Monday, February 16, 2015
Valentine's w/ the animals
This Valentine's Day had to absolutely be the best Valentine's Day I've experienced so far in my life...and it was a simple day. I whipped up some pretty good (though certainly not my best) pancakes for Val and then we were off to Green Acres Farm Sanctuary to spend the rest of the afternoon with the animals and some volunteers.
We were the first to arrive at Green Acres and I was wondering if we'd be the only ones volunteering that morning due to Valentine's Day. Boy, were we wrong! There must have been at least 15 other volunteers who all had the same idea in mind for V-Day 2015.
There were various tasks that needed to get done...clean the chicken coops, wash the fruit and veggies (feed) for the animals, remove tree debris from the turkey area, and much more. My favorite part? It wasn't the chore we were doing at the moment or the people we were talking to; it was the sounds. The constant crowing of the roosters was just beautiful, but the turkey gobbling was, by far, my favorite. The link will bring you to a YouTube clip. Don't mind the guys making the video, but the sound of the gobbles capture our experience pretty well.
There were chickens hanging out with us while we were working; turkeys following me around because I had a carrot sticking out of my pocket; a goat that was pretty fond of Val; and a lone cow that was handily the most sociable and loving person in the field. The entire time I was there I couldn't help but think that I used to eat these animals. Not that I ever thought about reverting back to my pre-veg days, but taking care of these animals, witnessing how alive they truly are, and hearing several of their stories solidified the decision I made over three years ago.
Below are some pictures from the day:
I haven't discussed running in quite a while (even since before my hiatus), so I'll mention it briefly, but I'll keep it short. The weather out here in the Pacific NW is very conducive to being active outdoors even in the traditional winter months. I say "traditional" because the 40's, 50's, and even some 60's that we've been experiencing don't come close to comparing to the snow and the sub 30's that NJ and the rest of the northeast is and has been experiencing.
I've been able to run every day and while the hilly terrain was something I seriously needed to get used to, I'm convinced it has made me a stronger runner. I finally ran a 40 mile week last week which I haven't done since early October. This week is already off to a great start with a 19 mile run yesterday at an average of 7:11. I definitely would not have been able to hit the marks I was hitting if it wasn't for the running group I decided to try out: Red Lizard Running. Normally I would either have taken a rest day today or run at most 3 miles as a light recovery run, but as my nutrition is finally back on track, I feel that my muscle recovery is pretty quick. As evidence, I was able to run 5 1/2 miles with some inclines and declines and then hop on Val's bike trainer for a quick cool down.
I don't say any of this to boast. I merely share it with you to keep showing you what a vegan lifestyle can help you to achieve in terms of your fitness and possibly even your inner feelings and emotions (I'm convinced that consuming something that has experienced death cannot possibly be good for your body; spiritually, physically, and otherwise).
That's all for tonight.