52 Comments

  1. Suzanne Forbes
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:17 am

    Thank you for the holiday accountability. I am committing right here to one day a week of vegan-only eating starting in 2017 (gotta start start slow when you don’t have many spoons!). Also, that is a fine little cat, with a delightfully avid way about him.

    Reply

  2. Lora Hart
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:20 am

    I have to say, there are things that happen in the world that I just don’t need to know about. The chicks is one of them. I may cry all day.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 29, 2016 @ 11:24 am

      Ugh… part of me feels like I should apologize… I HATE being the person to ask people to confront the unpretty things. On the other hand, these things are WRONG and MUST CHANGE.

      I cannot hold these things in my heart alone anymore… I don’t know what the solution is.

      Reply

  3. Carla from Kansas
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    A cat that fetches. Very cute.

    Reply

  4. PigtownDesign
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    We have many, many stuffed hedgehogs in our house. From tiny little ones for my 13.5 lb dog to big ones which she can barely carry. We {heart} hedgehogs. (I am always tempted to leave the 2nd “e” out of hedghog, sort of like Wedgwood.)

    Reply

  5. gretchen stroh
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:27 am

    Agreed, so sad…..baby chicks……

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  6. Bonnie
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:30 am

    Adorable cat!!! My cat (no longer with us) also used to play fetch and just loved it! For some reason he liked to play fetch with those thick, coated elastic hair bands. I would shoot one across the room, he would dash after it and bring it back and drop it at my feet. We could go on for hours. Such fun!

    Reply

  7. Jennie Staub
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:34 am

    We have a cat, Romeo, that simply loves to play fetch. I discovered this in about the same way you did with your kitten. Romeo has a particular fondness for the mylar paper balls that come in multiple packs as cat toys. One day early on in his life with us I thought he might like to chase one so I picked it up and threw it. Not only did he chase it with wild abandon, batting it back and forth along the floor, but he picked it up and brought it back. Not really thinking about it, I picked up the little crinkly ball and threw it again. Back he came with it in his mouth and dropped it in my lap. Did I have a cat who played fetch like a dog? Oh boy did I. As it turns out, this amazing trick is not all it’s cracked up to be when the cat decides that mom needs to play fetch with him at 2am and lets you know this by crawling up on your chest while you sleep and dropping the mylar ball in your face…..repeatedly. After about 5 minutes of this kind of wee hours fun, I decided to put the ball in my bedside table drawer in order to get some sleep. Imagine my surprise to find that not only did my funny little cat play fetch, but he also knew how to open a drawer to retrieve his beloved mylar fetch ball. Romeo is 16 now and getting a bit feeble….but all you have to do is bring out a mylar ball and he’s right back to being a rowdy kitten again.

    Reply

    • fixitchick
      December 29, 2016 @ 4:03 pm

      I love this! Especially that at 16 Romeo is still so playful.

      Reply

  8. carol garcia
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    my cat “steals”my daughter’s stuffed lemur and carries it around in her mouth like a kitten…even tho she is spayed, she still goes into heat a couple of times a year and gets maternal with the plushie…and growls if you try and take it away. Love the display cabinet and have reposted the tiger article… i have family in Houston. they had better participate. Auntie Carol is checking up on you!! Merry Christmas VEB and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and your hubby.

    Reply

  9. Betsy
    December 29, 2016 @ 11:48 am

    My family is now 1 month into our new lifestyle…vegan! Never felt better physically and it feels so great emotionally, too!

    All the best to you in the New Year 🎉

    Reply

  10. isstoossay
    December 29, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    My cat was 36 lbs (he had an un-diagnosed thyroid problem at the time) and we called him “The Swiffer Cat” because when he walked across the kitchen floor, his belly would “Swiffer” up the hair, crumbs, grasses as it swung back and forth. His idea of physical activity was to work his way over to the couch, settle in, then sprawl on his back with his legs sprawled out to the sides, pussy willows hanging out and all…

    Reply

  11. Lina
    December 29, 2016 @ 12:28 pm

    I have been Vegetarian for nearly 15 years and I cannot believe that I did not know about the connection between dairy and veal. Embarrassing since I have three kids and understand how lactation works, but I never even wondered what happened to the boy calves. Thank you for sharing this information with people like me! Love your blog!

