Tag Archives: Animal Sanctuary

Coming Back, Moving Forward

My husband Julian and I spent last weekend at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. Neither of us had been before and we spent two nights in a tiny house (part of Farm Sanctuary’s bed and breakfast accommodations) and two full days getting to meet rescued farm animals: turkeys, cows, pigs, goats, sheep and ducks.  I wrote a post about it and included some pictures of the animals over at my other blog so if you’d like to read more about our visit, just click here.

Since going vegan in 2013, I have discovered that there are only a few places where I can just exhale and not have to be on guard at the meal table or wonder if someone is going to say something stupid about vegans: one is our home, one is around other vegans, and the other is at animal sanctuaries. In these surroundings I am able to truly relax; to be allowed to be a vegan without having to censor myself in some way or worry if I’m going to have to defend my choice to not eat animals at any given moment. And while I have never regretted my decision to go vegan, for me it is crucial that I have people and places like this in my life where I can be myself, with full acceptance of who I am and what is important to me. Without them I think the reality of how our world views, portrays and treats animals would be unbearable. Continue reading

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Happily Ever Esther

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and Julian and I had the much-anticipated opportunity to go and see Esther the Wonder Pig in her new home at Happily Ever Esther Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario.  If you’re not sure who Esther is, she is a rescued pig who was thought to be a “mini pig” when couple Derek and Steve first welcomed her into their home.   Even after being informed by a vet that Esther was likely not a mini pig after all due to her docked tail – a sign indicative of today’s animal agriculture practices – they had already fallen in love with her and 670 lbs of not-so-mini-pig later, their lives have changed completely.  Soon after getting Esther, Derek and Steve made the connection between her and what they were eating and went vegan.  Then last year they were able to purchase property in Campbellville and opened a Sanctuary in Esther’s name.  I highly recommend checking out her Facebook page (it’s impossible not to feel better after reading it) and you can also read the post I wrote about her last year. Continue reading

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Sanctuary

This past weekend Julian and I had the privilege of spending four days at an animal sanctuary in Woodstock, New York. This year marked a few milestones for us – our 5-year wedding anniversary, we both turned 40, I joined Julian and went vegan – and we wanted to do something special to celebrate. We decided on Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary because it was co-founded by Jenny Brown and her book, The Lucky Ones, was one of the first books I’d ever read about farm animals after deciding to try a plant-based diet.  A friend bought it for me and it was only after reading it that I really understood what a sanctuary was.  It’s not a zoo (petting or otherwise), it’s not an aquarium and it’s not a museum where animals are on display for the amusement and study of human visitors. A sanctuary is a safe and sacred refuge where animals get to live out their lives in peace, liberated and free from the threat of slaughter, confinement, forced breeding and the general misery of factory farms.  Their only “job” is to live as they were meant to, roaming the grounds while foraging for food, sleeping, playing, and getting some well-deserved nuzzles from fellow animals and humans. A sanctuary is their home and I felt very different walking those grounds: I was there for them and not the other way around. Continue reading

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Esther the Wonder Pig

One of the things I learned early on as a new vegan is you have to temper the horrors with some happy otherwise you’ll blow your brains out.  It’s why I don’t read any graphic books before going to bed and keep lighter reading on my bedside table (a friend of mine just lent me the-not-vegan-related-but-ironically-titled Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip, and I can’t put it down). Despite the steaming pile of shit-dung I think the world is most days, there is still a lot of joy to be found and I have to learn to discover that too, even as I see the bad. Continue reading

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