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The Omnivore Vegan: No Meat

[Huffington Post]

This essay is the first part in a series about veganism, humane farming, and animal agriculture in the United States.
When most people think of a farm, it's fresh eggs and produce in the morning, milking cows, and, sometimes, sending animals to slaughter. Not so if you're an intern at Farm Sanctuary, a vegan-run haven where rescued animals live out their days free from the possibility that a human would eat their eggs or even shear their wool for a warm winter sweater.

Located in Watkins Glen, NY, Farm Sanctuary has an almost perfect creation story. Founders Gene Baur and his then-wife Lorrie Houston raised initial funds by selling vegetarian hot dogs from the back of a VW bus outside Grateful Dead concerts. They rescued their first animal during a trip to the Lancaster stockyard in Pennsylvania in 1986. Hilda the sheep was found near-death on a downer pile, where animals too weak to stand or be sold at auction are left to die.
In my real-world life in Brooklyn, I live in an apartment and have not just one but three roommates. A vegetarian couple is in the first room, a vegan on the other side, leaving me -- the only omnivore -- stuck in the middle. If 3.2 percent of Americans are vegetarian, this set up is a far cry from the norm.
... For me, subtle signs like a panhandle wrapped in scotch tape reading, "NO MEAT!!" made it hard to forget. ...
When Becky, the intern coordinator, picked me up for the hour-long ride to Watkins Glen, she asked me, "How long have you been vegan?"

I paused for a moment, thinking of the empty sausage wrapper I'd just thrown in the trash, "Well," I said, "I am now."

Part Two: "A Chicken in Every Pot"

full story:

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