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VINE 2012 Activity Report

VINE was busy in 2012! Here’s the summary of our activities last year. If you appreciate this work, please do show your support with a contribution toward our 2013 expenses.

New Sanctuary Residents

In 2012, VINE Sanctuary welcomed 49 hens, 28 roosters, 15 pigeons, 11 cows, 6 sheep, 5 ducks, 2 doves, and 2 emus, bringing the total sanctuary population at year end to 26 cows, 6 sheep, 2 emus, 8 geese, 15 ducks, 295 chickens, 60 pigeons, 35 doves, and 5 parakeets.

Nigel, our first sheep

Here are a few highlights:

  • We began the year by welcoming four former dairy cows who had nearly starved to death due to neglect. Addison, Blake, Fennel, and Rosetta arrived weak and thin but  soon gained weight along with new friends.
  • Our first lamb arrived by surprise in the spring, pushed over or through our gate by an unknown person. Cow Buddy befriended young Nigel until ewe Lamby arrived with cow Coco, who had also survived near starvation.
  • Emus Tikki and Breeze arrived in late spring. Breeze required extensive rehabilitation before he could walk, but soon the pair were hiking the forested perimeter of the front pasture, splashing in mud puddles, and otherwise enjoying the sanctuary.
  • Summer brought Luna and her two calves to the sanctuary. The three survived extreme neglect at a small-scale beef farm. When rescued, hungry Luna was nursing not only her own calf, Orchid, but also her adopted calf, Oryx, whose was too weak and depleted to feed her.
  •  In the autumn, VINE  warmly welcomed 29 “broiler” chickens saved from ritual slaughter.
  • Ducks from another sanctuary arrived with the first snowfall-the vehicle that brought them couldn’t make it up the icy hill, so we carried them by hand.

Pictured here just after arrival, Blake was still thin after near-starvation... she has since filled out considerably!


In 2012, VINE Sanctuary launched and completed a major expansion in the back pasture, including a new barn and many more fenced acres for foraging, thereby doubling the number of cows we will be able to accommodate. We also added or upgraded several coops and aviaries for birds of all kinds.

Here are some of the ways we expanded in 2012:

  • We built a new barn, complete with solar-powered pump.
  • We prepared and fenced more than 20 acres of pasture.
  • We built a new bird infirmary.
  • We constructed an outdoor parakeet aviary.
  • We constructed two new “indoor-outdoor” areas adjacent to two chicken coops, for use during frigid or inclement weather
  • We built a shelter and feeding station for the emus.

Interior of new barn in the back pasture


In 2012, VINE Sanctuary organized its own events, sent speakers to national and local events, and also distributed vegan food and literature at several local events.

Here’s a glimpse of our year of events:

  • In May, VINE staff members Cheryl Wylie and Kathy Gorish distributed literature while staff member Aram Polster and cofounder Miriam Jones gave out free vegan food at the “Save Your Ass” event in Springfield, VT
  • In June, Cheryl and Kathy staffed a table at the VegFest in Maine, distributing literature and talking to festival goers about the animals at the sanctuary
  • In July, cofounder pattrice jones represented VINE at the national Animal Rights Conference in DC, appearing on the “Nurturing Activism” and “Commonalities of Oppression” panels
  • In September, Aram, Cheryl, Kathy, and Miriam all tabled at the “Calling All Angels” Animal Expo in Lebanon, NH.
  • In October, Cheryl and Kathy represented VINE at a showing of “Peaceable Kingdom” in Poultney, VT
  • In November, pattrice discussed VINE’s conception of the ecofeminist ethic of care at the “Finding a Niche for All Animals” conference at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT).
  • In November, Miriam represented VINE at a showing of “Forks Over Knives” in Bellows Falls, VT
  • In November, Miriam gave the keynote address at the annual Thanksgiving celebration of the Berkshire Vegan Society in Lennox, MA.
  • In December, Aram organized a “269” event in Brattleboro, VT.

VINE's full-time animal care-giver takes a day "off the farm" to staff a table at the Maine Veg Fest

Other Animal Advocacy

  • Throughout the year, VINE used its blog, along with other social media, to promote veganism and oppose the abuse and exploitation of animals. Over the course of the year, we tripled blog readership and substantially raised our social media profile.
  • In September, VINE participated in protests against the ritual torture and slaughter of young chickens in Brooklyn,NY, bringing dozens of rescued birds home to the sanctuary.
  • In October, VINE offered refuge to Lou and Bill, two oxen slated to be slaughtered by Green Mountain College. Their refusal set off a worldwide movement, which succeeded in saving them from slaughter. The resulting dialogues about diet, environment, and ostensibly “humane” meat gave animal advocates the opportunity to advance their ideas in both local and national media as well as online.
  • In December, VINE helped to expose the negligence promoted by one vendor of “backyard birds.”
  • Throughout the year, VINE continued its ongoing campaigns against the “backyard chickens” fad and for the rescue and rehabilitation (rather than euthanasia) of fighting roosters.


VINE is grateful to the donors who collectively funded us in 2012. As always, the vast majority of our regular operating expenses were devoted directly to animal care:

In the chart above, “sanctuary operations” includes all aspects of animal care, including not only direct work with sanctuary residents but also the upkeep of barns, coops, fences and other necessary infrastructure.  We are grateful to the donor who covered the one-time costs of our “expansion.” The category of “administration” includes not only routine coordination of sanctuary activities but also project management of the expansion. The category of “outreach & advocacy” includes events.

Supplies include feed, bedding, and medications.Professional services include veterinary care and bookkeeping as well as the services of carpenters, excavators, well diggers, and other contractors. Structures include barns, coops, and aviaries.

VINE is transparent and proud of our cost-efficiency. We will be happy to clarify anything else that might be unclear about our expenditures in 2012.

Looking Ahead to 2013

In 2013 VINE will continue to welcome new residents, the expansion of 2012 having made it possible to do so while continuing to provide the highest standard of care. Just as we stepped up to advocate for Bill and Lou, VINE will continue to engage in on-the-spot animal advocacy on an as-needed basis.

In addition, in 2013 VINE will increase the number and variety of events we organize or attend. Our new events coordinator will be setting up film showings, discussions, and other educational events in Vermont and neighboring states. Further afield, pattrice will be back on the lecture circuit (talks in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington are already in the works).

Also in 2013, VINE will move forward with several campaigns. At the national level, we will launch an explicitly feminist anti-dairy campaign and also expand our longstanding efforts to bridge the environmental and animal advocacy movements. Locally, we will be stepping up our efforts to advance a positive and feasible vision of agriculture reform.

 VINE is grateful to the donors who made all of our work in 2012 possible. If you support the work we have done and will do, please make a contribution today.

Tikki, with geese

3 comments to VINE 2012 Activity Report

  • Barbara Beierl
    I loved your 2012 VINE Report! You all do such wonderful things. I read Pattrice’s description of the arrival of the New Jersey cows in my class, “Animals in Literature,” today. Everybody loved it. Pattrice is a great writer and all of you are very talented. Hug as many of the animals as possible for me. Barbara
  • What an account of remarkable achievements. Your work is commendable! Anxious to see the feminist perspective on the dairy industry. Thank you so much for all you do!
  • bravebird
    Barbara, this is pattrice. I don’t know how I missed this comment before, but thank you! I wonder if you would be so kind as to share the syllabus and reading list of that class with us? And, Bea, thanks for the encouragement on the dairy project, which we’ve been wanting to do for forever but finally have the time and staff to start.

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