Go Cruelty-Free: A Review of Primal Pit Paste Deodorant

Deodorants, along with many other different personal hygiene products, (including makeup), unfortunately rely on animal testing; supposedly to make sure that the product is safe for humans to use. Animal testing is not only a result of backward thinking, (i.e. that the product would react on a sentient being from a totally different species the same way it would a human), but it is extremely cruel to the many animals, (such as rats, rabbits, dogs, pigs, monkeys, and other animals), abused in the name of research. There are a few questions people need to start asking themselves:

  1. Why do scientists find it necessary to have to test the product on animals?
  2. Any animal is a sentient being, just like a human, and while we have many emotional similarities, why do scientists think that the animals will react in the same way a human would?
  3. Is the product actually safe?
  4. What is in the product that makes it so unsafe that it has to be tested on anyone?

There is a combination of chemicals in conventional personal hygiene products, which are often tested on animals prior to getting into consumer hands. But never fear! There are many natural personal hygiene products, such as deodorant, that actually have ingredients that you can pronounce and are cruelty-free, (not tested on animals).

Personally, I have always made my own deodorant, which has always been a pretty groovy way to be zero waste, (one of my ways of helping the environment), but a lot of people don’t want to make their own, are frightened by it, or it doesn’t work for them, (often leaving them stinky after just a few hours). Everyone’s body is different and sometimes it’s hard to find a deodorant that is long lasting, smells great, is made of all natural ingredients, and is cruelty-free. Despite me making my own deodorant for quite some time, I decided to buy Primal Pit Paste, (a natural and cruelty-free deodorant), try it out for a week, and give you my honest feedback.

I went to my local Whole Foods Market to find the pit paste, (which can also be ordered off of their website directly here). There are not only a few different scents, (I ended up getting the jar Thyme & Lemongrass since I am a huge fan of lemongrass), but there are a few different ways it can come, (in a cream or deodorant stick). They even sell a convenient travel/trial size as well, just in case you want to keep some on you for those labor intensive volunteer days at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary! J I decided to give this deodorant a go for a week because I felt that a day or two wouldn’t give a product enough justice to see if it really worked. Sometimes, I have to put on my homemade deodorant twice daily, (once in the morning and once at night), to stay fresh and smelling it. It’s not really necessary, but I do it anyway. With the cream form in a jar, not only can I reuse the jar after the product is gone, (yay for limited waste!), it is free of this yuckiness: GMOS, animal testing, chemicals, talc, aluminum, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, gluten, soy, corn, toxic packaging, or solvent-extracted oils. For a full list of the ingredients that are used in its products, check out the list here.


I do have to say, this is probably the best natural deodorant I have ever tried. I love it so much, I’ve actually used it longer than a week and am thinking of repurchasing when it runs out and “going primal” for good. I love my homemade deodorant, but I love that I can reuse the jar and cut out being wasteful that way. I am always in need of more jars in my house, due to the fact that I grow my own herbs and make most of my personal hygiene products. Another reason that I use the jar is because I actually noticed that organic beeswax is actually in the stick version of the deodorant, (I try to be as kind to the environment and the animals as possible, so I didn’t want to use it). I am sure that it works just as well as the jarred deodorant though.


After a week, my pits were screaming, “Hallelujah, Primal Pit Paste! I love you!”


Always remember: Live as kindly as you can; for the animals, humanity, and the planet.

Meet Willow!


Donkeys are loyal, loving, and, most of all, gentle at heart. When Willow, a Sicilian donkey, was saved from a life of abuse, she arrived at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary terrified of humans. After a year of finally receiving the love and care she deserved from Jan Alber-Senn, (Cotton Branch’s founder and director), she learned that compassion, love and positive interaction with humans was possible.

Willow, a once-abused, terrified donkey, who bares the shadow of the Cross along her back, is now living a life of peace, love, and friendship. She can be seen spending time with her best friend, Daisy, (another Sicilian donkey), when she isn’t busy receiving love and hugs from visitors who come to Cotton Branch.


Because of Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary, Willow can now live a life of peace; free of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Please spread joy to all sentient beings by supporting Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary in its efforts to educate the community, rescue, transport, and care for our beloved farm animals by donating and volunteering today.

