Feed the Change for Farmed Animals

by VINE
Feed the Change for Farmed Animals

Last month, we welcomed a family of four cows — Grace, Faith, Felicity, and Liberty — to the back pasture herd. Survivors of long-term abuse and neglect at a dairy that was repeatedly cited by authorities but always made just enough improvements to avoid seizure, Grace and her family are still mourning a family member who did not survive but seem to be settling in gladly.

Grace is clearly the matriarch, not only in lineage and seniority but also personality. Liberty has the spunkiest personality. Felicity seems to be the loner of the bunch. Meanwhile, Faith is constantly in the company of Splash, who seems to have fallen in love at first sight. It's pretty adorable.

Thank you again, so much, for helping to ensure we can step in to help when survivors of abuse and neglect need help.

Now we need a different kind of help: The Pride Month Vegan Challenge starts June 1st, and we need your help to spread the word.

30-day vegan challenges are a great way to ease people into veganism. Many people know the many benefits veganism but hesitate to make what feels like such a huge life change. Agreeing to try it for just a month feels more doable. And then... most people who try it stay with it!

The Pride Month Vegan Challenge incorporates ALL of the reasons to be vegan -- ethics, environment, health, and being true to yourself. The playful theme of "Eat the Rainbow" highlights the joyful and pleasurable aspects of veganism.

So, here's our challenge to you: Think of one friend or family member who might be willing to just try it for a month. Directly ask -- or dare! -- that person to "Eat the Rainbow" of vegan food for the month of June, promising to give them any help they might need along the way. Bonus points for offering to do something they want you to try that month! Tell us how it goes, and you could win a prize!

If you're not yet vegan yourself, or just need a little help staying with your decision to be vegan, sign yourself up for a month of inspiration and support!

Visit the Pride Month Vegan Challenge website to learn more. Share the site on social media to help spread the word!

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Elder Autumn grooming youngster Splash
Elder Autumn grooming youngster Splash

Greetings, and thank you again for helping to ensure that all of the animals at VINE Sanctuary have everything they need!

Two small goats arrived at the sanctuary this past weekend. After a series of misfortunes and relocations, they were understandably disoriented and wary. Luckily, Domino the alpaca stepped up to greet them and show them around.

Because of his gift for making newcomers feel safe and welcome, Domino is an essential member of the VINE community. You are too. Without the support of our extended community, we couldn't do any of the work that we do on-site at the sanctuary.

And there's a lot of work to do! Because of the winter weather here in Vermont, January is always our most challenging month. Add snow removal to the long list of daily tasks handled by the animal care team, and some days become truly daunting.

Meanwhile, because the pastures are all covered with snow, foraging is not possible and all of the animals are dependent on bought-in feed. (Another reason we are especially grateful to contributors to our feed fund!)

To give you a sense of what it's like, I've attached a few recent photos. I've also attached our 2021 Review, just in case you missed it. We're very proud of all that we accomplished last year and looking forward to 2022!

Thank you again for your support... and Happy 2022 to you!

Sincerely,

pattrice

Domino greeting one of the new goats
Domino greeting one of the new goats
Sheep and goats feasting on donated Christmas tree
Sheep and goats feasting on donated Christmas tree
Crackle
Crackle
2021 Year in Review
2021 Year in Review

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Moka
Moka

Greetings, and thank you again for your support of the animals at VINE.

I thought you might enjoy some news of the goings on among out nonhuman community members. It's been busy since our last report. Here are just a few of the notable happenings:

A new calf, called Moka, came to the sanctuary after being discarded by a dairy. The rescue itself was a nail-biter: The farmer posted on Craigslist that the calf was going to go "on the beef truck" the next day unless someone claimed him. With only hours to go before nightfall, local vegans scrambled to find someone to drive to the farm and then drive the calf halfway to the sanctuary. Anna met them in a parking lot and drove the calf the rest of the way home in her Subaru.

Moka was understandably very shaken and scared after being taken from his mother and driven to a strange place. At first, he stayed still and silent, curled up in a corner of a makeshift stall we had created for him. But, right away, other animals reached out to him. A trio of young sheep, rescued this spring and still so small that they had to sleep in a stall at night, were right next door and did their best to engage him. Alpacas Domino and Max loomed over him, radiating friendly energy. And of course, the adult cows communed with him to tell him he was safe.

As a dairy discard who had been taken from his own mother, Mooton could really relate to Moka. He volunteered for the position of honorary older brother. And then elderly Autumn -- who had nine calves taken from her at a dairy before coming to the sanctuary -- decided to adopt Moka. Autumn is always kind and protective toward calves, but has only fully adopted someone once before. She did an admirable job raising Gemini to be the independent young adult he is today. We know from that process that Autumn is SERIOUS about parenting any calf she adopts. Moka is learning that too. He very much enjoys her protection and affection but (as was Gemini) is ambivalent about the baths.

Other new community members include more than 40 young birds rescued during the annual protest against the use of chickens as Kaporos. Our Anna was part of a team that rescued more than 700 birds this year.

