October 18, 2012

The Lucky Ones: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

How are you fixed for living heroes?

I don’t know Jenny Brown at all, so who knows what she’s like, but having said that…


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of “The Lucky Ones” for review. I emailed asking for it, wielding the awesome power of an elephant journal writer, and found that rascal on my doorstep within weeks. Bwaa Haa Haa! The Power!

Ahem. So anyway. Loved it.

Jenny is, one animal at a time, saving living beings from “Common yet Inexcusable” agripractices.

That says it all, right there.* Common yet inexcusable.

Where can I start, now that I’ve already started, here? Okay first, I know you guys all (mostly) know where Jenny is at in this book. Elephant readers are relatively clued up. You will probably not be shocked. In fact, “The Lucky Ones” is a perfect “bridge” book, maybe to rope in that perfectly intelligent, caring friend with a weakness for cheeseburgers.

Jenny has (unlike me) studied how to serve up a plate of information without causing you to choke.

“There are so many artists, educators, activists, freethinkers, and just plain good people who will question

Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

many mandates and customs and work to understand issues- and shut their eyes to this particular one.”

And I would add, yogis who appear to have had an ahimsa bypass, but I’ll be good, I promise.

This book is not derisive: Jenny isn’t spoiling for a fight.

I admire that.

She simply tells her story, from a young age through

a different career in filmmaking, complete with some exciting

PETA covert farm filming adventures, and spills what she did.

She decided to make a difference, heart to heart, for the

animals in her power to help.

As a sort of eye-rolling vegan, I cried a few times, reading.

For gratitude.

She really nails it, and the whole adventure, with cool husband

Doug, the shift to full time superhero,  the wedding-as-fundraiser

on the farm site, it all flows.

The writing is unassuming, and you get a few laughs along the way.

Mercifully, she isn’t trying for laughs, which allows the funny stuff to be simply funny.

Vegan?  This book will affirm your choice, make you fist pump in agreement, and strengthen your resolve.

Buy it.  On a planet where your loving choice subjects you to more ridicule than affirmation, this book is a genuine breath of air.

Veg Curious?  Give it a whirl.  Jenny includes just enough of the story of modern meat production, but told in story form through her eyes, to make you rethink kale without running for the hills.

Meat Eater, tried and true, right to the arteries? Buy the book and shelf it. At least the sanctuary will benefit, and you can offset your habit by supporting a goat who escaped cruel slaughter.

Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is like Karma Choling, the Vipassana centers, and Gampo Abbey redirected toward compassion’s direct visible expression. Really.

I mean, I haven’t been there, but the work they are doing is like that. I do want to go.

The book tells individual stories of animal rehabilitation, and helps the reader to understand that the differences between human and animal are so much less than we pretend.

If every act is an act of self definition, buy this book. Read it. Define yourself as more a partner to animals  than you were earlier today.

Photo: PETA


*And speaking of saying it all in three words, do you guys know Mercy For Animals?

In her very inclusive, helpful appendix, Jenny gives them a shout out for their brilliant work.

Those three words are their whole thing, they are based in Toronto , and recently had a huge video release nailing Bettencourt Dairies, a Burger King cheese supplier, a 60,000 cow dairy, with horrific spy footage from “another day on the farm.” The footage is over the top cruel, including a worker jumping up and down on a cow’s back. Literally. Not fun viewing.  Mercy For Animals rocks it so seriously.

And that’s what the whole vegan circus is asking for. It is what Jenny and the good people at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary provide. Mercy.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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