An Eggless Easter


Yesterday, Ryan and I headed up to Animal Acres for the Eggless Easter celebration.  They were having a vegan bake sale, so I donated some brownies and gluten-free chocolate cookies and also got to enjoy some goodies that other guests brought.  We had a chance to hang out with lots of the animals, including Lila, pictured above.  She was incredibly affectionate, loved being pet, and wouldn’t leave Ryan’s side as he took photos of the turkeys and ducks.  It was pretty adorable.


It had been a while since we’d seen the cows at Animal Acres, and they were HUGE!  Paolo (aka Maggie Moo) was not willing to share anyone’s attention with the other cows.  As soon as someone pet any cow other than Paolo, she would come charging over and head-butt the attention stealer.  You can see I’m keeping my distance here as I was trying to sneak a pet before Paolo saw what was happening.

This photo barely shows the scope of the size of this cow.  She was amazingly tall and also very long.  Most cows are slaughtered before the grow to their full size.  They’re killed (or die from exhaustion) at about six or seven years, but cows can grow to be as old as 25 if they’re allowed to.


This little calf hurried off as soon as Ryan was able to sneak this shot of her.  Unlike the other cows, she was very afraid of people, and with good reason.  A student at UCLA went home to Kansas and stole this calf.  He hog-tied and threw her in the trunk of his car, before driving across the country, back to California.  For the three days the journey took, Joee had no food or water, and once he got her here, the student left her tied up on the lawn of a rival fraternity house as a “prank.”

Thankfully someone called Animal Services, who then contacted Animal Acres, and Joee was brought there to live out the rest of her life.  Joee’s story has a happy ending, but it was so hard to see such a beautiful creature so afraid, and to think about what she’d been through to make her that way.


So to end on a lighter note, take a look at this guy and his awesome feathered head.  I can only imagine Einstein got his name for that crazy mop-top, and I swear he had an attitude to match.  I loved watching him strut around, happy to pose for photos.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and haven’t been to Animal Acres, I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s such a welcome break from the city, and the animals are such a joy to be around.  It’s a special place that you need to experience first hand to really appreciate.

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14 Responses to “An Eggless Easter”

  1. Wow, I love all these animals, but I gotta admit, I really love Einstein, with his little mop of ‘hair’! What a great way to spend Easter.

  2. Wow, those animals are so beautiful! I can’t wait to visit the upstate NY Farm Sanctuary. Thanks for this post, it is starting my blog-reading day off right! :)

  3. I love Einstein soooo much! Also became friends with several goats on my trip up there.

  4. Oh man, I need to make it to Animal Acres someday! I want to meet Einstein!

  5. I’m so happy you had a great time! I volunteer regularly at the place and it is definitely my home away from home. In fact, visiting Animal Acres was the reason I went vegan.

  6. Was so nice meeting you Sunday and introducing you to my lovely bovine friends! Thanks so much for the delicious treats and sharing your wonderful experience with everyone! Hope to see you up there again.

    Just wanted to correct one thing in your blog … As a UCLA alum, I hate to say this, but it was a UCLA frat guy who stole, hogtied, and transported little Joee, not a USC student.

  7. Hi, Alicia! It was great to meet you too, and thanks for the correction – I just updated the post with the info.

  8. Hi Kim~ We were at Animal Acres for Easter, as well. I believe that we were “cow kissing” at the same time that you & Ryan were (we had our 6 year old son, Jean-Luc, with us & he fell head over heals for Honky Tonk and Paulo). I loved reading your blog and seeing Ryan’s pictures….they’re FANTASTIC!

    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 6 years and am now attempting to go Vegan! I am happy to add your site to my bookmarks and will be visiting often for ideas!

  9. Hi, Minette! Jean-Luc was so cute with the cows! Thanks for checking out the site – hope it helps with transitioning to veganism!

  10. What a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing this story! It sounds like the perfect way to spend the day.

    I love the photo that shows just how HUGE cows really are. In my mind they are smaller than horses, short and kind of wide. But since going vegan and seeing pictures of actual full grown cows I now realize they are ENORMOUS.

  11. Voracious V.-

    Yes, the size of the male dairy cows left me in awe. I, too, always think of cows as wide and short. These boys were breathtaking! According to our guide, male dairy cows are normally taken from their moms within 24-48 hours and sold to to the veal industry. Therefore, it isn’t very common to see a full grown male dairy cow. These were only 2 1/2 years old and still had growing to do! Amazing! I am so happy that they’ve found a loving and compassionate home at Animal Acres. Kim & Ryan’s pictures are beautiful!

  12. Fantastic pictures!


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