The Secret Life of Pets: Fun Film, Profound Message

Published February 11, 2018 by Jeannette Louise Smith


The Secret Lives of PetsI thoroughly enjoy movies, however, I am anti-Hollywood, anti-big budget, and very anti-special effects. Foreign films, documentaries, and independent productions are my dig. I like to learn, be thought provoked, and emotionally moved.

Broad-minded, I’m always open to recommendations. My Aunt Ruthie, who has several grandchildren, recommended I watch the film The Secret Life of Pets. As a lifelong Fur-Mom and independent dog walker, the premise of the movie sounded intriguing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always imagined the far-out and fantastic things that fur-children do during the day while we’re at school, work, or running errands.

I, in turn, recommend taking 87 minutes out of your day to enjoy this whimsical and meaningful film. The writers most certainly must be Pet Parents themselves to have been able to create this extraordinary animated film.

The movie captured some of various philosophies that I have written about in the last seven years, including animal behavior and the individuality of animals. Unequivocally, the most important message that drives the entire flick is: The Responsibility of Pet Parents.

Being a responsible caregiver to companion animals is The Seed of Compassion that germinates into knowledge, respect, and understanding the significant relationship between human animals, non-human animals, and the environment.

The central theme of The Secret Life of Pets is: Domestic and exotic companion animals are not disposable, yet people continue to literally dump their unwanted companions, who do not possess outdoor survival skills, outside which in turn creates a troubling number of animal related dilemmas.

Our lifelong commitment to our companion animals is a sacred vow. Animals are innocent. It is the fault of uneducated, indifferent, ill-prepared, uncooperative, impulsive humans that create the many predicaments of animal welfare, animal rights, and the environment.

Economics, unpreparedness for economic hardship, housing issues such as relocation and rental guidelines, the birth of a child, inconvenience to lifestyle, and unwillingness to handle certain animal behavior issues, and more are root issues of irresponsible human behavior that perpetuate the on-going animal crisis.

Companion animals deserve ethical treatment and require financial resources, time, attention, proper housing, food, medical care, positive reward training, enrichment, physical exercise, and above all devotion.

Making an informed and sound decision to adopt a companion animal will hopefully result like the finale of the movie. I cried with joy at the endearing and happy end and I hope the real-life ending eventually comes to an equally jubilant conclusion.


Veganize Your Wardrobe – Veganize the World

Published December 6, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Merrell® Trail Glove 4I love being barefoot – indoors and outdoors. Since I walk for a living, I must have one pair of actual shoes.

Walking 8 to10 miles a day, five days a week, over various terrains, I wear through shoes very quickly. My feet are large and very wide, (I always joke that I have Evil Stepsister size feet), so it’s very difficult to find a comfortable shoe that fits properly even in a male size. Additionally, the variety of shoe choices is astronomical.

Choices, choices, choices. We are faced with choices every day when purchasing clothing and accessories. Shoes, purses, wallets, boots, coats, skirts, hats, sweaters, shirts, pants, scarves, dresses, furniture, pet supplies…the list of everyday items made from tortured and slaughtered animals goes on and on and on.

Thankfully there are cruelty-free shoe options. All you have to do is research and read the label. Avoid leather, fur, suede, exotic animal skins, and other animal-derived materials and glue. Look for acceptable cruelty-free plant fabrics include cotton, linen or hemp. When assessing eco-friendly synthetic materials, be sure to evaluate the sustainability credentials of the brand.

After 7 years of professional dog walking, I have finally found the best athletic shoe to suit all of my needs. The vegan-friendly Merrell® Trail Glove 4 trail running shoes are a miracle. The barefoot style quickly contoured to my feet. They provide excellent flexibility, stability, and traction.

My fingers are crossed that Merrell will continue to manufacture this shoe; I want to be able to continue to purchase this brand and style. Too often, products that conform to my needs and ethics are discontinued.

Although not all products by Merrell are vegan, it is advantageous to the vegan movement to applaud and support large companies that sell quality vegan merchandise. Hopefully, Merrell and other companies will expand their vegan choices as they demonstrate to the non-vegan consumer that vegan products are equal to and better than non-vegan products.

Providing high quality vegan clothing and accessories is extremely important for animals, the environment, and ultimately transforming the non-vegan mindset toward embracing a vegan lifestyle.

When it comes to your everyday product needs, will you choose to go with the mainstream flow and disregard the impact of your purchase or will you choose items that do not harm animals and the environment?

I can’t tell you what to do. Your conscience must walk you to the right choice.

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There is only ONE Earth

Published March 5, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

There is only ONE Earth.

There is only one Earth. The Earth on which each and every one of us live.


There is only ONE Earth:  Original Abstract Art by Jeannie Smith

The Earth that provides our living space, food, water, all the necessities and natural pleasures of life. The Earth that provides all life it’s ability to exist. There is only one Earth – Our Earth.

In addition to allowing the continuation of construction of the North Dakota Pipeline, which will jeopardize the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation primary water source, damage sacred sites near Lake Oahe, and violate tribal treaty rights, Trump and his Climate Change Denier administration proposes to eliminate 38 entire Environmental Protection Agency programs and reduce EPA staff by one-fifth.

Repealing the Clean Water Act protections for wetlands, rollback on federal regulations targeting coal mining, considering roll backs for President Barack Obama’s signature climate change regulations, cuts to the EPA and a 17% budget cut to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will lead to environmental disaster. No doubt, there is more to come.

I believe in Science and Alternative Energy Sources. It is my duty to use my creativity to educate the public and stand against the Trump Administration and all of his dangerous and harmful policies.

PEACE is The Word!


Freedom Fighters: Art as Activism

Published February 19, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith


The Earth is a work of art – a Masterpiece. She is the source of all life. She is our provider of bountiful beauty and sustenance. As capable, intelligent, and sentient beings it is our duty to protect The Earth.

The confirmation of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is a travesty for Mother Earth and all life forms. We, as individuals and a collective community, have three critical choices that will determine the life or decline and eventual destruction of our planet:

1. Be afraid to think for ourselves and be a blind follower of the current American Federal Government.

2. Cover our eyes, look the other way, and remain silent in our protective bubbles.

3. Become Freedom Fighters. Be individuals who think for themselves and unite as concerned and educated communities that rise up and fight for what we believe in.

The choice is clear.

All you need is passion. When passion flows, the power imagination and creativity flourishes. Art is inspiring. Art unites humans together.

Art – music, film, visual art, theatre, cartoon, graphic design, illustration, graffiti art, stand-up comedy, poetry, dance, photography, street projection – is the most universal means of communication to reach the masses and spread our message.

Art is a riveting and engaging way we can communicate critical environmental and social issues, expose problems, educate, and help the collective public to care and become involved.

Now…get off the computer and CREATE! Create for the Greater Good. Create for The Earth.

PEACE is The Word!

When Politics Hurt Humans, Politics Hurt Animals and the Earth

Published February 11, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

I don’t get angry very often. When I do, I’m able to sort out my chaotic feelings, calm myself rapidly, and quell the chaos of my emotions and the situation. Recently, I admit, this has not been the case.

November 8, 2016 was my dad’s 72nd birthday. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, but unfortunately, it was all spoiled by the American Presidential election. None of us were in a very good mood. Since then, I began to experience heightened anxiety, depression, and fear. So I read FDR’s first, 1933 inaugural address:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

And I realized that FEAR does have a name: Donald Trump.

If you’ve been paying attention to the wave of chaos the current American Federal Government has created across the globe, you can understand. I’m angry! If you’re not angry, you haven’t been paying attention. If you haven’t been paying attention, you should pay attention.

When politics hurt humans, politics hurt animals and the Earth

We humans are the wellspring of hope and positive change. We are morally bound to help our fellow humans and we are stronger when we stand together. Humans are absolutely instrumental and necessary to help animals and the earth.

We are The Caregivers of The Earth. We are The Defenders of The Earth and all the life systems the earth supports – including our fellow humans.

Humans – Earth – Animals

This intricate, interconnected, bonded trio is already fragile. Under an American Federal Government bent on a path of destruction, the suffering will continue to have a detrimental ripple effect worldwide.

I am an extremely passionate woman. If you’re like me, I care about everything that harms humans, animals, and the earth. Many like me are already involved in causes, but we must make the time and effort to do to support our brothers and sisters in their efforts.

Three Tips to Avoid Burnout and Stay Sane

1. Focus your energy on one or two causes that interest you. Encourage and support the myriad of causes in small positive ways and save your energy by ignoring people who try to undermine your involvement.

2. Make activism fun. Use your talents and creativity. Art as Activism is a fantastic, liberating, and positive means of expression.

