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      Stories — Friend

      My Friend Sunshine

      My Friend Sunshine

      I was thinking what to write for my first blog post; actually, my first blog post ever. I could tell you about my history of baking, but my brain immediately went to a time when I befriended a cow, and named her Sunshine.  

      I was in my thirties, newly divorced, and I had decided to rent a farmlike studio in a tiny town called Penngrove in California.  There were five starving chickens running around that had been abandoned by the previous renter, (I had never even seen a real chicken before), a small covered area in the backyard, and there was a huge adjoining field with a big black and white cow in it.  

      This cow brought much solace into my life at a time when I needed a friend.  She was there for me in more ways that I probably even realized at the time.  Having come from the big city of Los Angeles, my heart immediately connected with these animals; it was a whole new world. 

      I researched what the chickens would need for nourishment and to make their habitat more comfortable.  I went and bought bales of hay and fixed up their lean to.  In a few weeks, they were looking very healthy and one day they started laying eggs!  It was incredible! 

      Every morning I would come out on my back porch with a hot cup of coffee, and a small, portable boombox, and I'd play my Bach CD's.  My new cow friend loved the classical music.  She'd start bucking and running in from the back fields all the way up to the fence where I would greet her with lots of "good mornings," caresses, ear rubbing and carrots.  I had become quite attached to Sunshine, and to my chickens, who loved to follow me around and jump up on my lap. 

      These were days of contemplation for me; hammock days, swaying in the Sonoma wind days, questioning and daydreaming days, writing, and reading Kierkegaard, Goethe and Rilke days.  Sunshine and I were buddies.  She had the most beautiful, soulful eyes I had ever seen.  I loved to watch her get so excited by the music.  Oftentimes she'd dance around and stare deep into my soul.  She was pure kindness. 

      But then it happened; I woke up and walked outside with my coffee and there was no Sunshine.  She was gone.  I went to my neighbor's door and asked, what happened to the beautiful, sweet cow that was here?  "Oh, they took her away this morning to slaughter," the man said casually, as if the mailman had just picked up a package.  

      This was my friend they took away.  Tears rolled down my face and my chest got tight. The next morning, there was an emptiness in the fields.  I kept thinking maybe she'd come back, maybe somehow something would happen and she'd be back, waiting for me to play the music, waiting for one more chance to prance  and jump with joy.  But she never came back, and I shuddered to think what her last moments were like and how scared and confused she must have been. 

      I started researching about cows and how they are treated in the food industry.  It was a real eye opener to say the least.

      Today, I am honored to be a part of making cows' lives better.  So, in memory of Sunshine, I want to say "thank you" to her for touching my heart and inspiring me to create dairy-free butter, and to you for taking an interest in my products.  Together, by choosing plant based foods, we can make a difference for a better world.