When it comes to those living vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, Buffalo is starting to look more attractive. First off, there’s super successful festival dedicated to those who don’t eat meat. Then, there are bountiful ethnic restaurants (Indian, Ethiopian, Thai, Burmese, etc.) that offer plenty of veg options for those on the lookout for non-meat items. There are also a number of pressed juice establishments open, in most corners of the city. There’s even a newly opened vegan café in Allentown – Grindhaus Café – where patrons can get a VLT sandwich, made with tempeh, or a mock tuna salad.
For years we’ve watched the local farm scene (urban and rural) growing in magnitude. Much of the growth goes hand-in-hand with people who are looking to reconnect with their food sources. The more that we know about our food, and where it comes from, the more that we care about the process, the farm animals, the GMOs, the farmers, the land, sustainability, resources, and how they are all intertwined.
A handful of compassionate restaurants are sourcing their meat from farms that care about the welfare of the animals. Other restaurants are going out of their way to offer more sustainable, vegetarian, vegan options on their menus. A couple have even established days that are dedicated to not serving meat – “Meatless Mondays”.
Even at home we are starting to see a shift in the way a segment of Americans are looking at food. Chipotle is killing it these days (pardon the expression), while McDonald’s is losing market share by the day. Chipotle is not serving pork presently because it cannot find a farm source that takes the pig’s best interest to heart.
To think that all Americans will switch to a meatless diet is just silly. It’s not going to happen – especially while bacon is around. Many Americans will stop to think about eating less meat (for the welfare of the animals or for their own health) – it’s already happening. Unfortunately, with over 7 billion people in the world, affecting change on a large scale is like trying to steer the Titanic away from an iceberg at the last minute.
That said, we do have the capability of making changes at a local level, which will hopefully have a ripple effect. Just outside of Lockport, heading to Lake Ontario, there is now a farmed animal sanctuary called Asha Sanctuary, that caters to surrounding cities, including Buffalo and Rochester. “With the progression of the veg movement in Buffalo and surrounding cities, and now Buffalo having its first veg fest that attracts thousands,” said Tracy Murphy, founder and director of Asha Sanctuary. “We are inviting city residents to come learn about the establishment of Buffalo’s first farmed animal sanctuary, advocating a compassionate plant-based diet.”
Now, the good folks at Asha are inviting city dwellers to come out to the sanctuary to celebrate their One Year Birthday Bash. The event, called Fall Fest for Farmed Animals, offers visitors a chance to meet the animals (sheep, turkeys, a pig, donkeys, a goat and hens), while enjoying live music, a pie auction, a silent auction, pumpkin and face painting, a special harvest ale, a vegan Chiavetta’s barbecue ‘chick’n,’ mac n’ ‘cheese,’ twice baked yams and marshmallows, and corn on the cob. There will even be a birthday party for a very special calf named Albert (see below), who will be turning one on that day. Come sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy a slice of apple spice birthday cake.
This celebration is perfect for animals lovers, farm fans, and anyone who wants to learn more about this special sanctuary that is doing its part to raise awareness of the meat industry, and the things that we can all do to curb our diets by eating healthier and smarter. You don’t have to be vegan to attend – you just have to be willing to believe that animals deserve to live happy lives too!
Fall Fest for Farmed Animals | October 17, 2015 | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM | Asha Sanctuary | 2969 Coomer Road | Newfane, New York | 716-480-2571 | email@example.com
Discount tickets can be purchased online at www.ashasanctuary.com/events.html. Anyone entering the pie auction must register by 10/16/15 at www.ashasanctuary.com/pieauction.html. All proceeds will benefit animal rescue and care at Asha Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization – Acres of Sanctuary and Hope for Animals, Inc. | PO Box 156 | Newfane, NY 14108 | Adopt a farm animal | Take a tour