3. Take care of yourself. Sleep well, eat healthy, and exercise. Make time for yourself, enjoy your non-activist interests, friends, family, and the little things in life that make you happy.

Do not be silent. Do not think it will not affect you. Get ANGRY! But, direct your anger and outrage into a positive driving force.

PEACE is The Word!

Resistance is NOT futile: The Power of the People and Non-Violent Direct Action

Published January 22, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Yesterday’s worldwide marches against The Trump Administration and in support of global Human Rights represent a Message of Hope and a testament to The Power of Non-Violent Direct Action.

It confirms three important conclusions. First, people multi-nationally recognize the danger the Trump Administration poses to all of humanity. Second, there are more people around the world, including myself, that do not support the values of The Trump Administration than people who support it.

In his first press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked the media for proving my two aforementioned points by blasting the media for covering the worldwide protests instead of Trump’s agenda and also media reports on inauguration crowd sizes. And he was directed to LIE to Americans.

After his tirade, Spicer refused to answer questions and stomped off in a childish tantrum. If you don’t believe me, watch the news footage.

This one instance foreshadows what lies ahead, what LIES are yet to be told, and the kind of propaganda the Trump Administration is willing to spout.

Criticism comes with the territory; it’s part of the job. This is America. This is the Power of the Press and Media, the Power of Free Speech, and the Power of the People wielding non-violent direct action to preserve, protect, and promote social justice.

It speaks volumes about Donald Trump’s lack of integrity and his desperate need for attention, power, and control by any means. But, I will leave my factually based and subjective opinion on his lack of moral character for a future article.

The third important conclusion is: the international solidarity affirms the inextricable link between Human Rights, Environmental Rights, and Animal Rights has reached the critical crossroads of UNITY.

The world is more connected socioeconomically and culturally than ever. Individuals and groups are working to improve the world for ALL. We must continue to support one another and stand together.

The divisiveness in America that people speak of is not between the separate groups fighting for justice. The division is between the American people who are selfish and the American people who are selfless.

I am both college educated and self-educated making informed decisions by continually learning about and observing the world around me.

I was raised to think for myself, not to blindly follow the status quo. I refuse to be silent. I will always stand-up for and promote Human Rights in America and the World and will wholeheartedly support racial, cultural, religious, and sexual freedom, diversity, and cooperation.

I am not perfect; however, I follow a self-designed Moral Code: I believe in and practice peaceful co-existence, cooperation, kindness, and love to the best of my ability.

We must continue to preserve hope and remain courageous through adversity. Protecting and improving humanity is the cornerstone of protecting animals and the environment. Our fortitude, honesty, loyalty, and kindness will pay off in positive and groundbreaking ways.

Respect and promote diversity. Know the facts. Seek the truth. Act with an informed and enlightened conscience. Continue to utilize Direct Action to it’s zenith. We are NOT powerless – We ARE Powerful.

Remember: Ethical politics = Vegan Politics

Into Africa: Frans Lanting’s profound lessons through photography

Published December 19, 2015 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Franz Lanting_Twilight of the GiantsRecently, I visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to specifically see the Frans Lanting National Geographic Society INTO AFRICA Photography Exhibition.

Although Frans Lanting photography is a testament to the beauty and diversity of African wildlife it is  furthermore and foremost a confirmation and demonstration of:

  • the sentience of and recognizably distinct societies of animals
  • the recognition of non-human animals as equal to the human animal
  • the reciprocal relationship between the human animal, non-human animals, and the Earth
  • the urgency of preservation and conservation from devastation of our planet and natural resources

Every art placard describing the large scale photos and two videos in the exhibit reflects these essential lessons.

For ALL animal and earth activists, our first and immediate task at hand is clear: EDUCATION. Education leads to appreciation. Appreciation leads to understanding. Understanding leads to compassion. And compassion leads to practice.

As I reflect on the exhibit, I am in awe and reverence of how non-human animals can co-exist with one another (discounting natural predatory dangers by evolutionary design). Their ability to communicate with their own species and their ability to communicate with us – if we look, listen, and learn their language – is profoundly moving.

We can be like non-human animals too, if we take the time and put in the effort to listen and learn…before it’s too late.

Frans Lanting’s National Geographic Society INTO AFRICA Photography Exhibition is on view through the summer of 2016 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Admission is FREE. Read more:

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