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  1. Vickie H.
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:34 am

    I want to comment on the kittens but am crying too hard over the final story in this post.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      March 22, 2017 @ 10:36 am

      From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for reading it.


      • Roberta
        March 22, 2017 @ 10:55 am

        no, thank YOU for making the world a better place with your humor, and your stories, and your work to enlighten us and make us think.


    • Amy G.
      March 22, 2017 @ 3:48 pm

      Oh god, me too. I am totally crying right now.


    • Bebe
      March 23, 2017 @ 4:18 pm

      South Korean women have the longest life expectancy in the world. And they NEVER eat cheese and rarely drink milk except to add to coffee in the morning. They live on average to 88, soon approaching 90.

      My Korean grandmother, who never drank milk or ate cheese ever, died in 1992 at age 86 and had NO WRINKLES. She was not pretty but she was always full of energy.


  2. Laura Lind
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:37 am

    Oh, dear Victoria, you owe it to yourself to read A Childhood, by Harry Crews…
    harder to find than The Glass Castle, but oh, SO worth hunting around for a copy.
    As Francine Prose wrote in the New York Times:
    “At times, the litany of gothic misfortune recalls Harry Crews’s classic memoir, “A Childhood.” The two books have striking similarities; both, for example, feature the horrific scalding of a child. But to think about Crews’s book is to become aware of those mysterious but instantly recognizable qualities — the sensibility, the tonal range, the lyrical intensity and imaginative vision — that distinguish the artist from the memoirist, qualities that suggest the events themselves aren’t quite so interesting as the voice in which they’re recounted.”


  3. Laura Lind
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:39 am

    Sorry, that last Francine Prose quote was from a review of The Glass Castle.


  4. robin
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:52 am

    Thank you for this post.


  5. Joy
    March 22, 2017 @ 10:57 am

    Victoria, if the kitten is still having seizures, you might want to look at He’s a vet who has virtually eliminated seizures in animals through proper diet. He helped my wonderful Westie (Rex) who now has no more health problems. He talks a lot about nutrition for people too. He calls dairy one of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” along with gluten, corn, and soy. Animals (and people) aren’t meant to consume those foods, and he explains why. If you’re short on time, just look up the article on “what should my pet eat?”


  6. Suzanne Forbes
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:00 am

    Thank you for educating me. Just poured out the milk in my fridge, gonna switch to some plant based milk for my coffee every day.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      March 22, 2017 @ 11:03 am

      You made my day. LITERALLY.
      xoxoxo times 10,000

      ps- you might need to try a few different plant-based ones to find the one for “you.” they are all a little different… etc.


      • Suzanne Forbes
        March 22, 2017 @ 11:12 am

        Here in Berlin there are a lot of ads for, which I have been meaning to try. I will get assorted milks in vegan heaven Friedrichshain tomorrow when I am teaching…


  7. Stacey
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:05 am

    I started reading your blog well before your soapbox posts – which incidentally – I LOVE as much as all of your other posts. A life long environmentalist and animal lover, it suddenly dawned on me how inconsistently I was living and I went vegan almost two years ago – I don’t know how long you have been vegan but I find it incredibly heart warming to see us traveling a parallel path in life 🙂 And I love seeing you live consistently with your love of animals – dairy has always been beyond my comprehension as well – so THANK YOU for posting this well researched and persuasive list of resources for those who are curious. There are so many amazing cheese and milk substitutes – there are so many delicious ways to eat without causing animal suffering – it is beyond me at times when I read ingredients in a product that could taste just as good, if not better, WITHOUT using animal products. Sending you a huge hug 🙂 Forks over Knives offers an INCREDIBLE ONLINE cooking course for those interested – I LOVED every moment of it:


  8. Ellen McCarthy
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:06 am

    Can’t say I love this because it makes me so sad, but thank you for it nonetheless. My husband and I watched Forks over Knives a month ago and immediately became vegans. We are so thrilled with the results to our health in only a month yet so angry that we were “fed” this total crap for so long.


