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Welcome to the Veggie Zone
Animal Acres Page!


Kirby and Roscoe

Elsewhere on this site, we talk about the "millions and billions" of animals who suffer each year as a direct result of the animal foods, clothing, consumer goods, entertainment and vivisection industries. With these stratospheric numbers, it's difficult to remember that with every senseless death, there is a living being, with his or her own personality, preferences and desire to live, care for their young, and be in the sunshine.

In this part of the site, you will get to know more about "farm" animals, many on a first-name basis. Once you get to experience these beautiful and complex animals on a personal level, it's impossible to regard them as mere commodities, like most people have been conditioned to do.

Any reasonable person who has spent any time at all around farm animals like cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats or turkeys knows that they are all sentient beings, in full possession of virtually every emotional, survival and maternal impulse that any other domesticated animal like a dog or a cat possesses. They all feel pain and fear, can be playful or irritable, have their own preferences and personalities and, of course, love to eat!

So let's get to know some of our special friends at Animal Acres.

Here's what we'll be covering in this Animals Acres page (Click on the Go link to skip ahead to that particular section.):

1. About Animal Acres Go
2. Meet the pigs Go
3. Meet the cows Go
4. Meet the sheep Go
5. Remembering Ramboy Go
6. Meet the chickens Go
7. Meet the goats Go
8. Remembering Colin Go

9. Meet the turkeys Go
10. Meet the emus Go

11. More Animal Acres Info Go

About Animal Acres

Animal Acres is a farm animal sanctuary and compassionate living center that provides rescue and refuge for farm animals and educates the public about the atrocities that billions of these animals deal with every year around the world. Located just 45 minutes outside of LA in Canyon Country, there are currently over 100 different animals who live at Animal Acres, including pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, goats, and sheep. We even have one duck and two emus. And believe me when I tell you, they are ALL very well taken care of!

26 acres of paradise!


Lorri with Colin

Animal Acres was founded by Lorri Bauston, who has been a pioneer in the farm animal movement for over 20 years now. She co-founded Farm Sanctuary back in '86 and has brought a tremendous amount of attention to the plight of factory farm animals through tons of media exposure. She has also personally been involved with saving the lives of literally thousands of animals. Lorri is the real deal.

Animal Acres started up in Spring 05 and is still run almost exclusively by volunteers. And because it's a non-profit organization, over 90% of the funding comes from private donations.


I personally try to spend at least one day a week there when I'm home in LA, cleaning out barns, helping to care for the animals, showing folks around the place, etc. Spending this kind of one-on-one time with all the critters there gives you an even deeper perspective on veganism and an even stronger resolve for the cause. This is why I wanted to have this special Animal Acres page.

Me and the gang

So, this Animal Acres page is dedicated to all of our animal pals who live there...and the many more billions out there who we all wish lived there, too. (Be sure to check out more info on Animal Acres at the bottom of the page.)



Now, let's meet the animals:




Who's who?

Male: boar
Female: sow
Baby: piglet or shoat

General Info:

A “pig” becomes a “hog” when they exceed 120 pounds.
Pigs grow two to three pounds per day, making them the fastest growing animal on the farm. And while they can get up to 1000 pounds, slaughter weight is usually around 250 pounds.
Pigs are the most intelligent animal on the farm and are considered to be as smart or smarter than most dogs.
Pigs have an extraordinary sense of smell and like to use their snouts to root through the dirt for things to eat. They can often detect various roots and other goodies that are buried way below the ground surface.
Pigs like to take mud baths for three main reasons:
1. They do not have sweat glands and the mud helps to keep them cool.
2. The mud helps to protect them from various insects.
3. The mud serves as a sun block; pigs are one of only a few animals that can get sunburned.
Pigs are actually very hygiene conscious and, when possible, refuse to excrete waste near their living or eating areas. (This is why we volunteers find most of their waste along the walls of their stables, away from where they hang out.)

Pigs are communal and usually huddle together when they sleep.

Bagel, Jorja, Jamie, Wild Child and Petunia...crashed!

