The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals
Jonathan Safran Foer meets Jeffrey Moussaieff Mason in a poignant, provocative memoir of survival, compassion, and awakening to the reality of our food system.
Jenny Brown was ten years old when she lost a leg to bone cancer. Throughout the ordeal, her constant companion was a cat named Boogie. Years later, she would make the connection between her feline friend and the farm animals she ate, acknowledging that most of America’s domesticated animals live on industrialized farms, and are viewed as mere production units. Raised in a conservative Southern Baptist family in Kentucky, Brown had been taught to avoid asking questions. But she found her passion and the courage to speak out.
The Lucky Ones introduces readers to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary which Brown established with her husband in 2004. With a cast of unforgettable survivors, including a fugitive slaughterhouse cow named Kayli; Albie, the three-legged goat; and Quincy, an Easter duckling found abandoned in New York City, The Lucky Ones reveals shocking statistics about the prevalence of animal abuse throughout America’s agribusinesses. Blending wry humor with unflinching honesty, Brown brings a compelling new voice to the healthy-living movement—and to the vulnerable, voiceless creatures among us.
Without verbal communication, instructing little Albie was ridiculously difficult. We’d stop our sessions when I could see he was tiring and when I became too frustrated. Ergh—if only we could explain! Patience, young Skywalker, patience! Around day four, I came up with an idea. If actions speak louder than words, the action of luring with treats speaks loudest of all. That afternoon became a life lesson in the power of food. We moved all the other goats inside the barn so we wouldn’t get
vegetarian friends here yet—this is the first I’m hearing about it!” “Well, it’s a veg restaurant on the other side of town, and it’s been around for years. It’s a happening place—you should check it out.” The Diner opened its doors in 1983 (“Meat-free since ’83”) and was a swinging hot spot by the time I got to town in the early ’90s. It was an oasis for us weirdos who believed wings are for flying, not frying. Hippies and hipsters, musicians and macrobiotics, students and animal rights
one of the center’s officers who I’d spoken with before, gave us a call. “What have you got for me, Sabrina?” I asked excitedly. “You’ve heard about the calf running around Brooklyn?” she asked. “How could I not? We must have had ten calls from supporters and others already—but this is the one I’ve been hoping for.” The news had shown pictures of Herbie behind chain-links in an outdoor dog pen at the shelter, munching some hastily procured hay off the concrete and winning the hearts of every
But before I had a chance to get too relaxed, I’d head back out on the farm to resume my chores. One of my responsibilities was to remove, clean, refill, and replace each poultry waterer, which involved hauling five or ten gallons of water to and from each barn. This requires a steady gait if you want your pants to stay dry (which, believe me, you do in freezing cold weather). Sometimes this wasn’t so easy for me, but I figured out ways to make it work and eventually built up my arm muscles to
world for animals. Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Farm animal sanctuary in Deer Trail, Colorado. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: Group of health professionals that promotes a vegan diet and higher ethics and effectiveness in research, including an end to animal testing. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): The largest animal rights organization in the world, focusing attention on animals used for food, entertainment, clothing, and experimentation. Sea Shepherd: