegan) diet. Veganism is for the starving children in Africa who can't eat their own grain because we're taking it and feeding it to our livestock. Veganism is for EVERYTHING.

A lot of people may be hesitant to go vegan because of all the jobs that would be lost for slaughterhouse workers, which is reasonable because these people need to feed their families. But the sad thing is that slaughterhouse workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. "So you get a finger chopped off, that's not so bad." It's not as simple as that.

The following is a true story.

"At a National Beef plant in Liberal, Kansas, Homer Stull climbed into a blood-collection tank to clean it, a filthy tank thirty feet high. Stull was overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes. Two coworkers climbed into the tank and tried to rescue him. All three men died." from the book Fast Food Nation

This isn't just an isolated incident. These things have happened before.

"Eight years earlier, Henry Wolf had been overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes while cleaning the very same tank; Gary Sanders had tried to rescue him; both men died; and the OSHA later fined the National Beef for its negligence. The fine was $480 for each man's death." from the book Fast Food Nation

Think these slaughterhouse corporations care more about the workers than the animals? Think again. These huge corporations exploit animals, and humans. It's all about the money for them. And they don't care what the cost is. People in the slaughterhouse industries have lost limbs, suffered from internal illnesses and injuries (like having their lungs burned by toxic fumes), women have been harassed and fondled on assembly lines, people been decapitated and torn apart by the dangerous machines, and more. But the biggest one out of all of these is that people have died. And their deaths didn't go quickly or painlessly. The excerpts from above are prime examples. These men must have been terrified, and they probably knew that they were going to die. Can you even imagine how that must have been? Being drowned alive by chemicals? None of us would wish this on another human. But when we buy animal products, we're paying for these people to do these dangerous things. It is truly disturbing and horrific what happens to these people. And no one knows about it. These corporations don't want you to know about it, so they cover it up.

A lot of people in the animal agriculture business do their job because they need to support their family. On  the other hand, a lot of people do it because they're mentally sick and disturbed. As for these people, I believe that they deserve to rot in jail for the rest of their miserable lives, because these innocent animals, in this barbaric industry, do not deserve to be treated the way they do.

I've seen documentary evidence of workers shaking baby piglets and slamming their heads onto a concrete floor, of workers clubbing chickens and turkeys, and stomping on their heads with their feet. I've seen workers roughly spray cows with harsh water hoses and throw birds viciously into cages on transport trucks bound for slaughter. When they miss, they throw them again and again and again into those cages. I've personally heard the cries of 6-month old pigs on a truck bound for slaughter and seen up close the fear in their eyes. I've heard and seen just about everything. There is no justification for this kind of treatment for any living being whether they're human or not. These examples are real, and not just random or isolated. People do these things all the time, and those who choose to eat meat are paying them for this kind of abuse. If they did these things to a dog or cat they would be criminally charged. These animals, bred and raised on factory farms, are helpless and defenseless. They can't do anything, so they suffer in silence.

Veganism is for the human race, as well as the animal race. Animals aren't the only ones abused and mistreated in the animal agriculture (slaughterhouse) industry. You can help both humans and animals refusing to buy animal products, and by buying delicious vegan alternatives instead.

It's time for us to wake up.

Vegan for everything,


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