Steve calls this photo the “turducken preparty.” Sigh.
Earlier this week, I visited Farm Sanctuary , an oasis and rescue for farm animals around an hour outside of Los Angeles. It’s a beautifully serene compound where animals abused by the food industry can live our their lives free of pain and abuse.
I love knowing where my food comes from and any animal products that I use are as humane as possible: my eggs are from pasture raised chickens, my fish is wild caught, and my occasional poultry had (as Michael Pollan so eloquently puts it) a happy life and one bad day. I love animals but I often joke that I couldn’t be a vegan because I tend to kill insects that make their way into my home.
The sanctuary promotes a vegan lifestyle, which is a fine diet for some folks – but it was a bit presumptuous to assume that a vegan diet is a one size fits all model. Don’t get me wrong, I think a plant based diet is the healthiest way to go and without even realizing it I probably eat vegan most of the time – but it isn’t for everyone.
I have a friend who was vegan for many years but eventually had to start eating eggs and fish after a strong allergy to soybeans became apparent. When she eliminated soy from her diet, her skin reactions went away, but her hair began to fall out because it’s incredibly difficult to get enough protein as a vegan without using soy. Vegan also doesn’t mean healthy – white bread and pasta are vegan, but void of nutrition. A lot of processed food is vegan – which explains why some folks who choose a vegan lifestyle for animal rights rather than health look not all that healthy.
But I digress. I had a lovely time at the sanctuary, and I’m very happy that the organization not only saves animals from cruelty, but lobbies for changes in our laws to make the food system kinder to the wonderful creatures born into it. So bravo Farm Sanctuary.