Friday, May 26, 2017

Another Happy Ending

Recently Joy and I attended a volunteer day at Ziggy's Refuge Farm Sanctuary in Providence, NC.  This was our second visit to the refuge -- our first to their new location -- and we were eager to see some of the animals who had been rescued in recent months and check up on two very special piglets, Cruz and his sister Coral, who is recovering from a very complicated surgery.

Chris and Dee Dee at Ziggy's Refuge
Every animal at Ziggy's Refuge has a story.  Take Chris, for instance.  This precious baby jumped from a truck which was headed to a slaughter house.  He knew his only chance at survival was to jump from that truck, even if it resulted in his injury or death.  Luckily for him, refuge owners Kristin and Jay were quick to come to his rescue and give him the happily ever after he deserves.

Chris is just one of many success stories​ at the refuge.  Like the other farm animals living there Chris has a distinct personality and exhibits understanding and intelligence.  His affection is is irresistible and endearing.

Getting to know Chris, Ziggy, Sweetheart, Toby, Mr. Jingles, Elvis the cow, Max the donkey, and all the other residents of Ziggy's Refuge has given me all the reason I need to never again eat meat.  I am blessed to have made the connection.  Their happy endings have become my happy beginning...of a life filled with purpose, better health, and peace.  It is my prayer that others will make the connection and realize that animals are not mere commodities but rather sentient beings who just want to live and be loved.

Joy and Sweetheart

Dee Dee and Ziggy


Copyright 2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

One Year Vegananniversary!

On May 18th, 2016, I began a 30-Day Vegan Challenge and haven't looked back. I cannot even begin to describe what finding veganism has meant to me.

For the short period of time I have lived, I now no longer feel unaware of what's going on in the world. The blinders that society, and greedy corporations and people, had placed on me are now forever gone. It's so liberating and I feel FREE! I can only improve from here.

In a year, I haven't lost a ton of weight, my skin isn't 100% clear, I haven't made a lot of smoothies like I intended to do, and I don't eat a super clean whole food plant-based diet 100% of the time (I do eat plant-based 100% of the time, however.).  But at the end of the day, I feel more aware and in charge of my health. I feel healthier, and probably look a little lighter too. My conscience feels more clear and I'm happier.

I was unaware of the devastating impacts animal agriculture has on our planet, but I know now that I have the power to help eliminate some of that impact every time I sit down to eat. I was unaware of how horribly animals are treated in the meat and dairy industries, but now I am proud to say that I love animals and I don't want to eat them. I was unaware of the severe implications animals and their products have on our health, but now I choose to ignore the false advertising of industries who only care about money, and not the well being and health of people in our society.

One year later, I see the World through different eyes. While I may not do a lot, I think a lot more nowadays. I've told my mom before, it scares me to think of how I would be living and thinking if I didn't know what I know now. That sounds like an exaggeration but it's not. We live in a society full of greedy people and corporations who only care about money. And because they have a lot of money, they're able to sell you lies.

I don't miss meat or dairy anymore. Everything that I used to eat, I can get in a plant-based form. I know a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle are best for me, the planet, and the animals. As far as I'm concerned, I will never turn back.

For everything,


Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Holocaust for Animals

Nothing can ever compare to the horrors Jews and others faced during the Holocaust. Most of us can't begin to fathom the suffering and fear our fellow humans endured at the hands of evil men. Yet similar practices are being committed against animals today that were inflicted on  humans during one of the darkest times in our history.

On a recent drive through the picturesque farmland of Virginia,  I noticed several people standing around a chute in a livestock pen on one of these farms. It only took me seconds to realize that it was a branding chute. My heart just sank.  Now, I'm not aware that the Nazis branded any Jews during the Holocaust, but they did tattoo a large majority of them. The same is done to factory farmed animals today. I have actually met a pig that was supposed to be slaughtered, but was saved, and I saw up close that she had numbers tattooed on the back of one of her ears.

Most of us cannot imagine the horrors of the gas chambers. The fear those Jews and others felt as they were herded into a room, about to be overcome by toxic, suffocating fumes -- and the realization that humans could do such a thing to another being -- is incomprehensible.  Yet, the same practice still happens today on factory farms. Farm workers gas animals, usually baby chicks and other birds, stuffing these birds into a confined area until they suffocate. And it is not only birds who are gassed. As I saw in the documentary Earthlings, people have actually gassed dogs too.

There was something that I thought about on that drive through the Virginia countryside. I saw a lot of cows, many grazing on lush, grassy fields. However, as nice as roaming those grassy fields must have been for these sweet cows, I knew that the ones I saw would eventually be slaughtered.

The Jews lived pleasant, peaceful lives before the Nazis came storming in. They didn't expect to be ripped from their homes and loved ones. Yet they were, and then they were loaded on to cramped train cars for days. The places they arrived at were nothing similar to their homes. They saw different faces than they had ever seen before, but they were all there for one reason--to be exterminated.

Similarly, these cows will one day be forcefully loaded on transport trucks bound for slaughter. They will be taken from their homes and families, never to return. They don't know where they're going, or the horrors they will endure. Fear and sadness will surely overwhelm these animals, just as fear and sadness overwhelmed the Jews.

At the end of the day, animals are different from people. But not so different that they don't feel pain, suffering, sadness, etc. The Jews and factory farmed animals share some characteristics. Although innocent of any wrongdoing, Jews were then -- and animals are now -- persecuted, abused, and killed.

Most of us will never know all the pain and suffering Jews, gypsies, and others experienced during the Holocaust. However, we can get a small glimpse of some of the horrors they endured if we look into how factory farmed animals are raised today, and the suffering they endure to become our food, clothing, and other products.

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

We must never forget the atrocities our species inflicted on Jews, and others, during the Holocaust. And we must not turn a blind eye to the atrocities our species is committing today on other innocent beings.

           - Joy

Copyright 2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.