BENEFITING: POPLAR SPRING ANIMAL SANCTUARY INC
EVENT DATE: May 15, 2016
In 2013 I ran the Poplar Spring Run For the Animals 5K as my second 5K race ever. I was a newbie runner and had no idea where this crazy new hobby would take me. I had worked for my local humane society and become very passionate about animal welfare, but didn't yet fully understand why.
In the previous fall of 2012, I had attended Poplar Spring's annual fall open house and first learned why veganism was important, and why it's important to be conscious of where your dairy, eggs, even the clothes you wear come from. A volunteer for Poplar Spring summed it up perfectly: Animals raised for slaughter suffer for a little while and then are put out of their misery. Animals raised for dairy or eggs suffer for a lifetime, over and over and over again.
It wasn't until I began to work for a different sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, TX, a long way from home, that I really began to get serious about eating vegetarian and vegan more often. I grew up a huge fan of cheeseburgers and ice cream. But when I looked into the eyes of our many sanctuary cows who had been rescued from cruelty situations, gave belly scratches to the potbelly pigs and farm hogs, I knew I had to change.
Changing the way I eat hasn't been easy. I have overwhelming respect for people who can go vegan cold turkey (no pun intended). But for every bowl of cereal filled with almond milk instead of cow's milk I've had since meeting Buttercup, a cow at Black Beauty, or for every bacon cheeseburger I've turned down since falling in love with Wilhelmina the potbelly pig, I'm not missing anything. I'm gaining a life of compassion and humane choices.
I'm not perfect yet - which is why I'm challenging myself through the 2016 running of this race. Every day between establishing this page on the first day of Spring 2016 - March 20 - to the day of the race, I am going to eat 100% vegan. I challenge you to keep me accountable - if you're out with me for a meal and I reach for the Ranch dressing, remind me! If we're at a restaurant and my salad comes with feta cheese, remind me to ask to hold it!
The best way you can keep me accountable? Donate! Poplar Spring was my first experience with an animal sanctuary. I'd been to petting zoos and regular zoos before, but had never been to a place where the goats and chickens all came there for solace and safety. Since I'm no longer down in Texas and back here close to where my understanding of sanctuaries all began, I'm asking you to donate to the best sanctuary in the mid-Atlantic! Poplar Spring is GFAS-accredited and is a great blessing to animals and animal lovers in the area. You can know you're supporting something that truly does good for animals. Few places do it right. Poplar Spring is one of them.
Please help me keep supporting this amazing place right here in Montgomery County, Maryland, and keep me accountable to walking my talk. And in honor of my little buddy down in Texas, a sweet little pink potbelly pig named Wilhelmina, don't think twice about joining my team! Run with me on May 15 in honor of seeing farm animals reach safety everywhere.