When we picked up two hens from the Orange County animal shelter on February 12th, 2014, the understanding was that we would be transporting them to a sanctuary in a few days. We had taken part in two prior rescue-and-transport efforts—for a little white goat named Lily in Gaston County and Bubba the famous feral ram in Durham—and had plans to keep doing more of the same. After all, we only had a few acres of mostly wooded land and practically no experience caring for and living with farmed animals; we wanted to rescue chickens “someday” but did not envision that happening for several years.
But plans change.
Amandine and Clementine.
An intervening snowstorm gave us a few more days to get to know them, and Clementine and Amandine quickly won us over … as we scrambled to build them a workable living space in our basement and fumbled around trying to figure out the right ways to carry them and interact with them and care for them. Call it a crash course with a backdrop of snow.
The funny thing about broken plans, of course, is that much creativity can be born in the breaking. Once the divide between us and farmed animals had disappeared, new questions presented themselves. How best could we accommodate our new residents? What did it mean that we were now vegans with chickens? And more importantly, what did “sanctuary” really mean … for us and for the animals?
After a few conversations amongst the board members, the mission of Triangle Chance for All evolved, and not long after we rescued our next two residents, Orion and Hikaru the roosters, in March, we had re-envisioned ourselves as a Microsanctuary.
The first “coop”!
Where they live today.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, our resident numbers grew quickly in the months that followed. Harumi, Kotori, Jason, Jewel, and Joy joined us at the Microsanctuary in April. Phoenix arrived in May. Beatrice, Coriander, Nutmeg, Hypatia, and Phoebe came in June. Tolstoy, Da Vinci, Trudy, and Annabel were rescued in July. Guinevere and Bibi both came in September. Mott, Autumn, Salem, Wilkie, Cordelia, and Yuki arrived in October. Nemea arrived in November.
While taking in these residents (and losing Guinevere and Coriander, for whom we still mourn), we also continued to rescue, place, and transport farmed animals in need—including Nestor the goat, Lola the pig, Rupert the goat, Speckles the rooster, Plutarch the pig, and Silver the goat.
Also in that year, we have hosted and participated in some exciting vegan outreach events. Our spring and fall bake sales showed many people how delicious veganism can be. Our Vegan BBQ & Microsanctuary Debut welcomed friends and supporters, whom we have followed up with through individual visits for food, fellowship, and visiting with our residents. Vegan Night Out in September brought together local vegan-friendly restaurants and an amazing documentary film, The Ghosts in Our Machine, and our appearance at the first annual Triangle VegFest was a whopping success where we reached many new local friends.
Suffice it to say, all of us at Triangle Chance for All are thrilled at what we accomplished in our first year.
But we are also deeply humbled because of the support and encouragement we have received from our supporters to make all of this possible.
Bibi undergoing surgery to fix a broken beak.
Since we welcomed Clementine and Amandine, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters, whose donations have largely been used to feed, care for, shelter, clean up after, and otherwise support our residents and placements. For example, we spent over $2,800 on food and over $7,000 on medical care, all so that we could provide our residents with the same quality of life that would be expected for any family member.
The year ahead is equally exciting, but with different foci for us as an organization. Of course, sustaining the lives we have is a top priority. We will continue to care for our residents and telling their stories, while giving others a chance to get to know them and, we hope, begin to see farmed animals in an entirely new way.
Beyond that, we plan to put much more energy into our educational programs, on topics including:
- the biology of eggs, and why there is no such thing as an ethical egg;
- the plight of roosters;
- “teacup” pigs;
- ethical veganism and animal liberation; and
We are also excited to have our volunteer program starting up, and have already had a great response. Who knew so many people were interested in picking up pig poop and cleaning chicken houses?
Infrastructure is also on our radar for the year(s) ahead, whether that means rethinking how we use our current yards and houses, or how to expand so that Mott and Cordelia can finally get out to the woods—and be joined by goats and possibly other species as well!
Of course, there is still much to be revealed in the year ahead for Triangle Chance for All. We appreciate all of your interest and support, and we look forward to continuing to make a positive difference for all beings.