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The great goat experiment…

August 3, 2010
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I used to know a guy who knew some people who had some goats.  They lived in the backyard of a small house in New Jersey.  The property was relatively large and there was a portion of it caged off just for them.  They were pretty amazing creatures!  They knew their names, came when they were called, were very friendly and affectionate, and just downright cute animals.  Then one day this guy and I went to visit these people he knew and the goats were gone.  Turns out they had developed a talent for jumping the fence in their part of the yard and wondering over to the neighbor’s flowerbeds for some lunch.  Needless to say, the neighbors were not as enthralled with the goats as I was and the goats were sent away to the nearest petting zoo (or at least that’s what I was told).  Ever since then, however, I’ve been slightly obsessed with one day having my own goats but just making sure they weren’t snacking on the neighbors marigolds. When I describe my “one day” future I always include, “one day living in the country on a big piece of land with a couple of goats.”  Don’t be mistaken, I’m in no rush to give up my heels and the bright city lights but, you know, maybe one day…

Here comes the wrench in the plan… One of the things we were most shocked by at WFAS is how many animals come from the city or from people who got them without having the full scope of knowledge on how to care for them.  I imagine when dealing with goats there is probably an ideal size of land, a certain number to keep together so they’re not lonely, a specific diet that does not include table scraps and tin cans, and an ideal height for a fence so that your marigolds aren’t in danger of being lunch.  It occurs to me that I know absolutely none of this information.  Instead of instantly changing my ‘one day’ plan to owning a pair of Manolo Blahnik on a social worker’s salary though I am committing to learning all I can about what I would need to realistically own some goats in the rather distant future.  I’ll also be sharing this information with you as I learn more so make sure to check back often!

Good luck with those Manolo Blahniks


What’s on your plate?

August 3, 2010

Inspired by a comment left by one of our readers (thanks Patricia Rathbone!) we decided that we want to know what’s on your vegetarian and vegan plate.  Often, one of the most difficult aspects of considering a vegetarian and certainly a vegan diet is wondering what you will eat and worrying that the food just will not be as good.  We’re here, and our readers are here, to show you the other side of the coin!  In response to our recent post You can have your turkey and eat it too Patricia offered up her recommendations for her vegan friendly turkey sandwich picks.  Here’s what she had to say:

Quorn Tur’ky Roast is fantastic also!! It’s very easy to cook and has the same “bite” feeling that turkey has! An excellent vegan mayo is called Veganaise by Follow Your Heart. It’s High Omega 3! So not only is it NOT bad for you but actually good for you!! Win/Win! Also, to me, it tastes closer to Hellmann’s regular than their own healthier attempts!!”

Now it’s your turn.  Send us your comments and recipes to let us know what’s on your plate!  We’ll share what’s on ours too!

Who is Jenny Brown?

July 29, 2010

If you guessed she is the founder of WFAS then you’re right!  We had our own interview with her, but while that’s in the editing room check out this one on Live a Damn radio.  Enjoy!

Not a typical night out, but a night out nonetheless…

July 26, 2010

Little Black Dress, Very High Heels, and Good Friends

Let’s talk about how ridiculous it is that one Ms. Angela Di Toro and I will be working on a farm… Last Saturday night she and I had the honor and privilege to celebrate our dear friend’s 30th birthday – and let’s just say we did it in style.  In short, there was a limo, very high heels, little black dresses, and our favorite cocktails.  So maybe this wasn’t a typical night out  in NYC, but it was a night out nonetheless.  Limousines usually aren’t our style, but very high heels and little black dresses often do make the cut.  As a matter of fact, last time I had on sneakers I was walking 40 miles to end breast cancer.  I’m proud of the fact that I don’t need to wear ugly shoes when I leave the house and put on my heels when I get to work; I wear them all day, everyday.  But now I’ve agreed to take on some blisters for reasons other than breaking in a new pair of pointy toes.  Clearly, for only the best causes am I willing to bust out the sneakers.  While I’d rather get off the hook easy, don’t forget to DONATE to support WFAS.

You can have your turkey and eat it too!

July 23, 2010
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Turkeys are not particularly beautiful creatures.  There is no ‘awwwwww” factor when you see a turkey strutting around like there is when you see a little duck or a really colorful rooster; at least not for me that is.  Before I was vegetarian turkey was my go-to meat.  There was just something delightful about a turkey sandwich from the deli-sliced thin, a little mayo and lettuce…yum.  And then I became a vegetarian and gladly gave up my deli favorite.  Recently though I walk into a deli and my mouth waters.  My friend eats a turkey sandwich and I stare at him longingly.  Seriously, turkeys are not cute anyway so why should I care?

At the end of the day it has nothing to do with the cute factor.  On a recent trip to WFAS I had a chance to meet some gobblers in the flesh.  While there’s still no “awwwww” factor when I look at them, I am kind of in awe of them now.   They were just so cool.  They strutted around the farm meeting people and saying hello.  I also learned that the skin on turkeys’ head changes color.  In the same way a mood ring adjust to how you’re feeling the skin on a turkey changes from red to blue to white depending on if it’s distressed or excited.  Who knew?  I know I sure didn’t.

So how did I solve my drooling-all-over-deli-cases-and-my-friend’s-turkey-sandwich problem?  I went on my very own turkey hunt through the local food co-op.  Tofurkey Oven Roast finally did the trick, and it turns out that I can have my turkey and eat it too!

City Girls Gone…Where?

July 17, 2010

Earlier this year, Kara Mergl and Angela Di Toro of New York City found a small organization dedicated to the rescue, safety, and humane care of farm animals; Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS).  The staff at WFAS works tirelessly to ensure the well-being of farm animals that have been abused, abandoned, or taken in by individuals who simply did not provide the proper environment for a farm animal.  While some of the animals have been rescued from slaughterhouses, a surprising number come right from the streets of New York City.  Without WFAS, these animals would have succumbed to certain death, and now we want to help them stand strong!                    

Over the next several months, join these two girls from NYC by following their blog and watch as they learn more about WFAS, farm animal rescue, and – you guessed it – mucking stalls.          

You think we can't hack it?*


It costs a hefty $1200 a day to run WFAS.  The cost includes: operation of the farm, administering care for and feeding the animals, and, in large part, covering medical expenses for all ill and injured animals brought to the farm.                   

This is where you come in!   

For every $150 raised through this website over the next three months, you will send these girls from NYC to work for ONE hour on the farm.  So, help support a GREAT cause, and see these ladies go from stilettos to stalls!


See the DONATE page for a secure location where you can give money and put these girls to work!                  

*Photo by Andrew Piccone