I grew up in the muck of 80’s overindulgence on New York City’s Upper East Side, born to a Jewish American Princess and her British Solicitor beau, and one of three girls in an orthodox Jewish home. Our lives were jet setting, gourmet dinners, and nannies. I was bound to repeat the cycle. Fast forward to my early twenties. I busted out of tradition and danced in an opulent world– the best of everything, a fast lifestyle, and all the delicious decadence that NYC has to offer a blossoming and bawdy young sprite. Drag queens became my style icons and through these glamazons, I had my first exposure to the LGBT world. I saw social injustices differently, and my eyes starting getting wider. My weltanschauung expanded and I became a better listener, and more compassionate. I also became an activist. I attended rallies, signed petitions, and volunteered for organizations that fought for equality.
Around the same time my biological clock started ticking so I did what any self-respecting party girl nowhere near ready to have kids would do, I adopted a dog. I fell deeply in love with my rescue mutt. I met folks in the animal rescue world and found out that, on average 800 dogs and cats per state get put down a day because people simply buy instead of adopting. My journey into working to exposing the animal overpopulation issue and promote adoption turned into something I could never have imagined. My research led me to learn about factory farming after which I went vegan immediately. I visited Farm Sanctuary (a haven for abused farm animals) and had a turkey purr when I pet his tummy and got licked by an incredibly friendly cow. These were experiences that made me a different woman and by default an entirely different Mother than I ever would have been otherwise. I jumped into the animal rights movement with all my heart and soul and met the most exquisite, unselfish, progressive people I’d ever come across. These weren’t peeps who waited breathlessly for the newest Jimmy Choo collection and thoughtlessly devoured vats of fois gras. These were women who stood for something and looked gorgeous doing it. I wasn’t swearing off eyeliner, I was choosing cruelty free brands and getting glam for a cause. Instead of heading out to a night of clubbing, I attended galas for the animals.
Though it may seem unrelated, it seemed to me a natural evolution that this aha moment led me to learning about breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and organic living. I became a softer person in the right ways. My commitment became to non-harming – ahimsa – and to kindness to all of the goddesses beautiful creatures, including the ones that would soon come from me. The city girl with the thick black eyeliner and rock band became a Mommy of two beautiful boys, wife to a handsome fellow activist, and parent to five rescued pets. Had I not learned the horrendous truths of what happens to our animal friends at factory farms, I wouldn’t have ever become the sort of Mom I am. I’m not claiming to own a supermom title, but I do know I probably would have been more likely to meet the stereotype of my upraising in terms of my parenting and fallen to the less hands-on archetype. Knowing about baby cows being ripped from their (milk producing) Mama cows and mourning for days, bellowing for their little ones in agony helps me (as I nurse my newborn son) feel even more committed to fighting for the voiceless and raising little activists who are driven to change the world. I may be the only yenta on the upper east side who wants to raise social injustice warriors over investment bankers, but I’m damn proud of it. I teach my sons that our rent for living on the earth is our responsibility to really make a difference, and when confronted with wrongdoing, to act tirelessly to create change.
Chloé Jo Davis, is the founder of GirlieGirlArmy.com your Glamazon Guide to Green Living.