Founder’s Message

As I sit down to write this, I have one cat, Angel, at my feet, munching happily on her food, another one, Sahara, sleeping on the desk next to my computer table and Star, my Australian Cattle Dog, on duty in the doorway, making sure no one escapes. Such is life at the Breakstone home. Not many people know the whole story of the inspiration for The Queenie Foundation. There’s Queenie herself, whom you read about on the main page, but there were other ‘forces’ at work for several years that brought about the day that I decided to create a non-profit. When I was a small child, I lived with my maternal grandparents in Allentown, PA, where I had been born several years before. My grandmother served on the board of the Lehigh County Humane Society for approximately 15 years. It is from her that I learned one does not let their animals roam the neighborhood unescorted. She used to say, “I hate it when people let their dogs run.” Though she wasn’t an activist, she abhorred cruelty to animals. She used to quote her father often in reference to animals, “Feed the animals first because they can’t tell you they’re hungry.” When I lived in TX (1981 – 2005), I produced, wrote and hosted an animal issues and information program on Dallas Community Television, called Paws for Affection, from 1993 – 1997. I’m proud to say that my program won several awards including Dallas Best for 1997. My grandmother was very interested in watching my program on the videos that I brought home. She was hard of hearing for the last 10 or so years of her life, but for that hour, she heard every word. She supported me in all my endeavors to protect animals and I think she was proud of me. I miss her, but I know that she is always near. After I had been living in Dallas for a few years, I started receiving unsolicited mail from several national animal welfare and rights organizations. I was horrified at what I read in their mailings. I donated money and slowly started deleting foods from my diet in response to the literature and because I realized that animal-based foods are not necessary for my survival. First, it was cow and pig. Several years before I had stopped eating almost all dairy, mostly because it’s fattening and creates mucus in your body. I hated cow’s milk as a child and had to drink it with chocolate syrup. Sometimes I spilled it on purpose because I could. By the end of the 1980′s, I stopped eating all land animals and only occasionally ate fish. My liberation from all animal eating came on July 4, 1992, when on a date at one of my favorite restaurants, I decided I would no longer eat anything that walks, flies, swims or crawls. I had ordered the salmon and half way through, I had to stop. Thus, I became a vegetarian. Fast forward to The March for Animals in 1996 in Washington, DC. What a great experience for me! I met Gretchen Wyler, actor and animal rights activist for decades until she died in 2007; I met Jane Goodall. I shot video for Paws for Affection of a huge demonstration against Class B or Random Source Animal Dealers outside the USDA organized by Chris de Rose, founder of Last Chance for Animals. And I became vegan. I was listening to a speaker, who in the closing of her speech said, and I paraphrase, “If you’re not already vegetarian, please consider changing your diet and if you’re not vegan, well, off you go then.” And off I went, at that moment, cream cheese, my last hold out was off the table. After all, having grown up Jewish (not a very observant Jew, however), cream cheese, along with lox and bagels is part of the religion, right? As 2008 comes to a close, I have hope for animals all over the world. Hope that puppy mills will close, hope that Ringling Brothers and all other circuses will no longer use animals as a supposed form of entertainment, hope that researchers will begin to see that using animals in the laboratory is a waste of time and more importantly, a waste of life. Don’t they believe in karma? And hope that dog, cat and rabbit overpopulation will come to an end. Of all the problems on our planet, animal overpopulation is the one issue that has the simplest solution – spay/neuter. Companion animal overpopulation should already be outdated so we can focus on other issues. Please encourage the people you know who have not had their animal companions spayed or neutered to do so immediately. There are organizations searchable on the internet to assist if money is an issue. If you have come to our site looking for information, I interpret it as at least an interest in animals and their protection. I invite you to volunteer with the organization of your choice in the capacity with which you feel the most comfortable. You don’t have to foster animals; you can pick up voice mail or email messages for an organization. You don’t have to work in a shelter; you can write content for a website, donate your computer skills, walk dogs living in foster homes or work a mobile adoption. Volunteer at a sanctuary on your next vacation. You can pass out literature, write letters, volunteer for an organization that works on passing animal friendly legislation or educates the public on animal issues (like us!) or you can simply donate money or gifts in kind. Most organizations have a wish list. Donating needed items is a shot in the arm. And if you’re not a vegetarian, please consider going cow-pig-chicken-turkey-free. If you’re not already vegan, well, off you go then. Sincerely, Enid