Wednesday, 30 July 2014 23:03

Take a Trip to Catskill Animal Sanctuary with “Animal Camp”

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Book review by EvG team member Rachel Curit: 

Most vegans are familiar with the concept of farm animal sanctuaries, where abused and neglected beings find peace and happiness for the rest of their lives. Many of us don't spend our days kissing pigs and massaging sheep while simultaneously mucking stalls and doing office work. For those of us not able to see the transformation of "broken beings [becoming] whole again," there is "Animal Camp: Reflections on a Decade of Love, Hope, and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary" by Kathy Stevens, Founder and Director of Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New York. 

In a series of essays, Stevens shares some of the most profound moments and transformations, all challenging societal assumptions about non-human animals. Despite popular belief, turkeys, like Norma Jean, are intelligent, and sheep, like Rambo, are social. Roosters and hens, who are often seen as mean-spirited creatures prove that they are loving to both human and non-humans alike. 

I share a few stories from the life of a remarkable rooster named Paulie, who ate lunch with staff (and demanded that Alex share his sunflower seeds), went for car rides, broke up pig arguments, begged for treats, napped with my dog Murphy, spent a cold night in bed with me (sleeping on a pillow right next to my head), came running when we called him...and so much more (Stevens 31).

"Animal Camp" made me laugh so hard I had to call my mom just so I could share the stories with someone. There were also moments when I had to put the book down and cry. Kathy makes it hard not to fall in love with Catskill Animal Sanctuary's residents.

This book is for anyone who loves animals and wants to see them happy. It would also make a great conversation starter. Suggest it as the next read for your book club or loan it to a friend for some light reading on his lunch break. In the center of book are several pages of full color pictures, all depicting the Sanctuary and its soulful residents. I guarantee you'll find yourself reading "Animal Camp" again and again, just don't forget to pass it around to your friends and family.


Rachel is recent graduate of the University of Maine, where she studied Spanish and English with a concentration in professional writing. In addition to writing and editing for Eco-Vegan Gal, she is the blogger behind The Judgmental Vegan and writes for One Green Planet

Read 2156 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:43