When no longer feeding a family, it is so much easier to give up meat and follow a vegetarian lifestyle. "It took about a year and a half to feel comfortable without relying on meat to provide protein in my diet" Carol Barrett says. " I couldn't reasonably claim to champion animal rights and continue to eat them. Even having fish as pets made me think twice about them as food"
It is always easier to make such a lifestyle change with the support of others who have gone before you. "I have to thank the wonderful members of the Toronto Vegetarian Association without whose help I would not have been bold enough to make mistakes and find new and interesting ways to use plant ingredients to feed myself" Carol said.
After the loss of her faithful Toller, Carol Barrett, Toronto Canada was encouraged to look to rescue groups for a companion. The end result of many hours of searching the web resulted in a lovely golden retriever from a high kill shelter out of province. It was love at first sight .
"The transition for both the dog and me wasn't always smooth" Carol said. "There was separation anxiety to deal with, dealing with her going into heat, post of complications from her spay, and the fact that she had never seen a leash before. In the end it was totally worth it, but I will confess there were moments questioned my decision...until I looked into her eyes".
Although one can't be all things to all men (or animals) the trick is to find the cause that speaks to one's heart and do whatever one is able to do. "I don't practice veganism, but I am mindful of where my food comes from, eggs and dairy, and try to always consider how the animals are being treated" Carol said. "I applaud the efforts of the IFAW in their global mission to ease pain and suffering for all creatures. On a more grassroots level, PETA has helped me to chose adoption over buying animal companions. I feel strongly that even a modest donation to these and other organizations helps make a difference"
"I try to always talk to the neighbourhood kids about the world around them whenever I am out with the dog" Carol Barrett says. "If there are bugs or butterflies, bird calls, and so on, I take the time to point them out and so often the kids become engaged with the world of their own backyard and will later share what they have seen and heard at a later time. The only way to protect the natural world around us is through education and showing a true love for living things".