My daughter, our new puppy, Mr. Bean and I went a road trip last weekend to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. What an amazing organization! It truly is a sanctuary for hundreds of animals that have endured indignity and suffering for the greater part of their lives.
On the sunny fall afternoon that we visited, we were greeted by Tom the Turkey on the porch of the visitor's center.
There were goats sunning themselves in the dirt walkways. A super friendly donkey roamed about freely.
Miss Piggy, a gigantic pig who arrived by way of having fallen off a transport truck napped in the mud while a volunteer worker applied suncreen to her overly pink pinkness. She apparently has a tendency to burn. Who would have guessed?
We saw flocks and flocks of happy hens scratching and pecking in the dirt. Perhaps not such an amazing sight, except for the fact that these chickens had never been outside in their entire lives before arriving here. They'd lived in cages stacked on top of each other and were on the cusp of being gassed to death because their production levels had decreased. They were a motley crew, with thinning feathers and deformed beaks and claws. But, man-oh-man, what a sight!
Sophie, the three legged dog, kept up with our tour group as we visited the ducks who'd never experienced the joy swimming before arriving at the sanctuary. We got slurpy, sandpapery kisses from the cows after we fed them apples and stroked their silky furry brows. These lovely ladies arrived at the farm after many years of birthing calf after calf only to have their babies taken from them immediately, never to be seen again. Most dairy cows don't then go out to pasture like these lucky ones when their "productivity" ebbs. They are sold for slaughter and go on to become cheap hamburger meat.
I was definitely moved. It was little slice of heaven on earth for these creatures who somehow made their way here into the hands of angels.
I got home and thought about what small part I could do to help people shift towards this awareness and compassion. Every meal we make that avoids animal products helps this change happen. The more you do it, the easier it gets to keep doing it. Let's keep doing it! Shift happens!!
Now let's make hash :)
Diner Style Tempeh Hash
2 (8 oz) packages of tempeh--chopped into bite sized pieces
2 stalks of celery--finely chopped
3 potatoes--peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 grated carrrots
5 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/8 cup tamari
2 TBLS. lemon juice
2 TBLS. maple syrup
Saute the celery, potatoes, mushrooms and carrots until the potatoes soften. Add the tempeh. Cover and cook another 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a spatula. You may need to add a little water.
Add the lemon juice and the tamari and cook uncovered for another 3-5 minutes. Add the maple syrup. Stir continuously for another couple of minutes. Once you add the syrup it can easily burn so keep a close eye on it.
Serve with toast slathered with vegan butter, lots of ketchup and big mug of coffee for an at home diner experience.