Piglets can usually learn and respond to their names within two or three weeks of living around humans.
Pigs have a strong sense of direction and have demonstrated the ability to find their way home from long distances.
A Pennsylvania State University researcher found that pigs could actually play video games. They used their snouts to manipulate the joystick, which controlled cursors on the screen and enabled targets to be hit. They had an 80% hit rate!
Pigs are very social and choose to live in groups.
Just like humans make social gestures to each other (with handshakes, hugs, etc.), pigs in these groups often greet their friends with nose-to-nose contact or by grooming them.
Pigs seem to be able to recognize up to 30 other pigs and they establish their own social orders through personalities, behavior and individual aggressiveness or dominance.
Pigs share an intricate language that extends far beyond the stereotypical “oink” sounds. They also clack their teeth, chomp their jaws, grunt, squeal, roar, snort and snarl. All of these sounds comprise a certain vocabulary that is understood among their “peers.”
A pig’s body is comprised of 1/2 to 2/3’s water, making this the most valuable commodity in a pig’s diet.
Piglets are integrated into the group very gradually, usually eating solid food and being more independent at 17 weeks.


Pig Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of some of our pigs rooting around in the dirt:






Who's who?

Male: bull (in tact) – steer (castrated)
Female: cow (if she’s over 30 months or has given birth) –
heifer (if she’s under 30 months and/or has not given birth.)
Baby: calf

General Info:

The only sweat glands cows have are located on their nose.
Cows chew for about 14 hours per day! They spend approximately six hours each day eating and eight more hours chewing “cud,” which is a combination of semi-digested food and bile that must be further broken down before the plant fibers are digestible for the animal.
You might have heard that cows have four stomachs. Actually, they have one stomach with four chambers.

Each day, the average cow will drink about 30 gallons of water and eat about 100 pounds of food.

The tail provides insight into the animal's condition and mood.
1. If the tail is hanging straight down, the animal is relaxed, grazing, or walking.
2. If the tail is tucked between the animal's legs, he or she is cold, sick, or frightened.
3. If the tail hangs away from the body if the animal is mating or feels threatened.
4. If the tail is held in a straight line, perhaps with a kink, this signifies an animal is in a playful mood.
Cows have a sharp sense of hearing and perceive higher and lower frequencies better than humans do.

Cows possess 320-degree panoramic vision, which enables them to see in almost every direction—except directly behind them—without moving their heads. However, their depth perception, particularly when their heads are in an upright position, is poor. For this reason, cattle sometimes cringe at shadows on the ground.

Cows can detect smells up to five miles away.
Cows communicate with each other in a number of ways. Vocalizations or "calls" can indicate excitement, frustration, interest, pleasure or stress. Cattle may also use a call to regain contact with a companion after they've been separated; as a prime example, when newly born calves are removed from their mothers, the cow will call to her child for days.
Cows live in hierarchically ranked groups and begin to order themselves within the group at a young age. Physical communication and grooming help to establish this social ranking. What may appear to be a game, such as head-butting or shoving, is actually a method of determining which animals within the group are dominant. Interestingly, the strongest or most dominant animals do not necessarily become the leaders.
Scientists have discovered that cattle have the mental capabilities to nurture friendships. Cattle in a small herd, for instance, will join with up to three other animals to form a small group of friends. The animals in the group will spend most of their time together, frequently grooming and licking each other. They will tend to dislike other cattle who are not part of the group. (Sounds like some humans, right?)
Female cattle do not spontaneously produce milk. Like human mothers, cows lactate to feed their newborn offspring.
In the wild, cows isolate themselves before giving birth and may even keep their calves hidden for a few days before returning to the herd.

Like humans, it takes cows nine months to have a baby.

In nature, cattle spend about 40% to 50% of their day lying down.
The average dairy cow is forced to produce over 2300 gallons of milk a year.
A cow produces 200 times more gas a day than a person!

Bruno is our latest addition in the cow pasture.

Steer Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of Roscoe and Kirby:







Who's who?

Male: Ram (in tact) – wether (castrated) It’s usually pronounced like “weather.”
Female: Ewe (pronounced like “you.”)
Baby: Lamb

General Info:

There are 914 different breeds of sheep in the world, with 35 breeds here in the U.S.

Some sheep have horns, which are often curved and grow throughout their lives.

In the wild, sheep typically live for 7 years, but can live for 13 years.

As herbivores, sheep graze on grasses, leaves, twigs, and young plants.

Much like cattle, sheep are ruminants, meaning that they digest their food in two steps. They chew their food once before regurgitating it in the form of "cud" and repeating the chewing process to thoroughly break down the food for digestion.

