About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,
Suzanne

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Animals and the Buddha

Animals and the Buddha

A film by Dharma Voices for Animals
Watch now
Animals and the Buddha
Featuring interviews with world-renowned monastics and lay teachers including Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Jetsuma (Ven. Master) Tenzin Palmo, Ven. Bhante Gunaratana (Bhante G), Christopher Titmuss, Ven. Geshe Phelgye, teachers from Spirit Rock Meditation Center and many others.
In addition to watching the film on YouTube, it can be downloaded here.
If you are interested in screening the film for your sangha or local community, please see our information sheet.  If you have any questions, please contact us at friends@dharmavoicesforanimals.org.
In keeping with Buddhist tradition, Animals and the Buddha is presented at no charge.  If you are able to help support Dharma Voices for Animals and the important work we do on behalf of animals, your donation  is greatly appreciated.  Donations are tax-deductible


Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is an organization of those committed both to practicing the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma) and to speaking out when animal suffering is supported by the actions of those in Dharma communities and by the policies of Dharma centers. We want to be the voice of the animals who cannot speak our language and are unable to ask, “Why are you paying people to do this to me?” or “Why are you supporting my suffering?” We want to support those who are willing to speak out about the harm we cause other sentient beings when we eat them, use their body parts as clothing and in other ways, or use household and personal hygiene products that are tested on animals. While DVA recognizes the challenges of living in a complex, modern society, we wish to promote the choices that provide the greatest reduction of animal suffering. It is our intention to be inclusive in honoring the different views of those who sincerely intend to minimize the suffering of animals.
Dzogchen Master and DVA member and contributor, Chatral Rinpoche:
“If you take meat, it goes against the vows one takes inseeking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.Because when you take meat you have to take a being’slife. So I gave it up.”
 Become a DVA Member at no cost and support the efforts to raise awareness of the suffering of animals in the Dharma community.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Vegan Mom Project | Vegan.com

The Vegan Mom Project

What it's like to be a vegan mom: the good, the bad, and the funny!
vegan mom project
We’re not going to sugarcoat it; raising a child with a strong sense of compassion and a foundation of healthy foods is tough in a world where kids are encouraged to munch on Cheetos and taught that loving certain animals (dogs and cats) and eating others (pigs and chickens) is perfectly okay. A world where few doctors understand the nuances of nutrition, and many teachers, daycare professionals, and friends think it’s “just fine” to feed kids a little bit of cheese behind moms back.
In an effort to support all the vegan moms out there, Vegan.com has started The Vegan Mom Project. We have turned to vegan moms for their own bits of wisdom, experiences, inspiration, funny stories, and even some frustrations that you may relate to. You are not alone. We hope you enjoy reading these tidbits from fellow vegan moms!

sanctuary bistro vegan mom
“Being a vegan mama means I get to make the most colorful meals for my childrens lunch box. I love packing their lunch. It is a rainbow of fun and it is usually simple whole foods. Green Edamame, red raspberries, yellow apple sauce, black beans, purple smoothie, a kiwi. I think being a vegan mama is just being a mama with the benefits of a nutritious and delicious meal and with the added bonus of teaching compassion as a way of life.”
- Jennifer Jones Horton, Sanctuary Bistro

tiffany rose and zeke
“Truthfully, I never wanted children. I wanted to dedicate my life, every minute of it, to helping animals. Well, shizzle happens and in the middle of veterinary school, I done got myself pregnant. How in the heck could I spay and neuter every animal in the world while teaching my newborn child physics and Cantonese? I couldn’t and I’m not. Instead, I’m helping more animals than I ever imagined by working for an animal rights organization and raising a vegan child.
But, there’s a catch. I’m only 50% of a co-parenting package. He’s got a pop who eats innocent critters and there ain’t a damn thing I can do about it. Trust me, I’ve tried. My little rascal spends a few days a week with his dad, who admits that once in a while he gives him meat. My heart shattered when I learned of this. His dad knows my feelings and we have a very civil relationship, but knowing that my precious and pure child (ha!) has ingested the flesh of beautiful mother cow, destroys a part of me. But again, there ain’t a damn thing I can do about it. All I can do is live by example and teach him to have empathy for all animals so that when he must decide between the Big Mac and a vegan alternative, he chooses Field Roast. Passing the compassion torch off to the next generation is the way this marathon will be won and to do that, you have to let go. Okay, just a little bit though.”
-Tiffany Rose, Cruelty-Free Moms

