animals

All posts tagged animals

Oreos are Not Vegan

Published October 9, 2021 by Maryanne
Photo by Doruk Yemenici

Sugar, cane sugar, and brown sugar are not vegan. They are processed via a bone char filter, just like many alcoholic beverages. I share this because many so-called vegans shame others who eat meat, yet continue to drink alcoholic beverages without doing their homework. This is why veganism is a lifestyle, not a diet. You have to research, research, research. Oreos are said to be vegan. They are not because they have sugar. Always question vegan bakeries and vegan food. I used to not want to be “that person” but in my spiritual growth, I will be “that person” for the animals.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and speaking engagements. She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

From Vegetarian To Paleo To Vegan — And It Feels Like HOME!

Published October 1, 2021 by Maryanne
Eat your veggies! (Photo by Jeff Danze)

I just got off the phone with a new vegan friend. We shared our stories of how we became vegan. I went first and told her mine was long-winded. It was refreshing to share my on-again/off-again journey with someone so sweet and unjudgmental.

As a child, I did not like meat. I’d hide it in my napkin or feed it to the dog. When I was 22, I decided to no longer eat meat. This was in the 1980s and back then if you were a vegetarian, you were looked at as if you had two heads. People thought it was weird that I wasn’t eating pizza. And if I was stressed and had some vegan candy, I’d hear rude comments, “What do you do when you really go off the deep end? Eat meat?”

But I put up with it. For 28 years. (And the comments were worse when I was a raw foodist for a few years, but that’s another story). During these 28 years of being vegetarian, I dabbled in veganism on and off.

Then I hit my 50th birthday and menopause was upon me. I began having dizzy spells and getting kind of sluggish. Three male nutritionists said I’d be better off with some meat. Against my better judgement, I said a prayer to the animals and began to consume grass-fed beef. But I continued to stay away from pork, lamb, and veal. For some time I followed the paleo diet and I did feel better.

Last year during the pandemic, something happened. I changed. For the better. I wasn’t sad or stressed about anything. My husband and I continued to thrive in our careers during the pandemic. However, I did feel a sense of loss because one of my best friends died, not of Covid, but a heart attack. The best thing I could do for dealing with it was look inward.

I used to meditate in the 1980s. I somehow came across the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and started doing his meditations, and other ones–twice a day. What came out of it was not only being incredibly at peace, but having greater compassion for both people and animals. My husband and I had just took in a feral kitten that was abandoned. My bond grew so strong with the kitten and it led me to study feline behavior.

When I got my certificate, I was looking for a shelter to volunteer at. None of them got back to me. Perhaps because we’re still in a pandemic? I don’t know.

I started following more animal groups on Facebook, to continue learning about cats and other animals.

Pigs were always my favorite farm animal. Protecting them was my biggest concern during my original run with vegetarianism. I never paid much attention to cows. Then watching what loving creatures cows are, on Dodo videos and videos on vegan pages, it inspired me give up meat again.

Then a few months later, while on one of our vacations, my husband and I were in a sea aquarium. A stingray kept going over to him. It seemed they made a connection. Then I saw a beautiful octopus. He winked at me! I can’t eat octopus anymore, I thought to myself. I just can’t.

I’ve been to aquariums before, but this time, due to all the meditation I was doing, I was moved like never before. These are living beings and we are one with them. With that in my head, I decided to stop eating fish. Might as well give up rennetless cheese too. And a vegan was born. Cold turkey. It wasn’t a hard decision to make. All the time I was on the paleo diet, I never stopped buying cruelty free/vegan make-up products. I never stopped going to cruelty free/vegan hair salons. And I never drank alcohol that wasn’t vegan. Absolute Vodka and White Claw were always my go-to drinks.

My husband asked me if I was sure eating vegan was what I wanted to do. He pointed out that I was feeling great, that the dizzy spells stopped, and I was sleeping good. That was all true, so I decided to hire a vegan health coach to make sure I was doing it right this time. I now knew too much, and experienced too much to go back. For months I was following vegan pages on Facebook, educating myself. I saw vegans of all ages thriving on the diet. I knew if I tried one more time I would thrive too. And I wouldn’t go back.

With the health coach, I learned which supplements you needed, and was inspired to experiment with different colored vegetables. I also learned of a service called Imperfect Foods, where you can get cheaper organic produce because it may be bruised or look weird (like a carrot with two legs!)

Now, three months later, I am feeling fantastic and I even lost a few pounds–at age 58! My husband has been eating more vegan meals, and so are my friends when they are around me. I recently signed up as a volunteer for vegan group to help animals.

I’m so happy and at peace with myself. Each day has so much meaning. It’s another day to save animals.

