I’m writing this at 1 a.m., from the most charming hotel I’ve ever been to — The Historic Cary House Hotel — in Placerville, CA. The thing that I forgot about regarding traveling is that when you have (more than) a full day’s worth of work to do, yet you’re driving all day, you wind up working until the wee morning hours. I’m excited about everything I’m doing though, which is hugely invigorating — and makes me remember how lucky I am.
I was also very lucky — we both were — to visit #PRIVATE# Farm Sanctuary‘s Orland shelter yesterday, and Animal Place today. I used to work as the campaigns manager for Farm Sanctuary, and back in 2008 or 2009 — I can’t recall when exactly — I spoke at Orland’s annual Hoe Down. That was the last time I visited this shelter, and Mariann had never been (despite the fact that she was on Farm Sanctuary’s board for several years). Today was the rainiest, dreariest day I can recall since being on the West coast, but despite that, our visit to Farm Sanctuary was stunningly beautiful, and deeply renewing. We interviewed the fantastic Orland shelter Director, Tara Oresick. Her interview will be on this Saturday’s podcast episode — #154. Tara was incredibly well-spoken, brilliant with the animals, and incredibly humble. I am in awe of her.
Then we drove to Grass Valley, CA, and made plans to visit Animal Place, run by one of our heroes, Kim Sturla, who will also be joining us on this weekend’s podcast. Before we met up with Kim though, we had the good fortune of hooking up with Allison Rivers Samson, who – even if you don’t know it yet – is one of your favorite people. Allison is the genius behind Allison’s Gourmet, the vegan, fair-trade and slavery-free chocolate confection boutique and bakery. We were so inspired by Allison’s insights and her story! What was supposed to be a five minute interview quickly turned into 20. We could have kept going, too. She talked about everything from the importance of slavery-free chocolate, to starting and running a vegan business, to her wildly popular “Veganize It!” column in VegNews.
On to Kim Sturla and Animal Place. Once again, it was a cold and dreary day. Makes one think of the lyric from “The Lady Is A Tramp” which goes, “Hates, California… It’s cold and it’s damp!” However, I LOVE California (excuse me as I transition into Rufus Wainwright: “California… Such a wonder that I think I’ll stay in bed!”). Animal Place sealed the deal for me with that love. This sanctuary found its way into my heart quicker than any other place I’ve visited. I have so much respect for Kim — who has been doing this since 1989 — that I could cry. As noted, Kim, along with Tara and Allison, will be on our podcast this weekend. What an episode 154 will be!
It is now the next day.
Turns out that our internet connection at The Cary House Hotel was sub-optimal. Actually, it wasn’t our internet as a whole that was the problem — it was just our connection to Our Hen House! The hotel is said to be haunted, actually. (This wouldn’t surprise me.) Each room is named after a famous person, and the room next to ours was named after Phillip Armour, famous purveyor of meats. Perhaps Phil decided that no animal rights activism would take place under his roof, and intercepted our connection? Hmmm… More on that in my next video.
Mariann is now urging me to hurry this along. We have to start to make some time, or we won’t get back to NYC until June.
Below is a short video I put together with some highlights from our trips to Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place.
Oh, one last thing, real quick… I wanted to thank you again for becoming a member of the flock! Our big incentive deal, where we were giving away goodie bags to the first 50 people to become flock members post-magazine-launch, is officially over! I honestly can’t believe we got 50 new members in the first week of our online magazine! I’m beside myself, y’all. Thank you from the bottom of my hen heart.
OKAY MARIANN, I’M HURRYING! Oh, sorry, that was intended for Mariann, not for you, dear flock. In any case, below is that video. Hope you enjoy.