Copyright © Tere Albanese. All rights reserved.
First, I want to introduce you to some of my family. Everything I do is dedicated to them and the love we shared and to all animals that bring us joy every day, and especially to those animals that are suffering. everyday. The photos are of three of my babies. Going from top to bottom we start with Heidi. I found her in a bad neighborhood as a puppy. She was covered with mange and trotting behind two girls that were throwing stones at her. She was such a sweet soul, she thought they were playing and happily trotted behind them trying to catch the stones. My friend jumped out of the car and swooped her up. I took one look her and knew she was going to break my heart into a million pieces one day and when that day came, she took most of my broken heart with her.
Below Heidi is Sadie. She belonged to my husband's children. and immediately became mine as well. I'll never forget the first time I saw her. I walked into their house. Sadie was at the top of the stairs. I looked up at her and she looked down at me. When our eyes met her tail started wagging so hard that it swung her body back and forth. It was literally a tail wagging the dog! She raised her head up and it would swing one way and her hips would swing the other way. It was like she was doing the twist. It was love at first site. She also took part of my heart when she left us
Below Sadie is Lenny. Lenny belonged to my step children's grandparents. When their grandparents passed away we took Lenny in. All you have to do is look into the big brown eyes and you can see what a sweet boy he is. It was love at first site again. And again, a piece of my heart is gone.
There are many more that I will tell you about as my site grows. For now, I will introduce myself, as well as my site. I call myself "The Conservative Animal Rights Activist," which I believe would probably describe many people. I am definitely not a liberal. However, as time goes by I realize that I am definitely not a mainstream conservative. For instance, my day job is teaching middle and high school English and history. I hold a credential in both disciplines. I love history and I know a pretty fair amount about our Constitution. I have always believed that it is unconstitutional to prohibit a gay couple to marry. That is a Judea-Christian belief. I'm Catholic. However, I am not a mainstream Catholic. either. I actually believe I'm Jewish because I believe my mother is Jewish. By definition, anyone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish. If there is a god I believe that he created gay souls and I find it hypocritical for someone to hold up the Bible and say that what is written in the Bible is the reason they repudiate and disrespect the fact that two people that are the same sex love each other and want to get married. This happens in the animal kingdom all the time, so why wouldn't it happen with humans? We are animals too.
I am also pro-choice. If you have seen the movie classic, National Velvet, starring a very young Elizabeth Taylor, you will remember her mother, Mrs. Brown, played by Anne Revere. Mrs. Brown was a stern mother and a strong character. She didn't have many lines in the movie, but everything she did say was so powerful that Revere won an Academy Award for her part. One of those lines she spoke to Velvet is, "Sometimes it is better to do the wrong thing for the right reasons than to do the right thing for the wrong reasons." This single statement defines how I view a woman's right to choose.
I've always loved animals, but now I'm on animal overload. I became a vegetarian about 20 years ago, and I became a vegan about 10 years ago. To me, vegan means I don't eat anything with a face or a heart or parents. And I recently decided that I would no longer eat any byproduct of an animal, such as cheese and milk or eggs, unless they are certified "Cruelty-Free." You can read about certifications on my "Animals in the News" in the article which will be up shortly titled, "Everyone Wants to Save this Little Girl's Steer." I use almond milk and tofu cheese. It has been an enlightening journey for me. It's funny how I came to use the phrase, "I don't eat anything with a face or a heart." That's where it all began.
I wasn't a vegetarian yet. I was at a party many years ago and was talking with a gentleman. I asked him if he wanted some of the shrimp cocktail and he answered by saying, "No thank you. I don't eat anything with a face or heart. It really made me think. If I love animals, why do I eat them? I was raised on Mc Donald's hamburgers, but I never made the connection. Hamburgers are cows! I think that many people just refuse to think about it. Or it just never enters their mind. I started by giving up beef, lamb and pork. Then one day I rescued a crow that was hit by a car in a parking lot. The poor thing was being buffeted about by the wind and it was clear that he couldn't fly. People were almost hitting him, but no one bothered to stop and try to help him. But of course, I did and I took him to a veterinarian. As I was sitting in the waiting room a woman came in with a big white fluffy bird, which sat quietly on her lap. I asked what kind of bird it was. She told me that it was she was a chicken. I was astounded because I never thought of a chicken as a pet. The woman told me that chickens make wonderful pets. That did it! I never ate chicken or turkey or anything with wings again.
I still ate fish and crustaceans. Then I went to the Boston Aquarium. There they had an interactive display of shrimp. I picked them up and played with them. I experienced another "That's it!" moment. I could no more bite into the body of little shrimp than bite into the wing of a chicken. And I have to look the other way if I'm in a grocery store that has lobsters in a tank with their claws taped shut, all huddled up together in the corner of the tank awaiting their gruesome death. Sometimes I will go over to the tank and say a little prayer to St. Francis, who is the patron saint of animals. How does anyone drop a living thing into boiling water?
As I mentioned, the last food made with animal products that I gave up was dairy products. I was horrified when I found out that milk cows are kept pregnant constantly, confined to a tiny area and when their calf is born it is immediately taken away from the mother. The mother screams for her baby and the baby screams for his or her mother. The poor mother cow goes through that horrible separation again and again and again. Many times the baby will not survive. If they do, they are immediately sold at auction. Their fate depends on who buys them. They may become veal. A thought that sickens me. But, doing the right thing by the calf takes time and energy and whatever the dairy industry does for the calf will not benefit them. So, many times they simply throw the newborn calves away, as in, literally in the trash. Please read my upcoming article, "Everyone Wants to Save This Little Girl's Steer," on my "Animals in the News" page
Of course, I do not wear leather and I do not use or buy any product from a company that tests on animals. This includes 99% of all cosmetics and skincare products that are sold in the US. However, there are many fantastic products that you can buy today if you know where to look. Visit my "Living and Purchasing Cruelty-Free," page for more information.
And also visit my "Cruelty-Free Fashionista," page.
You may also have noticed that I have written many articles regarding the thoroughbred racing industry. It does seem odd for an animal rights advocate to be associated with this sport. Read "My Association with Thoroughbred Racing " by going to "Published Articles " - "Thoroughbred Racing. " In a nutshell, I have a love/hate relationship with the sport. I am aware of the abuses that take place. If racing wants to survive, the industry must make changes, big changes, just as SeaWorld has and it needs to go even further. I will be writing on this subject and I will be putting up my award-winning script, Justamis, about a racehorse, which is based on true events, and definitely makes a strong statement about racing, but not to the point that the sport should end.
I am also publishing my first book entitled, Virgil the Hound. I will be putting up the first portion of it and it will be for purchase on my site, Kindle, Amazon, Bookstores, Libraries and wherever I can sell them.
Last but not least, I root for the underdogs in the animal kingdom, so if you're interested, you'll be learning about animals that get a bad wrap and/or are considered pests, when you visit my "Underdogs" page.
A website is a living breathing thing, so stay posted! Being a teacher, I'm finally getting a break this summer. Hopefully, I'll make enough headway which will allow me to concentrate on my writing about animals and manning my sight.
Please contact me wit any comments or questions.