I can vouch for every practice she adopts during difficult times. I’ll even add one: When knocked about by depression and defeat, I’m learning to channel my anger and disappointment into fighting for those in need. Equal parts muckraker and agitator–tempered with politeness, of course. I’ve found this an effective, proactive use of energy I’d otherwise waste bashing myself and life.

Take today–I wrote the wonderful crisis intervention center/homeless shelter that saved me. Why? Their list of canned food donations included Spam, Vienna sausages, and Chef Boyardee products. Pure crap. The sentiment–good, the ghastly food–bad.

As we live in the third richest county in the US, surely we can and should do better than that, I told them. I asked about starting/maintaining an organic garden with volunteer help (I offered my services), partnering with a community garden for a share of the produce, and asking for healthy food donations. Mentally ill and homeless people often have physical illnesses and/or are malnourished. Everyone deserves healthy food.

Then I emailed my favorite vegan joint’s general manager, asking her if they would consider holding a Benefit Day for this crisis center that saved me and many others struggling with life. Humans are animals, too, after all. Other suggestions for her included providing one day’s lunch and dinner for the up to eighty occupants living there. I firmly believe we can’t save animals without saving humans. As Marc Bekoff stated in his book I read recently, “Compassion begets compassion.”


Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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