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Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning 'not to injure' and 'have compassion for' all living beings. I live by the basic principle of 'Ahimsa' (harmlessness) - the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain tradition of nonviolence toward living beings.
There is so much cruelty and hardship in this world, much of it imposed by our very nature of being alive. If we are to live and prosper we must eat something, be it plant or animal. In so doing we inflict pain, suffering and death upon other individuals. Plants and animals are sentient beings. They respond to stimuli and exhibit properties we commonly describe as 'feelings'. If you think that characterization doesn't apply to plants as well as animals you are ignorant of current scientific study. (google Clive Baxter)
While recognizing that, to continue my existence in this dimension, I must inflict pain, suffering and death upon other beings, I choose to diminish the amount of that hurting. Since I can live a healthy life by eating a plant-based diet, while knowing full well that I am hurting plants, I decided to stop a great portion of the hurt I was inflicting by not eating animals and their byproducts. I came to realize that I can personally, consciously, save thousands of sentient animals from pain, suffering and death by not eating them.
I choose to enable life for all animals.
"Much more than a diet, veganism is a way of being, an ethical commitment, which recognizes the equality and interconnectedness of all life." -Doug Hines
Adopting a vegan diet is a stepping stone to bringing a whole new way-of-being into existence. All of the significant challenges of our world... everything... including ending disease and health problems, ending world hunger, water shortages, animal exploitation, economic troubles, environmental destruction, global warming, ending war... all of it... will fade away and be solved naturally in choosing a vegan way of being. We can literally return to Eden.
Change your diet, change your body, change your mind and spirit. Enter a new way of living in a new world - a world that works for all - human and non-human alike.
"Having empathy and compassion for animals is the very key to human transformation. Just be love, and everything else will follow" -Doug Hines
Best to you, and thank you for visiting my website. -Doug Hines
Read the original story here
3/29/2020 Sifting through the litter box of my mind I can’t help but wonder when its all going to end. My financial world that is. That’s the constant worry in my life.
Everything I say below is not said so that you might take pity on my situation. Rather, it is to show you that you are not alone in your struggle to care for your pets during this topsy-turvy, merry-go-round life we are all living today.
Like you, I constantly worry about being able to pay for food, litter and vet bills.
I’m a senior citizen living solely on my social security check with no other income. My monthly check isn’t too great either. Because I earned so little money throughout my lifetime, I don’t get as big a check as most people. I worry about how I’m going to pay the rent next month.
I live alone. I’m a U.S. Navy veteran and I’ve lived through the last two years battling cancer, the gory details of which you don’t even want to hear.
Oh I’m clear that I am responsible for my current situation. I have made decisions in my life which have led to this moment of uncertainty. I am the one who has gotten himself into this mess.
Personal financial responsibility isn’t the only thing involved either. I am responsible for three, innocent, little beings – my cats. Bubby, Mindy and Grady are something to live for. They are gifts from the Gods on High, if you believe in such a thing.
Each cat, having their own individual personality, needs to be cared for. I can give them an abundance of love, but the more earthly necessities of food, litter and vet bills are a constant worry for me.
How can I provide for my cats and make their lives safe?
I try to give my cats the best cat food possible – even if I can barely afford it. I’ve been studying cat health and nutrition for the last three years, and I have learned that a cat’s physiology dictates what kind of food a cat needs. Although they can exist for years on poor quality foods, cats thrive on species-appropriate, raw food. Cats are carnivores and they require meat to achieve maximum health.
Providing the best diet for my cats isn’t easy. Cost and convenience drive most cat caregiver’s purchasing decisions, and feeding raw is at the high end of both of those considerations.
Vet costs: As you all very well know, veterinary bills can be extraordinary. Regular checkups are costly, and emergencies are one of those things in life where you walk in, open your wallet and say “take whatever amount you want, just make my pet better”.
Grady just body-slammed Bubby to the floor in an ongoing fight to the death. They are only play fighting, but sometimes I just don’t know. I worry that one of them will scratch the other’s eye, and I’ll be running for the cat carrier and warming up the car for the trip to the emergency hospital. All the while I’ll be wondering how I’m going to pay for it all.
So how do I do it? How can i afford to keep my cats?
Like many of you I struggle to prioritize my financial life and put my cats before anything else. I wear socks with holes in them. I don’t eat the best foods. I don’t go out unnecessarily. (Even before current events where we talk about ‘social distancing’, I guess I was a professional hermit.) Some might say that I ‘economize’ or that I am ‘thrifty.’ Truth is I scrimp on everything to enable me to provide a good life for my cats.
We, as cat-caregivers/guardians/parents do what we have to do to benefit our cats. My hat is off to those of you who have more than – way more than – three cats. You are Saints.
I also applaud those of you who provide cat rescue services and/or community/feral cat care. May you be spoken of with honor.
