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Don’t be afraid to be Yourself

Before I left NY, I made sure to catch up with a few friends. And by friends, I mean those of the fur variety. Lions and tigers and… horses and pigs and cows and bunny rabbits and geese and goats and, well, you get the idea. Yesterday, I saw all these guys and more. Whenever I visit my grandma (who lives in Rhinebeck, NY), I make sure to visit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, which is only about 10 minutes from her house. 


These cutie-pie lambs obviously do not share my diet philosophy, judging by all the grass they ate. Mmmmm, nothing like fresh… straw?  I don’t know who had more fun: the animals or my mom! There’s just something so peaceful about being with animals. They don’t gossip or judge you, they don’t put on airs or have devious motives, and as long as you show them love (and food!), they will love you right back.

Now, the goats might eat your dress. (Happened to me at a petting zoo in kindergarten.) But they mean well, I swear!


Above, with Casey the horse.

And finally, below, I am feeding Babe (the humongous cow). A few seconds after the photo was taken, the CAS workers gave me some real food for the guy. “What is it?” I asked. When the worker answered with what I thought was “Beef,” I was completely grossed out and about to decline. Then I realized, “Wait a sec; This is a vegan place. He couldn’t have said beef!” Turns out, he didn’t. The food was beets! (To be exact, beets and mushrooms and brown rice. Food for building strong, healthy cows hehe)


Cow food must taste better than it looks. Babe gobbled it up!

Published on August 16, 2010

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  1. Jennifer - jcd says

    Cuteness overload!

    I feel good about being myself most days, but even moreso when I am at home with my husband and kitties. Then I can roam the house in pyjamas all day, do what I want, when I want, and and be completely content with life.

    Have a safe (and sleepy) flight home.

  2. Daniel says

    It’s unfortunate that we can’t feel comfortable being ourselves 100% of the time, seeing as we are who we are, why should we change because someone doesn’t like it? But to answer the question, I feel most comfortable around really good friends, and my close family (the relatives I see more than once or twice a year).

    Really adorable animal photos. I’d like to pet a cow, it’s been so long since I’ve done that. I’d also like to get over my fear of horses, but that’s a different story 😛

  3. Faith says

    It sounds crazy, but I feel most comfortable being myself at a sports bar or even just a friends house watching a football game. It always makes me feel connected to my grandpa since we always watched it together when I was a kid, and it’s very possibly the one thing I enjoy the most in life. I feel the most comfortable as me when I’m planted in a chair for 10 hours of my favorite pastime 🙂

  4. Amanda says

    I feel most comfortable around my 7 month old beagle puppy; he loves me all the time, especially when I’m running and rolling around with him in the grass, covered in puppy hair and dirt and possibly puppy licks! I just became vegan last Easter and would really love to go to an animal sanctuary…but I didn’t see any in Boulder when I googled it! Do you know any other way to locate nearby animal sanctuaries? I thought they were most everywhere.

  5. Sarahishealthy says

    I’m most comfortable around my family. But I’m working on showing my true self to my friends as well.

  6. Valerie says

    Oh Katie, it looks like such a peaceful place! I often take my kids to the local animal farm, because I believe that interaction with animals is very important. I’m sure you’ve heard the studies that say living with a dog adds years to your life! 🙂

  7. anonymous says

    Sadly, I’m most comfortable when I am drunk. It’s the only time I can really feel free to be silly and not be judged. It’s sad, but I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Many teens share my struggles, I know! At least knowing I’m not alone makes me feel a little better.

  8. Justine says

    Thats kind of an intense question for the morning time! It just depends on when I feel most like myself. Ive been told that I seem most like myself when I’m around my family but I’m not sure. I’m not a terribly social person though (a fear of judgement gets in the way) bit nothing beats quality time with my dog, Thelma. 🙂

  9. Marina says

    Being a veterinary medicine student, I feel the best among animals 🙂 When my cat jumps into my bed in the morning, wanting to cuddle. I also feel like myself with my boyfriend, and his parents, they always make me feel so safe.

  10. Leslie says

    I was lucky enough to get to Farm Sanctuary once. It was such an amazing place, and after that my meat eating MOTHER decided cold turkey to stop eating meat!