  9. Alexandra Welch-Zerba
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    Victoria, thank you for posting about the dairy industry. I drink Almond milk from Califia Farms for this very reason. I do not eat meat yet I do eat cheese and eggs and man I really want to not eat them. I do not want to support these industries. Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing these videos. I know the horrors, I have seen them, read about them. Yet so many people are not aware of the severe abuse, the pure horrors of the dairy and meat industry. Some people won’t care, and some people will say “well, that’s too bad, but there are other causes more important.” I say, this is one of the biggest atrocities of us human beings. How can we, the so-called ‘superior’ species, treat other species this way. They are innocent, they have no voice. We must be their voice. If more people become aware of what really happens on these “farms”, how these animals are mistreated every day, how they are slaughtered, how calves are literally torn away from their mothers, I’ve got to believe that things will change. Continue your good work, be their voice. For the animals, thank you.


  10. Michele
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:14 am

    As a confirmed cat person I want to applaud you for the fostering you are doing. It takes a special kind of person to do this. I have never fostered but have had several feral cats (outside and inside) and adopted shelter cats. They are a love and delight – as your kitten images clearly show.
    Cows and dairy is another thing. It is sickening what these animals go through and big agra is the problem. And it touches on pigs and chickens and there is no dignity for the animals. I read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” several years ago and it changed the way I look at the food I eat and the food industry. It is good to be reminded.


  11. Alexandra Welch-Zerba
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:16 am

    P.S. I love the posts about the kittens (SO adorable!) and of Floof!


  12. melissa
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:17 am

    Thank you so much for posting EVERYTHING that you post. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years and haven’t been able to make the jump to veganism. I’ve cut down on my milk consumption, and will try even harder to make the switch this year. Thank you for reminding me that milk is not necessary and even terribly cruel.


  13. Abby Bean
    March 22, 2017 @ 11:47 am

    I’ve been vegan for 17 years and this stuff still breaks my heart. Thank you for being you and for being such a fantastic educator of compassion in all facets of life. <3


  14. Cheryl
    March 22, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

    I live in Massachusetts and we just passed a law about the small confinement of farm animals, like veal, hens, pigs. One thing that happens in Massachusetts, Every time a animal rights law needs to pass we all, liberal or conservative vote the same. I’ve worked for animal rights groups in Mass. most of my life and saw a major change in abuse of animals. You will never see a free sign for cats or dogs outside a home in this state. Citizens where educated. However, in the last few years we have noticed an increase in abuse cases from people from third world countries. I’m convinced that slaughterhouses hire third world people to work in their companies, because they know they won’t talk about what’s going on. This needs to stop.


  15. ActualConversationsWithMyHusband
    March 22, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

    Kittens are a ridiculous amount of work, but it’s important work you’re doing. In many areas, shelters are overcrowded to the point where they literally cannot take in even one more stray, and (I learned this when I found a stray kitten and couldn’t not do something about him) if you call Animal Control they will come and get the new animal but they will not bump an adoptable they’ve already photographed for this new critter. So the animal they just picked up gets euthanized immediately, due to SPACE CONCERNS. Which is crazy to me, because the solution is so simple (more people opening their homes) and it’s not happening.

    I can’t foster cats right now (legal limit – I have reached it) but I foster dogs and am applying to foster bunny rabbits. Because that’s a thing. Something for people who can’t have kitties to consider – you might be able to foster caged animals, who also desperately need your help!


  16. Pat
    March 22, 2017 @ 12:42 pm

    You have done in one post what I have been unable to do in 62 years. I will never consumer dairy products again.


  17. Linda D.
    March 22, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

    I like to think of myself as an open minded omnivore. I try to eat responsibly, even though I am a city dweller. I can’t grow my own food or hunt/fish, but I try to buy responsibly – free range, grass fed, no antibiotics, etc. I understand that quite a bit of the ‘health’ information out there is market driven and that reasonable scientists can disagree with one another. For me, the key is respect – both respect for the humans who disagree with me, and the animals and animal products I continue to consume.

    My Mediterranean peasant background has always used meat sparingly. We’re all about the garlic, olive oil and vegetables, although I have given up a familial over-reliance on wheat, and my aging knees have thanked me. My great grandfather (yes, I knew him!) always spoke of moderation in all things…yet he often began his day with a raw egg beaten with a jigger of brandy followed by a double expresso!

    Even if I’ve no desire to go vegan or ‘raw’ I think there is much we can do to elevate the quality of our food delivery system. Thanks for continuing to educate your blog readers about the inherent dangers of industrial food production. It’s far too easy for ‘convenience’ to make us blind to the hidden costs of our food, like animal suffering and our own health.


