Hi Steemit/DTube, my name's Laura and I'm a Vegan animal activist/rescuer and I'm crazy enough to live with 11 little monsters, oops, I mean cats! ;)

in introduceyourself •  2 years ago 

Hi Steemit/DTube,

As I was saying, my name's Laura and my biggest passions in life are ethical Veganism, Animal Activism, Rescue, and my 11 Amazing Babies/Rescue Cats! I'm pretty lucky in Life, I've been able to pursue my life's purpose and I'm surrounded by Love and cuteness all day long!

This is Tommy AKA My Soulmate, I adopted him in 2003 when I lived in Winnipeg. I am Thankful for him every single day! He's 14 yrs old now but this picture is from 2005 when he was just 2 yrs old but it's my favourite picture of him.
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Anyways, back to my story, I first discovered animal rights in 2006 when I was 22 yrs old. I had always been an animal lover, I grew up with 4 dogs and 3 cats but I never knew of how brutal animal industries were until 2006. Anyways in 2006 I was checking my hotmail account and there was a banner at the top. The banner was of a poor bear, trapped in a cage, stuck in a bear bile farm. I clicked it and read up all about the cruelty of bear bile farming. I couldn't believe this existed in my world. If you'd like to learn more about bear bile farming then please check out https://www.animalsasia.org/ , Animals Asia is a wonderful organization that is trying to end bear bile farming.

Anyways I couldn't believe that kind of cruelty existed and I wondered if anything horrible like that happens in Canada and I discovered The Seal Hunt which is absolutely brutal. They club baby seals to death for fur. So my curiosity took me to meat, how did the meat industry work and I stumbled on the video Meet Your Meat, if you'd like to check it out, here is the link...

Anyways, I kept watching undercover videos of the meat industry, the fur industry, the leather industry, the wool industry, the feather industry, animals stuck in the entertainment industry - i.e. animal circuses, sea world, and rodeos, animals bred for pet stores/backyard breeders, and animals used in experimentation in labs. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated. My boyfriend at the time who I lived with kept coming home to find me on the computer, watching all these real undercover videos and crying my eyes out. He kept asking me, if this upsets me so much why don't I just stop watching it. Good questions, I wish these industries and the cruelty didn't exist in our world but since it does exist I want to be as informed as I can be so I can make changes to my own life and stop supporting these industries and do something to stop them.

Sooooo, that is when I started to change my life and live a more compassionate life. Please note, I am not judging you, I'm just sharing my story. Anyways I started to change my life in 2006, I became Vegetarian, I stopped buying clothing that came from animals - leather, wool, feathers, etc, and I only bought products that were NOT tested on animals. As an adult I never went to rodeos, circuses, or Sea World (or Canada's version Marinland). Shortly after that my bf at the time watched the videos when I wasn't home and he became veggie too!

But by Summer 2007 I really wanted to get involved outside of myself to help animals. I lived in Calgary and searched for an active animal rights group. I couldn't find one so eventually I started my own on Meetup. It was called the Calgary Animal Rights Meetup Group. I remember my first 2 meetings only 1 person showed up. But I didn't give up. I kept advertising the group and the numbers began to grow. In January 2008 I hosted another meeting and about 15 people showed up and some of these people are my close friends today. We started holding protests outside animal abuse court cases to try to put pressure on the judges to give stricter sentences, we held protests and leafletting events outside Rodeos, Fur Stores, about ditching meat, animal circuses, etc. It really took off and we were planning at least 6 events a month for a couple years. The group grew to over 200 activists, although most events had 10 - 20 people but it was still good.