Inspired to Take Action: 25 Animal Rights Themed Books that Force You to Stop and Take Action

Words have been used for centuries to motivate people, whether they are used verbally or through the written word. I’ve always had a personal relationship with books, reading being one of my biggest hobbies. Everyone always told me that in order to be a decent writer, I would have to be willing to read a lot. Reading is one of my primary ways of educating myself, (of course I am aware that not everything you read online or in print is true, but I am one that checks out the source of the information). Reading often inspires me to delve deeper into a topic of interest for me. This is how I came across issues involving animal rights.

A friend had introduced me to a compassionate diet and the book, The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. That book changed me forever and helped me make the switch to a kinder diet. Yes, it has a lot of delicious, compassionate recipes, but it also had information regarding the health benefits of eating compassionately, as well as brought up animal rights. Growing up eating meat, I never before put it together. I loved animals: I had been working with animals as a dog trainer for years professionally and voluntarily, as well as a humane educator, community outreach coordinator, and volunteer coordinator for a tristate humane society. I loved all animals, not just certain ones, and was constantly advocating for people to be kind to the environment. I started listening to a podcast, (Our Hen House), which inspired me to not only change my own way of living, but want to inspire others to do the same.

Soon, I was reading more and more books that delved into the world of animal rights. They all inspired me to do all that I could for animals. All animals are sentient beings, and the farm animals at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary are no different, (just ask any volunteer who has visited)!

Interested in what books inspired me to stand up for all animals? Check out the list below and visit your local library or book store, (even ask a friend), and snag a copy to read!


  1. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  2. Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  3. Betty Goes Vegan by Annie & Dan Shannon
  4. Animal Liberationby Peter Singer
  5. Free the Animals by Ingrid Newkirk
  6. Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercyby Matthew Scully
  7. What the Animals Taught Me: Stories of Love and Healing from a Farm Animal Sanctuaryby Stephanie Marohn
  8. My Gentle Barnby Ellie Laks
  9. The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animalsby Jenny Brown
  10. Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
  11. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy, PhD
  12. The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More by Melisser Elliot
  13. Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran
  14. Kind by Gretchen Primack
  15. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen
  16. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  17. The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
  18. The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, and Our Call to Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle
  19. Dave Loves Chickens by Carlos Patino
  20. Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action by Ruby Roth
  21. The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
  22. The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone
  23. That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth
  24. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell
  25. In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave by Peter Singer

Oh, did I mention one of the most inspiring acts you could do is actually visit animals in person? Visit Cotton Branch and get to meet these magnificent animals in person!




Volunteers: Changing the Hearts and Minds of So Many



Volunteers are to Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary as fuel is to a car:  it needs them in order to run efficiently. At Cotton Branch, animals need care, (feeding, grooming, love and socialization, etc.), shelters need built and repaired, poop needs scooped, and much, MUCH more! Without volunteers, it’d be hard to not only care for the residents at the sanctuary, but also carry out Cotton Branch’s mission to rescue abused, abandoned, and neglected farm animals, as well as educate the community to make the world a better place for them. The amount of work volunteers do for the animals at the sanctuary, as well as behind the scenes, (i.e. event planning, fundraising, etc.), is just astronomical and greatly appreciated by all of the residents. The quote: “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless,” rings true. Cotton Branch volunteers are priceless pieces of the Cotton Branch puzzle. Cotton Branch volunteers are compassionate and people that spark positive change; not just for the animals at the sanctuary, but change the hearts and minds of others in the community about farm animals.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Gandhi

Gandhi’s quote couldn’t be truer. Personally, I have always tried to live the most compassionate lifestyle I could, (eating a kind diet, treading lightly on the planet, etc.), but just after one day at the sanctuary, I was able to personally meet the animals that I was working so hard to make a difference for. This process opens your heart and mind to another world and it changes your life forever. Volunteering for Cotton Branch has changed my life, but don’t just take my word for it. Read what a few Cotton Branch volunteers have to say about their experience, as well as Jan Alber-Senn, Founder & Executive Director of Cotton Branch and Josh Costner, Director of Acceptance & Re-homing.

“Evan and I first found Cotton Branch when Jan reached out to us and offered to take Louise, a pig we were rescuing from a high kill shelter. We saved her on her euthanasia date and took her to the sanctuary. We immediately fell in love with Cotton Branch, and knew we wanted to help. Since that day, we have volunteered full time to help the wonderful animals of the sanctuary through fundraising, rehoming efforts for animals in need, animal transport, social media, and any way we are able to contribute! To say Jan and Cotton Branch has changed our lives is to simplify the impact this has had on us. We have found our calling and our passion for saving animals and educating others about all these wonderful animals and this amazing sanctuary!”