I’ll do whatever I must do to keep and care for my cats. Somehow, Bubby, Mindy, Grady and I wound up sharing the same home on the same planet. That’s a miracle in itself. Maybe it will take another minor miracle just to keep us safe here. - Doug Hines, CatNewsNow.com
I’ve found comfort during ‘social isolation’ in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (thins). I bet I’ve eaten a whole case of the candy in the last two weeks. The constant threat of death may be at my door, but I’ll have a smile on my face when I go. I justify the Reese’s by saying I don’t smoke, drink or run around with wayward women, and that justification sits fine with me. lol
Excuse me while I reach for yet another RPBC (thins).
I’m sure there must be some scientific study supporting my assertion that RPBCs are essential to my wellbeing presently. I try not to think about the expression I’ll have on my face when I go to buy more and the store shelf might be empty. Can one experience withdrawal symptoms without one’s favorite drug? I’m thinking so.
RPBCs are made by Hershey. Hershey, PA is only about an hour and a half from me. I can see myself rolling down my car window and saying “But Officer, I am on the road because I need an essential food item.” After I explain the situation I’m sure he or she will let me go on my way. After all… everyone understands Reese’s.
OMG… the bag is empty. WORSE… I just checked my stash, and there’s nothing left there either. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW???
It’s too late to go to the grocery store. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW???
I was hoping Hershey might sell case-quantities on their website, but no. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW???
Oh wait… I just remembered… there is a bag of Reese’s MINIS in my kitchen drawer. Let’s see… If I cut each mini in half the bag will last… oh the hell with it, I’ll just dive right in and suffer the consequences later.
At least I’ll have a smile on my face when I go. - Doug Hines, CatNewsNow.com
Thoughts from a Peanut Butter (and jelly) Connoisseur
[This story is just a satirical, sarcastic look at why someone would go to all of the trouble of making peanut butter bread (I bet it's good!) when I could just slap the peanut butter on the bread and quickly be on my way to heavenly bliss. I’m just poking fun at the subject.]
It is such a long, tedious task anyway. Putting peanut butter on bread that is. One had to get a knife out of the kitchen drawer, take out the jar of peanut butter, and take it to the table. Unscrewing the lid took so much time and effort. Dipping your knife into the pure gold stuff was definitely a sensual experience.
And don’t forget the WORK involved in procuring the bread from the bread box or refrigerator. Thank God above that the bread was pre-sliced. Then it goes onto a plate or a napkin (sometimes). (Sometimes in my fanatical quest for the final result I don’t have time for that step.)
Then there is ‘spreading,’ which is an art form unto itself. I imagine there are those who take their time to swirl the peanut butter onto the bread. I, however, am a more direct, assertive peanut butter spreader. It isn’t the ‘spreading’ that I look forward to. It’s the EATING.
Well……. Why go through all that difficult, arduous work when you can combine everything at once and streamline the process?
Click here for the rest of the story. - Doug Hines, CatNewsNow.com
This is a human interest story. Or… if you are not interested I suppose this is a human disinterest story. lol
A friend of mine recently asked me how I met my cats. I thought many of you might like to hear the story.
Bubby, Mindy, Grady and I are family in every sense of the word. How we became a family is the stuff of legends.
I had a little black and white, female, spayed, polydactyly cat named Pooky who was the joy of my life. The male cat who I would later name ‘Bubby,’ used to come by my place and ‘admire’ Pooky. I would run Bubby off for fear of his hurting Pooky. Little did I know that tragic circumstances would eventually lead to Bubby becoming my best friend.
Pooky became ill from hyperthyroidism. On my vet’s advice I switched her to a dry food prescription diet. Long story short, and after years of studying cat nutrition, I came to understand that the dry food exacerbated Pooky’s illness and eventually took her life. I’ll never feed another cat dry food as long as I live.
After Pooky left, I was so distraught, that I gave away every cat-thing I had in my home. I didn’t want anything left behind to remind me of her. I gave away $300 worth of cat food, litter, and toys. I even gave away the bird feeder I had erected outside her favorite window where she would ‘chatter’ at the birds she saw there. I was heart-broken.
Back to Bubby
A few months after Pooky passed, Bubby came around to my place again. It wasn’t unusual for him to stop by; he was known throughout the neighborhood as ‘the neighborhood cat.’ He seemed to be a stray who had been wandering throughout the area for years. No one knew where he lived, and it seemed that everyone was putting a little food out for him daily.
It is hard to know what prompted Bubby to start coming to my place so often, but he did. Who knows, maybe, just maybe he understood the loss I had suffered with Pooky. Heck, maybe he missed Pooky as much as I did.