Sometimes I beat myself up and wish I never listened to the nutritionists who told me that I’d benefit from eating some meat. I was a meat eater for almost six years. But I did learn from the experience. The most important lesson is that everyone is on their own journey. People eat meat for their own reasons. Who are we to judge? The best I can do as a vegan, is to humble myself and lead by example. I will never tell a meat eater he or she is a “murderer.” It’s not right. It’s not my business.

But I will go to restaurants and suggest vegan options. I will continue to support vegan companies. I will continue to talk about the fun vegan food I get to eat on weekends (because during the week, I’m a more serious vegan, natural as possible).

It feels good to enjoy oatmeal again, after shunning it for years. And making scrambled tofu brought me back to a beautiful place. It was one of my first favorite vegetarian dishes back in the 1980s.

My husband and I drove past a farm a few weeks ago. He said to the cows, “She’s saving your lives.”

It was a beautiful thing to hear. Yes, I am saving lives. And it feels like home.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

National Kitten Day!

Published July 10, 2020 by Maryanne

Pumpkin

#nationalkittenday #cats #kittens #fiction #authors #1980s

Happy Friday! It’s also National Kitten Day!

For cat and kitten lovers, you may want to check out my book, “Love Cats.” It’s a fiction story that takes place in the 1980s. A spoiled rich girl meets a working class guy and falls madly in love. However, due to her immaturity, and selfishness, she takes that love for granted and messes up — big time. During the break-up, a kitten shows up at her doorstep, and shows her what it’s like to love unconditionally. Check it out here: LOVE CATS

Has a kitten ever changed your life? Let me know in the comments below! (Or simply share a picture of your cat or kitten!)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Single Women Less Likely to Date Men with Cats? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Published June 27, 2020 by Maryanne

kurt-cobain-with-catKurt Cobain loving his cat

Not once, but TWICE on television news this week, I heard about the study. And it’s a study that, for the life of me, I don’t get. But, yeah, I heard right, “Single women are less likely to date men with cats.” Don’t believe it? I wouldn’t have either, but I heard it with my own ears, and read it with my own eyes on many news sites. Here is just one: Women Are Less Likely to Date Men with Cats

In this study, men who had dating profiles with cats in the photo were viewed as less masculine and more neurotic.

I disagree. Men who love cats, or animals in general, are strong, good providers, fun to be around, intelligent, and sensitive. And I’m not only speaking about my husband, but the husbands/long term partners of my dearest friends. (And a few single men I’m friends with who love cats!)

When I was single, my cats were a great measure in choosing who was good for me. The great guys were the ones who bonded with my cats. Even if someone was not quite a match for me, I’ll still remember him as a good catch (for someone else) because of how he interacted with my cats. The losers…urgh, I’d like to forget them but who can forget when your cat pisses on the jacket of an asshole. Pretty funny! A very good cat who never misbehaved did that. He was letting me know in a subtle way, “beware” and he was right.

It wasn’t too long ago we were reading cool articles like this, Cats & Women: Why the Connection

So why, now, the disconnect? What made women turn on cats, or more specifically, men with cats? I can understand if a woman had a bad experience with a cat. In fact, I imagined such a thing in my fictitious erotic novel, Love Cats — where a young woman hates cats because of a bad experience, which we don’t find out until later. She ends up dating a few cat guys and eventually gives cats a chance.

Any random girl can dislike cats for whatever reason. But an entire study of females being “anti-cat” is something I just can not understand.

Back in my day, girls met potential dates in bars/clubs. I caught the tail end of online dating, so I don’t have much experience there. Like other women, I did have my laundry list. But it never occurred to me to put an animal on the deal breaker list. My deal breakers included: no smoking, no one obsessed with sports, no mama’s boys, no one who is verbally/physically abusive.

But “no cats”? Why would that be in a dating profile?

Perhaps a woman would be jealous of a man’s relationship with a cat? (I actually addressed that issue in Love Cats!) It’s not that far-fetched. Women can be catty (pun intended!). This can actually be a red flag for a guy! If a woman is jealous of your pet, would she also be jealous of your future son or daughter? Hmmm…..

But, let’s get back to why guys who love cats are AWESOME. You see, the bottom line is, cats are not instant-lovers like dogs. You need to nourish them and spend time with them in order to get them to come out of their shell. And if a man can take an independent cat and turn him/her into a playful, needy, snuggly bunny who runs to the door like a dog when he comes home, that man is a keeper! I should know, I married a man bonds with cats like that! And though we don’t have kids, I can only imagine what a good father my husband would be. In many families, pets are the stepping stones to children! (But let’s not count the idiots who give up their pets when they have kids!) Good pet parents equal good parents, period! It simply makes sense.

Perhaps single ladies need to re-think their views on men with cats. They may be missing out on a great one — and staying single a lot longer than they want to.

