Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Holiday, Animals

We went to Animal Acres for holiday festivities yesterday. I can't emphasize enough how City I am, but the energy of this farm sanctuary is so organically compassionate that I feel soothed there. Even if I don't feel compelled to hug the chickens. The cows have grown on me though. They were in a good mood this weekend. Sweet, calm and not endlessly hustling food. Here Maya's bonding with Roscoe.

Roscoe tried to nuzzle me a couple times. He chewed cud and circled his bottom jaw at me revealing the most suprising bottom row of straight and bright white teeth. He batted his eyes and I was a little sunk. I loved him. Don't tell the chickens.

A quality I find impossibly endearing about vegans is how we try to overemphasize how great animals are. We'll say, "Goats have an ability to stare into the soul." Or, "I love how a turkey pecks at the ground. I mean, it's so powerful." We can't help it. It's because we feel the need to go overboard praising their instinctual traits to expose more the barbarity of slaughtering or mistreating them. Though Roscoe really did stare into my soul. And the goats really are hilarious. And the pigs are smarter than most people I know. More sarcastic too.

This cracked me up: A choir came to sing holiday songs for the sanctuary guests. Mid-way through the first song, two goats came trotting around the corner of the building and hung out at the gate; one staring at the choir, the other sitting down just enjoying the music. A chicken stood atop the gate and stayed motionless until the singing was over.
I know I've reported this before, but Mina has a connection with animals. It's an interesting and beautiful thing to witness. Maya's a little freaked at first, but Mina jumps in, and animals respond well to her. She spent a lot of time with the chickens and turkeys this visit.

Evidence that a seared beak heals, but won't ever grow back.
Of course Squirt needed some love too. Who can't love a pigmy goat!?
I volunteered baked goods for the event. I made over a hundred cupcakes somewhere between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning before we drove off to the farm. I can't really express how satisfying it is to stack them all up. It's more satisfying to raise money to help keep a good thing running. But I feel embarrassed by giving charity. I feel very drawn to volunteering my time and resources, but at the last second I kind of wanted to drop off the boxes at the doorstep and run after ringing the bell.
I made a new flavor. Candy-cane frosting! Hell yes. I first made it on Thursday when a friend needed cupcakes for her holiday party. It was a basic "buttercream" with crushed candy canes & peppermint extract mixed in. I used a bit of beet coloring for half the frosting and swirled the halves together. Even the candy canes were colored with beet powder, no artificial or unknown coloring. I bought the canes at Whole Foods. They're called Hammond's Hand-Made Candy Canes.
For the farm event, I nixed the color all together, changed the frosting to a basic "creamcheese", added 1.5 tsp of peppermint extract and added enough crushed-to-powder candy canes to see sporadic flakes. This was the tweaking it needed. They were really good. And they were a hit!

They asked me back for their big Earth Day event next spring. I am honored, and in hindsight a hundred plus cupcakes wasn't that many . . .


kristen said...

dude, you are my inspiration on so many levels.

SUEB0B said...

I love you tender-hearted vegans AND your cupcakes.

madness rivera said...

Thanks Kristen & Suebob.

Marigoldie said...

The cuppers are divine! I like that you are always pushing it and finding new things that work. Those pink boxes aren't too shabby either...