    Reply

  12. NevadaNy
    December 29, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

    Have you thought of backyard chickens? They are great pets, make great chicken manure for your backyard organic garden and trees and eat bugs that would eat your garden, and provide eggs!
    There is no comparison to organic free range eggs from happy chickens.
    Well treated free chickens go on laying for years, and they get on fine with cats and dogs once they all realize they are all in the same family.
    Just three hens will give lots of eggs, they go on laying for years and years compared to ‘prison chickens’
    and old hens will babysit chicks and teach new mothers and still eat bugs and make manure too.

    Best way to stop the ‘Factory Farms’ of chicken abuse.
    And think of the lovely Victorian Chicken House you could design.

    Reply

  13. Abby Bean
    December 29, 2016 @ 12:34 pm

    Thank you for always being a voice for animals. I appreciate it as an integral part of your feline-loving, GFT acquiring, stylish Southern charm. You reach an audience that isn’t typically reached by the AR community. May the new year bring you joy and happiness behind your expectations.

    Reply

  14. judy
    December 29, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

    I absolutely know-beyond a shadow of a doubt -that most of Humanity’s problems,including cruelty to Animals in general is due to the concentration and consolidation of all forms of profit.

    Our human culture,originated with towns and villages where most items of utility or beauty were hand made and gave a sense of pride to the maker. Money looked at this system and saw the creator as a worker and the product as personal profit. The farmer of the past wouldn’t recognize farming and animal farming is filthy and sickening-animals jammed together in their own excrement, limbs broken why? to generate bigger profits.

    The Bible does not say the root of all Evil is Money-it says the LOVE of money is the root of all Evil and a small population,now in total charge of American power ,billionaires all will make our Laws and regulate all of systems. The mind reels in fearful anticipation.

    Today EVERYTHING has devolved into the corporate owned,managed profit machine and the bottom line is not the maker,not a sense of pride or accomplishment for everyone involved but simply profit,money-wealth, the bottom-and it is the bottom line is money for the already wildly wealthy.

    I have nothing against the wealthy 0r wealth…there are millions of people who deserve a generous return for their contributions. I rail against those who are wealthy solely through the effort and brilliance of others. They are the leeches of society and should be publicly named as such.

    Everything is too big and totally impersonal. A corporation may be a person…..? but it will never have a heart,a soul or Empathy. It worships Wealth, it lusts for dollars and when it gets them it hides them,in the darkness of tax havens where it’s green loveliness can never be reduced by any contribution to people or its country- it is the be all and end all of its intent its purpose and it has warped so much of our culture. Over sexulized,why does every model have her legs spread or resemble an anorexic heroin addict? Mad for stuff-non stop selling selling selling because who will love you if you lack the latest iphone? We need small shops,local manufacturing in smaller facilities-with local buyers and local employees. Stop making stuff all over the world with the resultant air and water pollution. People in China have to wear face masks and their children have a higher degree of asthma. Too much concentration of manufacturing in one area in huge factories. sorry to add another diatribe but Evil does triumph when the better voices are silent………?

    Reply

  15. Loran Watkins
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

    If you ever want to discuss rescuing chickens and giving a few a good home I’m you’re girl 🙂 I have a tiny “farm” in my suburban back yard and most of my girls are rescues. I work with an AWESOME rescue here in California that will take any and all chickens that they can fit from egg-farmers who want to get rid of their ‘stock’. For a while I had two girls from the famous Turlock rescue. It breaks my heart to think of their living conditions for their first couple years of life but I gave them the best of the best for the rest of their life. Here’s a link to the documentary made about those girls:

    Reply

  16. Payton
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

    Have you read anything by Wilkie Collins? I’m reading “the Moonstone” right now and it sounds very much like the type of book you would dig. Although it is an older novel (written in the 1870’s!), the language is simple and elegant rather than so flowery you get allergies.

    Poor Tigers!

    Reply

  17. Pat
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

    I can’t follow you anymore. I so love your adventures with craigslist and house projects. However, while I agree with the problems with animals and animal products and pet rescue, the shock value you are using to get your point across is not for me. I have a vegan daughter who educated me on all treatment of animals without the pictures, etc. A decorating blog is not the place for this. I suggest you start a different blog for animal rights. Please no response required.

    Reply

    • Martha (not Stewart)
      December 29, 2016 @ 1:57 pm

      She writes a blog unlike any other and you smack it down as a “decorating blog.” I think a lot of her readers would disagree with your assessment.

      Reply

    • Caroline M.
      December 29, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

      Victoria, write what your soul tells you to. It’s why you are the only blog I read.

