There are moments in your life that can help define what really matters to you. Moments that can help solidify your life's purpose.
For me, this past weekend proved to be monumental because of two experiences that have forever changed me for the better. On Sunday, I found a note in my inbox from my dear friend Molly. Her email to me was an unbelievably kind, sincere, and generous note about how much my blog has impacted her life. Molly's words touched me deeply, and the experience of receiving such a special response is exactly what I had hoped to accomplish with this blog - to connect people in a tangible way to how rewarding, important, and easy a vegan lifestyle can really be.
As if that wasn't enough to warm my heart for the day, Steve and I were finally able to visit the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Now, I have always been an animal person, so I knew I would love spending time with these beautiful creatures. What I was not prepared for, however, was much they really would change me. I cannot go back, only forward knowing that my experience at Woodstock will keep me from ever consuming meat, eggs, or dairy again (as well as purchasing a single product tested on or made from animals).
Whether it was cuddling up next to a goat named Albie, feeding a carrot to a big, friendly cow named Elvis, or gently petting a sweet and majestic turkey named Olivia, the animals (and people) living at this sanctuary are a symbol of hope in the midst of so much darkness. These animals have not only begun to finally enjoy their freedom, but they have enough goodness in them to forgive and trust the same species that had abused them again and again up until this point. It was clear to see how much co-founder Jenny Brown loves each and every being that enters her farm doors as she took us around for a tour and carefully introduced us to each group of animals. The only word I can think to describe my experience at this sanctuary was heavenly - the air was crisp and clean, the atmosphere peaceful and quiet. Despite the large amount of varying animals living in this place, there was a calm there that happily surprised me. It was an honor to be a guest in their home for a day.
What better way to celebrate these two experiences than to combine them? Below, please enjoy a few of the many pictures I took at Woodstock, as well as Molly's beautiful letter. Also included are a few quotes I found within Amy Hatkoff's book, The Inner World of Farm Animals, which Steve and I purchased at the Woodstock FAS's gift shop.