  11. Erika says

    I liked your tid-bit about an animal eating your dress in kindergarden. When I was little (about 6-7) my family took me to a petting so and a horse started eating hair clips right out of my hair! Haha! I wasn’t even scared! 🙂

  12. Mo says

    This whole post is adorable. Including your grandma! 🙂

    Haha the beef/beets thing cracked me up. Stuff like that happens to me all the time. 😛

  13. abby says

    oh too cute, katie! i love it! i think i am most myself when i’m cuddled up with my puppy on the couch with a movie 🙂 :).

  14. Kiersten says

    I love the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. My boyfriend has some family that lives near there and they took us to visit once. The whole time we were there one of the pigs kept following us around because he wanted a cookie. Apparently pigs like gingersnaps!

    I feel free to be myself when I am here in my apartment and when I am with my family in NJ. I try my best to be myself when I am at school and around strangers, but it just feels so awkward sometimes.

  15. Stefanie says

    That looks like a fun place to visit. It is nice to see animals being well taken care of.

    I’m most comfortable at home, in the kitchen, and around animals. The kitchen is where I destress after a long day of school.

  16. thefruitpersuit (Sabine) says

    Hi Katie!

    I am a terrible commenter but I have been reading your amazing blog for a few weeks now. I’ll probably never become a frequent commenter but this evening when I was prepping a post for my own bloggy, I stumbled across this website and I immideately had to think of YOU and the other vegan-inspired blogs I read and love. And so I headed over here and saw THIS post, and thought it couldn’t be better timing! (ok, I cant post a picture so here’s a link)

    Too cute right? I know you don’t like labels or ‘showing’ with your veganism, so I found this one really suitable for you, a funny and cute one. and it just so happens to fit perfectly with this post.

    take care!


    ps: don’t think I am a spammer or something, I have no connecyion whatsoever to this website 😉

  17. Eleanor says

    Wow; I went to a little zoo like that when I was about five and the goats ate my dress too! (I can’t really blame them because it was a nasty polka-dot thing…)
    My mum, instead of rushing to help her poor daughter, took a picture. And won a photo competition with it years later – thanks Mum!

  18. Alisa - Frugal Foodie says

    With my cat and husband, who are both asleep on the couch together behind me as I type. So cute!

    Katie, please check out my blog post today – I would love to include you on my current project if you have a minute!

  19. spoonfulofsugarfree says

    Oh so much fun! I hope you have a good flight, be safe!

    I’m most comfortable with my family at home. While I’m cooking 🙂

  20. Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

    hahaha I love your mom’s facial expression! Goats eat *everything*..I wouldnt doubt they’d go for clothes, too!

    I’d say I’m most comfortable around close friends and my animals. Animals give weird looks but they don’t judge (and if they did, we wouldnt know anyway :P) and friends just bring out the craziness in me. Plus, if they judged..they wouldn’t be considered close friends of course. 🙂

  21. Quix says

    Adorable! I try to be myself all the time. At work I have to be a little more reserved just cuz I”m boss lady but not too much. Life is too short to pretend you’re someone else you are comfortable being…

  22. erinsloves says

    Like you I am probably most comfortable with Axell, my pup. I love how I can come home, open the door, and she’s always their waiting for me all happy! She knows when I’m upset, and can really read my emotions! I seriously talk to her like she’s actually going to respond to me lol

  23. April @ Crazy Fabulous Life says

    I feel most comfortable when I’m alone. 🙂

    Cute pictures! That would have been weird if they fed the cows beef. I’m glad they don’t!

  24. Meghan says

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Some of my family lives in the Catskills and I will definitely have to check this out next time I visit them. We used to visit the Catskill Game Farm before it closed, but seems much better (and I am sure the animals are treated better too!) I am definitely comfortable around my future husband and my close girlfriends, but it’s hard to truly be yourself all the time, I think it’s a work in progress!

  25. ecogrrl says

    great pix! love the cow one 🙂

    my friends are my family and therefore i can completely be ME…never think twice about saying what’s on my mind, being vulnerable, getting silly, whatever. it took a long time to get the mix of friends i have now and i feel SO fortunate.

  26. kayla.eats.healthy says

    Holy moly! That cow is HUGE!

    I always feel the most comfortable being my REAL self around my family and SOME of my good friends. When I’m in big groups I tend to shy away from everyone and that’s not really my personality, that’s just how I react to LOTS of people.

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