Bubby came and repeatedly came and repeatedly came to my door. Eventually I began to wise up and pay attention to him. Having given away all of Pooky’s food, I went to the store and bought Bubby some cat food. He began to stay at my place.
Thinking he was a stray, I went to all of my neighbors and asked about the little caramel colored cat. No one knew where he lived, and the apartments maintenance man told me he thought the cat had been abandoned and left behind after someone had moved out.
Without other evidence, I assumed the cat needed a home, and I named him Bubby. (All those things that I had given away before - Pooky’s food, litter, toys, etc.? Yep, I would re-purchase it all over again for Bubby.)
Bubby - the rest of the story
One morning a raccoon showed up outside my door. I immediately panicked and wondered to myself, “I don’t know if Bubby has had a rabies shot. I don’t know ANYTHING about this cat!” I put him in the (newly re-purchased) cat carrier, and headed off to the vet.
I put the cat carrier up on the vet’s examining table, opened the door, brought Bubby out, and the vet’s assistant said “That’s my cat!”
I nearly fell on the floor. She said, “You live in (such and such) neighborhood?”, and I immediately knew I had found Bubby’s original owner/caregiver. I told her how I had searched the area, and how everyone thought Bubby was a stray.
Now here comes the miraculous part of the Bubby story. I’ll cut the details and go right to the point.
The woman said to me, “I have two other cats and this one is a pain. Would you like to have him?”
Bubby and I became family.
Mindy simply showed up meowing at my door one day. I was working at my computer when I began to hear mewing outside. I walked out to find this tiny kitten sitting on the stairs.
I have no idea where she came from. She was so small that I doubt that she could have come very far on her own, and a canvas of my neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods turned up nothing. No one knew anything about her.
The mystery of her arrival was further intensified because of her condition. She was disheveled and her fur was a matted, filthy mess. One might therefore assume that she was a lost community/feral cat, but I wasn’t so sure about that. Instead of being standoffish the way one might expect a feral cat to be, Mindy was a warm, loving companion from the start.
That day at my doorstep she had fleas, but she was so in need of care that I brought her inside, fleas and all. She devoured the cat food I put out for her and then promptly went to sleep. She had finally found a little peace and comfort.
Later I tried to clean her up, but I quickly found the job was too much for me. She was too matted and too flea infested. I called a professional groomer and took her for an appointment.
Cleaned up, the little kitty was a joy to behold.
Now that she was 'little miss presentable,’ I took her picture, made up ‘found cat’ signs and posted them all over the nearby neighborhoods. I also began searching the internet’s lost cat websites hoping to find her original home. After five days, I found nothing. No response from my cat signs and no results from the internet search.
I made up my mind that I could not financially afford to care for another cat in addition to Bubby. I made the tough decision to let her go. I put her in the cat carrier, and took her to my vet to be put up for adoption. My vet accepted her, and I signed the release paper giving her up. I drove home with tears in my eyes.
What happened next was pure heart. That night all I could think about was that poor, little, innocent, beautiful cat. The next morning I drove back to the vet and adopted her myself. (The vet waived the adoption fees.)
Yep, I was in love.
How Mindy got her name
I had recently gone through a year of oral cancer procedures which included dental work. At all of my dental visits I was greeted by a dental assistant who I felt was one of the warmest, most sincere and most professional people I have ever met in my life. To say I was smitten is an understatement. Her name was Mindy.
Grady came along about two months after Mindy. Grady also just ‘showed up’ at my door. Read all of the description about Mindy’s arrival above, and apply that ditto to Grady. There is one big exception however. I instantly decided that I would not take Grady to the vet for adoption. No matter the financial cost, no matter the circumstances, I decided that Grady was here to stay.
Grady looks almost exactly like Mindy. Given that Mindy had already been living with me for two months, and given their relative ages when they arrived, I doubt very much that Mindy is Grady’s mother. I rather suspect that they are both from consecutive litters of the same mother.
Grady has become a wonderful addition to the family. He playfully annoys Bubby and Mindy, and they can often be found romping, cavorting and chasing each other around.
As I said at the outset of this story, we have become a family
It’s a common sight around my household to see the cats preening, licking and cleaning one another every day. It is wonderful. It is also not unusual for me to wake up in the morning and find my cats lying with me at the foot of my bed.
We also go on walks together. There is a stretch of woods behind my place that is about 50-60 feet wide and about a half mile long. There is a deer path down through the center of the trees nearly the entire length of the woods. As I walk the path, Bubby, Mindy and Grady follow along with me (not on a leash), and usually stay within sight of me. Sometimes, of course, they will be distracted and go into their own separate world, however we are usually all together again as we arrive back home. If they haven’t arrived home, I’ll retrace my steps until I’ve found them and make sure that everyone arrives home safely.
After all, Bubby, Mindy, Grady and I are family. - Doug Hines, CatNewsNow.com
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