Sheep have highly developed social awareness and interactions. Researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England found that sheep can be taught to remember the faces of 50 different sheep. After learning what the other sheep looked like from the front, they were also able to recognize one another in profile, with their visual recognition lasting for up to two years.

This is Mecca. She was one of the first animals
to come and live at Animal Acres.

The study's findings were reported in a 2001 issue of Nature and concluded that sheep, like humans, have the capacity to distinguish between faces that are very similar in appearance.

While sheep do have a strong instinct to "follow the leader," this is an important part of their social nature. A flock of sheep may follow the group's leader anywhere, but this characteristic can save them from predators, including coyotes, domestic dogs, mountain lions, and wolves, as animals who prey on sheep will home in on those sheep who separate from the flock.
An individual sheep will become agitated when deprived of the security of her or his mates.


Proud mom with lamb

Oliver, my buddy!


Here's my little partner Aengus. He was actually born at the Acres
because his mother (Bridget) was rescued from a horrible slaughterhouse
environment and brought to the farm while she was still pregnant.
Aengus really loves humans, since all he's ever known are humans that really love him...


Bottle-feeding little Aurora, a baby lamb who was
left-for-dead on a pile of deceased animals
at a stockyard after her mom was sold to slaughter.
(No, that's not beer. It's special formula served in a glass bottle!)


Sheep Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of some of our sheep. Check out little Aengus trying to get into my bag...just like a puppy:



In Memoriam


? - 7/18/06


Ladies and gents, meet Ramboy. Of course, if you've ever been to Animal Acres, you already know him. Ramboy was one of THE most distinctive characters of all of the animals at the Acres. He was a scruffy old ram, gentle and wise; a proverbial old soul, with tons of "vibe" and a true survivor's presence you could never forget.

By the time he got to us almost a year ago, everyone knew he had had a rough-ass life, to say the least. He had been rescued from a local slaughterhouse with over 50 other sheep and goats, having survived some of the most atrocious living conditions imaginable. How long he was there or what all happened to him before then, we'll never know. We never even knew how old he was. But, once he came to the Acres and got some solid medical treatment, he settled into the good life really quick.

Ramboy had a profound sweetness about him. I would generally greet him by kneeling down, easing my shoulder against his jaw and scratching him on his chest or the side of his head. He was always very gentle and affectionate...unless he thought you were withholding food from him! Then he could get a little hostile. Some of us volunteers took a hit or two from "Big Ram" on occasion, but we were too surprised by the power he still had for an old-timer to get pissed at him.

But this was a very rare thing, and to all of the guests who met him, he was always charming, lovable and affectionate.

My friend Matt with Ramboy

Ramboy loved his carrots!

Unfortunately, Ramboy's old age and ailing body began to catch up with his warrior spirit. He had been through a hell of a lot in his life and, eventually, it was time for our main man to transcend this plane. We're happy to report that there was little suffering involved in Ramboy's last days. His decline was quick and easy for him, but a devastating surprise for many of us who didn't know the full extent of his age-related health problems. And let me tell you first-hand, his passing was no less painful to us than losing any other companion animal like a dog or cat.

No less painful...

Yes, we will all miss Ramboy terribly. But at least we can know that the last 10 or so months of his life when he lived at Animal Acres were joyous and blissful. And we can celebrate the fact that he touched hundreds of people's lives in the process.

Rest in peace, Ramboy.
We'll see you on "the other side."


Ramboy Video

Click on the link below to see a quick video clip of Ramboy having a bite to eat and checking me out with the video camera.





One of our big boy roosters...

Sybilla, a visitor's favorite


Who's who?

Male: rooster
Female: hen
Baby: chicks

“Layers:” Chickens raised for eggs.
These are the smaller ones that are often caged between five and eight to a group.

“Broilers:” Chickens raised for meat.
These are the large ones – both hens and roosters –
that we often refer to around the Acres as “Baby Hueys.”

General Info:

Chickens are inquisitive, interesting animals who are as intelligent as mammals like cats, dogs, and even primates.

They are very social and like to spend their days together, scratching for food, cleaning themselves in dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun.

Mother hens actually cluck to their unborn chicks, who chirp back to their mothers and to one another from within their shells!

Chickens understand sophisticated intellectual concepts, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation.

Chickens comprehend cause-and-effect relationships and understand that objects still exist even after they are hidden from view. This puts the cognitive abilities of chickens above those of small human children.

