Posts tagged ‘compassion’

April 21, 2014

Share the Love—Earth Day, April 22

i go to nature to be soothed

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22—what will you do to celebrate? Sometimes I feel like affecting a change in this giant world of ours is such a monumental task. I can be defeated by this, or I can live my life in a way that heals my heart and life around me, doing what I can to the best of my ability. For me, celebrating Earth Day is about sharing my love of animals and nature.

Compassionate Consumption

Me petting a Silkie chicken--heaven!

Me petting a Silkie chicken–heaven!

I love finding healthy, clean ways I can nourish myself while celebrating my animal friends. I truly believe people and animals are linked and that our compassion for them speaks to the deepest part of our nature. Here are some of my favorite ways to live a compassionate life:

  • Pursue a vegetarian/almost vegan lifestyle
  • Search out cruelty-free fashion choices
  • Champion protection for animals
  • Support rescue sanctuaries

Regardless of your choice in lifestyle, you can nevertheless practice compassion in your consumption. You can:

  • Choose to support humane farming practices
  • Buy household and beauty products that do not contribute to the suffering of animals (Check out the Leaping Bunny program when shopping for cruelty-free products: http://www.leapingbunny.org/indexcus.php)
  • Support the natural world that gives shelter and sustenance to our creatures through recycling, nature clean-ups, and lending your physical or financial support to organizations dedicated to protecting our wild places
  • Live consciously and on purpose

Every little bit helps!

For more ideas on how you can make a difference, check out our Healthy Housewives article in this month’s issue of Natural Muscle Magazine (pp. 52-53): http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/total-health/nmapril2014virtual/2014033101/%20-%2052#52

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Earth Day Texas—DFW, April 26-27, 2014

peace love earth day

Looking for a way to enjoy the spring weather and celebrate Earth Day at the same time? Bring your family and even your pets to the annual Earth Day Texas celebration at Fair Park this weekend. There will be all kinds of activities for the whole family—a chance to climb trees with trained arborists; workshops and demonstrations on sustainable living; an Energy Playground; an electric bike test track; music; food; art, dance; and even Tibetan monks from the Crow Collection blessing the gathering! Check out the Earth Day Texas Event Guide (http://issuu.com/earthdaytexas/docs/low-res-final/1?e=10409239/7344140) for everything you need to know, and go enjoy!

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Inspiration from Nature

 

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

“We need the tonic of wildness—to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

 best persons walt whitman

Friends, have a blessed and wonderful week!

XO, Brooke

 

February 10, 2014

Treats for Your Sweets–Homemade Love

dog with heartsAre some of your favorite valentines of the furred or feathered persuasion? Mine too! Because I’m a cat mama, I’ve often wondered what tasty treats I could fix that are also gentle on our cats’ sensitive stomachs. I know our fur children are spoiled rotten, but I can’t help myself! In rooting around for pet-friendly recipes, I found all kinds of cute ideas. Here are a few recipes to get you started treating the treasured beasties in your life. Note: Before you strap on your apron, it’s always a good idea to first check with your vet about foods your pet cannot or should not consume.

Furry Felines

black and white vcat heart

Baked Tuna Hearts: Take canned tuna, shape into little hearts, and then bake in the oven until warm. For a little extra craziness, you can add a bit of catnip to the hearts. Remember, all cat treats should be shared in small doses—too much unaccustomed food, fat, sugar, or anything can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion for your kitty.

Heart-Shaped Melons: You can use fresh watermelon or cantaloupe and cut the melon into heart shapes, if you like. But if you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a sharp knife will do—and as we all know, cats couldn’t give a flip what shape their fruit is in. They want the sweet treats, pronto!

Mashed Frozen Banana: Sounds good enough for us people to eat, right?  Just slice a banana, freeze it, then when you are ready, blend the frozen banana into a creamy, icy treat. Or you can thaw the banana a bit and mash with a spoon.

More Ideas: The Pet Café (part of the Cockatiel Cottage site I mention later in this post) has lots of ideas not only for your feline friends but also for dogs and, of course, birds. Love it! http://www.cockatielcottage.net/biscuitsnbones/main.html

 

Doggie Love

dog with treats

Warning: There are a few foods that you do NOT want to use. Dogs can become very ill if they consume chocolate or cocoa (use carob as a substitute), grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, alcohol, onions, coffee grounds, and potato leaves/stems/sprouts.

