Feed the Change for Farmed Animals

by VINE
Feed the Change for Farmed Animals
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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Norma and Nina upon arrival
Norma and Nina upon arrival

Greetings, and thank you again for supporting animal care at VINE sanctuary!

So much has happened since the last report that I hardly know where to begin.

I mentioned then that we were going to be welcoming a cow and her calf rescued from dairying. Norma and her calf Nina did arrive safely. Shortly after that, Ebony gave birth to the calf she had been carrying upon her arrival months before. It was such a delight to see the new calves--and their mothers!--bond into a blended family. And then we got an urgent call about a calf, to whom a teenaged farm worker at a local dairy had become attached. She talked them into surrendering rather than selling him and we found to squeeze him in even though we were full, hoping that he would be able to bond with the other calves--and he did! So, now Nina, Cora, and Splash are a triple threat, overwhelming everyone with their cuteness as they make mischief.

Meanwhile, the bird population was also growing: During the lockdowns this spring, more people than usual bought chicks to raise as backyard hens for eggs. Predictably, many of those chicks turned out to be roosters. And so, we have been receiving even more requests to take in roosters than usual. Among the new roos are two Bantam twins who we call Double and Trouble as well as three flamboyant "Polish" roosters who we call Crackle, Snap, and Pop. Their names are a homage to the first rooster of their type who we ever took in, back in 2001. Since the egg factory survivors were "cuckoo" for him, we called him Cocoa Puff and we still remember him fondly.

 Most recently, we welcomed more than 30 chickens rescued from the annual Kapporos ritual. They are the big white birds raised for "meat" by the poultry industry. We have a special fondness for those birds, because the sanctuary started--back in 2000!--when I and Miriam Jones found a big white bird in a ditch alongside a rural road. Since he needed friends, we told the local humane society to call us if anyone found other birds by the roadside. We took in two more and then three more and then twenty-four who had escaped the "chicken catchers" at a neighboring farm, at which point we decided to make it official and start a sanctuary. Twenty years later, here we are, with your help, caring for hundreds of chickens as well as cows, ducks, sheep, geese, goats, turkeys, alpacas, guineafowl, emus, and one extraordinary pig.

Since you have donated to our feed fund, I want to let you know how we have been saving money on feed and bedding costs: When our local feedstore shut down due to the pandemic, we seized the opportunity to go comparison shopping and found a way to buy equally high-quality provisions for slightly lower prices. Week after week, those small savings add up. We also found a way to buy straw for bedding by the truckload, at half the per-bale price we were paying! Luckily, the farmer from whom we buy our hay, who lives just up the road, offered us the use of one of his barns to store it all. He saved some money himself lately, by buying baling supplies in bulk, and kindly passed all of those savings on to us as a contribution to the sanctuary.

Speaking of our 20th anniversary, we will be celebrating this Saturday with a virtual gala in which cows will have the opportunity to walk the red carpet (only if they want to, of course), sanctuary staff will be decked out in clothing made from feed bags, and all of our nonhuman community members will enjoy special treats. Visit our Facebook page for details!

Speaking of social media, I want to remind you that we offer regular livestreams on both Facebook and Instagram, and that the Facebook videos are archived, so that you can watch them later if you aren't able to tune in live. Many people tell us that it both soothes and enlivens them to drop in for a virtual visit during these hard times, and I want to make sure you know that's available for you too!

Thanks again, and I hope to "see" you soon, either at the gala, during one of our virtual sanctuary tours, or at a book club meeting!

Sincerely,

pattrice

Nina and Cora
Nina and Cora
Splash on arrival
Splash on arrival
Double and Trouble
Double and Trouble
Crackle, Snap, and Pop
Crackle, Snap, and Pop
Kapporos rescue
Kapporos rescue

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Jasper eating hay
Jasper eating hay

Before I say anything else, let me say that VINE Sanctuary stands in solidarity with protestors around the country and around the world who are standing up against racism and insisting that life means more than property. As an organization devoted to social and environmental justice as well as animal liberation, we have always included anti-racist efforts in our work and will continue to do so.

Since the last report, our efforts to care and advocate for animals have been complicated by Covid-19. Nonetheless, we have persisted. Despite having to close the sanctuary to visitors, we did devise protocols to allow animals in life-threatening situations to be brought to the sanctuary for no-contact drop-offs.

Rescued animals who have come to the sanctuary since the last update include 30 "broiler breeder" hens who had been scheduled to be culled and a a group of semi-feral birds seized by authorities from a local farm. The most touching rescue was when we were contacted by a man who had overheard his neighbor planning to kill an unwanted rooster. He talked his neighbor into refraining from killing the bird until he could look for a home, found us, kept the bird in his home overnight, and then brought the bird to us even though doing so required him to drive to a strange place just as our state was shutting down due to the pandemic. Arriving soon will be some roosters rescued from cockfighting and a mother and calf who were going to be sent to slaughter by a dairy.

The pandemic has put our on-site programming on hold, but we have stepped up our efforts to offer opportunities to visit the sanctuary virtually. We've also taken our humane education programs online, which teachers in search of "virtual field trips" for their students have really appreciated.

We know that you too may be struggling due to Covid-19 and/or the upsurge in police violence across the USA. We want to remind you that life at the sanctuary continues as always and to see the sanctuary as a place of refuge for you too. Follow us on social media, where we are doing frequent live streams, to tune into the world beyond the human for a few minutes each day. It can be soothing to see our nonhuman residents living their lives as usual, and it can be heartening to see animals of so many different species living together in harmony.

Of course, life as usual means that our everyday costs continue even as donations drop. Therefore we are especially grateful to you and other donors who have helped to cover the substantial cost of feeding hundreds of animals every day. Thank you again for that!

Sincerely,

pattrice

Livestream schedule
Livestream schedule

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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
$14,405 raised of $80,000 goal
 
298 donations
$65,595 to go
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