When in their natural surroundings, not on factory farms, chickens form complex social hierarchies, also known as “pecking orders,” and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder and remembers the faces and ranks of more than 100 other birds.

People who have spent time with chickens know that each bird has a different personality that often relates to his or her place in the pecking order—some are gregarious and fearless, while others are more shy and watchful; some chickens enjoy human company, while others are standoffish, shy, or even a bit aggressive. Just like dogs, cats, and humans, each chicken is an individual with a distinct personality.

Chickens communicate with each other through more than 30 different types of vocalizations or “clucks.”

By the way:

1. A “Cornish game hen” is really a young chicken, usually 5 to 6 weeks of age, that weighs no more than 2 pounds.
2. Roosting means to rest or sleep.
3. There are more than 9 billion chickens raised on factory farms each year in the U.S.


Here is a rescued "broiler" and a "layer" heading out to the dirt lot to sunbathe.
Notice the extreme difference in size due to the genetic manipulation
that "broilers" go through in the factory farming world?


Chicken Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of Sybilla, one of the friendliest of all of the chickens:





Ellie May


Who's who?

Male: Billy or buck
Female: Nanny or doe
Baby: Kid

General Info:

Unlike sheep, goats have beards and pointed black horns.

In the wild, goats can live anywhere from 9 to 12 years.

Goats are most comfortable in groups, which are known as "tribes."

Like sheep, goats are herbivores, grazing on grasses, herbs, tree leaves, and other plants. Goats are also ruminants, and chew cud to aid digestion.

Goats are very curious, intelligent, extroverted, flamboyant, and playful. For kids, play is very important because it helps them develop skills they will need later in life, including the mental and physical flexibility needed to respond to unexpected events such as pursuit by a predator. (Some of the activities enjoyed by kids include galloping, jumping vertically into the air, leaping on their mothers’ backs, tossing their heads, and whirling around.)

By the way:

1. Goats are exploited for their meat and milk. Their meat is popular primarily among certain Muslim, Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian communities.
2. Although I obviously don’t subscribe to either, more people drink goat’s milk worldwide than cow’s milk.
3. They are also exploited for their skin and fur (mohair, cashmere).

Gilly, with the floppy ears and no horns, is a female goat with a male name. Here she is, standing up on her own to get to the emu food, which every goat and sheep at the Acres seems to prefer more than their own food.
Hilary is a sweet little pygmy goat, short and stout with a big tummy. Everyone always asks if she's pregnant. (No, she's not.)
As one of the very first arrivals, Ellie May remains the reigning queen of Animal Acres!



In Memoriam


4-9-06? - 5-9-06


This is me with my little partner, Colin, shortly after he arrived at Animal Acres. He was found wandering around an LA-area canyon, obviously lost, and in pretty bad shape. His ears had just been cut off. We don't know who did it or why but, judging from the way they were cut, it was clearly intentional and clearly done by one of our fellow humans. So, he was taken in for treatment, stitched up, then brought to the Acres as our newest and youngest.

After all he had been through in the few short weeks since his birth, we were blown away by how loving and trusting this baby goat was with all of us. Colin was exactly like a puppy or a kitten...just a little bigger. He liked being around people and would cry if you left him alone for too long.

Unfortunately, it was an uphill battle for our little buddy since he got there. Not only did he have to endure the trauma of this unspeakable abuse, and then the procedure for fixing his ears (notice that long row of stitches on the side of his head?), but he was also fighting a really bad bacterial condition and was basically under watch around the clock.

On Monday afternoon, 5-8-06, he was brought out to meet a group of 60 youngsters from a local elementary school who were at Animal Acres for a field trip. His personal story was a poignant lesson for these kids to see and hear first hand...a statement for the necessity of compassion and the absolute futility of cruelty and violence. These young students were visibly moved. It would be Colin's final gift to us before passing away later that night.

The reality is, this kind of abuse happens to animals by the millions, in one form or another, every day. And I think that, as a self-preservation mechanism, most of us animal rights advocates learn how to disconnect from the glare of this reality, at least a little bit.

But to see it all so up-close-and-personal in the innocent face of such sweetness and beauty...there is no disconnecting. It's like a fist in your face, and it's hard not to jump into a rage about who would abuse a little goat like this.

