A Bit of Aldous Huxley’s Take on Life and Humanity

Aldous_Huxley

Aldous Huxley

Born 1894, died of cancer in 1963 (probably due to smoking)

Best known for his dystopian 1932 novel, “Brave New World,” this outstanding writer and great mind can be better known to those unfamiliar with him by reading here: http://biblio.co.uk/aldous-huxley/author/676.

Just wanted to share some of his thought provoking viewpoints here, briefly. I have a soft spot for kindhearted misanthropes and enjoy reading their quotes, hope you do too. And yes, he was vegetarian from around 1945 onward, which was very uncommon in those days…surely he’d be with The Vegans now 😉

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And best for last, my favorite explanation for why I consider being thought a weird nut as a great compliment…40bea80b7ca5e901abfd71cd8481437b
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My Little Lily is “Gone”

If you don’t adore dogs, or you find “much ado” about animals pointless or annoying, just move yourself right along, nothing to see here…

[Please see UPDATES at bottom!]

About six weeks back I noticed my nine-year-old dog Lily grunting a bit when out for her usual mile or two walk/hikes with me, as if she had something stuck in her windpipe or something. Progressively the coughing got more frequent and worse, exactly resembling what’s called “kennel cough.” So I assumed it was kennel cough, which is said to last anywhere from a week to three, or even six weeks or more in severe cases. Dogs with kennel cough are supposedly very contagious to other dogs, so everyone hates it when someone brings in a dog with kennel cough to the vet’s office. That’s one reason I avoided veterinary care and relied on hope and internet advice instead.

The kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine is admitted even by vaccine pushers to be very unreliable; vaccinated dogs often come down with kennel cough, of differing strains. The disease, which is a viral and/or bacterial infection of the respiratory tract, is supposed to just run its course and be done with, perhaps with some cough medicine to soothe things, and lots of rest and healthy food, fresh water, all that. So that’s what I did.

Here’s what kennel cough looks and sounds like in a much larger dog, still very similar:

But come to find out, that’s not what Lily had at all.

About five weeks later, after Lily’s coughing pretty much was over with, she stopped eating, gradually. I’d thought we were on our way back to normalcy, except for this new food refusal thing…so disheartening…she’d always been a huge food lover. (And yes, she was vegan except for occasional “free” meat treats.) Then things got steadily worse and worse. She began stopping on our walks and had to be carried home, out of breath and exhausted, in distress. After the worst instance of that, a week ago today, she never went on a walk again except to mosey around off-leash foraging for grass, which she must have thought would help her, towards the end.

The last few days were hellish, but I did everything I could to make her comfortable. Her breathing was very labored, short and quick, and by the end she was refusing to eat ANYTHING. But the sweet little angel she was, when she had to go potty (she was still drinking water) she’d hoist her poor weak little body up to get out to the patio, to not make a mess in the house. I’d thought the little movement could do her some good.

Where’d this little dog come from?

Back in 2007, my brother phoned me from his and my dad’s workplace and told me my dad had brought a puppy with him from home, for me. Egads! The last thing I needed was another dog. Our apartment complex’s limit was two and I already had two seriously beloved rescue dogs, Corky and Mattie. But how could I say no to Lily? Corky was about 18 so I figured I wouldn’t be breaking lease rules for too long, with three dogs, and Corky did die five months later. Lily’s story was that my dad’s next-door neighbors had moved away and simply left their four-month-old puppy behind to fend for herself all alone in the world. Here she is several years ago:

Lily (long-haired chihuahua & Jack Russell terrier mix)

Lily (long-haired chihuahua & Jack Russell terrier mix at about age 3)

My dad’s wife had wanted him to get rid of her and sent him off to work with Lily in the back seat (she’d had no name then). Well, he couldn’t just dump her somewhere, so of course there she was with my dad when my brother went into the office, snarling and barking at him suspiciously. She of course came to love him dearly as she did anyone close to me. But others had to beware of her sharp little teeth…she did not like or trust strangers and thought that she, all 15-20 pounds of her, could take on anyone no matter their size. So I just worked around it for the nine years and simply didn’t let her get her teeth into anyone…she never did actually bite anyone, thank goodness.

Lily was a great little dog and I’ll never forget her.

