Tag: cats

Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Tips for Living with Cats

I get so many questions about what I feed my kitties from a vegan point of view as well as how to care for them from an ecological point of view, whether we’re talking about toys, litter, or food. 

Check out this video, as well as my podcast episodes for answers. 

As for the resources I mention, here they are below:

▸CAT ENRICHMENT & TOYS
*Make your own toys if you can
– Cat Scratcher Lounge Collapsible: https://amzn.to/2yK3MZ6
– Cat Scratcher Lounge: https://amzn.to/2KkyTiw (best thing I ever bought!)
– Plastic-free lint brush https://amzn.to/2MqsOyu

▸ CAT LITTER
-okocat https://amzn.to/2KlmKJT

▸ PLASTIC-FREE LITTER BOX
https://amzn.to/2yEl0ad

▸PLASTIC-FREE LITTER SCOOP
https://amzn.to/2KaSG4q

▸HOW TO COMPOST YOUR CAT’S LITTER
http://bit.ly/2IsnQOZ

▸ CAT FOOD
-Natural Balance Cat Food https://amzn.to/2IyzZSS
-Tiki Cat (for when the kitties just want a little extra) https://amzn.to/2KrXNJT

▸ Cornell University on flushing cat poop
http://bit.ly/2N1evRI

Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything. 

Finding Cat Sitters When You Travel

In the work I do — as an animal advocate, as a vegan cookbook author, as a cat lover — I am forever debunking myths — about animal welfare, about plant-based eating, and about animals in general. And that’s fine with me. I chose this work for that very reason — to normalize compassion for animals and to normalize (and elevate) the consumption of plants (over animals). 

When it comes to cats, one of the ideas I’m constantly pushing back on is that cats are solitary, aloof creatures who are “easier” to take care of than dogs and who can look after themselves for days at a time when their people go away. While it’s true that cats are more self-sufficient (because…litter boxes) and are fine being alone for several hours a day (because…sleeping), it is simply erroneous to think that cats don’t get lonely or anxious if left alone for days at a time.

While this might seem extreme to people who don’t have cats (and maybe even to those who do), my cats have never slept a night alone, and we are consummate travelers — both domestically and internationally. In fact, I host trips around the world, so we’re often gone for  weeks at a time. But even when it’s just for a weekend…it’s unthinkable to me that Charlie and Michiko wouldn’t have someone staying at the house caring for their physical and emotional needs. 

The first thing I do when we confirm a trip is secure our cat sitters / house sitters, and I’m never relaxed until this is done. We have a regular sitter we tend to turn to for our trips, but because she’s not always available, I tap into our larger network of friends and neighbors. 

We’ve always been very fortunate at finding good people to stay, and while sometimes we’ve worked out a trade with a sitter, I’m also happy to pay for the peace of mind that my cats are being well cared for — not just with food and clean litter boxes but with affection, attention, and love. 

For my part, I feel much more at ease when I receive regular updates and photos, and in fact it’s one of the benchmarks that we hired an attentive and compassionate cat-sitter. I communicate this need early on, and I do the best I can to find the best person. I get references, I have them meet our cats, and I try to be as discerning as possible. 

But it’s not always perfect. Despite the 8 pages of notes I provide, anticipating everything a sitter might need while we’re gone — phone numbers of friends they can call on, the location of the emergency vet hospital, what our cats’ favorite hiding places are, etc. — there have been times when I have been more anxious than not about the person we trusted with our fur babies. Thankfully, everything has always been alright in the end.

I understand that everyone has different standards for the level of care they provide to their cats, and this is not to say that anyone who doesn’t have people sleep at their house when they go away is neglecting or harming their cats, but it is meant to convey the fact that while domestic cats may not necessarily be pack animals like dogs, they are companion animals. 

Of course, I say this aware that cats are individuals with different personalities and preferences and some may be more content to hang out alone more than others, but it’s just not true that cats can be left alone for days at a time with a litter box and large bowl of dry food without them feeling the absence of their people.

Cats are social beings who bond with their people and can absolutely suffer from loneliness and depression when left alone for long periods of time. 

