Animal Camp: Reflections on a Decade of Love, Hope, and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Author: Kathy Stevens · Subject: Rescues & Sanctuaries
Picking up where she left off in Where the Blind Horse Sings, Kathy Stevens regales us with more tales of the rescued animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS)—some touching, some hilarious, all provocative.
We meet Barbie; the broiler hen found hiding under a blue Honda in Brooklyn who falls for the animal ambassador Rambo, a ram with an uncanny sense of what others need. Then there’s Norma Rae, the turkey rescued from a “turkey bowl” just before Thanksgiving. There’s also Noah, a twenty-one-year-old stallion, starved and locked in a dark stall for his entire life until he came to CAS. Claude, the giant pink free-range pig, is but another of the “underfoot family,” those who roam the barnyard, free and with dignity, interacting with their own and other species in startling and profound ways.
The love Stevens has for these animals, and the amount of love they give her in return is stunning and will make any reader more thoughtful of how we treat animals in this country. Pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, horses, goats, sheep, and more, march into CAS and our hearts as we learn about their personalities and what makes us human.
About the Author
Kathy Stevens co-founded Catskill Animal Sanctuary, where her love of teaching, her belief that education has the power to transform, and her love of animals come together.
Kathy is the author of Where the Blind Horse Sings and Animal Camp, two critically and popularly-acclaimed books about the work of Catskill, and a frequent contributor to books, podcasts, and articles on animal sentience, animal rights, and veganism. She takes her message of kindness to all beings and the urgent imperative of veganism to conferences and colleges in the US and Canada. Kathy lives on the grounds of Catskill in Saugerties, New York, with her dogs Chumbley and Scout, and kisses many critters every day.
“The majority of Stevens’s somewhat didactic narrative focuses on her and her dedicated staff’s time spent at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, “a peaceful haven for needy farm animals” in New York’s Hudson Valley. Stevens opened the Sanctuary in 2003 and speaks of it highly: “Six small barns house our pigs, cows, goats, and sheep, while some twenty other outbuildings provide deluxe digs for our horses, donkeys, and smaller animal friends… chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.” Stevens (Where the Blind Horse Sings) recalls with pride and delight experiences with her dog Murphy; Hazel, a pig in serious heat; and Norman, a turkey she’d rescued before Thanksgiving and subsequently renamed Norma Jean (upon discovering that “Norman” was in fact female). It’s easy, pleasant reading, but when the discussion turns to veganism, Stevens shows her alarmist side (“growing animals to feed humans is the primary cause of global warming”). She may alienate readers by challenging their food choices and suggesting that animal lovers would never consume meat or dairy, but her ability to tell enjoyable stories about her menagerie takes the sting out of her polemic.” – Publishers Weekly
“Laugh. Cry. Fall in love. At the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Kathy Stevens has created heaven-on-earth. And now, with this book, we all get to experience it.” – Rory Freedman, co-author of Skinny Bitch
“If you love animals and know that they draw breath from the same source as we do, you’ll love Animal Camp. This gentle, thoughtful, and moving book is a statement of our kinship with all of life. And it’s a reminder to all of us that our choices and actions sometimes matter greatly.” – John Robbins, author of The New Good Life, The Food Revolution, and Diet for New America
“Animal Camp is an incredibly moving, beautiful, sincere, honest book—one that, if read with a completely open heart, will have the capacity to change lives!” – Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, best-selling author