I never found veganism myself, veganism found me. The summer of 2016, at the age of 19 years old I was living in Vermont in hopes to become a dairy farmer. I went to visit the local farm in the area and was wandering around and noticed a small cement pit, full of about 20 newborn piglets, surrounded by their mother. My initial reaction was devastation. Many of the piglets were squashed by their mother because she was very large. Many of them were lodged in the mud piles in the cemented pit and were stuck in the mud dead. There were about 12 alive piglets out of the 20. I took one piglet and put her in the front seat of my car and drove to my rental apartment down the road. I stole a piglet. As I was driving I could not believe what I had done, I knew nothing about pigs, all I knew is that I was going to keep her and save her life.
When we got back to the apartment, I put her in the bathroom and immediately started researching how to raise a newborn piglet. I was able to bottle feed her with raw milk I bought at the store. She was easy to potty train and the love of my life.
Her name is Maybelle. As I grew a relationship with Maybelle, I learned to realize that she was the sausage I have been eating all my life. I began to educate myself about the meat industry. That night I went vegetarian, and a month later, vegan.
Three years later, my fiancé Joseph and I still have Maybelle and have rescued another piglet named Petunia. We later rescued goats, ducks, and chickens. We call ourselves Sleepy Pig Farm.
Amongst all of this, I found it difficult to cope with what is happening to all of the other farm animals that weren’t as lucky as the animals on our farm. So I began practicing yoga on the farm. While nourishing my body with whole plant based foods, I realized the importance of nourishing my spirit as well. I found that through breath and movement of yoga, I am able to realize that no matter what is going on in the world around us with farm animals, that a small step is a change and any change is improvement. We may be a small rescue farm, but we have big goals and I know that in the future I will continue practicing yoga as well as rescuing more animals. Veganism found me, and I found yoga.
- Tiffany Paltuaf
Micro sanctuary: @sleepypigfarm