However, to truly honor our little partner, we must try to "disconnect" from any prolonged expressions of rage or anger that we may feel. For this kind of energy will only serve to perpetuate the very toxicity in our world that created the conditions for someone to do such a thing to begin with.

Let's be inspired by the anger, if we must, but let's raise its vibration to a level that's more useful to the cause. And let's each be even more committed to the cause in our daily lives than ever before, as we continue to take extra care in expressing peace and compassion to our fellow animals in all of our food, clothing, consumer goods and entertainment choices.

This is how we honor a life like Colin's.


We'll miss you, buddy...






Who's who?

Male: tom or gobbler
Female: hen
Baby: poult

General Info:

The turkey was named for what was wrongly thought to be its country of origin.

Wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Farmed turkeys, however, have been genetically modified to gain weight rapidly and cannot fly at all.

The natural lifespan of the turkey is between 10 and 12 years, but on factory farms they are slaughtered when they’re just 5 months old.

Turkeys are social animals who prefer to live and feed together in flocks.

Turkeys are playful birds who enjoy the company of others and are as varied in personality as dogs and cats.

Turkeys are born with full-color vision just like our own,

After feeding, turkeys often rest or dust bathe. This cleaning process involves wallowing in loose soil, fluffing their feathers, and letting the soil penetrate through to their skin. At night, turkeys look for a low branch in a forest tree to roost.

Like peacocks and ducks, male turkeys use their plumage to entice females.
The flap of skin that hangs over a turkey's beak is called a snood and the flap under the chin is a wattle.
After mating, the female turkey prepares a nest under a wooded bush to lay her eggs, incubating as many as 18 at a time. The chicks hatch approximately one month later.
Unfortunately, more than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving and more than 22 million at Christmas.
Benjamin Franklin thought so highly of the turkey that he referred to the animal as "a bird of courage" and suggested that the turkey—rather than the eagle—be the United States' national symbol.


A couple of our little partners,
hanging in the courtyard.

Carrying one of the turkeys to the stable.
These are very curious and cool animals!


Turkey Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of a couple of our very curious turkeys, pecking at the camera lens:






Who's who?

Male: Emu
Female: Emu
Baby: chick

General Info:

Emus have been a resident of Australia for at least 80 million years. Their ancestors, the Dromornithids, roamed the land when dinosaurs lived.

The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and the second largest in the world after the ostrich. Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet in height and weigh up to 130 pounds. Males are slightly smaller than females.

Emus live five-10 years in the wild, but can live longer in captivity (35+ years).

Emus are nomadic, and can travel up to 300 miles in less than nine months. When and if they do form a flock, they don’t do it for company – they all just gather where food is.

Emus are very nosy, and will swallow all kinds of strange things like keys, nails and bottle tops.

Emus have three toes, one of which has a sharp talon for fighting.

The Emu is a fast runner and can reach speeds of up to 40 mph for short bursts. A running bird can make a stride of nine feet.

Female emus will lay up to 15 dark green eggs into a nest built by their mate. The male emu both incubates and rears the chicks, which is unusual for a bird, until the chicks are about seven months old.
Emu chicks’ feathers are striped, presumably for camouflage purposes. But after about three months, these stripes fade into either a light brown, or a dark brown with grey tips.
Emu droppings are large and soft. If an emu sees undigested seeds in its droppings, it pecks them out and eats them again. (Now that’s efficiency!)
Males make a grunting sound like a pig and females make a loud booming sound.



By the way:

1. Originally there were three species of emu, but now there is only one. The other two species became extinct because they were hunted for their meat and feathers.
Emu farming is a relatively new agri-business, gaining popularity among small farmers where they are exploited for their meat, oil and skins.


Hangin' in the back pasture with Edgar and Kata.

Emu Video

Click on the link below to see a video clip of Edgar with one of the Acres' long-time caregivers, Teresa.




More Animal Acres Info

Be sure and read all about this fantastic farm animal sanctuary and compassionate living center at the official Animal Acres web site:

As mentioned, the place relies heavily on volunteers and, as a non-profit, receives over 90% of its funding from members and private donations. Check the site; there are a number of donation opportunities, and you can even make your contribution online.

Also, if you are ever in the LA area, you've got to come out for a visit (Sundays are tour days) or, better yet, come on down for a few hours as a volunteer and muck a few barns. This is the best way to get to know the animals.


Thanks for dropping by the Animal Acres page. We'll try to keep things updated around here...


Check back soon!


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