Living in a non-vegan world can be emotionally draining for an ethical vegan. The world sometimes seems set on finding ways to use, abuse, and exploit animals. Circuses, facial creams, boots, pet stores, the frozen burritos in the Natural and Organic section that say “humanely raised meat”…you get the picture. It seems that if there is another way to strip nonhuman animals of their dignity, human animals will find it and do it.
Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and recharge. How does one do that in this world? By visiting an animal sanctuary, of course. As you might know from my post this past summer, my favorite animal sanctuary is Peace Ridge Sanctuary in Penobscot, Maine. It’s situated on a beautiful, little property with a pasture, bunny warrens, and room to roam.
Two Saturdays ago, Ben and I had the privilege of attending Peace Ridge’s Gentle Thanksgiving. The day started out with the guests feeding the residents to their hearts’ content. Carrots, squash, beet green, lettuce, cranberries, apples, and any other fall crops that come to mind. Ben and I brought some cranberries to feed everyone.
The goats were without question the most voracious with their eating, probably followed by Theo, the calf, and the pigs, Missy and Hemlock. The goats even broke down their fencing to get to the food. Not to worry, though, Peace Ridge Staff quickly reassembled it and all was well.
The turkeys were a little less interested, but still super friendly, as were the chickens. The geese and ducks seemed to have some sort of gang formed, as six of them moved in unison. Their necks swayed in the same direction as they roamed the premises.
Playing with happy animals is easily the best therapy when you’re broken hearted over animal suffering. Ben and I left the sanctuary feeling so light and giddy. All we wanted to talk about from the sanctuary to the dinner was how much we love those animals.
After a silent auction, which Ben and I didn’t participate in (I am in college, after all), there was a Thanksgiving dinner catered by Eden Vegetarian Café, an all vegan restaurant located in Bar Harbor, Maine. Eden is known for its local menu that changes with the season.
We ate stuffing, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, tofu with cranberry-thyme sauce, squash lasagna, tempeh, curried pumpkin soup, and squash rolls with whipped vegan butter. Everything was so satisfying. I think every vegan reading this will understand the joy of being able to eat everything on the menu.
Between dinner and dessert, we went upstairs to watch a presentation given by Daniella, the founder and director of Peace Ridge. They've saved over 900 animals since they opened in 2001, including 400 dogs since 2011.
For dessert, I indulged in warm fruit crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. The crumble tasted almondy to me, which was fine by me since I absolutely love almond desserts.Oh, and I ate a moist chocolate cupcake too.
The whole day was pretty magical. If you'd like to sponsor one of the beautiful turkeys at Peace Ridge, you can do so here!