She was a holy terror when first living with me though, took six months to house-train her in which I almost lost my mind…really. I cleaned up so much urine from the carpet and so much shredded confetti which was once my books and such, that I can only smile now, looking back. At one point I’d decided to use a diaper on her when I went to work, so she showed me. I came home to a totally shredded diaper and pad and multiple pee puddles in the carpet, along with what looked like an exploded pile of magazine bits all over the living room, in every nook and cranny to boot. My hysterics at these instances eventually taught Lily what was and wasn’t approved of, and she became an absolutely sweet and precious, responsible, totally non-destructive girl who would almost rather die than pee or poop in the house, totally loved her doggy door. She would only play with toys or other dogs anymore, never again tore up any of my “valuable” (hah) belongings. As an aside, she liked and respected all cats…was so polite with them, must have been familiar with them (and those scary claws) from her puppyhood.

And this little dog had a bark from hell, lol. Her voice, when wanting to be alarming, was eardrum shredding, mind-numbing, like the mega amplified crowing of a giant rooster, and this dog loved her barking. Not that I let her disturb the neighbors, much, but I’m sure they’ve all heard her at one time or another, despite my diligent efforts to spare them. I have nice neighbors though, so never had any complaints.

Just two of Lily’s more adorable habits, for anyone who enjoys this sort of thing: I eat breakfast cereal regularly and Lily always expected the last crumbly bits in the bag when the cereal was almost gone. She seemed to know the bag sound at that point and would trot into the kitchen doing this cute little growl/howl. Then I’d put the ripped open bag down for her and she’d step on the edge with one foot and go to town on those crumbs as if they were the most delicious bits ever.

Mattie crop

Lily’s partner in crime, Mattie (rat terrier, rescued in 2005, now 15 yrs old)

Another one was, every time I did my little workout routine, she knew exactly when it was time for the crunches which I do sort of hanging partly off the bed. Every time, she’d trot into the bedroom before me, growl/howling again, and frisk around beneath my head with her partner in crime, Mattie, pictured here, until the crunches were over. Then all was back to normal. Every single time she did this, for years. But, sadly, not for this last week.

D-Day – I finally stopped being a coward and got her to the vet.

See, I didn’t know it, but Lily actually had lung cancer, not kennel cough, which my vet discovered today. I’d gone in hoping for some treatments that would get her back on the road to health, or to have her euthanized if it was hopeless. Realizing this “kennel cough” was not going to go away after all, that it was hopeless to keep on hoping, and that she may have developed pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or any number of horrible things.

She was in a lot of distress this morning, but too weak to even complain…yet still wagging that tireless little tail at me, with that loving expression on her face. My kennel cough “treatments” had done her no good at all. The lung cancer had to be fast growing and aggressive, because in about six weeks time (since the first bit of coughing), the vet said it had gotten quite huge, too advanced for any treatment to really do any good. And in case anyone wonders about the cause, so do I. I never smoke cigarettes and she’d only rarely been indoors with a smoker, and not for a couple of years, while some dogs live with chain smokers. Obviously, some unknown carcinogen had invaded poor Lily’s body.

So today, after finally finding out what was actually wrong with her, I made that gut wrenching decision to give her the lethal injection and end her life. This was after days of virtually no food…she was actually repulsed by food of any kind on the last day…and progressively more “painful” looking breathing, where she just lay limp and weak and miserable. The injection went well and she died within moments as I stroked her head and told her what a good girl she was. God I miss her. Life is strange and awkward with me and Mattie back at home now. But we’ll get through this.

If I’d have known from the beginning it was lung cancer, I would not have opted for surgery, chemo, radiation…so much pain and suffering for so doubtful an outcome. Would have gotten pain reliever for her and not let it go on so long. Believing it was kennel cough and that it would pass, well, that certainly did Lily no good. But she was still wagging her cute little tail when spoken to (often) and making every effort to appear “happy” and fight whatever was causing her pain. She wanted so much to go on her walks again and to play with Mattie, to enjoy her food, all her usual beloved routines. And so did I want that. Badly. But it wasn’t to be.

I, Mattie, my family, and anyone who got to know Lily (very few lucky souls, lol) will miss her adorable little presence in this world, dearly. When she did warm up to someone, she treated him like a rock star. One was a friend, David, whom Lily was always on the lookout for and would perk up and behave as if Elvis had been spotted whenever any tallish, bald tough guy with a goatee was within her view. The extreme elation upon actually seeing…HIM!…and conversely the obvious disappointment at seeing it wasn’t him, were equally adorable.

Lily, a.k.a., Ling-Ling, Lil-Lil, Lily Monster, Lilith, was a little gem of a dog. Rest in peace with the rest of them, little angel. Hope I deserve to be with you all again someday, in Heaven.

