Ed. Lunch & Billy the Calf

Yesterday we got an adorable little black calf named Billy at the farm.  He was born at a dairy farm and destined for slaughter because he was seen as a waste, not being a dairy cow. Billy got lucky, though, because a Truxton farmer named Larry couldn’t bear to think of a baby calf being killed without ever enjoying life. So Larry took Billy and ended up bringing him to Farm Sanctuary, where he will be able to live a long, happy life knowing he is safe from the factory farm practices to which he was almost destined to fall prey.

Billy the Calf
Photo by Karen Nalani Encarnacion

Read Billy’s press release here.

In other news, today was the first educational lunch (ed. lunch) for all the current interns here at Farm Sanctuary. Every Wednesday, we go down to the People Barn where Don Walker, the intern coordinator, cooks us an awesome vegan lunch and we get to learn about different topics related to animal advocacy, veganism, the farm, etc. Today’s lunch was broccoli and rice casserole, glazed carrots with a difference, and chocolate mousse pie (recipes below, except for the pie). Man, I am a long-time broccoli hater (I try to like it, honest!) but this casserole was so good, especially paired with the glazed carrots… salty paired with sweet, they complement each other so well! I’m glad I liked it so much, because Don serves it the first Wednesday of every month, and I’ll be here for three months so I get it three times.

Today’s ed. lunch topic was History of Farm Sanctuary and Veganism, which is the first ed. lunch of every month (meaning I’ll be getting the same schpiel February and March). We talked about how Farm Sanctuary was established, what Farm Sanctuary does, and briefly about veganism as a lifestyle. Although much of what we talked about was just reiterating stuff I already knew, I did learn a few new things as well.

For example, I knew that Burger Kings across the nation sold veggie burgers, but what I did not know was that that started at the Burger King in Watkins Glen as a result of pressure from everyone from and visiting Farm Sanctuary. The veggie burgers did so well, they tested it at more Burger Kings around New York and eventually it became a menu option nationwide. While I personally will never get a veggie burger at Burger King, hooray for mainstream vegetarian options!

We also talked about ballot initiatives Farm Sanctuary has worked on, such as helping Florida to become the first state to have any sort of legislation against farm animal cruelty, and of course advocating the passage of Prop 2 in California in 2008. We also mentioned some major rescues Farm Sanctuary did, such as Hurricane Katrina, the Iowa floods, and Colombus, OH tornado rescues.

It was great learning about all the stuff Farm Sanctuary has done and is currently working on, and I look forward to learning about more topics at future ed. lunches and of course eating more of Don’s awesome cooking! Now time for the recipes (sorry, again, no pictures):

Broccoli and Rice Casserole (from The Compassionate Cook)

2-3 crowns of Broccoli
1 1/2 – 2 cups rice
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or granules
1 tsp onion powder or granules
pinch of turmeric
1 cup nutritional yeast
pinch of paprika

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  3. Steam broccoli to desired tenderness.
  4. Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to boil.
  5. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat.  When the margarine is melted, whisk in the flour then whisk in the boiling water (It should thicken and bubble).  Whisk in the salt, soy sauce or tamari, garlic and onion powder or granules, turmeric, then the nutritional yeast.
  6. Spread the rice in a casserole dish and then spread the broccoli over the rice.  Pour the sauce over the rice and broccoli.  Sprinkle paprika over the top.
  7. Bake for 15-30 minutes.

Glazed Carrots with a Difference

2 Tbs vegetable margarine
¼ Cup brown sugar
¼ – ½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups chopped carrots
1 medium onion, chopped

Melt margarine over low heat.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until desired consistency.

Alternatively, you can steam the carrots and onion first.  Mix all ingredients over low heat until margarine and brown sugar is melted, then Serve immediately.

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