Later in 2008, that's when I got into Animal Rescue. There was a No Kill Rescue Group called Pound Rescue. I heard of this guy named RJ who ran the rescue with it's founder. He was young, about the same age as me. I had had a previous interaction with him once before when I found a pregnant dog running on the streets and he helped me find where she came from. Her name was Tora and she was a rescue from a Reserve and she had escaped her foster home. Anyways I called RJ and asked him if he needed any help with Rescue and he said he did. He was going out the next day to rescue domesticated rabbits and could use help, so I went out and that's how it all started with the Rescue. See, wild rabbits are just fine on their own but domesticated rabbits aren't equipped as much for the harsh temperatures of winter and they breed non stop unlike their wild counterparts. Domesticated Rabbits happen in areas where humans decide they don't want a pet rabbit anymore so they just release them on the streets and the rabbits breed like crazy. It's happening all over right now. There was a specific area in Calgary where there was a rabbit overpopulation problem and in Summer 2008 and Summer 2009 we had trapped about 200 rabbits. The Rescue got them all spayed/neutered and they went to live on a Sanctuary where they could live inside a barn and outside.

I helped out with the rabbit rescues and later that summer I got into fostering. The Rescues are always in need of foster homes because there are so many homeless animals. At the time I already lived with 4 animals, 2 cats, a rabbit (who lived cage free - I don't like cages, so I bunny proofed my entire bedroom so he could get the entire room), and 1 dwarf hamster. Anyways at first I wasn't on board with fostering. I knew I wouldn't be able to say goodbye so I just didn't want to get into that. But a friend of mine, Heather, who was the founder of her own organization that did activism with me but also some rescue called me one day. Apparently a friend of her daughters had found a tiny little sick kitten on the streets and had taken her to a shelter but it wasn't a no kill shelter. Heather asked if I would foster the kitten and I said no. I thought the shelter would take care of the kitten and adopt her out. The kitten who was named Hope had an umbilical hernia and needed an operation. I thought the shelter would take care of it. Anyways 2 days later I went to RJ's place for a Vegan BBQ he was having, he invited a lot of people from the animal scene. I was there a couple hours but then me & my then bf had to take off, we had somewhere else we had to be. As I was leaving that's when Heather showed up, we spoke for a few minutes, she told me she had bad news, that kitten she wanted to save was put down. I was shocked, I asked why, she said the shelter has so many animals and they didn't want to waste resources on a sick kitten. The girl who first found Hope offered to pay for the operation but they said Hope still needed to recover afterwards. I didn't show it at the time, I had to rush off and I held back my tears but I was devastated. If I had only said Yes to fostering this little kitten then she would still be alive. But, here's the good news, the shelter had made a mistake, Hope was on the kill list to be put down but she wasn't gone yet. Heather found out about this and called me to tell me she is desperately looking for a foster so Hope can be saved. Immediately I hung up the phone and asked my bf at the time if he'd be cool with it and he agreed and I called Heather back and said YES. I had gotten a second chance to save a life and I wasn't going to say NO twice! Heather was so Happy, called the shelter and told them she had a home for Hope. They did the surgery the next day and the day after that Heather picked Hope up from the shelter and I came to pick Hope up from her. She was this tiny little kitten with HUGE stitches on her belly. She was about 3.5 months old but smaller than normal, probably because of her health problems. Here are a couple pictures of her from back then...

