Starting at Farm Sanctuary’s 25th Anniversary Gala, which was held at Cipriani’s on Wall Street in New York City on May 14, I’ve been on the Just Eats Tour, driving the original VW van that launched Farm Sanctuary in 1986 across the U.S. to celebrate our 25thanniversary and to explore vegan America.
In this van, we rescued our first animal, Hilda, a downed sheep who had been left on a pile of dead animals behind Lancaster Stockyards in Pennsylvania. In the early days of Farm Sanctuary, we also raised funds to support our work by selling veggie hot dogs out of this van at Grateful Dead concerts. Getting the old VW on the road again has been a blast, and we’re meeting so many amazing people along the way. We’ve found vegan food and vegan advocates in every corner of the country, in both rural and urban settings.
The factory farming industry is deeply entrenched in our food culture and economic system, but change is afoot. More and more consumers are seeking to reconnect with the sources of their food and to eat well, impulses that inevitably lead to a rejection of factory farming. An entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing in this burgeoning food movement, and new, socially responsible enterprises are sprouting up in agricultural areas. Driving through Iowa recently, we saw dozens of windmills towering above cornfields, and we learned that Iowa produces more wind energy than any other state. Perhaps wind can help disburden us of our reliance on fossil fuels and corn-based ethanol!
I am writing now from Omaha, NE, staying with the amazing cookbook author and chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who welcomed us with an incredible vegan brunch, featuring French toast and “sausage”. From here, we’ll be continuing our westward adventure, eventually arriving in Orland, CA, for Farm Sanctuary’s Country Hoe Down on June 4 and 5. If you’re planning to be in northern California then, we’d love to see you there! In the meantime, please check out www.justeatstour.org.