Shira Scott Astrof

Actress, model, animal rescuer and activist.

So, here's a lil bit about me...Around the age of 8, I found a litter of kittens in my yard and one was extremely sick. With the help of my family, we took in the mom and 5 babies, nursed the sick one back to health (the vet said he would never survive) and got them all adopted. We kept the sick one, Booties, and I know it sounds a bit looney but he changed all of our lives forever. We had this little miracle baby that brought us all together and showed us how loving an animal could be. We then, as a family, saved over 200 stray cats and found homes for them all....keeping some ourselves. We became the go to for anyone who found a stray or sick animal. We saved opossums, raccoons, birds, dogs and many, many, MANY cats:) I started programs to trap/spay and neuter animals as well as various animal programs,shelters,etc.

I never ate much meat but it was when I was 12 years old I was in a diner and noticed the lobster tank and how awful it looked for these animals piled on top of each other. I started yelling at the diner owners for torturing these poor animals and was horrified to learn that they would soon be burned alive. It was that instant when I realized what eating meat really meant and how horrid and barbaric it was. I announced loudly in the Massapequa diner that I would never eat an animal ever again! And I never have. My entire family followed suit and we all became vegetarian.

It wasn't until only a year ago that I realized the dairy industry was just as bad and I have been vegan since that revelation. I will never understand how someone can take an animal’s life for the pleasure of a meal. There are so many other vegan options that murder isn’t necessary or justifiable in any way. Even if you don’t kill it with your own hands, by purchasing these dead animals, that is murder. To eat life is barbaric. Every piece of “meat” has a mother. Meat is a word used to make people feel better about the fact that they are eating someone else’s life. Our bodies are not meant to be graveyards.

I don’t think it was too hard for me because I grew up in a pretty meat free family. And my entire family did it together. Becoming vegan was a little more hard because I had to stop eating pizza but then I discovered Daiya. And the affair began…Even if there weren’t a lot of tasty vegan dishes I would still not think that is reason enough to eat an animal. But there ARE A LOT of vegan options. I think the word VEGAN intimidates people but they don’t realize that a lot of what they already eat is vegan. And a vegan diet is the healthiest way to live both physically and mentally not to mention being the best for the environment. If our world were to become vegan, world hunger would literally cease to exist. Our society has been brainwashed and misled but the truth is starting to spread. And more and more people are realizing that our bodies are NOT MEANT to eat other beings bodies and souls. I wouldn’t eat my cat. People in India wouldn’t eat their cow. What is the difference between their cow, my cat, a dog, a monkey, a human, an ant? We are all living creatures that deserve to live.

I am very active in the fight against animal suffering. I attend protests, write articles, volunteer at different shelters and rescues, etc. I spend the majority of my time finding homes for abandoned animals on death row. I am the go to for many rescues and I am an independent rescuer working with all different rescues. A couple of my favorite rescues are Saving Grace and The Heigl Foundation. My cousin, Candace Modrell, is my hero rescuer and has taught me so much as to how to help animals in need. She brought me a 3 week old kitten on death row at the Lancaster shelter that I had to bottle feed. Eight months later, he is sitting on my lap right now as I type this I also can’t say enough great things about PETA, ARME, COK, Farm Sanctuary in N.Y., and Animal Acres in Acton.

My advice to anyone that has compassion and wants to quit eating animals is to just do it and you’ll never look back. Eating animals is not compassionate and it is definitely not addictive. There is no side effect other than you are making the choice to live a compassionate and healthy lifestyle. You are making a choice to not take life. There are more and more of us discovering each day that there is no other option besides a cruelty free lifestyle. To see the pain in those animals eyes isn’t worth it. To know that you are no longer contributing to murder…is!