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So, that is how I got started fostering. Within a couple weeks RJ asked me to foster a little boy kitten, named Carl who was the same age as Hope. But a couple weeks later when I took Carl to get neutered, surprise, surprise, he was actually a girl but the name stuck... I adopted Hope but her and Carl were so close I couldn't split them up so I adopted Carl too!
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So my life became pretty full with all the activism, rescue missions, and a house full of sweet animals. I kept it up and felt great. But even though I was the organizer of the animal rights group I was still Vegetarian, not Vegan. Truthfully at the time I wasn't aware of the cruelty behind the Dairy and Egg Industry. It wasn't until a friend confronted me about it that I actually thought to research it. So by the end of 2008 I finally delved deep into researching what happens in the dairy and egg industry and like before with all the other animal industries I was devastated. You see Cows are just like people, they only lactate to feed their babies. So in order to get cows to lactate, they are forcibly impregnated, then after the cow gives birth, the calf is taken away from her, normally within a day. The Cow is devastated by this and calls out for her baby for days on end just like humans would be devastated if their baby was taken from them. They take the baby away because humans want to steal all her milk for themselves. If the calf is a boy, they are taken to a veal farm to live in solitary confinement in little crates, sometimes with chains on their neck. They are given a crappy diet and slaughtered around 3 months old and then become veal. A lot of people are sickened by the Veal industry and avoid it but the truth is the veal industry is a byproduct of the dairy industry so if you buy dairy products then you fund the veal industry. Anyways if the calf if a girl then she is raised to become a milk machine to replace her mother. Dairy Cows go through this over and over again, having their babies taken away, until their bodies are totally spent by about 6 yrs old and then they are sent to Slaughter to become grade d meat. Dairy Cows can live til about 20 yrs old but they are killed at 6 yrs old because their bodies go through so much. And the egg industry, oi, it's pretty brutal too. 50% of the chicks born in hatcheries are male of course, the egg industry has no use for them so they are ground up alive as soon as they are born. The females don't have it easy though, here is a link to information about the egg industry...

https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/egg-industry

Ok, so here is where I became Vegan. It was December 2008 and I finally took the leap and became Vegan. I was 24 yrs old at the time. I had been fully vegetarian for animals for 2.5 years, ran an animal rights group for a year and a half, and been involved with animal rescue for about 6 months but I didn't know if I could fully do Veganism at the time. See for me it was easy to ditch meat (eating animals) but cheese, how was I ever going to give up cheese for life. I was totally a cheese addict. See, most people are addicted to cheese because it contains casein, which is in all dairy products and casein triggers the brain's opioid receptors which are linked to addiction. But I wanted to give it a try for animals. I loved animals and they were the biggest passion in my life! But I kept telling people I was just trying this Vegan thing because honestly I couldn't see myself being able to give up cheese for the rest of my life.

Fast Forward a month and a half... it was January 2009. I had been fully Vegan for that entire 6 weeks but I was really missing the cheese but I stuck to it. Anyways I was on a road trip with the Rescue, it was my first trip to the Reserve, we were going there to do a big spay/neuter trip. A lot of people there didn't have access to spay/neuter for their dogs and cats and it was really overpopulated there. So the Rescue would go, collect everyone's dogs and cats, bring them back to Calgary, get them spayed and neutered and then bring them back to their families. Anyways, sorry, I know I say anyways a lot... anyways :) ... there were 3 cars of us going there. I was in the 3rd car, but my friends RJ and B were in the first car, they stopped along the side of the highway and B got out to take pictures. It was so cold that day, about -30. I got out of the car and asked what she was doing, she said she always documents farms and this was a Veal Farm. I looked on and saw rows and rows of baby cows (calfs), out in -30 weather, they were all in their own individual crates, lonely, cold, and destined to become veal. There were rows and rows of them. probably close to 100. It really got to me. These beautiful babies should all be with their mothers, warm and loved in barns out of the cold. They should be able to run and play, free from their restrictive crates and be able to enjoy their mothers milk, what nature intended for them but instead they were living these horrible, lonely lives and will know the sheer agony of a slaughterhouse very soon, all because of the Dairy Industry. It was right then and there that I realized that I would be Vegan for the rest of my life because cheese was NOT worth all this suffering. And you know what? Right then and there it became so much easier to be Vegan because it changed that day for me, instead of it being about giving up something, it became about standing up for someone else. I've been Vegan ever since and I've never looked back. I have never wanted to eat meat, dairy, or eggs since becoming Vegan. I have never missed it, in fact those products just feel disgusting to me now. And I feel great, in fact I feel healthier. That's the great thing about being Vegan, you do it for the animals and you feel better mentally but as an added bonus you become physically healthier too! Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of Vegan junk food but overall, it's healthier. If you'd like to hear more about the health benefits of Veganism then check out the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. Here's the trailer for it...

