Mini-Cow Rescued From Auction Lives With 12 Dogs, And Now Thinks She’s One Of Them

"I think she just knows that there's a lot of different friends in the world.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge


Moonpie is an incredibly special miniature rescue cow who was once destined to become ground beef. Fortunately for her, she was spotted at a livestock auction and was purchased by a friend of Janice Wolf, the founder of the Rocky Ridge Refuge Sanctuary.

“These auctions are huge — millions and millions of animals are auctioned off everyday,” commented Wolf. “I stay away from them because they kind of make me crazy. Many of the animals aren’t being treated that well.”

Because Moonpie is tiny, she was allowed to stay indoors with Janice’s 12 dogs due to poor weather upon arrival. In no matter of time, the canines befriended her and the story goes that she now believes she’s part of the pack. In an interview with The Dodo, Janice said:

“She accepts them as her buddies. Babies like that — they don’t know a whole lot about what it’s supposed to be, so they kind of just accept things.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

The dogs serve as her surrogate moms, said Janice. “They clean her face, the way her mother would have. They love to do that… They were all thrilled to see her.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

One of Moonpie’s favorite friends is a deaf bull terrier named Spackle.

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“The picture with the white bull terrier — that was Moonpie’s first day here,” Wolf said. “Spackle loves babies, and immediately became her protector and buddy. She wouldn’t leave that calf’s side. They instantly bonded.”

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“My dogs have a lot of experience with various critters I rescue or otherwise end up with! A calf is just another friend to love,” Wolf told Bored Panda.

Moonpie even learned how to “use the bathroom,” according to Wolf. Like the dogs, she holds the urge to defecate or urinate until she is outside.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

“She does what the dogs show her, so she learned how to do that,” Wolf said.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

Now that the weather is nice and Moonpie is beginning to venture outdoors more. However, there’s still a lot more growing to do before she can be introduced to the other rescue animals, including a water buffalo, a zebra, capybaras, pigs, dogs, goats, an emu, other cows, and chickens. Fortunately, she has a large family of canines to keep her company.

Animal Kindness and Welfare a priority at HideAway Haven  #everylifeisprecious

Credit: Rocky Ridge Refuge

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

14 Ways to Live an Awesome Earth Friendly Lifestyle!

This simple guide is written to help you lead a life that is good for you, your community, and the earth. Most of these tips will cost you nothing to implement and many of them will save you money. They will help you to increase your health and happiness and that of the people, animals, and environment that you interact with.

But Beware!  People will think you are awesome.  You will be flooded with compliments, love, and appreciation.  People will want to talk to you and be around you.  Your life will have purpose and you will be passionate to be alive.

1.  Grow your own food and eat a whole food plant based diet which means more veggies, fruits, grains, and nuts and less animal products. Try to buy organic and unpackaged food as well.

Photo by Healthy Lunch Ideas via flickr

Photo by Healthy Lunch Ideas via flickr

2.  Start riding a bike, walking and using public transportation and minimize your time in cars.

3.  Go local. Eat local, shop local, play local.

4.  Reduce- Reuse- Recycle and in that order.  Recycling comes last and is a very energy intensive process.  Much of the trash we create takes 100’s of years to biodegrade so try to cut back on the amount you make.  Compost your food waste, repair items, and find new uses for old stuff.

5.  Share! Share your stuff and share others stuff.  Be a part of the sharing economy.

6.  Buy less stuff and purchase used items when you can.  When thinking of purchasing something ask yourself if you really need it.  This will leave you money to buy the things that you really need and want.

7.  Conserve water and electricity.  Just be conscious of your usage.  There are 100’s of ways to cut back and you will start to see them if you pay attention.

8.  Use products that are reusable and avoid using disposable items such as bags, take out containers, bottled water, straws, dishes, and paper towels. There is an earth friendly alternative to almost any disposable item.

9.  Practice Positive consumerism. Buy from businesses who practice corporate social responsibly. Businesses have a responsibility to people and the planet as well as profit. Support responsible companies and boycott companies who only care about profit.

10.  Simplify. The less you need the easier it is to be friendly to our earth. And the less money you need the more time you will have to do what you love doing.

11.  Be conscious. When you make decisions take into account where things come from and how they were produced.  Take responsibility for your own decisions.   Find out where the things you use come from and if you don’t like what you find then seek out an alternative.

12. Live beyond yourself.  How do your actions affect other humans, animals, and the earth?  Make your decisions based on the wellbeing of everyone and everything, not just you.

13. Be good to others. Good creates good. Smiles create smiles. If you want to be happy just make others happy.

14. Set your priorities. Is eating healthy more important than getting drinks at a bar or eating out?  If so spend your money on the former rather than the latter.