-Josh Costner, Director of Acceptance & Re-homing

"Almost two years ago I had the misfortune (fortune) to get behind a turkey truck on 1-26. It was horrifying and I haven’t eaten meat since. Also, I immediately felt a connection to turkeys! Sometime after this I came across, and I’m not even sure how, a post on Facebook about Cotton Branch’s first Thanksliving benefit dinner featuring Matty and Patty, two recued turkeys now living at Cotton Branch farm. I couldn’t attend the dinner but I felt compelled to do something! So I got in touch with Jan and set up a tour. I fell in love and asked what I could do to help. I started volunteering every weekend to help with feeding. As Jan taught me the ropes she also taught me about each and every animal there; where they come from, what their background story was, who their family members are. Those animals became my family too. I love them all dearly. I am so happy to see Cotton Branch thriving and its volunteer base growing. I know all the animals are very grateful. Those crazy critters have made me a better person."

-Anna Spencer, Cotton Branch Volunteer

"Volunteering at Cotton Branch for the past four years has greatly expanded my world. Through volunteering, I have been given the gifts of meeting and getting to know the beautiful animals, witnessing Jan's generosity and dedication, and being a part of a group of people who live & breathe compassion and kindness. I have seen great changes at Cotton Branch as more people have joined the Cotton Branch Volunteer Network. I'm so glad to be a part of it!!"

-Darlene Moak, Cotton Branch Volunteer


“Volunteers are such an integral part of running a successful sanctuary. We have people who come to regularly scheduled work days and some give their time on other days too. Some help with feedings and clean-up, some fix fencing, work in the garden, or help with fundraising. Whatever your talent, we need you! Volunteer projects include building and repairing shelters, then painting and moving the shelter where we need it. Some people are familiar with plumbing or electrical problems, some love art and paint scenes on the houses. I think the most important volunteer project is interacting with the animals. They love visitors and the treats they bring! All the animals love the attention, and the volunteers love them in return. It’s such as win/win situation!

-Jan Alber-Senn, Founder & Executive Director


Cotton Branch Farm Sanctuary has the best volunteers. They are committed, loving, caring, and compassionate. Even though the sanctuary already has amazing volunteers, they are always in need and looking for more! If you are on-the-fence about volunteering or don’t think you can or have the skills to, please join the Cotton Branch Volunteer Network today. There are so many different kinds of opportunities and there is certainly an opportunity for everyone, (there was even a volunteer opportunity for me and I live in a totally different state)! As Jan stated above, whatever your talent or passion is, Cotton Branch NEEDS you!

So, You Want a Teacup Pig...

So, you think you want a teacup pig? Join the tens of thousands of us who feel the same. I also wouldn't mind a Smurf. Trouble is, neither the teacup pig or the Smurf exist anywhere except in mythology and fairy tales.  


There are miniature pigs, yes, but just like miniature horses, they are still pretty large animals. An average farm pig can easily exceed 800-1,000 pounds, a miniature pot belly pig averages 80-150 pounds. Very miniature when compared to their much larger relatives. If you want to push your pig around in a stroller, you're gonna need a pretty big one and some great upper body strength.

 Jan.jpg                 image1_(1).JPG

Many breeders will instruct piggy parents to feed them small amounts, (i.e. ¼ cup twice per day and withhold “fatty” treats like fruit). The North American Potbellied Pig Association recommends 2 cups of the proper pig food, (such as the age appropriate Mazuri or Purina miniature pig food), per day, plus a fresh salad of fruits and veggies each day. Feeding a pig according to many breeders’ recommendations will give you a severely malnourished, and unhappy, starving pig who will most likely not live past the age of 3-5 years old, when the average lifespan of a healthy pig is 12-20 years old. With that said, some of our pigs have to eat more to stay a healthy weight, as they are very active, and some of our pigs have to eat a little less, as they are less active. Each pig is an individual.  




Some breeders like to sell their pigs as the perfect “apartment pet.” This is also a lie. Pigs need outside time to do what is natural to them: root! They obtain much needed nutrients from rooting in the soil and grazing on grass and roots. They also require outside time for much needed sunlight and vitamin D. A pig with too little or no outside time will become Vitamin D deficient, be quite bored, moody, and destructive. Would you never allow your three year old human child to leave the confines of her home? That is absolutely what you are doing if you confine a pig to the home at all times.  

