Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Buttercup the Shelter Rabbit

Hubby and I as a Christmas tradition visit our local animal shelter before the Big Day to deliver toys for rabbits and to visit the current rabbit residents. This year we got delayed because of the blizzard that hit us on the Saturday before the holiday. But we stopped by nevertheless yesterday and met two special rabbits, Mr. Bunny and Buttercup. Mr. Bunny is a black and white Dutch, very sweet and friendly, and was turned in because "children no longer want to take care of him." Buttercup is a Rex and a very heavy Rex too, we noted. She is a stray though I can't help wondering what her story really is. I wonder if she was being overfed to become someone's meal. No doubt if that were the case, she would have been kept outside in a hutch and happily she must have escaped from it. A beautiful girl who loves to have her head rubbed, she growled at us when we gave her some carrots and my heart filled with sadness. I have no doubt part of that reaction could be hormonal--it is highly unlikely this rabbit was ever spayed. But I knew that such aggressive behavior would make her almost unadoptable, unless someone with great patience and rabbit knowledge comes by and decides to take her in. What are the chances of that? And though the shelter refuses to admit it, they will kill her if she proves to be unadoptable and if they run out of room to keep her. Human irresponsibility will have claimed yet another innocent life. When will this end?

As for Mr. Bunny, as we were spending time with him, a shelter volunteer advised that the people who dumped him were coming back for him. Seems the parents just wanted to teach their children a lesson. Some lesson. Put a rabbit through stress by abandonment because you won't be responsible enough to understand that rabbits are NOT good pets for children (something the parents would have realized had they bothered to do any research before getting their kids a bunny in the first place). Too bad people never ever seem to think of the rabbit first. Rabbits are beings, not household decorations. Not toys for kids to play with. Will we ever learn this simple lesson??

As we roll into a new year, I hope and pray that people will get wiser and smarter and learn to educate themselves before adopting ANY animal, especially high maintenance exotic animals like rabbits. There are plenty of resources out there to go to for self-education, www.rabbitwise.org, for one, House Rabbit Society (www.rabbit.org), for another, and many rabbit rescue groups that are all around you if you care to do the research. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In the meantime, I will pray and hope that someone understanding enough and patient enough will come along and save Buttercup's life. We gave her as much love as we could while we were there, as we do all the rabbits we see at the shelter each year. A little love from a stranger is better than none in their short little lives.

The Hoppy Vegan

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Here is my miracle rabbit, Ghirardelli, recovering from a bout of head tilt that we apparently caught early enough to make a remarkable difference. We have so much to be grateful for at our house this Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas for the Newly Vegan

Holidays are the most difficult times of the year for those of us who become vegan later in life. I grew up in an Italian-American household, where every Christmas Eve, we would feast upon seven kinds of fish (as if one weren't enough.) Fried smelts, cod (baccala), spaghetti with lobster sauce, mussels, you name it. Then on Christmas Day we used to go to my grandmother's where a feast was ready that would put the one in Whoville to shame--antipasto, ravioli, ham AND turkey, tons of side dishes, cookies, cannoli, etc. To define our fondest memories by food alone is frankly silly--Christmas is about family after all. It is a waste of time now to lament all the turkeys and pigs we ate in this season of giving for so many years. While I miss certain tastes (my grandmother made the best sauce ever, but it was a meat sauce, and you cannot duplicate it with faux meat--I have tried), I know that it is very possible these days to have a delicious feast devoid of the suffering of animals.

As many of us celebrate the birth of Christ, it would be well to recall that He died for our sins and for our salvation. Those animals in the manger came to witness Man's salvation--they too share in the glory. They too are God's creations and His children. What better way to honor the Lord than to make your holiday meal devoid of suffering and death?

For me, this Christmas Eve, a yummy vegan clam clowder will be my main entree (a delicious recipe courtesy of VegNews magazine). And for the Day, a Celebration Roast with a red wine reduction sauce will be more than enough to satisfy my palate. Sure, these dishes are new--heck, I don't even have a pasta dish on the menu! We create new traditions to honor old values. We can still cherish the old memories when we honor the values of family and togetherness, NOT how we celebrated them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Christmas Offering

You may notice some strange white objects in the Nativity Scene in the photo above. Those are vegan chocolate snowmen. I can think of no better gift to bring to the Son of God on His birthday than an item that was truly made without harming any other of God's creations.

Have a blessed Christmas everyone, and peace to all creatures large and small.

The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, December 6, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Now that I have that song from A SOUND OF MUSIC invading your thoughts, the Hoppy Vegan wants to share some of her favorite vegan items this year. Unlike Oprah, though, I do not have any to give to any of my readers (do I even have any readers? Hello? Happy Christmas if you are there.)

My rabbit shirt from Herbivore Clothing– I bought this at an animal rights conference a few years ago and I love it to death. It is forest green, 50% cotton, 50% polyester, soft, comfortable and has the image of a rabbit with angel wings and a tear in one eye on the front. So moving…And of course anything with a rabbit imaged on it, I MUST have.

Silk Pumpkin Spice milk – just a HINT of pumpkin spiciness. Yummy!

RiceWorks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps – Sweet Chili, Salsa Fresca, and Sea Salt highly addictive and vegan

Temptation chocolate ice cream – my local Whole Foods is finally stocking this Chicago-based nondairy ice cream which will give Haagan Daaz a run for its money—yummo!!!

Artichoke Burgers from Five-Star Foodies – delish! Cooks up very quickly in the pan. Very vegan and very yummy.

Don’t Step on My Faux Suede Boots – I love my wine-colored faux suede boots I discovered in one of those catalogues for plus-size women (you know, the ones with names like The Natural Woman, The Inner Woman : ) ), Comfy and more importantly they snugly fit around my fat calves. Best of all, they didn’t cost real calves their lives.

Pangea OnLine Vegan Store (http://www.veganstore.com/) - what would I do without them??

VeganEssentials (www.veganessentials.com/) – Can’t do without this online store too.

VegNews magazine – hard copy and soft edition – best info on vegan lifestyle EVER!

VEGAN COOKIES INVADE YOUR COOKIE JAR by Isa Chandra Moskowitz andTerry Romero – my new favorite cookbook, and I have only done one recipe so far (Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles—yummy with a kick and soooo easy to make.)