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is the loving cat mom to Nicholas Gray and Sammy “Whammy” Keane Clemens. Her book Love Cats is written under the pen name Krystianna Mercury and available from Flamingo Media

Rover’s Relief CBD Salve for Pets

Published October 18, 2019 by Maryanne

Rover's Relief

Earlier this week I helped out at a pet expo for two reasons: 1. To network with those who were possibly interested in my professional blogging services or having me ghost write their books (after all, anyone who is self-employed should have a book no matter what line of work they are in); 2. I LOVE ANIMALS! And nothing beats a good score of new products for my kitties. They truly deserve the best.

When you’re a person like myself, either on the go (driving long distances) or at home plugging away on the computer (writing assignments or my next book!), no matter how much you love your life and what you do, you are bound to get a little stressed and achy.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pinch in my shoulder area. I was right on it with acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. Not quite yet healed, I was starting to feel a little achy in the shoulder area again.

Around this time I met RaChelle Lobre, of Rover’s Pet (roverspet.com). I’m always ready to share the story of how CBD oil made my cat Bennie more comfortable during his final days here on earth. Then I got to talking about my achy shoulder. RaChelle suggested taking a big glob of Rover’s Relief CBD salve and putting it on my shoulder.

I did as she suggested and within minutes, my shoulder pain stopped. This salve helped me more than any of the acupuncture or chiropractic treatments did! I was now able to dress and undress without being in pain.

That night I slept like a baby. I woke up the next day feeling like a brand new person, ready to face the world! Hell, if it’s good enough for Rover, it’s good enough for me!

This premium hemp salve contains 500mg CBD oil, and no THC. It’s easy to use and smells pleasant. I recommend using before bedtime because it truly relaxes you.

If Rover’s Pet worked that good for me, imagine what it could do for a dog?

Our babies count on us to give them nothing but the best. If your pet can use a little relief, this is a product I trust and recommend.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel, Be YOUniquehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

 

Love Cats Now Out of Print — Seeking Traditional Publisher for New Edition!

Published July 30, 2019 by Maryanne

Love Cats front and back cover

Love Cats by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

It was the ’80s and it was hot! The romance of Beck Stewart and Janey Peyton took place in the new age dance clubs. They bonded over their love for books and music; and of course their intense sexual chemistry.

But major red flags were revealed when Beck brought Janey home for the very first time. He not only discovered that she was a snoop, but that she wasn’t fond of his beloved cat Morticia.

Then the drama truly reared it’s ugly head when Janey’s jealousy got the best of her. You see, Beck was a hard worker. Janey was a trust fund baby who didn’t have to work. Janey began spending her lonely days going on sexual escapades to “get back” at Beck for “neglecting” her.

Will this couple make it? And what happens when a kitten shows up at Janey’s doorstep? Can she learn to love cats?

Love Cats was my very first work of fiction. Making a living as a journalist most of my adult life, I only knew how to speak of the truth. When creating these characters, I did so much research to “re-live” the 1980s through them. I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible. I wasn’t going to use phrases people use today in my book.

I also had a good friend, Todd Gordon, who is a screenwriter, go over Beck’s words. Is this how a guy talks? I asked him.

In Beck, I wanted to great a guy who was cool, but also a bit of a pushover. In many romantic novels, you see the woman as a victim. I wanted to illustrate that men can be victims too in the world of romance. Throughout Love Cats Beck remains hopeful for the relationship, until Janey pushes his button to the max the time she comes home when the sun comes up, wearing a completely different outfit she wore the night before.

With Janey, I wanted to create the most selfish character possible. As a late bloomer in social media, I started using Facebook in 2013, against my better judgement. One of my clients, who I helped ghostwrite a book, sold me on it. She said that she was able to sell many books thanks to her presence on Facebook. When my first book, On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist, was self-published, my publishing company said that I sold more books the first day than the average author sells in a year! Anyway, being on Facebook, I witnessed firsthand how selfish people could be. You can’t blame social media. People were always like this, but social media magnifies it tenfold.

For example, in my article for Gasm, “Selfish Sex” I explain how I believe most of the population are takers: http://gasm.org/article/and-now-back-to-me/

When I see selfishness taken to the maximum level in real life, I can only imagine how bad these people are in bed. With that, I created sex scenes where the lead character Janey Peyton takes. She’ll get her rocks off and not reciprocate.

But as a humanitarian who believes people are truly good, I give Janey’s character much room for growth. And how else can that happen but through making a major connection with a little animal. In this case, a kitten who shows up at her doorstep.