Start small. Choose what will be easiest for you and do that first. Your confidence will build over time and each step will become easier as you progress in living a life that is good for everyone involved. Over time you’ll find yourself happier and healthier and you will likely feel liberated from the things that were holding you back.  Your positivity and health will likely rub off on others and you’ll find yourself creating a more vibrant world around you.

Live Happy.  Live Healthy.  Live Free.  Live beyond yourself.

This article (14 Ways to Live an Awesome Earth Friendly Lifestyle!) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

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For The First Time Ever, US Federal Guidelines Recommend A Plant-Based Diet



Nutritional experts of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommend a predominantly plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons.

In 2010, the UN released a report urging citizens to adopt a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. Who knew that earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee would outline similar recommendations for American citizens?

As was recently shared in the article, “8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More,”, a massive shift in health mentality is inspiring people everywhere to invest in their health.

The report, released earlier this year, includes recommendations by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on what Americans should be eating. This is the first time the committee has concluded a diet higher in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods to not only be both healthier for the body, but better for the environment.

The report details their official recommendations for a “healthy dietary pattern,” which has vegetables, fruits, and whole grains at the very top of the list and red meat and processed meats at the very bottom.

“The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.”

The 571-page report gives an in-depth look at what Americans are presently eating. “The quality of the diets currently consumed by the U.S. population is suboptimal overall and has major adverse health consequences,” it states.

Most notable is the large gap between a healthy diet and the standard American diet: “On average, the U.S. diet is low in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and high in sodium, calories, saturated fat, refined grains, and added sugars.”

Earlier this year it was reported that only 9% of American adults manage to consume the recommended amount of daily fruits and vegetables. Despite the bounty of healthy living resources and information available, America’s greatest challenge, it seems, is overcoming the idea of ‘quick fixes’ and short-term solutions.

The committee’s findings on the Standard American Diet include:

  • Roughly half of American adults have one or more chronic diseases related to poor diet and inactivity
  • Preventable diseases include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese
  • Nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese
  • Chronic diseases disproportionately affect low-income communities
  • Focus on disease treatment rather than prevention increases and strains health care costs and reduces overall health

Amazingly, this is also the first time the committee has included environmental sustainability in its recommendations. It is mentioned that a diet lower in animal foods is not only healthier for the body, it’s better for the environment:

“Quantitative modeling research showed how healthy dietary patterns relate to positive environmental outcomes that improve population food security. Moderate to strong evidence demonstrates that healthy dietary patterns that are higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods are associated with more favorable environmental outcomes (lower greenhouse gas emissions and more favorable land, water, and energy use) than are current U.S. dietary patterns.”

Unsurprisingly, the beef and animal agriculture industries are unhappy, saying that an environmental agenda has no place in nutritional guidelines. Perhaps they should read this article. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) also says the meat advice is “flawed” and “nonsensical,” and even launched a petition to urge people to protest the new dietary guidelines.



Knowing peoples’ love of animal products, they might actually be able to rally enough signatures – which would be a detriment to the well-being of the nation. It has been proven repeatedly that a predominantly plant-based diet is optimal for health and that diseases of affluence are not likely to remedy themselves until diet is improved. These guidelines are a step in the right direction for people to be able to realize and heed such advice.

The federally appointed panel is comprised of nutritional experts, and their recommendations help to put policies in place to ensure American eat healthier. Their task is to help set standards for school lunches, food stamp programs, and other programs for children and pregnant women.

What are your thoughts on this news? Share this article and comment below.

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8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More

These countries have decreased their consumption of animal products dramatically!

Blueberries at HideAway Haven

Did you know? In 2010, the United Nations released a report urging the world to adopt a predominantly plant-based diet, for its environmental and health implications. Since the turn of the century, interest in vegan and vegetarian diets has dramatically increased!

In fact, a number of nations are making headlines with their sustainable commitments, some of the most notable ones listed below.

According to an article in the New Zealand Herald, the increase is fueled by a motivation to help prevent disease, environmental degradation, and animal suffering on factory farms.

Explains the author:

“A decade ago, the vegan diet was considered whacky, if not plain risky. Vegans were seen as un-fun characters who lived on dandelion tea and brown rice. Now, eating vegan is seriously cool.” 

Following are eight other countries ditching meat and lessening their carbon footprint by embracing a delicious, plant-based lifestyle:

1) Spain

As shared by this article published last year in The Guardian, there is a growing population of vegetarians and vegans in the country of Spain:

“Spanish people have a reputation as diehard meat eaters. But in recent years, as the number of vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Spain has doubled, there are signs of change.” The author continues, “The idea that we should, at the very least, eat less meat is increasingly common in Spain, as in many other parts of Europe.” 