That trip to the Reserve changed my life in another way too... it was the end of the day, we had been in the gymnasium all day and people were dropping off their cats to us to get spayed and neutered. We had taken in 60 cats and I believe about 12 of them were surrenders which means the people didn't want them back and we had to find new homes for them once they were spayed/neutered. We were a rescue group, not a shelter so the homeless animals we had to find foster homes for. Ok, so it was the end of the day and the people were closing up the gym. RJ promised a woman he would go to her house to get her cat. He left us there, we stayed in our car with the heat running because it was -30 outside. There were 2 cars waiting for RJ to get back and both our cars were FULL of carriers of cats. RJ told us we didn't have room for anymore. But while he was gone a lady drove up, she was holding a beautiful, long haired grey cat. She said this cat was homeless but hung out by her property and she fed her. She wanted us to take this cat who she thought was pregnant. She said the cat was being chased by a big dog that day who wanted to eat her. I called RJ, but he said we were full. I said Ok and hung up, I made my own "executive decision" and took the cat anyways! ;) he he he. I just couldn't leave her out on the streets in -30 weather. As soon as I took the cat in my arms the lady jumped in her truck and took off. We didn't have a carrier for her so we found a box to put her in and put holes in the box. I remember, we were sitting in the car, with a car full of cats in carriers and this cat was in the box and she was just shivering and shivering. We turned up the heat. The next day I was on a mission to find foster homes for all 13 cats that were surrendered out of the 60+ cats that day. The Rescue's normal foster homes were full so I offered to foster 2 cats and a friend of mine offered to foster 1. A few days later, after all the cats were spayed/neutered, I went to the founders house and picked up the 2 cats RJ picked out for me to foster, one was Tasha, the cat I took from the lady and the other one was named 2 Face - a beautiful calico cat. I renamed her Dreamer because it suited her more. The first week when I take in a new foster cat I keep them in the bathroom, so they can get used to everyone's smells and understand that they are the new comers, it helps with introducing cats. I remember Tasha that week. I feed my cats twice a day and every time I came in the bathroom and filled up her bowl with food she would run to the bowl and eat so fast but would keep looking up at me as if to say "Really, this is all for me? My Food?." She had never had a real home before. The vet estimated her age to be about 4 yrs old. Within 6 weeks Dreamer was adopted but no one ever showed any interest in adopting Tasha. She was on the website for a year and a half when I finally told the rescue to take her off the site and I would adopt her. I am so Thankful for her. She is insanely Friendly and Loving and has so much energy. She's always been pretty healthy except about 4 years after I got her, one day she kept throwing up and wouldn't stop so I took her to the vet, they kept her there all day. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. They asked if they could take an Xray and they found a bullet in her chest. It wasn't what was causing her nausea but it was upsetting to find out that while Tasha lived on the streets someone shot her with a pellet gun. We decided to leave it in her because why risk putting her under to remove a bullet that she has lived with for so long. What really upsets me is Tasha is the friendliest girl in the world, she probably walked up right up to the person asking for attention and then they shot her. She got over the nausea the next day and hasn't been sick since. I am just so Thankful I get to be her Guardian and I am so glad she survived her time on the streets... being out in -30 weather, being chased by hungry dogs, always searching for food, and being shot on top of all that. Here is a picture of my Tasha girl....

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So, I continued my journey with the Rescue and animal rights group. I fostered cats, puppies, and rabbits but mostly cats. I adopted some out and I adopted some myself, mainly the ones who no one was interested in adopting. They became my Family! They are the little loves of my Life! As you probably picked up on in my post I lived with a boyfriend for about 6 years but it didn't work out. I've dated since and had one other long term relationship for about a year and a half but it didn't feel right so I broke up with him. Personally I am a very romantic person and I love sharing my life with someone but I'm also very independent and strong and I'd rather be alone than with the wrong person. Plus, I'm a loner and I like being alone. I'm not really into dating anymore, I just have too much going on but I'm happy like this.