Throughout the book, I keep the 1980s element, in both music and style. For example, nose rings were far from popular back then, but every now and then, you’d see some cool person wearing them. I also featured Betsy Johnson fashions, and some throwbacks who still wore featured hair in the 1980s. There’s a major fashion upgrade when Janey Peyton gives Heather makeover tips and she emerges with her blonde hair slicked back like the ladies in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video.

While it was the 1980s and ’80s music was a stand-out, I didn’t ignore the fact that there were 1960s bands doing reunions, like The Monkees.

And what would a book about cats be without some reference to the play, Cats? Lyrics by both Robert Smith (The Cure) and Iggy Pop were purchased (and used by permission) from Hal Leonard Music publishing.

My all time favorite review from a reader spoke volumes about the novel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-cats-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/1122001262

Since Love Cats was published May 2015, I’ve donated portions of proceeds to various animal groups. Now that it’s out of print, it seems to be more popular than ever as it’s climbing the Amazon ranks! Just last week, I received a phone call from a stranger asking, “How can I purchase Love Cats.” Knowing that it was now out of print, I told him he could try Amazon. I only have two copies left for myself. I noticed that Amazon was selling two books for $44.17. With some poking around, I discovered they were bought by another book selling company and you can now purchase them for over $80!

I’m determined to make another great go of it in a second edition, so readers do not have to pay extraordinary prices to feel the love that is Love Cats!

Love Cats was my second self-published book. Since then I’ve published three other books, traditionally. This is why I am turning down self-publishers who have been soliciting me ever since Love Cats first became out of print (and will continue to do so).

There is now a  Love Cats Too in the works. It’s the conclusion with characters from Love Cats and my other work of fiction, The Gypsy Smiled (not yet out of print and available on Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following traditionally published books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

The Most Beautiful Cat in the World

Published March 4, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF2770Our Bennie cat, a feral we took in last summer. We had to put him down two weeks ago. He had a brain tumor. 

Our pets love us through life and communicate to us through death. About a week after we put Bennie down, I started reading “Strays” by Britt Collins. It’s a book about how a homeless man named Michael found a lost cat, named her Tabor and took care of her.
Just yesterday I was singing the old Charlie Rich song, “The Most Beautiful Girl” and changed the words to “The Most Beautiful Cat” (about Bennie.)
So, last night I was reading “Strays” and, without giving a spoiler, I’ll just say, Michael heard “The Most Beautiful Girl” (and of course was relating it to his cat, Tabor.
Coincidence? No, they love us through life and death. It was Bennie’s way of contacting me. He’ll never leave my heart. ❤
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513
Contact Maryanne to have “Love Cats” in your book club! (MaryAnneChristiano@Gmail.com) 

Rest in Peace, Dear Bennie Cat

Published February 15, 2019 by Maryanne

BennieBennie Grover Hemmingway

Earlier today we had to put down our sweet Bennie cat.

He was a feral who started showing up at our doorstep last August. My husband and I fed him. He was enticed by the food, but more so, the pets we’d give him. It seemed he was more starved for love than for food! He’d take a few bites, but then put his head up to be pet. Of course we fell in love.

One day he wasn’t around. I called, “Bennie!” He knew his name and ran through the grass like a gazelle! He had such a personality.

Before we took him in, we got him checked out by a vet and learned he had FIV, a feline auto-immune disorder. We wanted him anyway. We knew with FIV, he’d come with health problems, but we didn’t realize it would be so soon. He was only 3-years-old.

When he was officially inside, he loved it! He did this cute thing we called “Happy Paws.” He’d purr very loud and wiggle his paws. Sometimes he’d lie on his back with his happy paws up in the air. And he was so cute when he cocked his head to the side, like a puppy would do!

Bennie was a lazy cat. He loved to lay around and be pet constantly. He really liked butt rubs. And he loved music. I’m not a singer, but I’d sing to him and he’d stand up and look right at me, as if he was giving me a standing ovation! Even if I had a punk rock band, like The Dickies on the CD player, he’d sit right in front of the speaker and listen.

We only had him five months. He had brain cancer. And he was a little fighter too. He was determined to make a go of it, but unfortunately worse came to worse and the sad day had come. I collapsed in my husband’s arms. We were both devastated.

Our vet said Bennie knew he was sick and he came to us to give him a good home  before he passed. I know we did! And I’ll miss those purrs and that beautiful face.

Godspeed Bennie.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France

SAM_3260 (1)SAM_13251

Loving You is Easy ‘Cause You’re Beautiful

Published February 13, 2018 by Maryanne

Nicholas Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day from Nicholas Gray

Can’t get enough of cats? Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” an erotic chick flick novel set in the 1980s. He loves cats; she hates them! Will this couple survive? Find out and order “Love Cats” — available in both paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

The Love of an Animal

Published October 28, 2017 by Maryanne

True LoveNicholas Gray and Maryanne

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France. 

 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback and kindle editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513