Our company is The Vegan Owl. We are Lisa and Terry, a brother and sister team. Lisa is a committed ethical vegan. Terry is an experienced baker. Together they have a passion for making good quality vegan food available for everyone to enjoy.
The Vegan Owl has created a range of delicious, savoury, filled pastries which will be available to buy ready to eat.
You used to have to choose compassion over convenience..... we are about to change all that!
Tucked away in a barn, just past the big bend in the road, on a small farm, is a young cow. His ear tag identifies him as #2642
#2642 lives in the barn with a herd of about 40 cows. They are various ages and breeds. They are various colours, with different faces and individual sounding Moo's. They all have one thing in common. They are here to be fed and fattened. When they are grown to their desired weight they will be separated from their herd mates and go off in two's. They wont return. That was the fate of #2642, until he met me.
I was visiting the farm to buy some haylage for my horses from the Farmer. Farmer Webster is a good man. He has a sparkle in his eyes that tells snippets of stories of years gone by. He has spent his life on what was once his Parents Dairy farm. Now, its an arable farm, growing cereal for animal feed. Farmer Webster told me that the old place had no life without cows living there, so he keeps a small herd and grows them. I can understand the emptiness he feels without livestock on the place where he grew up. He knows I am one of those Bunny hugging veggie types but he respects my views even if he doesn't completely understand them and I respect his. I like Farmer Webster and he likes me.
While we were talking, leaning on the barrier between the bedded area for the cattle and where their food is laid in lines for them to put their heads through to eat, little #2642 pushed his way to the front, where the rest of the herd had gathered with interest to hear what the Farmer and the stranger were saying.
The small cow with the cartoon blotches on his face and body caught my eye as he jostled his way to the front. The hair on his head was like a toupee and looked as if it had been styled slightly to one side. His nose was large and wet but above all, what I noticed most was his eyes. He looked at me and I at him. What I saw was not only a depth of soul but he had a twinkle in his eyes too. Not dissimilar to the watery older sparkle to that of Farmer Webster.
I did what any polite person should do when they meet someone of an alternative origin to their own. Speak to them in their own language. So, I Moo'd. Not an impersonation of a Moo. I didn't just pronounce M.O.O. I really Moo'd, from the depth of my chest. Much to the surprise of the old farmer. Its something I have always done since I was little. As a child I would spend hours outside Cooing at pigeons, Cawing at rooks, Cheeping to birds and today Mooing at #2642. He Moo'd back without hesitation but it was what he did next that changed the course of his future. He winked at me.
I winked back and took a step towards him. I put my hands on his face and spoke to him, in English this time. He had such a kind and gentle way about him. We made friends there and then.
The farmer and I continued discussing the cows. Of days gone by when the place was a dairy, a bustling farm, worked 365 days a year and serving as a universe to those who lived there. There wasn't much life outside of the farm.
We talked and walked along to the outside end of the barn, chatting and laughing. I was enjoying the stories and the company of this charming Suffolk gentleman with the twinkle in his eye.
My attention was turned back to the cows as my arm was pulled by the sleeve of my coat. I was happy to see the now familiar face of little #2642. He had again, as the farmer and I moved along the outbuilding, pushed his way through the herd to the front and gently pulled at my sleeve with his mouth. "He likes you, that one" said the farmer. "I like him too" I said and I meant it. As much respect as I had for the farmer and his traditions, fully understanding his feelings that the only way he knew to keep the farm alive was to keep these cows, it was of course at the forefront of my mind the ultimate purpose of these animals being here.
"I want to buy this one" I blurted out. "Ok" said the farmer "When shall I deliver him?"
"Can you give me time?" I asked. "All the time you need girl" he replied, laughing.
I laughed too and we joked back and forth "we could pop him in your car if you like" and so it went on.
But I wasn't joking. I knew that #2642 would have at least the whole winter on the farm. I had time, not much but it had to be enough to be able to pull off the greatest escape plan any cow could dream of.
In order for me to offer sanctuary to animals like #2642, the ones who manage to look into the eyes of someone who sees their soul, sees that they are thinking, kind, sentient beings that deserve to live peaceful lives, I have to create something of value and quickly.
I needed to get my sanctuary going. So I hatched a plan, focussing on the end result and trusting in the process that this will happen. It must happen. It will happen.
#2642 Style your hair, I'm coming to get you!
Today #2642 is still in the barn at Webster's.
I have formed The Vegan Owl, along with my brother Terry.
We have created a fully branded range of delicious, vegan pastries.
We have won an award at The British Pie Awards.
The success of The Vegan Owl will fund the land we need to offer sanctuary.