Entrance to Heaven by Wonderlane on flickr

Entrance to Heaven by Wonderlane on flickr

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 TylerUPDATE 5/28/2016: On the left is a dog (held by his heroic savior) I hoped to adopt to fill the sad vacancy Lily’s passing left behind. I’d seen a little dog like him (probably him) running up the street while I was walking Mattie last Sunday. He got away from me and I could not find him. On Wednesday I checked a local Lost Dog page on Facebook and saw the little guy to the left…he looked awfully similar to the dog I’d seen running a few days earlier. He’d been saved from the street a couple of miles away, by a car dealership worker. I emailed them. He called next morning to say the dog had gone to a new home with a customer, and I thought that was that. But that night he called again to say the people brought him back. He was too troubled for them…not neutered, not house-trained, very frightened and prone to running away, etc., and their animals did not like him. So, guess who took him in? Yep, me. And it is a challenge, but we will persevere and we will win! Best of all, Mattie likes him. Pray for me though, people, this is rough. An 8-pound little guy with a lot of emotional troubles…was likely very abused somewhere, probably due to house-training failure and frustration, which is no excuse. He’s catching on quickly here, although he has urinated quite a bit indoors, but it’s cleaned up thoroughly and he’s more and more using the doggy door and going potty on the patio. But he will not walk on a leash yet so can’t go for walks; stands trembling like he’s paralyzed and will not take a step, has to be carried. But we will overcome these problems, eventually. He’s about a year old, and Tyler is his name.

UPDATE 6/11/2016: Tyler is coming along amazingly well in little over two weeks (got him on May 26); he’s been on many walks, trots along high-stepping as if there was never any problem. It turns out he’s a purebred chihuahua, not mixed with min pin; the picture distorts him a little. He’s just under nine pounds. Not that breed matters to me, not at all…I despise dog breeders. But this just shows how purebreds end up running the streets same as mixed dogs…being purebred is certainly no protection against abuse or any other terrible fate. My Mattie is a purebred rat terrier who was also found running the streets, apparently left behind after her “owners” moved away. Her obvious and desperate search for them for months afterward was heartbreaking.

Tyler’s almost totally house-trained now, only rarely still pees in the house, only pooped in the house once in the beginning. His fear of me is completely gone except for when he’s being shamed for a puddle on the carpet. His terror of any, even only verbal scolding is very sad; obviously someone…likely a woman…had abused him badly (he’s much more wary of women). Today he peed in the house again, only because it was sprinkling outside and he didn’t want to get his perfect little pelt wet, lol. But he’s sharp, sensitive, and really wants to be a good boy, as all dogs want to make us happy, they just need to know what’s the right thing to do. They’re confused and not knowing at all why they can’t just go potty whenever they need to and wherever they are. They also learn from other dogs, and my old girl Mattie has taught him a lot, but unfortunately he’s also learned to go nuts and bark at other dogs due to her doing that. So I plan to walk them separately as much as possible, to teach him calmness regarding other animals. It’s too late for Mattie, she’s nuts, but much better when by herself. They feed off each other’s nuttiness, as is pretty common with dogs.

So, Tyler has gone from a sad, petrified dog desperately looking for an escape who would tremble and act paralyzed when on leash, to a joyful, playful guy who loves positive attention and feels like a boss and totally loves his home and his walks, even jumps into the car on his own now. Shows the power of love 😌

And every day I think of Lily and how amazing she was, how very much she’s missed. Lung cancer, of all the freaking things! Dogs use their noses almost obsessively when out, so they do sniff a lot of unknown stuff into their lungs. Living kills us all. So enjoy what you can, and be kind.

Prince & Mayte and the Sad Loss of Their Vegan Babies

[Above video added 2/15/17…another great one…previous video was deleted from youtube.]

As virtually everyone knows by now, Prince passed away on April 21, 2016. I liked him, enjoyed certain of his tunes a lot, and especially liked his performances. My elderly mom even liked him, loved watching him on stage on tv. He was from Minneapolis, same as her, so perhaps a bit of hometown prejudice there? 😇

Rest in Peace, Prince Rogers Nelson

On to another sad matter…

Prince’s ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, had two pregnancies with Prince in the 1990s; one was lost to miscarriage and one suffered from Pfeiffer syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder where the skull and other bones fail to grow normally and cause malformations. That baby survived only for a short time, even though Pfeiffer syndrome isn’t considered fatal.