Vegan Kid Ramona
“Being a vegan mom is pretty amazing and rewarding. I take pride in knowing that I am raising a compassionate and kind little girl. I will never have to have that uncomfortable talk, trying to explain that her “meat” comes from the animals she adores. I’d like to say that raising a vegan child means that they are automatically ingrained to love vegetables; however that is not always the case. Most of my time is spent chasing around a pasta-loving toddler with a fork full of green beans. That, and changing the words “egg” and “meat” to “tofu” and “tofurky” while reading her stories.”
- Jen Regan, Poison Berry Bakery

vegan mom tracy reiman
“When Jack first went to preschool, I met with his teacher to see what I could do to make sure that he got vegan snacks every day. A month or so into the school year, I asked Jack’s teacher if he seemed bothered by having something different from the other children, and she said that it was quite the opposite—they all wanted what he was having!
Like all parents, I want Jack to follow the Golden Rule, and teaching him why we eat veggie burgers instead of hamburgers is a big part of teaching him to have compassion for others. I’m glad that he is learning to respect all life, and it brings me even more joy to know that he is as proud of his efforts to help animals as I am.”
- Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice President at PETA

allison rivers samson vegan mom
“I never made “baby” food, I just gave Olivia what we were eating. I started out with quinoa for its powerhouse of nutrition, lentils for their high iron content and potent hit of protein, and finely chopped and steamed kale for its all-around goodness. To this day, Olivia’s “comfort food” is that trio with tamari and nutritional yeast!
My advice is to give your babies real food, not dumbed-down versions of food. Their palates develop the most between ages one and two and by presenting an array of tastes, they’re less likely to go through a picky eater phase. Expose them to ethnic foods to allow the flavors to awaken their tastebuds and to establish that variety is normal. Don’t give up after just one or two offerings. Olivia wasn’t keen on avocado (the first food we gave her at seven months) for quite some time. We kept serving it to her and now at the tail end of her 7th year, she jumps at any opportunity to eat an entire avocado each day.
I love that by being a vegan mom, I share the gifts of compassion, deliciousness, optimum health, and disease prevention with every meal.”
- Allison Rivers Samson, Allison’s Gourmet

vegan kids
“Vegan parenting does have its challenges, but so far I’ve found it to be much easier than so many people think. They have this crazy idea that you have to have a degree in nutrition or something. Yes, we have to do a little more research initially and think a little more about certain nutrients but so far we’ve found great solutions for everything.
We get some raised eyebrows from people who don’t understand our unconventional choices, but at the end of the day, it’s gratifying to see my toddler snacking on walnut-date balls, kale chips or goji berries and sipping green juice next to kids in the playground who are crunching goldfish crackers and drinking apple juice. Which is not to say my kid doesn’t love crackers and apple juice, but healthy superfoods are his “normal.” 
And to see his natural love for animals come through—well, it just doesn’t get better than that. What a gift to give him a healthy foundation, a more compassionate worldview, and, when he’s older, the knowledge that since before he was born he’s been part of a movement that’s making the world a better place for all its inhabitants.”
- Marisa Miller Wolfson, Vegucated

sunny vegan mom
“My two-year-old Dylan has been a vegan since conception, and there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to raise him vegan. People often ask me what I feed my son, and the answer is, he eats the same food that I do! He especially loves peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, veggies and hummus, spaghetti, vegan hot dogs with BBQ baked beans, potatoes in all forms, every fruit you can think of (we drink lots of smoothies), Lara bars, and oatmeal.
I’m expecting another baby this winter, and aside from increasing my protein intake, I’m taking vegan prenatal vitamins that contain iron and folic acid [and B12]… basically, I’m following the same nutritional recommendations as non-vegan mommas-to-be. It’s really not that different.
I know that by raising vegan children, I’m providing them with optimal, nutritionally dense plant-based foods that are going to encourage healthy growth and the development. I also have peace of mind that their foods are free of hormones, chemicals, and preservatives, and that no living being has to suffer for any of their meals.”
- Sunny Subramanian, Vegan Beauty Review