Speaking of a three year old human child: this is the intelligence level of a pig! They learn very quickly and remember what they've learned for years to come. One study showed a pig who learned a particular trick, then not asked to do that trick until five years later, still remembered that command and trick. This impeccable memory has its upside and downside: train them properly and they will remember the good behaviors, but an untrained or spoiled pig will remember their bad behaviors and are hard to retrain.

So now that we've talked about their proper diet, expected size, and need for a yard, lets root even deeper into their behavior. Do you love your nicely manicured lawn? Say goodbye to that! We have separated our large yard into the human side, and the piggy playground. We allow them to do what they wish with their side of the yard. They bald most of it of all grass, then root it all up for the roots. They will eat your shrubs, your rose bushes, and your grass.  


How about those indoor pigs? We've already established that even indoor pigs need lots of outside time. Once they come inside, be prepared for their dirty noses and dirty hooves. Their little hooves just sink into the ground so they can carry in quite a bit of dirt, and mud if the ground is wet. We said goodbye to our microfiber furniture and hello to our new, vegan leather furniture (just wipe it with a damp cloth and it's clean).  We said goodbye to cleaning the house once a week and hello to having a housekeeper twice a week and sweeping daily. Also, we said hello to an assigned animal room, Dutch doors throughout the lower level of our house, (they figured out or broke every pet and child gate on the market), so they don't have to walk up and down steps. Walking up and down steps is not great on their joints as they age. We said hello to a brick mason who cut a hole in the wall of their room so they could come in and out of their own door and not track mud through the house on rainy days. We said hello to a handyman who built us a great ramp for them to use to come in and out of their room door.  

Are you ready for this sh#t?! Literally...pig poop! A lot! Traditional pooper scooping was getting very old, so we got the largest shop vac on large wheels. With multiple pigs in the house, we fill up the 20+ gallon container two to three times weekly. On the bright side, we haven't bought planting soil for flowers and plants in years! It's like super miracle grow! If you provide them with a litter box, get ready! It needs to be big, like really, REALLY BIG! We use a large plastic container like you would use to store sweaters under your bed. Short sides, but wide and long. And be prepared for litter being tracked through the house, (hence the daily sweeping). And much like cats, they do NOT like a dirty litter box. One to two uses, and they may pee on the floor to let you know their displeasure with the dirty box.  

They have personality! Much like a human, they have their moods. I say they are like having a dog crossed with a cat crossed with a human toddler. They can be friendly and snugly, but then they can be moody and want to be left alone. They are highly intelligent and need stimulation and, yes, entertainment. They become very attached to their humans and their other friends. They even mourn any loss for an extended time. Much of the time they are a joy to be around, but they can be bratty like a small child too. If they can get away with a bad behavior, they will. They will test their boundaries like a child and you must set solid rules for them and stick to it.  

Pigs also require a veterinarian who is knowledgeable and trained in treating pigs. Often times, this is a large animal vet. See the sites at the end of this post for a state by state list of vets who treat pigs. They will need hoof trims, worming twice per year, and, if male, tusk trims. Tusk trims are common to keep them from growing into their faces or accidentally injuring their companions.  

So, why have a pig as an animal companion? They are extremely intelligent, affectionate, and loyal companions. You just have to be ready and be committed. They bring joy and laughter to our lives every single day and we would have more if we could! They are talkative and you learn how they communicate and know when they're happy, sad, angry, or not feeling well. They are protective of their humans and protective of each other.  


To research fully, please visit minipiginfo.com, petpigs.com, and feel free to email me, (josh@cottonbranch.org), with any questions you may have. There are also several great Facebook pages out there with lots of experienced pig parents who can offer advice: Lulu’s Pig Network, Pig Snouts- NO BREEDERS, and Camp Skipping Pig Rescue & Sanctuary are all great, breeder free groups.  






The Dark Side of Dairy: Freckles' Story



Female, dairy cows have to be impregnated in order to lactate, (produce milk), and have their calves taken from them soon after birth, so the milk can be pumped and consumed by humans. Cows form extremely close bonds with their calves, even in the womb. Having their calves taken away not only prevents the calves from getting the nutrition they need, but leaves both the mothers and calves heartbroken. If anyone has any question whether this bond is strong, check out this video of a mother cow, (who was rescued from a dairy farm and brought to a sanctuary), be reunited with her baby. This heartbreaking process happens to millions of dairy cows each year, except they never have the opportunity to be reunited with their babies again.

