Photo courtesy © Cameron O'Steen.

Oreo was a sweet, beautiful baby boy cow I had the honor of getting to know at Animal Acres. Oreo, along with his friends Cocoa and Peanut, had been rescued from what can only be described as hell on earth - a nearby veal and dairy facility. After being ripped away from their mothers, Oreo, Cocoa, and Peanut spent their first several months barely alive, and sadly, Oreo was so bad off that when the amazing people at Animal Acres found him, he had already developed a terrible lung infection. But despite all of this, Oreo acted like a happy, curious baby - like most babies - enjoying the beauty of each day and palling around with his fellow calves in their safe, comfy new home at the sanctuary. 
Last weekend, Steve and I took my dear friends from NYC, Molly Glenn (of The Vegan Everything) and Dan Truax, to Animal Acres, and I got to spend time with Oreo and his friends. Kisses, cuddles, and hair (aka "straw") nibbling abounded. I was in love with this little guy, so much so that after three hours at the sanctuary, Steve had to literally pull me away from him. I was hooked. And Oreo was to blame.

See, I'm a big fan of the underdog - the beings in this world who need the most love and support, and who happen to be the ones who receive the least of it. Be it a worm, a cockroach, a pigeon, or a pig, I love standing up for the creatures who most strongly need another creature in their corner. So, while Cocoa and Peanut were just as much fun to be around, I was most attached to little Oreo, and most hoping his weakened lungs would heal as he found more peace and health at Animal Acres.

Oreo passed away early this morning. And I'm still a bit of a mess over it. But I know this for sure - I will continue to live vegan for the rest of my life because of Oreo. I will continue to fight for the babies in this world who need our voices to help them and protect them. I will continue to tread as compassionately as possible. Oreo will be a daily reminder that my calling here on earth - to help people connect to their compassion and to go vegan - will never be finished. 
I will miss you, Oreo. Thank you for giving me kisses, nibbles, and cuddles. Thank you mostly for trusting me and everyone else at Animal Acres to treat you with kindness after you had been shown nothing but abuse and neglect at the hands of my species. Thank you for inspiring me every day to continue living my best life. I love you. 
Want to learn more about how to kick the dairy (and egg and meat) habit and live compassionately? Visit www.chooseveg.org to learn how, or, if you're a California resident, find a time to go visit Cocoa and Peanut at Animal Acres. To learn more about Animal Acres, visit www.animalacres.org.


jana said…
i hug you and oreo in my mind. :(
He was and is completely loved. You all gave him that and much more.
Minette said…
I've been on the brink of tears since reading Cameron's post. Have plans to go to Animal Acres on Sunday and was SO looking forward to cuddling and giving lots of love to this little "underdog". I will miss him so much. All of the animals there are lovely (of course) but once & awhile, one just steals your heart and this one "had me at hello". I loved reading your thoughts and you said it all so perfectly. It's a very sad day and I can't stop thinking about him.
Hugs and kisses to you & Steve.... I think that it's safe to say that there are quite a few broken hearts this evening~ sigh
Lindsay said…
Aw, Minette - I hear you. I couldn't agree more. Thanks ladies for all of your love and support. xoxo
Terhi said…
I'm glad little Oreo got to spend the last days of his life in a comfortable place surrounded by people who loved him.
VeganLinda said…
Oreo is one of the lucky ones...having a little peace and love in his life. I volunteered for years at an animals sanctuary in Maryland and I still think of the animals I was lucky to know every day. They touched my life and remind me why veganism is so important to me. I don't think I am saving the planet or making a huge difference, but each individual animal who is rescued or comes to a peaceful rest is what I am fighting for.
Harry said…
Little Oreo, I hope this comment finds you frolicking in lush green pastures with your best mates beside you. Love your new life and in time those who cared for you in your last few weeks will be with you once again. Bright sunshine.
Myra Wolf said…
the last two posts have made me cry my eyes out...in the library...I love you honey..xoxo