The Rescue got even more interesting in January 2011 when the Rescue who always survived on Foster Homes got a BIG huge Room donated to us by a dog boarding place and we turned that into a Cage FREE Cat Shelter. We called it the Cat Room. We had the room for 3 years and it became my Life! We would have 20-30 cats living in there at any given time. I went 2 nights a week to take care of the cats. Being a small rescue we had limited volunteers so we would just have 1 volunteer go in in the morning and 1 volunteer at night. Since the cats didn't have many people I took my volunteer job very seriously. I would go for at least 4 hours, 2 nights a week. I would spend the first 2 hours doing a full clean.... sweeping, scooping litter boxes, vacuuming, feeding wet food, washing dishes, washing floors.... and I would spend the remaining 2 hours giving Love and attention to all the cats. I Loved it. When the cats got sick, occasionally they would get upper respiratory tract infection, which is like a kitty cold, I would go in every night to medicate them. They were my 2nd family. We had the room for 3 years and in those 3 years they took in 126 cats and adopted them all out. I fell in Love with all 126. In December 2013 the cat room closed though because the building was renovating the place. I actually made a video about the cats, you can check it out here...

https://d.tube/v/peaceloverescue/t7smwoms

So I guess I should end this extremely long blog. But I have been so lucky to be able to be involved in so many different avenues for animals. I've been involved in activism, rescue of cats, dogs, rabbits, and even chickens from a factory farm and it's been such great experiences. I have many more rescue stories but I'll probably share those a little later, this blog has gotten pretty long. I haven't been too involved the last few years, my life has gotten pretty busy and bills pretty high, it's just me and my 11 babies. I rent an entire house for them so they have lots of room and their food/litter bill is about $450 a month because I want them to be on the best food. I am lucky for work too, I work from home as a Receptionist for a gutter company, I also do seasonal work editing photos for a photographer, and I own a part time photo booth rental business. I work from home so I have more time to keep up with the cats, the cleaning and whatnot and I am able to give them attention all day long. When I am on a work call I always have a cat cuddling in my lap. I've been extremely fortunate because I've been working from home full time since 2010 and as I said I do that so I can give my Babies all the attention they need. I just got into making Youtube videos in October, they aren't popular yet but I'm still hopeful. But I just discovered Steemit/DTube in January 2018. I'm excited to try out a new platform!

So that's part of my story. I know some people are turned off by talk about veganism but it's a big part of my life and if I can't be me then what's the point! I just really skimmed over the points about why I'm Vegan, if you are really interested to find out more then check out the documentary Earthlings, it's Life changing.

http://www.nationearth.com/

Oh also, here are my 2 favourite quotes, the first one is about Veganism...

“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?” - Edgar's Mission

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” - J.M. Barry

Oh and my biggest dream that I hope to achieve one day is to open up an Animal Sanctuary and be able to rescue and provide a peaceful forever home to Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Rabbits, Cows, Donkey's, PIGS, Sheep, Goats, etc. I just really love helping animals.

I don't know if anyone will read this, especially all the way through but if you have I hope you have a great night!

Oh and this is what I look like...

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Bye! I wish everyone Peace, Love, & Happiness!

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Welcome to Steemit.com

Thank You aluma! :)

Hi Laura! Welcome to Steemit

Thank you for everything you have done for the animals! 💚

Your cats are all so beautiful! I can't wait to hear more about your rescue stories.

If you have any questions about the Steemit platform, feel free to reach out.

Hi deliciousplants!

Thank You very much!!!

I'm sure you will hear about the rest of their rescues soon! :)

Thanks again, have a great night!

You have a huge heart!
I respect & commend you for the efforts you put in to impacting the lives and the well-being of those animals.
God Bless.

