Nearly eight years ago, I rescued a French bulldog puppy who was the runt of a litter and very sickly. I brought her home and she sat on the kitchen floor, skinny, weak, and meek. She had been drugged by the breeder to make her compliant. She was kept in a cage for the first eight weeks of her life. I had to teach her how to walk and not army crawl. I named her Flavia.
There she was sitting on the kitchen floor looking up at me. I gazed back into her profoundly sad eyes and in my ear, I heard a whisper, and I knew that it was Flavia. She whispered to me, "Why are you still eating my brothers and sisters?"
My knees buckled and I crumbled to the floor and wept, holding Flavia, who even in her weakness, sorrow, and pain, used what strength she had left in her tiny body to ask for mercy, not just for herself but for all exploited and enslaved animals everywhere. In that very moment, I became vegan.
I chose to be vegan for the animals first and foremost. Flavia's anguish planted a seed of compassion, empathy, and morality that changed my path of selfishness and indifference to a path of kindness, love, sacrifice, and service with a clean heart, body, and soul.
In the subsequent years following that fateful revelation on my kitchen floor with Flavia, the seed that she planted within me bore fruits of the spirit, and I became a Christian, an animal rights activist, and I started my own vegan Christian ministry.
I was able to cure Flavia's inflammatory bowel disease, alopecia, allergies, and yeast infections by feeding her vegan nutrition, making sure she had all the protein, amino acids, and vitamins she required.
An unintended side effect of my becoming vegan was the complete healing of most of my own chronic conditions: colitis, candida, irritable bowel, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes. I also experienced a marked reduction in the symptomatic effects of my degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, hypogammaglobulinemia, and TMJ.
The Lord taught me through my beloved Flavia the most pivotal lesson of my life, which is that all sentient beings have within them the breath of life that makes us ALL equal and deserving of compassion, mercy, liberty, health, security, love, kindness, freedom, family, friends, and joy - animals and humans alike.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you, my dearest most beloved soulmate, Flavia!