I advocated strongly for all of these beings when they needed me. I provided those who lived with me a warm place in which to sleep, food, medical help and companionship. I will admit freely and a bit ashamedly that when our children were young and we were racing around doing what we thought we had to do "make" it in this world, we did not take our dogs for enough walks or play with them as much as we should have. But we did care for them in a loving way. And they rewarded us by being devoted, wagging their tails, being happy to see us and providing comfort for us when we did not feel well. Baguette, the little kitty cat graced us with her fun loving spirit and contended purrs which filled the empty spaces in our home. Most were more than happy to share a sick bed with us in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week. That was always such a great and blessed feeling.
I valued the presence in my life of all these animals. It is crucial to note that while I was taking care of them I was also consuming their confreres enslaved on farms, wearing non-human animal skin in the form of clothing, shoes, purses and wallets, visiting zoos and aquariums. I lusted after cars with "leather" (a.k.a. hide) seats and furniture with that unmistakable smell and feel of skin, all the while keeping our abode and clothes and personal selves clean with products that had been tested on animals and most certainly contained the by-products of slaughtered animals.