Last week, we sadly said goodbye to the gentle giant known as Brutus. Himself a discard of the dairy industry, Brutus was one of the first few cows to arrive after we expanded from a chicken sanctuary. As such, Brutus helped to create the culture of care that permeates our multispecies community to this day. Known for allowing chickens to ride and rest on him, Brutus also helped out with the care and instruction of younger cows.

In recent years, as a herd elder, Brutus served as a surrogate uncle to numerous calves while also helping steers to make the tricky transition from adolescence to adulthood. He was always a member of the welcoming committee for new arrivals and had a knack for making friends with those who were otherwise loners. In recent months, Brutus was living his best life in the wooded side pasture, hanging out with friends and mentoring youngsters. His death was sudden, due to heart failure. All of the cows were very upset, mooing mournfully as we conveyed him to his burial.

The attached photo shows Brutus at his most characteristic self, sharing breakfast with birds. I took the photo in the midst of morning chores one day. Every day, we start at sunrise and don't stop until sunset, making sure everyone has what they need.

Thank you again for helping us to do that. If you haven't done so yet, please consider making your contribution monthly. Right now, GlobalGiving will match the first donation at 100% when you set up monthly donations!

Mooton and Moka
Mooton and Moka
Autumn and Moka
Autumn and Moka
Recently rescued chickens
Recently rescued chickens
Brutus and friends
Brutus and friends

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It's June, and that means that all of the colors of the rainbow are in full effect at the sanctuary!

Birds of many feathers flock together as they stretch their wings in the warmth of spring sunshine. Cows in every shade of black, white, brown, and red forage in the furthest reaches of our forested back pastures. Foliage in every shade of green offers sustenance to both sanctuary residents and the wild animals who frequent the areas we maintain as wildlife refuge. And flowers bloom too!

New residents in recent months include the usual influx of roosters, a pigeon who escaped from a meat market, and three young lambs rescued from slaughter. The three calves from last summer have all "graduated" to the halfway back pasture for the spring and summer. We have three pastures, all of which include some woods for the cows (who are woodland creatures): The front pasture, where elder, juvenile, and injured cows mingle with goats, sheep, alpacas, and birds of all varietes; the hilly and deeply wooded back pasture, where members of "the hardy herd" conduct their own affairs with minmal intervention by humans; and the halfway back pasture, which has moderately challenging terrain, where cows who are not quite hardy enough for the back pasture but don't need as much hands-on care as those in the front pasture, spend the warmer months

Thank you again for supporting our on-site work at the sanctuary, which forms the basis of everything else we do. Ths month, inspired by sanctuary residents who are survivors of the meat, dairy, and egg industries, we have launched the first annual Pride Month Vegan Challenge, which encourages everyone to "eat the rainbow" of fruits and vegetables for the month of June.

You can help by challenging your own friends and family members to take the challenge. If you're not yet vegan yourself, you can sign yourself up at rainbowvegan.org

Thank you again, and Happy Pride Month!

Sincerely,

pattrice

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Gemini, Mooton, and Splash
Gemini, Mooton, and Splash

Hello, Happy February, and thank you again for helping to feed the animals at VINE Sanctuary!

I say "Happy February!" because we're all very relieved to be done with January, which is typically our most difficult month at the sanctuary. Of course, winter isn't anywhere near over -- we've got another snowstorm rolling in as I write this -- but the arrival of February always allows us to begin to see the possibility of spring.

All of the winter months are our most costly for food, because the pastures and foraging yards are covered in ice and snow. That makes every day "hay day" for the cows, goats, sheep, and alpacas who don't have grass to graze right now. The chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and other birds also eat more bought-in seeds, grains, and pellets, both because they also cannot forage and because they need to take in more calories during colder weather.

This year, all of that has been complicated by a drought, which led hay to be in short supply in our region. Luckily, we have secured access to enough to get us through until spring, but we had to pay a steep premium for much of it. So, you can trust me when I say that we are VERY grateful to you and other donors who have helped to cover the costs of keeping 700+ animals well-fed!

700+? Yup. I've attached our 2020 Year in Review, just in case you haven't seen it yet. We closed out the year with more than 700 nonhuman community members in residence, having organized or participated in more than 200 educational events. All of those events were rooted in the day-to-day relationships with and among animals at the sanctuary. By helping to nourish those relationships, you make all of our work possible.

If you haven't yet done so, I hope you will tune in to one of our live virtual tours, which will be happening every Saturday at noon EST/9AM PST on Facebook. We also offer one-time virtual "field trips" to classes as well as a series of humane education lessons. Write to our Humane Education coordinator, Anna, if you are a teacher or parent who would like to arrange for a class to visit VINE or sign up for monthly lessons.

Thank you again, and here's hoping for a happy and healthy 2021!

Sincerely,

pattrice

Syrah and Sugar
Syrah and Sugar

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Organization Information

VINE

Location: Springfield, VT - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @VINEsanctuary
Project Leader:
pattrice jones
Springfield, VT United States
$17,441 raised of $80,000 goal
 
376 donations
$62,559 to go
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