VINE Sanctuary News
Will eating a rainbow make you gay? That’s the only somewhat satirical question posed by the brochure that we distributed at the Albany Pride Festival earlier this month and at VegFests in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine earlier this spring. 

It may seem strange to link LGBTQ and animal liberation, but consider these ideas:

  • Going vegan is a way to reclaim your own heartfelt affection for animals, even though the culture says that you ought to want to dominate and consume them.
  • Toxic masculinity encourages men to be homophobic and also says that “real men” eat meat and enjoy pastimes such as hunting, fishing, cockfighting, and bull fights.
  • The idea that LGBTQ people are “unnatural” comes from the denial that hundreds of species of animals, like us, enjoy same-sex partnerships.
  • Because almost all human uses of animals require forced breeding, nonhuman animals who might prefer to bond, mate, or raise offspring with same-sex partners are forced into compulsory heterosexuality

As an LGBTQ-led sanctuary, VINE talks about ideas like these every month. But we do have two pride-related events coming up this month: Our own annual Rainbow Vegan Potluck at which participants can win prizes for colorful dishes and a panel on the subject of “Queering Animal Liberation” at the national animal rights conference in Los Angeles. See the Events section of this newsletter for details.

For those who won’t be able to join us at either of those events, we thought it might be useful to share some relevant online resources. If you’ve got 47 minutes to spare, check out a video in which VINE cofounder pattrice jones talks about what animals at the sanctuary have taught her about homophobia and its relationship to other forms of oppression. If you’d prefer to read rather than watch and listen, check out our Pride Series of blog posts on topics ranging from “coming out” as vegan to “ queering” the notion of “rights."

While you’re visiting our blog, don’t miss two recent posts that have generated a lot of discussion. In Speciesism and Ableism , pattrice summarizes her contribution to a panel discussion on the intersections between animal exploitation and sexual assault. Another thought-provoking post asks what we can learn from the cow called Jan , who jumped a “beef” farm fence while pregnant in order to give birth in the safety of the forest.

Sanctuary News
In our last newsletter, we told you about the arrival of Magnolia . We're happy to say that she has gained weight and muscle tone and has turned out to be every bit as high-spirited as we thought she might be. She and Melody, another rambunctious survivor of the dairy industry, have been having long conversations, and we can only guess what they might be planning.

Many birds arrived today, from a huge cockfighting bust in Massachusetts that you might have seen on the news. The new arrivals include roosters who had been fought along with many hens who had been used to breed new fighters. The roosters will have to go through a process of rehabilitation , but the hens will be free to roam right away and have already made it quite clear that they will be making their own rules.

Speaking of trouble-makers, Carvello the sheep has stepped up her game on feed store day. No longer content to jump up into the truck bed to scavenge any accidental spillage, Carvello now uses her horns to quickly rip open bag after bag, racing sanctuary staff as they try to unload!
In other sheep news, we had a scare this week, when 16 year-old Shiraz had to be rushed to the vet due to bladder stones -- a common and potentially lethal problem for older rams. Since the blockage would have killed him, we had to risk surgery despite his age. We were all so nervous as we waited for the operation to be done and then for him to wake up and stand up. He's back home resting comfortably or, rather, becoming increasingly restless now that he feels better but still has to stay in a stall while he recuperates.
Syrah and Shiraz are but two of an increasing number of elder animals here at the sanctuary. As long-term residents have aged and we have welcomed new elders into our community, we've seen a steep rise in our veterinary costs. Our costs in 2017 were nearly double those of 2016. Total costs for vet visits, medications, and related supplies for the first quarter of this year were more than 250% higher than the same period the year before.
Two Ways to Help
Help Scotty and other elders by contributing to our vet care fund .
Support VINE's education and advocacy efforts with a gift to our Pride fund.
Upcoming Events
Rainbow Vegan Potluck
Celebrate Pride Month by enjoying a rainbow of plant-based food while learning about LGBTQ history. On Sunday, June 24th from 3 to 5:30 PM, we will gather at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield. This annual VINE event will again be the only Pride Month event in our town and this time will be co-sponsored by the local public library. We are happy to build community while promoting veganism in this way. Learn more here .

National Animal Rights Conference
Yes, we will be tabling in the exhibit area of AR2018 , and yes, pattrice will be speaking at the conference. Stop by our table in the exhibit area to say hello, and don't miss our Queering Animal Liberation panel on Friday morning or pattrice's plenary presentation on Friday evening.

Party in the Pasture
Our summer public volunteer day has been scheduled for July 14th from 11 AM to 3 PM. Participants will meet sanctuary residents while helping with projects such as painting coops or weeding pastures. Your labors will be rewarded with a sanctuary tour followed by vegan snacks with sanctuary staff. We will send out another newsletter with more details and will also announce the event on our Facebook page, but you may want to mark your calendar right now.

If you're in CT, don't miss the 4th annual Compassionfest , some of the proceeds of which will be donated to the sanctuary. Stop by our table to say hello if you go!
If you prefer to donate by mail, you can send a check to the address below.
VINE Sanctuary, 158 Massey Road, Springfield, VT 05156
VINE (Veganism Is the Next Evolution, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation (EIN 52-2248977)