Sweet Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ c. natural peanut butter
  • ½ c. low-fat milk
  • Heart-shaped or bone-shaped cookie cutter

Directions:

Start by preheating your oven to 475 degrees. next, combine flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter with the milk. Add the wet mixture into the large bowl and mix thoroughly until it creates a dough.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it is about ¼-in. thick. Use your cookie cutter to cut out treats. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 12-14 minutes. Make sure to let them cool before giving them to your pup friend! Recipe courtesy of Aromatic Delights and the Austin Humane Society.

 

More Ideas: Scampering Paws is packed with great information on all kinds of dog-related issues, and they have a fabulous amount of dog-friendly recipes. Check them out at http://www.scamperingpaws.com/dogtreats.shtml.

Another great site is the pet-centric division of PopSugar, aptly named PetSugar. Here’s the link to 8 pet-friendly recipes, including 1 for cats and another for birds. Super cute! http://www.petsugar.com/Pet-Friendly-Recipes-31915040#photo-31915113

 

Feathered Friends

blue love birds

We don’t want to forget the bird owners out there, do we? Alyson Burgess, from About.Com, came up with this wonderful recipe:

Honey Banana Birdie Bites
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

* 2 Whole Bananas
* 1 Egg
* 1/4 cup Honey
* 3 tbsp. Banana (or other fruit) Baby Food
* 1/4 cup Millet, Oats, or Chopped Almonds
* 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet with 1 tsp. of vegetable oil and set aside. Peel both bananas and slice them into discs with a sharp knife. In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg (shells optional), honey, and baby food. Dip banana discs into the mixture and place on the cookie sheet. Once you have all the discs in place, top them with millet, oats, or chopped almonds. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, and then let cool to room temperature.

 

More Ideas: The Cockatiel Cottage is another charming site I discovered. It is simply bursting with anything you could possibly imagine about caring for your cockatiel. What I really loved was the massive recipe index for cockatiels or other birds in your life. This whole site was a delight! http://www.cockatielcottage.net/biscuitsnbones/maincc.html

As you can see, there are so many great ideas out there for delighting your animal companions this Valentine’s Day. I’ll bet you find something really scrumptious!

Purrs & kisses, Brooke

My Tiki

My Tiki–he looks thrilled, doesn’t he? Ha!

November 25, 2013

Show Your “Creature Love”

Meet Clove, my new "adoption"!

Here’s Clove, my “adopted” turkey–isn’t he handsome?

Do you feel called to do more this Thanksgiving than go meatless? I’m right there with you. Here’s where Thanksgiving becomes bittersweet for me—a special meal with loved ones is a precious idea, but the sacrifice demanded of our creatures is too much for me to bear. So, what’s a tender-hearted vegetarian to do to help our animal friends this time of year? Why, adopt a turkey, of course!

Farm Sanctuary

You guys, I am THRILLED to sponsor a turkey this year through the advocacy group Farm Sanctuary. For almost 30 years now, Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue and shelter abused and neglected farm animals, improve the terrible conditions for animals on factory farms, provide community outreach, encourage awareness, educate institutions, and influence compassionate legislation have helped ease (but not erase) the suffering of these animals. Their mission completely resonated with me: To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Now, I am not vegan (yet), but I am a passionate vegetarian and lover of all animals, so you can imagine my delight at finding that I could “adopt” a turkey already living at one of the three sanctuaries. For $30, I now have a dapper new turkey friend named Clove (that’s him above), and my donation goes to rescue animals and care for Clove and all of the other creatures at his home. And if I’m ever in Northern California, I can go visit Clove and his friends at the sanctuary, though I would physically pass out with joy if I ever had the chance to do this!

Want to Help?

If you feel called to spread the love of the season to our winged and furry friends, there are so many ways you can help. All it takes is a few keystrokes on Google and away you go.  But if you need a quick, fun, and heartachingly sweet option, do what I did and check out the Adopt-a-Turkey program through Farm Sanctuary. You can sponsor a single turkey, two turkeys, or a whole flock (7 turkeys)! Need a sweet gift idea? Delight your friends and family with a sponsorship of one of this year’s special group of turkeys, and Farm Sanctuary will send each of your recipients a picture and certificate of their special bird and his or her story.

And the love doesn’t stop there. Even after the holiday season has passed, Farm Sanctuary and many other advocacy groups have programs to educate people on compassionate living, eating, and advocacy for all animals. My sweet friend and fellow animal lover Lacey and I have often commiserated about how we can do more for the animals that share our planet, and frankly, the odds of affecting a huge change are very disheartening. But we must do what we can, when we can, however much we can. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems, which is a guiding light in my occasional despair and an inspiration in all my other days.

Be blessed and much love, Brooke

If I can stop 2