      Reply

    • Jennifer Marlowe
      December 29, 2016 @ 3:50 pm

      Pat, perhaps other readers of this glorious blog are not so fortunate as you to have a vegan daughter to educate them on the suffering of animals. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. It’s harder to ignore suffering when you see it with your own eyes, perhaps that is what makes you uncomfortable. There is no shock value in the pictures or videos – they’re just images of reality. The shock resides within ourselves when we bear witness to the horrors that exist in the world outside our own bubble. If you’re not strong enough to look cruelty in the face, so be it. We all have a limit to what we can bear. But do not chastise someone for championing a cause they believe in on their own blog. It’s akin to being a guest in someone’s house and asking them to stop ruining your good time. It’s bad form dear.

      Reply

      • Nikki Moshier
        January 1, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

        Loved your comment, Jennifer. Shall have to remember…..It’s bad form, dear.

        Reply

    • Yvonne Angus
      January 5, 2017 @ 3:28 pm

      I, personally, have never thought of VEB’s blog as merely a decorating blog. She shares all aspects of her life and beliefs, and as stated by others, hers is the only blog I take the time to read, nay, actually search for new entries.

      If you find it distasteful to see the terrible conditions living creatures are put through so that we humans can benefit, then, by all means, don’t read this blog. Just please don’t chastise or denigrate the author because you disagree with her means of educating the rest of us. I am grateful to VEB for doing the research, so I don’t have to.

      Reply

  18. Diane West
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

    Keep the baby monkey pumpkin! Keep him!

    Reply

  19. Marta
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    Just in case you are in need of a road trip to the North Country in your quest for more GFTs.

    https://utica.craigslist.org/atq/5916571802.html

    Reply

    • fixitchick
      December 29, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

      so Jealous! There has been 1 really good GFT from CL in our new area since we moved here 2 years ago. 1. My hometown had so many treasures that I took for granted. So Many.

      Our long narrow [19 x 11] dining room needs a built in along the windowless doorless wall. It will provide much needed storage, as well as visual interest. I could build something functional. but I want/need something amazing. I have looked for book cases, armoires, entertainment centers, console record players until my fingers blister. nothing that will do, suffice, or be makeoverable. Zero, zip, zilch, nada, ningun, niente, bupkes. You get the picture. We did, however, manage to find some cane backed chairs. so we finally have somewhere comfortable to sit.

      My husband thinks we should just finish tiling. Tile the dining room before worrying about furnishings. Perhaps he has a point, but does he not remember how long I have been searching. without finding? does he not remember our budget? does he think the perfect thing will magically appear? A few more weeks and the tiny bedroom that we’re eventually turning into a dressing room will be done. I’m in no rush, because it is too small to use as the guest room and we’ve got people coming in February. and the office/guestroom will need to be decanted into the tiny room while it is being tiled. and only then will we get around to doing the dining room. and it is crucial that we manage to get a massive amount of storage into the dining room. Partially because our house is small, and has little storage. No attic, no basement. Not that we have a ton of stuff, but old tax returns and the like need to live somewhere. and partially because the kitchen is after that [so in a year if we’re lucky?] and if we have nowhere to put a temporary kitchen, the real one wont get done.

      Reply

  20. Tammy
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

    Keep baby monkey pumpkin! Any cat that will fetch and not give you the “seriously?” look is worth his weight in fancy things.

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  21. Cat Ohala
    December 29, 2016 @ 1:45 pm

    I’ve sent a letter to the Colorado Wild Animal Sanctuary about the Houston tigers. I hope they are freed soon!

    Reply

  22. Peggy
    December 29, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

    My calico cat loved to play fetch with little pompom balls that were attached to the ends of footie socks. She would take them to her water dish to soak them before she brought them back to be thrown. I think that the wet pompom traveled farther on wood floors.

    Reply

  23. Gail Daigh
    December 29, 2016 @ 2:09 pm

    Victoria, I believe you are doing God’s work by bringing all of these abominations to our attention and virtually calling us all to account. Thank you, even tho it upsets me.

    Reply

  24. Luna
    December 29, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

    I hadn’t heard about the male chicks until I heard this interview on NPR… They are creating technology to make this horrible practice stop!:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/10/28/499613622/technology-may-rescue-male-baby-chicks-from-the-grinder

    Reply

  25. Kay
    December 29, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    It is very upsetting, but every time I see something about the cruel way animals are treated and disposed of, I think of babes in the womb. I don’t mean that you, Victoria, should be writing about the latter, but I always wonder where those who vociferously defend animal rights stand on the subject. (I’m being as discreet as I can, not intending to co-opt. Throw this out if it offends.)

