Triangle Vegfest recap


Thanks to all of our friends and supporters that stopped by our table today at the inaugural Triangle Vegfest! We are thrilled to have met and talked with so many great new people. We had tons of fun and are honored to have been a part of this wonderful event.

We’d like to send a huge shout out to Maggie of Maggie’s Conscious Vegan Cuisine. Not only does she make absolutely delicious vegan cuisine but she is very generous as well. We are so humbled to have been the recipients of all the proceeds from the sale of a seasonal veggie dish she made specifically for Triangle Vegfest. You can find Maggie’s easy-to-make, delicious cuisine locally at Whole Foods, or at Wegman’s if you live in the Northeast.

Maggie, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support and generosity!

Holiday culinary workshop with Chef Kevin Archer

Chef Kevin ArcherWe are thrilled to announce that tickets for our vegan holiday-themed culinary workshop with Certified Chef Kevin Archer are now on sale!

Saturday, November 8th, 2PM – 5PM

Pacifica Co-Housing Community

Viburnum Way, Carrboro, NC 27510


Get your tickets here!

Thank you to our Indiegogo supporters!

future goat+sheep barnOur Indiegogo campaign has come to a close and we are thrilled to announce that we HIT OUR GOAL thanks to last minute donations by Kevin Archer, who just happens to be our favorite certified vegan chef, and Julia Brittain who gave on our website to get us to $10,000!! We are so grateful to all of our friends and supporters who have made this campaign a success. If you missed the opportunity to participate in the Indiegogo campaign, you can always earmark a donation on our website to barn building or consider sponsoring one of our wonderful animals to provide them with top notch care. Thanks again everyone. We could not do this without you!


Meet Robby, the Refuge’s first rescue!

Robby the Rooster


robbyRobby the rooster came to the Refuge in July of 2014 as the sanctuary’s very first rescued animal.  Robby was purchased as a chick, along with other chicks, to be used for their eggs in an urban neighborhood. Many baby chickens purchased for this reason turn out to be roosters instead of hens because it is hard to tell their gender at such a young age. Some of the people living with Robby wanted to kill him for meat because he could not provide them with eggs. One person cared about Robby’s life and did not want any harm to come to him.  She contacted the Refuge where he now lives in safety for the rest of his life.


Robby’s rescue story is important to tell because it highlights some of the issues facing birds living as “backyard chickens”. Most of them come from commercial hatcheries where workers attempt to sort out the male chicks by throwing them alive in meat grinders or into plastic trash bags to dispose of them. 


Day old babies are shipped in boxes to consumers without food or water, and can die during travel. Roosters who live in backyard urban homes often meet a grim fate. Zoning laws banning their existence within city limits, neighbor complaints about noise, and their perception of being “useless” beings are all factors that lead to their frequent deaths.



Robby’s story doesn’t end there. His name holds special significance to Refuge founder Lenore Braford. Lenore’s dream to start an organization that advocates for farm animals would not have been possible without her great Uncle Alex. Although the purchase of the sanctuary land occurred many years after his death, Uncle Alex is honored and remembered by our first rescue Robby, who is named after Alex’s beloved dog. Having no children of his own, Alex looked upon Robby the dog as a cherished family member, even allowing him to eat off of his own dinner plate.




The bond that Alex and Robby the dog shared is not unique, but the love and care given to Robby the rooster is far more rare. Why should this be the case? Why love one and eat the other? All animals are equally deserving of love, respect and the right to a free life. No animal is useless, just like no person is useless. 

As the Refuge continues to grow, we hope that Robby’s story and the stories of all of our rescues will touch the hearts of many and inspire a more compassionate world.

United Poultry Concerns

United Poultry Concerns

Machipongo, Virginia
phone: 757-678-7875






United Poultry Concerns was founded by Karen Davis in 1990 and is home to over 140 rescued birds. The chickens in her care have been rescued from laboratories, cock fighting operations, shelters and factory farms. Karen has worked tirelessly for decades advocating on behalf of chickens, turkey and other birds. An author, speaker, and well-known farmed animal activist, Karen has made great strides in bringing awareness to the plight of these birds to the general public. For instance UPC led an initiative to place ads on buses in both San Francisco and DC with the slogan “what wings are for” with a picture of a loving mother hen cradling a small chick. After our tour we got the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with several of the hens who were friendly and affectionate. They were especially interested in Jen’s black shiny boots! Karen was generous enough to give us a large quantity of several informative pamphlets developed by UPC for educational outreach which we look forward to distributing at our upcoming vegan bake sale.



Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

Poolesville, Maryland
phone: 301-428-8128






In order to fit in two sanctuaries today we were on the road a little after 5AM but the early rise was well worth it. We arrived at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary with the sunrise and were given a tour by co-founder Terry Cummings. Terry and her husband Dave moved onto the property in 1987 and were renting a place in the main house. At that time, dairy cows were being raised on the farm by another tenant and Terry & Dave became very attached to them. One day they heard loud bellows of distress and when they ran outside to help, saw the cows being brutally treated by men who had come to take away the male babies. Male calves born to dairy cows are taken away from their mothers at a very young age and are raised for veal, where they are kept in extreme confinement and isolation before an early death. When Terry & Dave saw the reality of what life is like for these cows, they went vegetarian and soon thereafter vegan. Eventually the owner of the property donated the 400 acres of land to the sanctuary where they now provide a loving home to around 200 animals. On our tour we met the rambunctious calf Mikey who was saved from the veal industry and saw the sweet tenderness of a mother goose building a nest for her newly laid eggs. Poplar Spring places eggs from their rescues in the woods for the wildlife on the property and gives the wool from their sheep to a local Audubon society for use in bird nests. It was such a joy to meet Terry and the residents of Poplar Spring. 



PIGS Animal Sanctuary

PIGS Animal Sanctuary

Sheperdstown, West Virginia
phone: 304-876-6766







Our morning visit to PIGS Animal Sanctuary in Sheperdstown West Virginia was a wonderful experience. Executive Director Melissa Susko took time out of her busy schedule to introduce us to many of the wonderful residents. Levi the pit bull helped lead the tour and we had a great time meeting Oliver the pig who thoroughly enjoyed having his belly rubbed. Pigs enjoy human affection much similar to dogs and can form lifelong bonds with humans and other animals. Melissa has done a remarkable job revitalizing the sanctuary over the past 18 years and works extremely hard to provide a comfortable home for the 500 sanctuary residents. As we work to build The Refuge we hope to remain in close contact with Melissa and learn from her years of experience in this field. After a great tour we headed to the quaint downtown area of Sheperdstown where we ate at a wonderful vegetarian cafe Mellow Moods recommended by Melissa.



Full Circle Farm Sanctuary

Full Circle Farm Sanctuary

317 Grovewood Dr, Burnsville, North Carolina 28714
phone: 828-367-1620

Unfortunately Full Circle Farm Sanctuary had to cancel our tour at the last minute. We were disappointed to not be able to include them in our regional tour. We hope to visit them some time in the future.