dreena burton
“It’s not the vegan part of parenting that’s hard, it’s the parenting part! Kids truly love the food they know, get them started early on real, nourishing, compassionate plant foods.”
- Dreena Burton, Plant Powered Kitchen

marla rose vegan mom
“I remember when my son was two, I read to him from The Lorax for the first time and he burst out crying at the end. My husband turned to me and said, ‘We aren’t going to have any trouble with him wanting to be vegan,” which seemed to be the most common question we were asked.
At 12 now, the hardest thing for our son has never been not having the same snacks as his friends or not being able to eat pizza at school. It’s been living in a world where something that is so common sense and so intuitive to him – this understanding that animals are not ours to use – is treated like a silly whim or attempt to get attention. The idea that he not only sees his peers but also adults come up with convoluted, illogical excuses for eating animals kind of embarrasses me for our species. On the bright side, though, all this does is deepen his convictions.
Raising a child as a vegan is not only kinder to the animals and the planet but these children also are being raised as independent, questioning, resourceful, heart-centered individuals and this is a huge advantage for them and a gift for our planet.”
- Marla Rose, Vegan Street

melissa vegan mom
“Being a vegan mom has had its ups and downs (more ups). I was amazed at how supportive my OB was of my vegan lifestyle. The same goes for my daughter’s pediatrician. However it is a struggle for some family members to come to terms with Lena being raised vegan. I’m looking forward to watching Lena grow up understanding how to be compassionate to all living beings and demonstrating how she is thriving off our lifestyle.
It’s been extremely helpful connecting with other vegan moms and learning about their experiences raising vegan kids, especially as a first time mom. I feel that I can talk to these moms without being judged. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m so thankful for these vegan families in my community.”
- Melissa Heffelfinger, Cleveland, Ohio

Tess Challis vegan mom
“My 11-year-old daughter Alethea has been vegan since birth (I’ve been vegan since 1991). When I was a child, my health problems were numerous. I speak about them at length in my books and talks, but suffice it to say that by the time I was my daughter’s age, I had been sick so many times that I’d become immune to every antiobiotic on the market. What’s so wonderful is that my daughter has had zero health issues and is freakishly strong – and it’s not even a struggle! 
Alethea is vegan by her own choice. I have given her the basic knowledge of why it’s a compassionate, healthy lifestyle, but have always encouraged her to think for herself and make her own decisions. As such, she truly chooses it, and completely loves it. She never wishes she could eat non-vegan food, because she feels like every possible deliciousness in the world is contained in the realm of plant-based foods—and she’s right! Not feeling deprived, and having delish foods on hand for yourself and your kiddos, is key to sticking with this way of life and loving it!”

Chloe Jo Davis vegan mom
“I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household – strictly kosher. I never once felt restricted by my dietary limitations as a child, as it was all I knew. I was being raised according to my family’s ethics. And that is how my husband and I are raising our boys – our ethics are based in the tenants of veganism. To promote kindness over cravings (though there is no craving veganism can’t meet!) is tantamount to religion to our family. 
We know healthy, happy, conscious, and enlightened families worldwide are choosing plant-based diets for their kids—and we are proud to be arm-in-arm in that mission toward a more sustainable, humane, and compassionate world. We are the lucky ones, the path has been paved by vegan parents twenty years before us who had to sprout their own nut milks—we have vegan cheese that melts, decadent cashew based ice creams, unchicken nuggets available at nearly any supermarket in the country. I always say, there’s a wealth of options and a cornucopia in veganism—not limitation.
My boys know to ask “is it vegan?” but also exactly where cheese comes from, and why it’s cruel and why we don’t eat it. How many 3 year olds know the truth about factory farms? These are wise, strong, activist little people we are all raising in this movement—and it will only grow stronger with these animal-loving, green little sprouts at the helm!”
- Chloé Jo Davis, Girlie Girl Army

Go to Vegan.com for more!