    • Leticia
      March 24, 2017 @ 8:08 am

      I think a measure of common sense is lacking in this discussion. I also think living gives you cancer. Our forefathers didn’t get cancer because they died much younger of starvation, TB, bacterial infections and such. I also think the greatest killer of the 21st century will not be cancer or heart disease. It might just as well be viral infections.

      Besides, the starvation we see today is not a matter of production. I live in Brazil, not your poster boy “developed country” and we do have enough food for everybody. People still starve in some places. In America people “starve” out of eating processed food with no nutritional value, here in some cases, people still starve out of denial of caloric intake. Sad, yes, cruel, maybe, but it has nothing to do with the herds of cattle. It happens where agriculture is done as it was done two centuries ago or where people live by extracting survival off the jungle, as it was done millennia ago. When crops fail, you die, when there is a calamity, you die. Is that better than mechanized agriculture? You can feed yourself much better by living on the streets in any major city around here. The climate is perfect: it never freezes. The staggering numbers of the street population seem to confirm.

      On the other hand, the images of misery we see on the internet are mostly caused by war. War is a whole other level of stupidity. It has to do with power plays by the great powers for the greatest resources. Nothing that the little people like us here in South America have anything to do with. Ops, not all of us are in SA, right? Syria, that everybody likes to pity, isn’t it some sort of staging place for the Americans and the Russians and someone else to be showing off their war toys?

      So, my point about cheese. Cheese might kill ya. But then, if you are alive, death and taxes are unavoidable.

      While you wait for death, read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, please.


      • Alex
        March 26, 2017 @ 12:58 pm

        Cheese might kill ya, and it’s definitely killing and torturing other sentient beings. As a Brazilian, surely you see that rainforests burned to plant soy to feed cattle and poultry is an ecological disaster? We can’t get those ecosystems back, and we barely understand how they keep us alive before they’re destroyed. Brazil is being rocked by a contaminated meat scandal at the moment. Climate change is reality. This is not a sustainable way to feed the world. If you understand the role you play in this mess, do what you can. It’s not about vegan perfection. It’s about doing something possible and practicable to reduce suffering! And cutting out cheese in this cheese obsessed world is certainly something that can reduce suffering, whether it’s reducing your chance of prostate cancer, carbon footprint, or not paying someone to rip a newborn calf away from their mother.

        Personally, I like clean water and clean air. Neither of which are promoted by a mega-dairy or other factory farm. Animal waste doesn’t get treated. It sits in a lagoon, which often overtops into waterways or leaches into groundwater. The human misery in animal agriculture is not ignored either. The abuse of migrant workers in slaughterhouses is well-documented. So are the incidences of respiratory illnesses downwind of factory farms. The public health disaster of obesity and heart disease where meat and dairy consumption is high.

        Our food choices have more impact than are ever emphasized.


  18. Laura
    March 22, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

    I wish every American knew this information. I feel like if people understood even half of what you wrote, everyone would immediately become vegan. It’s such a shame that the government is so powerful when it comes to food choices and they abuse their power. It reminds me of how the government promoted cigarettes even though it was well known the health issues that came with smoking.
    The good news is I really do think progress is being made. It seems like more and more people understand these truths.
    We went to a Mexican restaurant last night that had a vegan section on their menu. This is completely unheard of in Northwest Ohio.


  19. Elaine Miller
    March 22, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

    Another fantastic post. My husband and I went plant-based just over 5 years ago now. Initially we did it to help with his cholesterol and to get off Lipitor. However, we both noticed an increased concern for animal rights the longer we’ve been vegan. I’ve always considered myself an animal lover (we got our first dog when I was 9 months old) but now I don’t know how people can call themselves animal lovers and still consume them. Maybe they’re dog lovers or cat lovers or hamster lovers but unless they stop eating animals then they cannot call themselves animals lovers. Just my growing opinion though. I shall dismount my soap box now. Good on ya’ VEB. Fight the good fight.


  20. Katherine
    March 22, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

    Thank you for the last part of this post, especially. I have been painfully aware of some of this but not all of it, and even after the final, horrific story of poor Mama cow, I am going to read up on all you included and more to see what I can do. I’m married to a man for whom no meal is considered a meal without meat, and we live in cheeseland (France) so not easy but I feel I must do something, anything.


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