One question still remains: What happens to the calves if they are taken from their mothers?

Unfortunate answer: Female calves often share the same, terrible fate of becoming a dairy cow and having her baby ripped from her. Male calves have a separate, horrible fate all their own and are sold for slaughter. This is unfortunately where Freckles' story begins...

Freckles was born on a dairy farm and ripped from his mother. He faced the fate of being slaughtered, when a loving and kind supporter of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue saved him. Through the help and kind hands of many from Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, Izzie's Pond, and Big Oaks Rescue Farm, Freckles made it to Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary, a save haven for abused, abandoned, and rescued farm animals. Freckles resides at the sanctuary and loves his forever home, (and the visitors and volunteers that come with it). He seeks affection from everyone!

Every time you think about consuming dairy, think of Freckles and the millions of calves that aren't as lucky. Don't be a part of the heartbreak and suffering. Instead, be a part of the thousands of people that are changing the lives of animals and pledge to eat a compassionate diet today, (without animal products)! Check out these kind recipes that are mouth-watering good! 

Want to help more animals like Freckles? Join Cotton Branch's family of donors and supporters today! Volunteer with some of the most caring and compassionate individuals on the face of the planet, while meeting Freckles and the other residents. 

Daiya Cheezy Mac: Creamy, Dairy-Free Deliciousness



I have been on the hunt for a great dairy-free, macaroni and cheese for quite some time. Earth Balance makes a nice boxed mac and cheese, but I found even when I did mix the powder into the macaroni well after cooking, it was still almost gritty tasting. I have since started making my own mac and cheese, mixing nutritional yeast, Earth Balance, (dairy-free), butter, and some other spices to make something amazing. This is what we usually do when we crave the cheesy, nutty flavor that the homemade mac and cheese has to offer, but I was still craving that creaminess that I couldn’t seem to get. But then, something amazing happened…

Daiya débuted its dairy-free, cheezy mac varieties! While I love making my homemade macaroni and cheese meal, with a toddler sometimes it is just easier to make something quick without having to measure anything. In our family, we try to live a zero waste lifestyle; reusing, refusing, recycling, composting, upcycling, and homemaking everything that we can. While our homemade recipe is great for living zero waste, Daiya’s option is probably the best boxed, (the box is totally recyclable), dairy-free macaroni and cheese on the market, (at least in my opinion and my toddler’s).

Daiya’s Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac is super easy and quick to make, (just cook the noodles and pour the cheezy sauce packet in and stir), and has a deliciously cheezy flavor without harming animals in the process. Like human mothers, cows quickly form close bonds with their young. Unfortunately, dairy cows have their calves taken from them upon giving birth, so females will continue to lactate, (which is taken to be consumed by humans). If the calf is female, she goes on to have the same, heartbreaking fate as her mother as a dairy cow, (seriously, who wants to have her baby taken away). If the calf is male, he will usually be sold for veal or beef.

By choosing a kinder diet that doesn’t harm animals, you can make a world of difference for the animals, the planet, and your body. See for yourself how amazing these sentient beings are by visiting, Freckles, (the cow), and the other residents at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary today!

Two Amazing Turkeys: Meet Belle and Beau


Turkeys are magnificent, clever and affectionate creatures. Meet Belle and Beau!

Belle came to Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary after a loving supporter bought her at a poultry auction, saving her from certain slaughter. Beau was on his way to a processing plant when he thankfully fell (or jumped) off the transport truck. NC wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, quickly took action and connected with our director Jan to provide Beau with a forever home.

Both turkeys will now live out their lives in peace and safety at Cotton Branch. 

