Vegan or not, anyone with a pet understands that they are a part of your family. We adopted our precious beagle/foxhound rescue dog, Abby, on April 9, 2001 (almost 2 years after we were married). She was our first child, and she was present when we brought both our daughter and our son home after their births. In October we found out that Abby had a large, malignant tumor in her spleen. She went through surgery to remove the tumor and her spleen, but it soon became evident that the cancer had spread to her blood, and there was nothing more to do for her but keep her comfortable and shower her with love. On December 27th, Abby left this world, surrounded by the love of her family. Although she is not present in our home, she will always be present in our memories and in our hearts.
Our last day with Abby
On April 9, 2001, we gave Abby a gift…a forever home where she would be safe and loved. And so in the midst of our grief, we decided the best gift we could give to honor her memory would be to provide a safe and loving home for another rescue dog in need.
On December 28th, we went to Kyle’s New Hope Animal Rescue and met “Pepper Ann.” It was love at first sight. She immediately clicked with every member of our family, and she filled just enough of that gaping hole in our hearts. We brought her home, and named her Zoe, which means “life.” (Standard protocol for this animal rescue provides the potential adoptees at least a 7 day trial period to determine whether or not the pet and family are a good fit for one another. We took 6 days, even though we really only needed 1.) On January 3rd, we officially adopted her, giving her a forever home where she will always be safe and loved.
When Abby died in our arms, we prayed over her the Metta Mantra of loving-kindness: “May you be strong and healthy, peaceful and at ease. May you be filled with loving-kindness and be happy.” We adopted Zoe because we want the same for her. And we are vegan because we want the same for all living beings.
Happiness, health, and peace are not only for our pets. All animals want the same and all animals deserve the same. Why would I treat my pets like family while allowing cows or pigs or chickens or turkeys (or any other animal) to be slaughtered in the name of “food”? The Metta Mantra is actually broader than “you” or “me.” The entirety of the mantra actually includes “all” : “May all be strong and healthy, peaceful and at ease. May all be filled with loving-kindness and be happy.” And so my prayer is that all living beings, whether human or animal, pets or livestock, will be treated as family.