My Vegan Journey
By Sophie Rulmont
Hi my name is Sophie Rulmont and I am 12 years old and live in beautiful Northern California.
My vegan journey started about a year and a half ago. I have always loved pigs, so much, that my mom found an all pig sanctuary in Stanwood, Washington, called Pigs Peace Sanctuary. At the time, I had been vegetarian for about 6 months. I loved learning more about this amazing sanctuary and I made a donation box decorated with pigs to raise money for the sanctuary. In about 2 months, I had raised $265.00 from friends and students at my school!
We decided that mailing my donation to Pigs Peace Sanctuary was not enough. I convinced my family to take a road trip up to Washington to deliver the money! Before our trip, I decided to try being vegan for a one month. I was so excited that I spilled the news to my friends and supporters at school about visiting the sanctuary and being vegan. I knew I would get teased, but it didn’t matter, it was for the animals!
When spring break rolled around I couldn’t have been happier: no school, no homework, and I was on my way to see over 150 pigs! Three of my favorite things!
We were finally on our way – to Oregon we go! We drove non – stop from our house to Ashland, Oregon. We were starving when we arrived and we found a nice little Chinese restaurant and to my surprise they had some vegan options! Then we found some delicious non – dairy ice cream a little bit down the way. We were ready to get a good night’s sleep and to get on our way in the morning. Ashland was beautiful but we still had quite a journey to Stanwood, Washington!
That next morning we packed up and we headed out to Lincoln City, Oregon,
a cute beach side town on the Oregon Coast! We spent two days there and discovered a really yummy restaurant along with a great local co-op with lots of vegan snacks.
Our final drive for the trip was to Kirkland, Washington. We stayed at a very nice hotel right next to Lake Washington. They had a midnight snack room, where I soon discovered Oreos are vegan! We also used the hotels kayaks to go kayaking on the lake. That night we got a good night’s sleep (or at least tried to) because we knew we were in for a big day ahead. Tomorrow we were going to Pigs Peace Sanctuary!
That morning I woke up with pure excitement knowing today was the day I would be delivering my donation and meeting many new friends. I was buzzing with all the joy I could possibly have. I was going to my paradise! I know it sounds silly because when you imagine paradise, you may think of a nice tropical place, but not me, I think of a pig sanctuary!
I will never forget the day we arrived at the sanctuary. It was pig heaven! Everything from pigs signs to a pig mailbox, I was overloaded with so many emotions! And of course, I couldn’t believe I was finally standing in front of over 150 pigs!
We walked in and met Judy Woods, the sanctuary owner, and she was so sweet and caring! The first pig she introduced us to was Judee the pig! She was huge and even sat on my foot! (Story be told Judy had to get an animal cracker to get Judee up!) After meeting Judee, we went to meet the other pigs inside the barn.
There were pigs in the barn all curled up under many bundles of hay and some busy eating. We could spot them after hearing a few snorts here and there. The sanctuary was everything and more than I could have ever imagined!
After we looked over the main area we headed to meet Honey and Ziggy, two very special pigs. Honey has only two functioning legs, which were her two front legs, so she scooted around with her two back legs under her. She actually doesn’t know any different and thought she was perfectly fine. She fell off a back of a truck and broke her pelvis bone when she was very young. We all loved her so much, she was just the sweetest of them all!
We then headed over to meet Ziggy! Ziggy was also special because he only had three legs. He actually hops around. We got to feed both Honey and Ziggy pounds of carrots. It was one of the best experiences I’ll ever have!
On our last stop of the day on our special tour, we went back to the main area and feed all the pigs 150 pounds of carrots! Judy rung the dinner bell and the pigs came darting down the lane running in from the fields for carrots! You could feel the rumble of the pigs coming. It took us a very long time to finish throwing all of those carrots. It was such an amazing moment. Just realizing that those pigs were safe, sound and very spoiled, made me very happy.
Judy let us visit the education room and the gift shop before we left. We gathered magazines and pamphlets all about pigs. She asked us to spread the word about how amazing pigs are and I learned some very interesting facts. I purchased a cute little piggy plush and a t-shirt as a souvenir from the day and my brother purchased a t-shirt as well.
After seeing and meeting all those pigs, I realized I could never go back to eating eggs, meat or dairy ever again! I honestly regret ever eating animal products knowing what I know now and whenever I think about it, I tear up at the thought. But now I know that I made the choice of kindness and veganism for the animals and I will continue for them. If you truly love animals, do what I did, and do it for them, go vegan!