Aww, Thank You! The last few years I haven't been as involved but I hope to get back to it soon! :)

Well, active or not your work means a lot to those communities of animals & animal lovers.
I do as much as I can for various Non-Profit Animal organizations, part of my efforts to give back to the community. If you know of any local AB organizations looking to raise funds & awareness for their cause, I'd love to hear about it. :)

Oh, I see you're in Edmonton. I'm in Calgary so the organizations I just mentioned are all Calgary based. But I do know of Farm Animal Rescue & Rehoming Movement - FARRM, it's an animal sanctuary and I believe they are near Edmonton. They could always use help!

Oh nice, are you in Alberta? Yes, I know of a lot of amazing organizations.... there's the Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, Pound Rescue, and there are also numerous great animal sanctuaries too! These people are amazing and work really hard every day to make life better for animals!

I am! I noted in your article you were from Calgary!
I live in Edmonton.
Also, that's an awesome list of organizations I've never heard of before!
Thanks for sharing.
I support in a weird way..
I'm a musician and I host concerts where we donate proceeds from the shows to local charities usually pertaining around animals or troubled youth.
We haven't travelled out to Calgary yet, where I'll assume most of these organizations are from? But when we do, I'll be sure to remember this list!

Hi sabianryan! That's Wonderful! Sounds like you do amazing work and you live your passion in Life! Yes, I noticed you were from Edmonton so I wrote a second comment about a Farm Sanctuary up near Edmonton called Farm Animal Rescue & Rehoming Movement - FARRM, they could always use more help. Thanks for being awesome!

hello @peaceloverescue and welcome to steemit!

this is a great place with a great community .. glad to have you.
@ricmark

Thanks ricmark! This does look like a pretty great community of people! :)

Hi welcome to steemit. You can join this new whatsapp group for help and tips for you to make it in steemit
https://chat.whatsapp.com/HpvRESoXEOM9v2p5qd3ILQ

Thanks eddy2cul! I appreciate it. The link doesn't work for me though.

Welcome onboard! Hope you'll find it great in here..

Hi, Thanks very much!! :)

Hi Laura, nice to meet you! I also have 3 monsters at home, 2 cats and one dog. Your cats are adorable 😍

Hi vegan-vienna! Oh nice, the little monsters make life so much more interesting, don't they! :)

Hi! this is @steemshocker welcoming you to the steemit community, I hope you'll enjoy it here, let's connect and follow each other

Thank You, I followed you! :)

OH MY GOODNESS - that cat ; reminds me of my own cat, i loved very dearly, and makes me miss her very much .

I feel like if you are into any kind of activism we can get along very well ; i could show you some things, that would haunt you, to your very core .
But I digress, i would like to get to know more - this is quite the long story and introduction so perhaps we could collaborate together, and help bring others to this community .
You can find my facebook page located at the top of my blog -
BUT AGAIN - i must just welcome you to this platform, and the community and im sure you will love it here, you are already off to a fantastic start, here is just a little extra boost = @originalworks

Anyway - perhaps we can speak over replies and such, or on my facebook, and collaborate together to help bring others to this platform / community .
HAPPY STEEMING !~

Hi endymionoriax! I would Love that! I liked your facebook page! I'd love to know more about you and what kind of activism you are involved with! I am heading off to bed right now but perhaps tomorrow evening we could chat. :) Thanks again, Happy Steeming!

The activism that i am apart of would be much more political and lawful ; like the use of marijuana as medication - which the government holds a patent too in EVERY way shape and form .
So my biggest question was ; if they claim it to be deadly - but yet hold the evidence that proves otherwise, then what else could they be hiding ?

Patent No. 6,630,507

or the net neutrality bull shit - ither way, i am always supportive of another activist !
Keep up the fantastic work !

Welcome to steemit. Always good to see more vegans joining.

Hey! Thank You! :)

Hi.. Welcome to Steemit

please follow me @daverdp..
I will follow you and upvote you

Thank you

Thanks, I followed you back! You took a beautiful picture of the Moon!!!

Welcome ^-^ im also vegan, since 2015 :D

Thanks, it's always great to "meet" more vegans! :)

ditto ^-^

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