    Reply

    • Leslie
      December 29, 2016 @ 4:16 pm

      Yes, Kay, I have the same thoughts. I would also like to point out that the quote Victoria chose to open with, by Paul Farmer, was not intended to refer to animal lives. Mr. Farmer is a humanitarian that works with hungry and poor PEOPLE in severely underdeveloped countries. Thanks.

      Reply

  26. Victoira Seeber
    December 29, 2016 @ 2:56 pm

    I am an animal lover and hopefully am the voice for all animals as well. However, sometimes I like to read about other things and this blog is where I would go to relieve my brain from the cruelty that abounds on this earth. I loved the humor that VEB was so good at writing and could sometimes relate to but I am not happy with the animal awareness posts. I will have to look else where for relief. Good luck Victoria

    Reply

    • Yvonne Angus
      January 5, 2017 @ 3:34 pm

      So, just read the first part of the blog, if the animal cruelty awareness posts disturb you. Victoria is always kind enough to warn us that an awareness post is coming. Just don’t read it!

      Reply

  27. Joan
    December 29, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    He’s not Elvis but I believe he is a “keeper”
    Happy New Year with kittens

    Reply

  28. Krissy Clark McKee
    December 29, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just finished binge watching Manor House two days ago…LOVED it!!!!! I would have just liked to have seen an episode showing the “lord” and “lady” adjusting back to their old life when they didn’t have someone to actually bathe, dress, and feed them. And I wondered if Kenny and Ellen actually stayed together once their relationship was no longer forbidden.

    Reply

  29. fixitchick
    December 29, 2016 @ 4:33 pm

    In some ways I think you may have missed your calling. Not that I have any idea of what your day job is, but I can see you owning that perfect Antiques store. The one that we rent a Uhaul to go to. because you find the greatest stuff for not a million dollars or a kidney. The one where you serve tea in the back, using a really cool set of china. Except the tea is whiskey. And we get sozzled and hang out listening to records on a crank gramophone while Paul helps my husband load the furniture without giving it new scratches.

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  30. devon pfeifer
    December 29, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

    Oh what a wonderful talented kitty!! One of my most favorite cats ever, “Sandy” loved to fetch rolled up balls of paper……….you could toss it anywhere, even down a flight of stairs, and he would go after it and bring it right back to place in front of you. This was also the cat that gave “massages”, and the kids and their friends would get such a kick out of Sandy getting on anyone who laid down for him and breading away on their back. I love all my many kitties throughout the years, but he made the short list of XSP (extra special pet)….I still miss him and it has been a good 15 years. It made me smile to see your little guy so into this talent, i think you should definitely keep him 🙂

    Reply

  31. fixitchick
    December 29, 2016 @ 5:29 pm

    This is way to Roccocco/Baroque for my taste, but I was looking for stuff for my parents winter spot and if anyone here is in the Sarasota/Tampa area: http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/atq/5935770007.html

    Reply

  32. Laura
    December 29, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

    I am thrilled you are fostering a kitty! I foster dogs. Fostering animals helps give them a chance at a better life. They are always are so thankful for being rescued. Enjoy your time with your lovely feline friend. Thanks for sharing the video!

    Reply

  33. Jody Stepnowski
    December 29, 2016 @ 7:38 pm

    Just ordered the first book in that series (used) from Amazon. You talked me into it.

    Reply

  34. Nancy Cooper
    December 29, 2016 @ 9:59 pm

    Thank you for drawing attention to this awful cruelty. I have learned things that I have passed on to friends. Your compassion is as endearing as your humor. On another note, who knew cats play fetch? None of mine ever has.