Apparently Mayte suspected that the lack of animal products in their diet contributed to her babies’ problems and deaths. And that is very likely totally false. Even now, her only child, a daughter she is raising with much love and care, was adopted, not given birth to by her. Not everyone has an easy time reproducing. And adoption is a really good thing. I believe the couple’s problem was also with Prince and I suspect that it was genetic or in some way nothing he could help…nothing to be blamed on anyone or any diet.

Prince was another “celebrity vegan” we come to find out actually wasn’t vegan for that long, only for a period somewhere from the mid-1990s to perhaps 2005 or so (but who really knows?), even though he did support veganism and had compassion for animals.

He does seem to have been a bit preoccupied with thinness (for Mayte too) and may have been in the habit of working very hard to stay lean and not eating much, which will cause anyone problems, not just vegans.

So any health problems he developed, like damaged hips, possibly leading to his pain pill addiction and early death, most likely stem from an eating disorder, among other things like performing in severe shoes…not from his past years of eating no animal products.

Plenty of vegans are healthy, strong, have healthy pregnancies and radiant children, and live good long lives. I believe it’s a matter of eating enough, healthy lifestyle practices, and having no genetic or other predisposing problems.

There’s a rumor floating around that Prince had HIV since the 1980s, but in my view such rumors aren’t worth a damn.

Prince was epileptic as a child, which I only recently learned. He may have also had some problem involving reproduction and his sperm, since with the high level of wild sexual activity throughout his life, he only got one woman pregnant that anyone really knows of, and that’s Mayte. (He’s said to have one other “love child” who’s come out recently, after Prince’s death, but the truth of that is unknown at this time.)

So at most, Prince fathered three children, with at most two women but likely only one. That’s out of dozens or more women who surely would have been very eager to be mothers of his children. And still, only two babies that were definitely his. Said two having sadly perished, one in the womb and one a short time after birth.

Prince and Mayte

Prince and Mayte in the 1990s

Now, it seems dishonest for Mayte to hint that the vegan diet they were into at the time was to blame; or perhaps she was misinformed. If her lack of nutrition was part of the problem, it was more likely from not eating enough of any foods, not a lack of animal foods.

I’ve read recent excerpts where Mayte encourages fans to be “flexitarians” with her, so frightened she still is of eliminating animal products from her diet. And she does love and care for animals…she is quite active in dog & cat rescue: http://maytesrescue.com. Which shows how that unwarranted fear of lack of animal foods can lead even a serious animal lover back to consuming them.

Prince was known to passionately desire children of his own, dreamed of babies all around him, so he was certainly not someone who would ever have chosen not to have kids. Beautiful women flocked to him, he could have had babies with any one of them, or any number. But he did not. Not well before he ever went vegan, and not well after he’d gone back to dairy, eggs, and whatever else he ate after he quit being vegan.

Seems he’d have most likely become a dad in the 1980s when he was at his peak of success, from about age 21 to 30, yet he never did. And no one would say his diet was responsible back then, unless they want to say an omnivorous diet was the problem. No, it was most likely that he, for some unknown reason, had a serious problem that prevented his becoming a father.

As you’ll see by reading here about Lucas and Kenya and their two awesome boys: http://ourveganpregnancy.blogspot.in/2015/10/extra-extra-read-all-about-it-our-vegan.html, vegans who eat well and take care of themselves have no problems with pregnancy, birth, and raising healthy kids. There are many more than Lucas and Kenya, but I’ll not bog this down with my chosen links. You can search “vegan pregnancies and child rearing” on your own, but beware of dishonest anti-vegan sites spreading misinformation when searching. Internet is full of such “land mines.”

There are miscarriages every day all over the world, and babies born with problems who are unable to survive. Their parents are not vegans. Percentage-wise, I’d be willing to bet that vegans’ chance of pregnancy problems is the same or perhaps lower than others, because vegans typically get more folate in their diets from healthy foods like leafy greens, along with other important nutrients found only in fruits and vegetables. And generally, vegans are more health conscious and go all out to have healthy pregnancies and kids, when not opposed to reproducing that is, obviously.

I just wanted to sort of clear this up here, even if just for myself, because I’ve always wondered if Prince or Mayte ever blamed their lack of surviving babies on veganism. And today I found a quote from Mayte saying just that. How distressing. She was pretty negative and unfair there.

Any thoughts, anyone? (But of course, any hate-filled vegan bashing will not be approved.)