2) The United Kingdom

The UK is quickly following in the footsteps of the United States health-wise, which is why news of one in eight British adults now following a vegetarian or vegan diet is positive news.

Interestingly, 12% of the population now identifies as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’, but that percentage jumps to 20% for people between the ages of 16 and 24. That’s not all: millions more in the UK are “flexitarians,” meaning they have cut back on their meat consumption dramatically, but still consume it now and again.

3) Sweden

Not only has the nation run out of garbage and is importing trash from neighboring countries to burn for fuel, its government is contemplating a “meat tax.” You can learn more about that here.

That said, it should as no surprise, then, that nearly 10% of the country now identifies as vegetarian or vegan – and the millennial generation is leading the way.

Animal Rights Sweden conducted a poll and learned that in the past five years, the number of vegetarians in the country has increased by 4%!

4) Israel

An article published by JSpaceNews last year showcases the growing vegan population in Israel. It is estimated that at the time of publication, there were nearly 300,000 vegans in the tiny country – making up 4% of its total population.

According to the author: “That makes Israel the vegan capital of the world, with more people per capita eschewing all animal products in their diet than any other nation.”

5) India

This largely vegetarian country became even more veg-friendly last year! As the Mercy for Animals blog relays, last year, the Indian city Palitana became the first all-vegetarian city in the world.

Monks in this country spurred this revolutionary change by going on a hunger strike to pressure the state of Gujarat to outlaw animal slaughter in their city. Their efforts proved to be successful, and shortly after, the government imposed a ban on animal slaughter and outlawed the sale of meat and eggs.



6) Germany

It may seem shocking that the nation renowned for Bratwurst is now home to over 7 million vegetarians, but the demand for plant-based products is only increasing.

Even the nation’s 200-year-old Oktoberfest, a meat-laden annual German beer festival, has started serving delicious vegan versions of traditional favorites to satiate attendees’ appetites.

In addition, the owner of Veganz, an all-vegan supermarket chain based in Germany, has ambitious plans of opening 60 more stores by the year 2020, due to popular demand!

7) Canada

According to results from a survey of Canadian food consumption for 2013, citizens in this nation have decreased their meat consumption by almost 10%(!) since the year 2011. A general decrease was noted across all meat categories, but the most noteworthy decline was seen in pork consumption, with a decrease of 4.5%.

Not only that, last year The Huffington Post Canada highlighted Canada’s growing trend away from the consumption of milk. It seems consumption of dairy products has dropped 25% as more nutritious, humane and dairy-free alternatives (like soy and almond milk) have become available.

8) The United States

The country is doing something right in its quest to curb skyrocketing diseases of affluence (like Diabetes, Cancer, and heart disease) by reducing its consumption of animal products. Google even recently tried to buy-out a Vegan ‘cheeseburger’ company in the States.

Other private investors are putting millions into vegan food start-ups, like Bill Gates who is an die hard fan of Beyond Meat, and Hampton Creek Foods, which garnered the attention of Asia’s richest businessman, Li Ka-Shing, along with a $23 million investment.

That’s not all: global market research company Mintel recently discovered that 36% of Americans purchase meat alternatives every once in a while. (Perhaps for Meatless Mondays?)


Consuming more plant-based foods is one of the best things you can do for the environment and your health. And guess what? It doesn’t have to be disgusting, boring, or hard. TrueActivist has already shared some healthy inspiration, such as “5 Best Ways To Eat More Bananas,” and the “Top 7 Vegan Sources of Protein.”

It’s easier than ever to get started today and start living a vibrant, eco-friendly lifestyle. Share this article and comment your thoughts below.

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Trying to eat healthy while travelling can be a big challenge

Travelling and eating new foods is incredibly exciting and enjoyable. Experiencing new foods is all part of the fun, and helps you get to know the new place you’re in. But, you need to maintain balance, and reduce exposure to foods that may not make you feel that great.

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

At HideAway Haven, we make it easy for you to eat healthy and feel great while you are travelling, with many healthy options offered during your stay.  Our healthy options include Chia Breakfast Pudding with local fresh berries, maple syrup and toasted almond flakes.  We make our own toasted muesli packed with dried fruits, nuts and healthy grains.  We serve home-made bread including Sour Dough, Wholemeal, Dinkle Seed, Khorasan and Gluten Free. Or try one of our many varieties of smoothies made from 100% local fresh fruit.  For those who enjoy a hot breakfast, poached eggs from our local bio dynamic farmer, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.  We now offer healthy spiralised veggie breakfast bowls.