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  35. Dona Pearce
    December 29, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

    As horrifying as it all is, I knew about all of this cruelty that you mentioned. And I admire you for trying to make others aware. It’s awful to read about or see those pictures, but we can either close our eyes and ears and sing la-la-la, or we can be made aware and try to do something to lessen the cruelties performed in this world — ANYTHING is better than nothing! I have volunteered for years with up to four animal groups, listing pets for adoption on Petfinder, creating fliers touting these pets and their availability, creating newsletters sent out to make others aware of the plight of “throwaway” animals, and helping at adoption events. It gives me a lot of satisfaction whenever I learn that one of these animals has found their forever home. I know that my little corner of the world will be better when I finally leave it than when I found it. Not trying to toot my own horn — just saying what makes me go through Life with a happier heart than if I had done nothing. I live with my third rescue dog, a wonderful little girl who I swear adopted ME, not the other way around. I thank my Georgia friend for making me aware of your blog, Victoria, and I will keep reading even when the reading material is horrifying. How else will we know there is still GREAT need for change? Your blog makes me laugh, too, and after a long day when not all goes well, it’s great to sit down, read and laugh out loud. THANK YOU, AND MAY2017 TRULY BE A YEAR OF CHANGE!

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  36. Diana C.
    December 30, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

    Okay, so far I have applied for and been accepted to foster kittens with the local animal shelter, signed the petition to get the white tigers released into a healthy environment in Houston, plus shared and tweeted their story, and was horrified to learn about the male chicks. Like a commenter above, I may cry all day… but I simply cannot adopt all those baby roosters! I’m going to be on tenuous ground with my husband as it is when that first litter of “mewing” kittens arrives, possibly require round-the-clock feedings, without hundreds of “cock-a-doodle-do’s” ringing out at 5:30am following a sleepless night. (I know you don’t expect it, it’s my feeble attempt at humor in the face of such horror.)

    Thank you for bringing the ugly to our attention. Maybe your blog will find its way into the hands of someone who can and will help stop this cruelty.

    I could send a unit of Navy SEALS (I told you about awhile back) to rescue them, but they won’t know what to do with them either… and last time I checked, roosters don’t swim.

    Signed,
    “Saving the world one kitten at a time”

    Reply

  37. Charlotte
    December 31, 2016 @ 8:59 pm

    Unreal…grinding up male chicks? Who the heck is behind this???!! Some people ought to be strung up.
    I’m checking out the books you recommended and The Manor House. Thanks for posting this. And I’m impressed you made $250 from that antique showcase. Well done!
    BTW, your posts are only one of two I MUST read as soon as they are in my email. Really enjoy them.

    See you next year…that’s 6 hrs from now, according to So. Calif time.

    Reply

  38. Nikki Moshier
    January 1, 2017 @ 12:15 pm

    Thank you for your splendid blog and sharing your passions about so many things. Keep ON! Thanks also for the great author suggestion. Checked her out at my local little library and read for two days and finished Almost a Crime. It was amazing. Will try vegan one day a week, baby steps. P.S. Loved Jennifer Marlowe’s comment. Shall have to remember that…..”it’s bad form, dear.”

    Reply

  39. Yvonne Angus
    January 5, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

    I absolutely love, and at the same time, am jealous of you finding all of this amazing free stuff on Craigslist. The freebies I find on our part of the world’s posts are usually curbside couches, left over yard sale stuff (usually all the way across town, and not worth the drive) or things no one would actually want. But, I live vicariously through you.
    As far as your awareness posts on cruelty to animals, I appreciate the time you spend learning about the abuse, and actually being proactive in changing it, as well as the fact that you share it with the rest of us. I actually go to the sites you link, and read more about the subjects, and sign the petitions. It does make my heart ache, and my stomach sick…as it should anyone with half a grain of humanity in them!!! I then can make choices in my own lifestyle based on the information. I applaud you for having the courage to put it all out there.

    I am saddened that I could not get the fetch kitten video to play, however. I know I would have enjoyed it!

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  40. Yvonne Angus
    January 5, 2017 @ 4:34 pm

    I am officially sickened and disgusted over the grinding of male chicks. I may never eat another egg. We used to sell eggs when I was a child, but all of the roosters were simply allowed to roam our 40 acres, free to roost in trees or boxes we set out for their protection. They also had a “bachelors” quarters they could roost in at night. We also augmented their natural diets with a mixture of grains. Never once, in the years that we had our “egg farm”, was a male chick ever disposed of. Unfortunately, now I know that the chicks my mom would mail order were probably already culled, although we did get a fair share of males in the batch. I absolutely KNOW that my mom never heard of the practice, as she would actually bring an ailing chick into our home to nurse it back to health. I am positive she would be rolling over in her grave if she knew about this ghastly practice!

    I searched quite a bit to find out what happens to the grisly product after the grinding, and the only concession I found was one egg company admitting that the end results “could” be made into pet food, but culling the egg SHELLS was too costly!!!! Are you FREAKING kidding me????

    Reply

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