I have someone really special I would like to introduce you to this morning! His name is Daniel, an awesome ethical vegan living in Atlanta. I met Daniel at the vegan meet-ups I have been hosting (@plantbasedATL) and I have to say, his personality, joie de vivre and happiness is enough to light up a room! Daniel shared with me that he was going to visit and bring some amazing donations to Full Circle Farm Sanctuary in North Carolina this past weekend. I automatically “awe” with joy and thankfulness for his action. And of course, I had to ask him to share his experience with us! I now can’t wait to visit Full Circle Farm Sanctuary!! Will you join me?
This past Memorial Day weekend, Penelope Persimmon Pigsworth, made my dream come true. As a teenager in the 80’s, I read John Robbin’s Diet For A New America, and I have wanted to meet a pig ever since. At Full Circle Farm Sanctuary, Penny and her faithful companion, Babar, showed me the time of my life.
I stumbled across Full Circle Farm Sanctuary’s Facebook page after following one of the residents, Nestor the Lovedorable Blind Goat. Nestor, who the industry deemed invaluable and was ready to kill, now calls Full Circle Farm Sanctuary his forever home. Full Circle was founded in 2010 by Kayla Worden. The sanctuary is located near Burnsville, NC (outside Asheville) and is home to goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, guinea fowl, cats, and an elegant llama named Nemo. Kayla hosts volunteer work days each month, when volunteers can come help with routine chores, new projects and, of course, get to know the animals.
Two goats named Zephyr and Joshua were the first to greet us at the fence as we entered. Joshua was a bit timid at first, but he soon warmed up to us. Zephyr acted as our tour guide all day long. This assertive and mischievous goat led us around the sanctuary; often sneaking into areas he knew he was not allowed (he loves chicken feed!).
While we helped clean the chicken coops, Kayla answered all of our questions about starting, running, and maintaining the sanctuary. Kayla described the quirky social relationships between and among the different groups of animals, their medical histories, and how they came to the sanctuary. I was particularly impressed with little Sparrow, who has managed to claim an entire coop as her own! Ophelia the chicken was also adorable in her fashionable hen saver apron which protects hens’ back feathers from overly-amorous roosters. Kayla explained the different types of vocalizations from Noah, a resident rooster. His “Hello, everybody! I’m HERE!” crow seemed to be the most common.
The highlight of the day was feeding everyone the produce we brought. We were able to get down and dirty with Penny and Babar next to their mud bath and throw them tomatoes and watermelon. Babar definitely defers to Penny‘s dominance when it comes to food, so we distracted Penny with some tomatoes in order to make sure Babar got his fair share. Although they are each approximately 700 and 800 pounds respectively, they took food gently from our hands. After lunch, I got to give Penny a belly rub, during which she happily grunted and even purred.
Before we left, we all sat on the deck and ate a delicious vegan mac ‘n cheese casserole Kayla had made. As we drove off, I could not stop thinking about all the unique individual personalities we met that day. I am in awe of Kayla‘s continued dedication to the animals on the sanctuary (and animals everywhere). She reminded me of how one person can make such an impact on the lives of others, human and nonhuman.
Also, help spread the word! ~ Daniel Sweeney
Nestor the Loveadorable Blind Goat Facebook Page: Facebook.com/TheLoveadorableGoat