Whether you enjoy vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, paleo we have lots of varied options for you.  No matter how long your stay is with us, there are new options to choose from every morning.

We have been challenged while we have been travelling through the USA.  We made it a priority to stay at hotels that offered a mini-fridge in our room. This enabled us to stock healthy foods in our room for easy access and saved us big dollars by being able to purchase our own breakfast and snack foods.

At our hotel free breakfast buffet, the least healthy things are served such as bacon, watery scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausages, waffles, cranberry muffins and fruit flavoured yoghurts to name a few.

A choice of cereals such as Cheerios, Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops, often stale, and sometimes with lukewarm milk to boot and nothing but sugary, dessert-like breakfast items such as Danish Pastries.

There is no variety and this is particularly pronounced as we stayed several days in our hotels. How many days in a row can you eat runny eggs, shrivelled up fatty sausages and bacon or very lame, yet highly fattening waffles with fake maple syrup?

As health conscious hostesses, we have taken the guesswork out of deciding how to manage a healthier style of travel, with countless options for healthy choices.  For those that still want bacon and creamy scrambled eggs, be assured they are still available at HideAway Haven and are freshly cooked to order. 


Stretching our Culinary Ingenuity

Anyone who has food allergies such as gluten or lactose or follows a special diet (such as kosher or vegan) knows that sticking to your food routine can be frustrating, depressing and sometimes a little tricky -- especially when you're travelling.  Dietary restrictions don’t have to take the spontaneity out of your adventures; it just takes a little planning.

Welcoming guests into our HideAway Haven home is an invitation to be cared for and treated like family and preparing breakfast or dinner for you is an extension of that care. From vegans and vegetarians to guests who are gluten free, soy free or paleo-dieting,

Some dietary requests and restrictions have stretched our culinary ingenuity but over the years we've come up with a few knock-out breakfasts.

Coconut and Banana French Toast (vegan) made with Gluten Free Home Made Bread

Orange Chia Breakfast Pudding - RAW Vegan and Gluten Free

Pan Seared Oatmeal served with local fresh blueberries and drizzled with honey - Vegan, lactose and Gluten Free)

Eating Fresh and Alive Foods not 'Fake Meat'

You don't have to eat meat to enjoy soothing aromas and flavour-enriched meals.  I have decided not to use 'fake' processed food that is supposed to replace meat.  I am eating fresh, alive foods with herbs and spices and loving it.  There are enough delicious whole vegetarian foods without having to resort to meat substitutions. Some meat substitutes contain processed ingredients, additives and preservatives Most meat substitutes are highly processed and full of artificial fillers, preservatives and additives. Many are made from soy protein isolate, wheat gluten and other textured vegetable proteins, but also questionable ingredients that help gel and mold them into meat-like shapes.

Rachel Berman, R.D., author of Boosting Your Metabolism for Dummies and health editor at, says to read the box before buying. “Be wary of a long ingredient list,” she says. “The more it has, the more likely there are additives and preservatives in there to stabilize the food, add flavour, or change its consistency.”

I love going to the Albany's Farmers Markets every Saturday morning where local producers sell their fresh and seasonal produce.  The quality and range is amazing with every kind of imaginable type of fruit and vegetables in season.

This week I made a lentil, mushroom and spinach strudel.  It was so good, I was glad there were leftovers.  

4 Tbsp olive oil

6 large mushrooms, chopped into small pieces Use a variety of mushrooms for richer flavour.

1 400g brown lentils, washed and drained (buy fresh and cook your own or use canned)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Small onion finely chopped

4 or 5 cups fresh roughly chopped English or baby spinach

6 to 8 sundried tomato halves

1 tsp hot curry powder

¼ tsp coriander seeds

salt to taste (don’t omit)

the zest of a small lemon or lime

2 to 3 Tbsp home made tomato paste

1/8 cup water

Puff pastry sheets

Grated cheese

a few sprigs of fresh rosemary


Fry the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a large frying pan, mixing all the time.  Then, after a few minutes of letting them sweat, add the tomato paste, the curry powder, and the onion powder, and mix. A minute later, add the cooked lentils, and stir.

Add the spinach, and the remaining ingredients.  Cover, and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes – the mixture should be thick, rich and very aromatic.  Remove from heat, and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so.

Next, place your thawed pastry sheets on a clean, floured surface

Spoon thick spinach and lentil mix onto the pastry sheet, top with cheese then roll up and brush with milk and beaten egg.

Cook in hot oven until pastry is golden brown.  Serve with fresh rosemary on a bed of spinach and rocket mix.