If you’ve never met a farm animal and you care about critters … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Vegans listen up: it’s time to make friends with the ‘friends’ you don’t eat by visiting a sanctuary. It’ll change your life, I guarantee it. Here’s how: we’ve got TWO farm animal sanctuaries within two-plus hours of our fair city. So log off of Facebook and head for the Catskills to ‘friend’ rescued pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, sheep, cows and others. Get checked out by curious turkeys and goats or give a pig a belly rub. Bring a meat-eating pal for extra credit (especially if s/he has a car). And for you car-less New Yorkers, fugeddaboutit: the Woodstock sanctuary is accessible by bus from Port Authority, so there’s really no excuse.
Both the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and the Catskill Animal Sanctuary are open on weekends for visits. Tour the farm, meet the critters and hear their rescue stories. You’ll be surprised how many of the animals came from NYC live-kill markets (especially goats and birds). It makes a wonderful day trip to meet the animals, hang out, maybe even volunteer a few hours (there’s always barns and coops to clean or pig meals to prepare). But if you need an event to draw you there, the next two weekends are guaranteed good-times – just for you:
Saturday, June 6th
Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Annual Shindig
12 to 6 pm
$10/$5 for CAS members and kids under 6 (Recession-buster bonus: the first 100 cars get in free)
Hayrides, farm tours, music, and guest speakers:
Sue McDonough of the NY State Police on spotting, reporting, and investigating animal cruelty, Brian Shapiro, Director of the Ulster County SPCA, and Amie Hamlin of the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food.
Saturday, June 13th
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s Annual June Jamboree
11am to 5pm
$10 adults – Members and kids 12 and under are FREE!
Fun for all: farm tours, live music, castle-bounce, and special guests:
Isa Chandra Moskowitz (of Post Punk Kitchen and author of Vegan Brunch) will be creating the food, and Amy Hatkoff will be reading from her book The Inner World of Farm Animals.
(Rain date: Sun, 6/14)
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to plan in advance, visit the mother of all sanctuaries, Farm Sanctuary, in Watkins Glen (about five hours away) for their annual Country Hoe Down, August 1 & 2 for hayrides, farm tours and speakers ga-lore!