How I’m becoming Cruelty Free…
For as long as I can remember, I loved animals. People often told me it is like I can talk to them. I would describe it more as a non-verbal communication of feelings not words. They were so sweet and cuddly. I had stuffed animals galore. My favorite was a mother and 2 kittens that came in a wooden basket. They were so real looking and feeling. It never occurred to me that the fur was from dead rabbits! I cherished a beautiful white muff with 2 cherries on it and had a collection of rabbits feet [all made from dead rabbits] This is what is know a desensitization. It starts at a young age, and we are raised thinking this is all very normal. I’m not sure what happened for me to make the connection between my beautiful belongings and dead rabbits, but I do remember being devastated.
The connection of the friendly cows with big brown eyes was next, followed by all other meat, fish and poultry. I felt absolutely sick. My stomach turned in circles every time I saw meat. Being served meat and told to eat it was a nightmare. I couldn’t eat it, so I stuffed as much in my mouth as possible, then said had to go to the bathroom and spit it into to toilet. I was not allowed to leave the table until I finished eating. Needless to say I made a lot of trips to the bathroom!
My other love was ballet. I could get lost in a world of make believe, where I didn’t have to eat animals. When I came home I would spend much of my time with my parakeet. I taught him to speak and had a sailor hat that I wore at home so he could ride around on my head and not poop all over me.
After my career as a ballerina was cut short by a car accident, I decided to go to school to become a Veterinarian. After getting a degree as an Animal Health Tech I realized I wanted to do the caring for the animals and not the writing of orders for them, so I stayed a Tech.
I started out teaching at the Animal Medical Center in NYC, then I went on to manage a 24 hour animal hospital on the Upper East Side. I also ran my own visiting nursing service for animals. My clients loved their pets and would stop at nothing to make sure they had the best.
One day I had to tell a clients, I could no longer brush his cat once a week, on my lunch break, due to my main job. I offered to set him up with another reliable person but he had a better idea. He sent his limo to pick me up, wait for me to be finished and then drive me back to work!
Another woman finally trapped a stray cat she had be feeding. She was not able to take him in due to her severe asthma. She already had 3 cats and a dog which she loved dearly and wouldn’t dream of giving away. So what is an animal lover to do with a very shy and scared stray cat? Well of course, it seemed logical to hire a limo to drive the cat and I out to PA where I had just moved. Schmutza lived with me for several years in the rolling hills of PA, until he passed away from old age.
It was this woman that first made me acutely aware of the extent of useless animal testing going on in the world. Enter my quest to save as many animals as I could from this horrible fate. I started an adoption agency out of my home, which turned into an old age home for animals. I did adopt out many of the animals I took in first though. Unfortunately I was forced to close my doors due to lack of room.
I had been a Vegetarian for many years already. Then I started replacing my makeup with cruelty free versions as I used them up. Now most of my cleaning products are from cruelty free ingredients that I combine.
I love naturally vegan foods already, so I am eating much more lately. Once I tasted almond milk, I was hooked. I am now experimenting with recipes for almond cheese. I have tried several vegan cheeses that unfortunately not only don’t taste like cheese, but have no redeeming qualities of their own. Cheese has always been a favorite food of mine. I always justified it because the cows were not killed for the making of the cheese. They are, however, abused, neglected, separated from their young and then killed when they no longer produce enough milk. So it is no cheese or find a good tasting substitute. Since almond milk is so good I am focusing on almond cheese. If I find a good recipe I will be sure to blog about it.
Looking on the bright side is something I try to do. I have 4 wonderful children. A few years ago, my youngest child became sick. He was vomiting multiple times a day, loosing weight, and even stopped growing. It took a year and a half to find out that he has eosinophilic gastritis. Basically this means he cannot digest the protein in wheat, gluten, soy and eggs. Since he is already a vegetarian, his diet could be called very restrictive. Actually his diet has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Through many hours of research, I have learned so much about not only healthy eating but healthy living as well.
Cruelty Free does not always mean “good for you”. Most Cruelty Free product use more natural and healthy ingredients than other products, but there are still some ingredients to be on the look out for. Yes I will go into detail about this as I develop this blog.
I am now a single mom and plan to support my family with my online endeavors. My dream is to create a unique animal rescue, designed to help both humans and animals. This site is being created to raise awareness of the growing availability of Cruelty Free Cosmetics, cleaners, personal care items, etc. and where to find them. Since times are tough I am providing tons of free information and guidance to inexpensive ways to achieve the Cruelty Free level of your desire.
Use of these products will decrease animal suffering due to unnecessary testing. While many countries are passing laws to stop animal testing for cosmetics, the US and others lag behind. As an educated consumer you can help to change the world.
Purchasing products through links on this site may help generate money to support my family and help start a fund for my dream animal rescue. I plan to find a variety of products so everyone can afford to go Cruelty Free.
I will be using a pen name of Kittie since many of the animals I have helped are cats. Better this than being known as the crazy cat lady!
To the end of animal suffering…
~ Karen [Kittie] Karo ~