Buttercup Stole My Heart

17 Sep
Buttercup and I enjoying the luxurious patio accommodations

Meet Buttercup who is a resident of  The Gentle Barn.  She stole my heart during my visit there on 9/4 as part of my Boss Hogg Tour. Here we are enjoying the posh patio accommodations! 😉  See all the pictures here.

Though Buttercup had a hard life in the dairy industry and lost her baby, she was rescued and is now the resident mama cow for the new calves.

The Gentle Barn is a totally-friggin’-awesome-place that everyone needs to visit – especially kids.  When I win the lottery, a big chunk of change will go to them, and then I’ll be able to sponsor any of the animals I want – including Buttercup.  Cruelty is out – compassion rocks, especially with faces like Buttercup… or Patches the horse, or Jewel the peacock, or Yoda the emu!  You can enjoy a variety of food from their vegan sponsors, give the horses carrots or take a picture on the cool red tractor.  I did – but had to delete the pictures due to a wardrobe malfunction.  No, it was not intentional.  I didn’t realize I would be straddling a tractor seat that day and my dress was a wee-bit too short.  Oops. So no picture of me, but I did take one of some kid.

Any-hoo, enough about me.  Back to The Gentle Barn.

I’m sitting here trying to write about my experience, but feeling sadly unable to capture everything I felt in my heart.  One of the most loving and profound moments I had was with Ellie Weiner, Gentle Barn’s Founder.

Meeting Ellie and Prince Charming

For those of you who know Yvonne, Ellie reminded me of her.  As soon as I met her I felt a generous wave of kindness, connection and love.  I had nominated Ellie for Peace Alliance’s Faces of Peace, and introduced myself as that person.  She shared how grateful she is to be nominated, “…even if I am not picked.”  Huh – fat chance. In my opinion, peace begins with the plate!

As I was leaving I stopped by to say good-bye and give her a hug.  Ellie just kept looking me straight in the eyes – the way Yvonne does.
Have you ever been with someone who looks into your eyes and goes straight to your soul?  Just like Yvonne, Ellie looked at me with eyes of love and my heart just melted and I started crying.
I began sharing my story – why I became vegetarian – because  of my childhood pig, Boss Hogg who was killed for bacon and pork chops (gross!).  That I was afraid to tell her that I am not 100% vegan yet, because I have horrible cravings for cheese and butter sometimes and that I have been really struggling with that.
Rather than screaming in horror (as I had been afraid would happen anytime I told a vegan that…”Well I’m not quite vegan yet,”)  Ellie just loved me in a way that left me feeling seen, heard and celebrated!  She shared her understanding about this – the body has cravings when we lack the nutrition we need; her research about plant-based foods and that I could get the info from The Gentle Barn (got it!); and the dilemna of not preaching a certain way of life.  I totally got it!  She blew me away with her acceptance and empathy and I left there with a new personal hero.
I’m left with an even greater belief in the power of love and compassion. It would be really easy to fall into anger and hatred towards those that harm the animals – and the industry of factory farms – but Ellie chooses to focus on the beauty of each sentient being’s soul and to foster an environment of tenderness and compassion.  And I experienced that in her presence during our time together.
So Buttercup has my heart and Ellie, you are now one of my heroes!


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