sanctuaries

New vegan book club starting up in Ithaca

Via the Ithaca Vegans group on Facebook:

For those of you not on the meetup website I am starting a vegan book club and discussion group. The first date is for Sat. May 4th at 3:00. I suggested the first book, The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown founder of Woodstock farm animal sanctuary. We will also discuss what else everyone wants to read. If you are interested let me know. – Stephanie

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Watch chimps being freed

Many chimps who have been used in American research experiments are being retired. Some of the chimps in this video are going outside for the first time since they entered the lab. Some “retired” chimps need to take anti-depressants. I’m not surprised.

Chimps aren’t the only animals who suffer in human laboratories. Click here to learn about effective alternatives to animal testing and click here to find products that aren’t tested on animals.

Veganism: Freedom from ethical contradictions

Well, not entirely! Read my bio for contradictions aplenty. But veganism does allow you to avoid a lot of, shall we say, moral discomfort. I remember worrying a lot more about the impacts of my actions before I went vegan – it was a source of stress for me to think I might be causing suffering (as indeed I was). Once I took the plunge and went vegan, I felt very free. That’s why I think of veganism as a liberatory process.

For instance, I used to say “I love pigs.” And yet if Facebook had existed when I was a carnist, I may have posted photos of a cute piglet on a farm without thinking very much about how he was about to be separated from his mother and would one day face a trip to the slaughterhouse, or about how this farm I’m seeing in this image isn’t at all like the horrific, factory-like farms on which the vast majority of piglets are raised. I may have posted recipes that included “free-range” pork sausage. Back then, I would not have seen the contradiction, but I know I often felt oddly “not right” about my decisions. And I felt really bad when I heard people mention the slaughterhouse, because no matter how much the small farmers we were supporting said what they were doing was humane, I had a hard time imagining what that might look like.

Today, I have a different perspective. I say, “I love pigs,” but I think it’s more important that now I know I should say, even more importantly, “I respect pigs,” because they are not objects for me to desire or want or eat or use or confine or buy or sell. They are individual persons, just like me, who desire autonomy and freedom.

So today on Facebook, the new me posted a recipe for vegan traditional pork pies, and a photo of a rescued pig at a Spanish sanctuary. No guilt.

I know that’s good for me personally. But even better, I think it’s really good for the animals I used to exploit, before I realized there was a way to opt out of the violence I was causing.

VIDEO: My Vegan Evolution

This video is about my vegan evolution, so you get to hear how obnoxious I was as an early vegan (and what happened to make me, I hope, less obnoxious), how my friends helped me on my way, what happened when I worked for PETA for two ill-fated weeks, and some tips for other people embarking on this journey.

Click here to watch the video, and please leave me comments – I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks for watching!

Animal Architecture

Check out this long post I finally got together about buildings and furniture made just for animals. Making this blog post was an educational experience for me! I just wanted to share some awesome photos of dovecotes and mason bee houses, but I ended up learning about goat playgrounds, toad houses, bird mansions, badger tunnels, and other things that are really adorable and amazing. Thank you humans for making so many cool structures just for animals! Click here to read the post.

This photo (by Joe Fisher) is of our friend Lea posing with a bat house at the Dacha in Freeville.

A Day that is truly for Turkeys

This year you can watch Farm Sanctuary’s Annual Feeding of Turkeys Ceremony LIVE video stream Sun. Nov. 20 2:30 pm EST, at farmsanctuary.org.

More info:

And here’s some info about how to plan and cook up a gentle Thanksgiving. Hope you all have a peaceful and happy holiday!

April 14: Meet Gene Baur at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Hear Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur speak at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. This event, which is sponsored by the Animal Welfare Club of the Cornell Vet School, will take place on April 14, 2011 from noon to 1 p.m. in Schurman Hall, Lecture Hall I (located at 602 Tower Road; Ithaca, NY 14850). This talk is free and open to the public. Gene will also be on hand to sign copies of his national best-seller, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. More info

Country Hoe Down July 31st – August 1

Get your tickets now for Farm Sanctuary’s upcoming Country Hoe Down, July 31st – August 1. Tickets sell out fast so get ‘em while they’re hot… You can camp for free on the land during the event, which sounds pretty cool. Visit their site for tickets, rideshare info, and all the details on the speakers and food and other fun stuff.

Have you been to this event before? I never have. I’d love to hear folks’ stories about it, see your photos. Please comment or send stuff in!

Farm Sanctuary Fourth of July Pignic

Props to Farm Sanctuary for offering an awesome animal-friendly celebration this Independence Day! If you haven’t yet been to the Sanctuary, I recommend it. Nothing will make you feel better about being vegan than meeting the sweet, beautiful rescued animals that live there.

Celebrate the freedom of rescued farm animals who call Farm Sanctuary home by visiting our New York Shelter this Fourth of July. Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, invites the public to attend our annual Fourth of July Pignic, for a compassionate celebration of our nation’s birthday.

This festive, full day event offers free guided tours of the sanctuary, the opportunity to interact with farm animals rescued from cases of cruelty, neglect and abuse, free samples of delicious veggie food and animal-themed arts and crafts for kids.

Tours begin every hour on the hour from 11 am to 3 pm.

WHEN: Sunday, July 4, 2010; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Farm Sanctuary, 3100 Aikens Rd., Watkins Glen, N.Y. (map)

The Pignic is a free, all-ages event open to the public. No registration is necessary. For further information, please call 607-583-2225 ext. 221 or visit www.farmsanctuary.org!

Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.

Join Farm Sanctuary at their Celebration FOR the Turkeys: Benefit for Our Feathered Friends

Looking for something positive and animal-friendly to commemorate Thanksgiving this year? Consider attending the Celebration for the Turkeys on November 21st at Farm Sanctuary. They write:

Farm Sanctuary is hosting coast-to-coast benefits to protect innocent turkeys and promote compassionate Thanksgiving traditions everywhere. Farm Sanctuary’s Celebrations FOR the Turkeys: Benefits for Our Feathered Friends — held in three locations this year — will feature decadent, gourmet vegan holiday feasts, inspirational guest presentations, and silent auctions that benefit the animals and provide for all your holiday shopping needs! Guests at our farm events will also have the opportunity to spend quality time with rescued animals and participate in our unique “Feeding of the Turkeys” ceremonies, in which the sanctuary turkeys are the guests of honor and get to feast on their favorite treats: squash, pumpkin pie and cranberries!

Here’s info on the event at the Watkins Glen shelter, which includes an appearance by Tom Regan!

Also, consider sponsoring a rescued turkey living at Farm Sanctuary, through their Adopt-a-Turkey Project.

For more ideas about how to make your Thanksgiving a compassionate one, and for delicious recipes, visit FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement)’s Gentle Thanksgiving – and don’t forget to sign their petition asking President Obama to pardon all turkeys this year – not just one.