The Lucky Ones is the story of Jenny Brown and how she came to run her own Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York. It begins with Jenny’s first strong connection with an animal, although this is a positive that comes out of a very sad situation; she had to have her leg amputated due to suffering from bone cancer. Forced to stay home while she recovered, Jenny adopted a rescue cat who awoke a compassion towards animals that she never knew she possessed. However, continuing to indulge in animal products, Jenny still hadn’t made the connection between the animals that live in our homes and those we eat; she even worked in McDonald’s without giving the products she was serving much of a second thought. It wasn’t until she started college that she was faced with campaigning material that she couldn’t ignore. Jenny’s curiosity grew and she began to find herself determined to find out the truth behind the meat industry.
‘The Lucky Ones’ is a very fitting title for this book, as the animals that are living at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary are the minute fraction of the population of farm animals that by some twist of fate, have been able to escape their destiny short-lived at a factory farm. This book follows Jenny as she films undercover investigations inside slaughterhouses, and gathers the strength to turn the sadness she feels about how farm animals are viewed today into sheer determination to change things. Taking a lot of inspiration from Farm Sanctuary, she works there to learn about caring for rescued farm animals, Jenny’s attitude towards animals are very similar to my own. She explains how each animal, with his/her own personality and emotions, is her friend. And sure enough every animal at the sanctuary is given their own identity by having a name; something they were never entitled to before.
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight – Albert Schweitzer
Personally, this book inspired me so much because Jenny is so easy to relate to. Completely down to earth, Jenny writes in a completely non-judgmental tone as she talks openly about the meat she used to consume. She then gradually opens her eyes to the different kinds of animal suffering, further on from the meat industry, paying close attention to dairy production. as she explains the suffering dairy cows endure. They spend their short life repeatedly impregnated, giving birth and then watch helplessly as their babies are immediately taken away from them, still wet from birth. This continues until the cow is finally ‘spent’ which means their body cannot produce any more milk due to the strain this industry has put them through, at which point they are finally sent to slaughter. What happens to their babies? The females will endure the same fate as their mothers, while the males, seen as ‘by-products’ of the dairy industry, are placed in tiny crates almost completely immobilised to keep their flesh tender, killed very young they are usually used for veal. To even life-long vegetarians, this book shows how simply eliminating meat is far from eliminating suffering from the personal choices we make in regards to food.
I see The Lucky Ones and farm sanctuaries in general as a token of hope in the world of factory farming. They are taking a stand for the animals that are otherwise seen as completely useless if not for their meat or milk, viewing them as living beings rather than simply machines. They are bringing to light the concept that seems so obvious but we all seemed to have forgotten; life is precious. I found it fascinating to read Jenny’s journey towards starting her own farm sanctuary, and can only hope that many more will open up around the world. I keep regular tabs on Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and the fact that it is constantly thriving and expanding is proof that the number of people concerned about animal suffering in these industries is growing. And for all the animals she has taken into her sanctuary and cared for, and the awareness she has raised and continues to raise for these animals, Jenny Brown certainly proves that one person can make a difference.
I’m looking forward to a day when I have to shut our doors because there are no farm animals to rescue, when animal cruelty is an embarrassment of the past – Jenny Brown
Feedback from Jenny Brown:
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful blog. I’m so happy to hear that my book helped you make the leap to vegan. The cows and chickens desperately need us to care about their plight. Please share the message and be a voice for animals. 🙂
Find out more at www.woodstocksanctuary.org