Want to know more about turkeys? Delve into the turkey world with these fascinating facts:

  1. Just like humans, turkeys form very close social bonds with their family and friends, sometimes traveling in flocks of more than 200 in the wild!
  2. Turkeys have amazing hearing, even though they don't have external ears. Oh, and they can see in color too!
  3. You can tell if a turkey is male or female by the shape of his or her feces: Males create spiral-shaped poop, while females create poop shaped like a "J."
  4. A wild turkey's roosting behavior is to actually sleep in trees, away from possible predators. Domesticated turkeys will sometimes try this too.
  5. Turkeys like their feathers to be stroked (hey, who doesn't like a massage?) and will sometimes actually purr.
  6. Turkey enjoy listening to music and it's been said they will even sing along!
  7. Ben Franklin was very fond of turkeys, holding a high amount of respect for them. It has been rumored that he even wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle because they are a "true original native of America."
  8. Turkeys in the wild can fly and have been said to fly up to 55 miles per hour! Unfortunately, domesticated turkeys who have been injected with hormones and bred to grow much larger than normal are robbed of this magnificent gift.
  9. A male turkey's head can change color in response to mood and during mating season.
  10. Turkeys actually have two stomachs: the gizzard and the glandular stomach. The gizzard grinds up the food ingested by the turkey and prepares it for the first intestine or the first stomach (the glandular), which softens the food with gastric juices.

Turkeys are sentient beings, like all creatures who walk the planet. If you've never personally met a turkey, volunteer today at Cotton Branch, where you will meet not only its wonderful residents, but amazing people too. 

From the Kind Kitchen: The Carrot Cake Smoothie

The Carrot Cake Smoothie my toddler and I are in the process of drinking (his portion already gone and empty cup thrown on the floor in the background)!

This morning I was on the hunt for not only a nutritious breakfast option, but also something that was kind to the planet and the animals who inhabit it. Behold the carrot cake smoothie!

I am a huge fan of smoothies, but I usually just add already frozen fruit to a blender (along with almond milk of course). I wanted something different today. I decided to try my hand at adding spices to my smoothie and it turned out to be fabulous!

Most people who are fans of smoothies add some type of veggie to them (like kale or spinach), but something I never added before was a hearty vegetable like carrots, beets, etc. I’ve tried these juices before but never in a smoothie. I instantly started thinking about carrot cake, which is one of my favorites. I’ve heard of people making a smoothie version and I could have easily looked on Pinterest to find the latest and greatest recipe, but I figured, “Hey…I got this on my own!” I love experimenting in the kitchen and I figured that I would give it a try without a recipe. Guess what? It was a total success and I just had to share.

As the spiced concoction hit my taste buds, I was suddenly transported to a time when I was eight months pregnant and a dear friend brought me a carrot cake (satisfying a craving which made it taste even better than it already was). The taste of the smoothie was so reminiscent of actual carrot cake that I was in bliss, but without the extra calories. The more I thought about the smoothie - the thing that made it taste so good was that it was made of all natural, organic, cruelty-free ingredients and it wasn’t bad for me. Check out the recipe below if you want some of this kind goodness in your belly!

Compassionate Carrot Cake Smoothie

Serves Two


                4-6 whole organic carrots (boiled or steamed)

                1 whole organic banana

                1 teaspoon cinnamon

                ½ teaspoon nutmeg

                ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

                *½ cup all natural, creamy peanut butter (can substitute other nut/seed butter)

                1 cup almond milk


  1. Wash, peel, and boil (or steam) the carrots
  2. Add almond milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg and cinnamon to blender
  3. Add peanut butter and banana to blender (try slicing the banana into 3 sections to make it fit in the blender better)
  4. When the carrots are cool enough to handle, slice the carrots and place in blender
  5. Blend away!
  6. Pour into glass and enjoy!

Meet Louise!

Louise at Animal Control

Louise was forced to live on concrete and eat dog food while locked away at animal control. But Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary rescued her on her euthanasia date. It was almost too late for Louise, but thanks to the sanctuary's swift rescue mission, she was saved.


Louise is a kind and gentle soul who loves attention and will follow people she knows for belly rubs (especially Josh, the Cotton Branch Director of Acceptance & Re-Homing). Josh and Louise share a very special bond, as he rode in the back of the vehicle on the three-hour trip to the sanctuary from animal control. To this day, if she hears Josh's voice at the sanctuary, she comes running up to find him. Louise hopes all Cotton Branch visitors and volunteers will enjoy giving her a few belly rubs!


Today, Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary continues to rescue, transport and care for animals like Louise, and also educates the public about how to care for farmed animals. Cotton Branch engages the community through outreach, conveying to everyone that all creatures are sentient beings who deserve love, peace and happiness. Cotton Branch residents are now able to live a life free of abuse, abandonment and neglect because of the sanctuary's rescue efforts.


Donations and volunteers make it possible for Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary to continue its work to change the world for farmed animals. Want to get involved? Volunteer today!

Meeting the residents will change your life (and the residents' lives too)!

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