I know my cats well enough to know this, and I know me well enough to know that *I* feel best when their routines are as regular as possible when I’m not home and that they’re getting as much affection and companionship as possible. 

What about you?

Do you have people stay at your house with your cats when you’re away?

How do you find the sitters you can trust and rely on?

Have you ever used a service like Trusted Housesitters?

Do you pay? Do you trade? 

Tell me in the comments below, and give some smooches to your kitties for me. 

Better is Better: The Emotional and Practical Aspects of Fostering Cats and Dogs

How do you love someone and let them go? How do you make sure the good intentions you have lead to good results? How do we help the scores of rescued animals who are looking for forever homes? In today’s (LONG) episode, I recount my experiences — both stressful and successful — fostering cats. While cats have their own particular needs, my hope is that even if you’re looking to foster dogs, rabbits, or hamsters you’ll glean some inspiration and guidance. Take a listen, and let me know what you think.

Why Are You Vegan?

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t look at this thing called vegan and say, “now that’s a club I want to join!”

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I Could Never Give Up Cheese!

When people say “I don’t eat a lot of meat, so I could really live without it, but I could never live without cheese,” here’s what I say in response. (I also say take The 30-Day Vegan Challenge to receive the tools and resources you need to make a change sustainably, joyfully, healthfully, and deliciously.)

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Why Are Vegans So Fussy (and Weak)?

Another question FOX News’ Tucker Carlson asked Gene Baur during their interview that a number of people asked what my 1-minute response would be went like this:

“I don’t like the way factory farms treat animals, so I’m kinda sympathetic to what you’re saying. And then I meet people who are vegan, and #1, there’s a super high level of fussiness, which I find a major turn-off, and #2, they all look pretty easy to push over, so you can’t tell me that it’s that good for you if they all look like they fall over in the wind, right?⠀
~⠀
You asked for it, so here is my response. ⠀
~⠀
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FOX News Asks About Veganism. I Answer.

In his recent interview with my friend and colleague Gene Baur (of Farm Sanctuary), FOX News host and self-described animal-lover Tucker Carlson said he has views about what we ought to be eating, but he doesn’t force them onto anybody else. “It seems to be taking a large step to think you have the right to be telling other people to what to eat,” said Tucker. “Why are you doing that?” Many of you asked what I would have said. Here’s my response.

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Vegan Travel // More Trips in 2019!

I have a super, duper, whopper of an announcement, so hang onto your seats! The demand for CPG Vegan Trips is so high that we had to find a way for more people to take advantage the AMAZING experiences we create! 

If you want in on the abundance, compassion, and joy that is CPG Vegan Trips, take a look at the short video, then get over to CPG Trips to sign yourself up for the following: 

*Vietnam April 2019
*Thailand October 2019
*Alsace December 2019

We’re currently sold out of Rwanda 2019, but by adding these three above (two of which are curated, one of which includes ME!), we’re giving more people the opportunity to travel CPG Vegan-style!

CPG Vegan Trips are all about ANIMAL PROTECTION, VEGAN FOOD, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, JOY, and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. We’re all about spoiling you!  You can get a sense of the awesomeness of our 5-star trips watching this video from our Thailand trip, and we’re about to share a video from our recent Vietnam trip! 

DON’T MISS OUT THIS TIME! BOOK TODAY!

Ethical Tourism: AVOIDING ANIMAL CRUELTY WHEN TRAVELING (Thailand Edition)

Lack of awareness and cognitive dissonance compels us to support industries that exploit and hurt animals for our own entertainment both when we’re at home (like going to the zoo or circus) and when we travel (like swimming with dolphins, getting photographed with tigers, or riding elephants). Our desire to be close to other animals and interact with them is exactly what causes them the most harm. Most of us are drawn to animals, and that’s a good thing, because it also means we want to help them and protect them, but it’s a bad thing when our desire to interact with them is at the cost of their own welfare, safety, happiness, or lives. Listen to today’s episode about how to travel to Thailand without harming animals.

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Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




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