LET’S CHAT: Questioning and Acquiescence

…as featured in the Winter 2016 issue of LAFC, by Adrienne Borgersen


There is a story I heard at a very young age that greatly influenced me.  Please excuse the traditional female roles and the reference to meat, it’s just how I heard the story 100 years ago…

A child asked their Mother, why they cut the ends off of a roast.  The Mother responds, “Because that’s how my mother made it”.  No one never thought to question it, but the Mother became curious and asked the Grandmother. The Grandmother responded, “Because I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit the roast.”  Obviously, the point is, that now there is no reason to do it that way and there is a better way. The moral of the story is to always ask questions.

I have always questioned everything. I asked “why” and when I got that answer, I asked “why” again. Likely, to the point of annoyance (sorry Mom & Dad).  And if I didn’t like the answer, I looked for another one. It’s a perpetual cycle. To this day, I believe it’s the most important trait anyone can have.

This year has been one of the most tumultuous, crazy, upside down turning years I can remember.  We’ve lost heroes, some celebrity, some personal, one after the other.  I can’t remember an election cycle that caused people to be so mean spirited and that created such divisiveness. Wars and natural disasters have escalated chaos everywhere.  It would be easy to say that I can’t wait for this year to be over, but what’s happening around us is far from over.

All I can be sure of is that time marches on.  The only constant in this life is that things will change.  And change isn’t always for the better.  All we can do is move forward.  To some things, we must acquiesce.  But that doesn’t mean we fold. That doesn’t mean we stop asking questions. That doesn’t mean we don’t continue to challenge ourselves as well as others. We need to make sure we are not stuck so far into our ideology that we don’t see things about ourselves that could be better or happier, with a change. We all must continue to evolve.


Even those of us who feel we are on the “right side” of history, need to be open to constantly learn. Nothing is black & white. We must think critically and cognitively and be open to alternate views. Not listening, not having conversation, not engaging in intelligent debate will just strengthen the divide.

We have to find a way to come together. We seem to have lost trust, the foundation of any relationship. We are all jaded and angry and scared.  We have to wipe our tears, breathe away our rage and march forward towards a solution. We need clear heads and open minds.  The animals need us. The children need us.  We all need each other. That is what creates the resilience I know we all have. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s every person for themselves.  We are meant to be connected to each other.  That doesn’t mean we all have to agree, but we all deserve to live peacefully and together.

How do you connect with someone when they vehemently disagree with you? How do we bridge the divide? Let’s talk about it. COMMENT BELOW

Let Your Palate Be Your Ballot at the Coalition for Healthy School Food Gala

by Adrienne Borgersen, Editor in Chief, LAFC


Do you have your tickets yet?? The Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF) are hosting their annual gala on October 20, that’s next Thursday at 6:30PM.

CHSF is a nonprofit organization that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.  They are changing how schools feed kids.

They are responsible for the very first vegetarian lunch program, launched in Queens, NY and are endorsed by the American Heart Association.  Read about that monumental story here!


With an obesity epidemic among our kids, Host Dr. Michelle McMacken will undoubtedly talk about the mounting medical evidence that points to all the benefits of a plant based diet.

The gala is sponsored by amazing organizations such as Animal Welfare Trust, Cool Foods Trading Company and Forks Over Knives

There promises to be lots of fun and delicious food from top notch chefs, like Candle 79, my very favorite restaurant in NYC (once I had dinner there and Paul McCartney was at a nearby table!); and other personal faves such as decadent cheese by Miyoko’s Kitchen and chocolatey delicious desserts by Chef Fran Costigan!




Vegan cookbook author Miyoko Schinner holds a plate of her homemade cheese on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, in San Anselmo, Calif. She has written a new cookbook about artisan vegan cheeses. (IJ photo/Frankie Frost)

Along with entertainment by jazz band Bob Miles & Miles of Music and The Cynthia King Dance Company, join the raffle or the silent auction. We are particularly excited about the fashion prizes from Bead & Reel, Vaute, Matt & Natt and Mooshoes.  But there are plenty of other things on the list as well.

vaute mattnat5

Our friends the Vegan Mos, Liz Dee and Jenne Claiborne on the host committee are sure to guarantee a fun, eventful and valuable evening.  Tickets are still available here!

LA Fashionista Compassionista - Spring 2016 cover thumbnailjennethe-mos





I hope you will support CHSF’s monumental efforts, which are important to the health of our children, our planet and of course, for the animals.  Get your tickets here!


More Cowbell at CAS Cocktails and Cow Tales!

What a great night for Catskill Animal Sanctuary! Their Cocktails and Cow Tales event, was a big hit!  The house was packed with guests who came out to mingle, party, learn more about the farm and most importantly, save animals.

Kathy Stevens, in her fab, little orange dress, did not disappoint at pulling at our heartstrings, while speaking about the farm and the animals.  The rescue situations are devastating. How she and her team take these animals in, rehabilitate them and give them the lives they deserve, is nothing short of miraculous. This is a team some of the most humble, dedicated, hard working and amazing people I’ve ever met.

photo by me
Kathy Stevens.  Photo by LAFC.

Click here to watch a short clip of Kathy talk about the animals and how she really feels about that dress  😉

People swarmed the sponsorship tables. Every time an animal was sponsored, a cowbell rang.  I will tell you, that bell rang all night!

...because you can never have too much cowbell. Right?
…because you can never have too much cowbell. Right?

Each sponsorship creates funds that contribute directly to the care of these animals.  You can adopt an animal anytime you want (how about now??) by clicking here.  SPONSOR

Along with tables filled with silent auction items and t shirts for sale, guests contributed over $66,000 for CAS!!

Auction Table.  Photo by Ruth McDade
Auction Table. Photo by Ruth McDade

A board member spoke, letting us know that, “…Charity Navigator is the country’s leading evaluator of over 8,000 U.S. charities’ financial health and transparency. On a scale of of zero to four stars, Catskill Animal Sanctuary has earned four stars and is ranked in the top 6% overall. We’re the highest ranked farmed animal sanctuary.” Wow – well deserved, CAS!

Kathy Stevens & Chef Jay Astafa. Photo by Ruth McDade
Kathy Stevens & Chef Jay Astafa. Photo by Ruth McDade

But, back to the party… generously passed hors d’oeuvres by the amazing Chef Jay Astafa included jackfruit tacos, (dairy free) mozzarella caprese, beet burger sliders and for dessert, strawberry (dairy free) milkshake shooters with a mini donut.  O. M. G.

Delicious Caprese, dairy free mozzarella and tomato. Photo by LAFC
Delicious Caprese, dairy free mozzarella and tomato. Photo by LAFC

Topped off with a wine and juice bar, I guarantee everyone left with a full belly and a full heart.

Please support CAS and visit the farm often, for a heart swelling, life changing experience!  www.casanctuary.org

Chef Fran Costigan and Adrienne. Photo by LAFC
Chef Fran Costigan and Adrienne. Photo by LAFC
CAS Marketing & Activity Director Michelle Alvarez. Photo by LAFC
Adrienne with CAS Outreach Manager, Michelle Alvarez. Photo by LAFC

Come on out to Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Cocktails and Cow Tales!

Hey, it’s me, Adrienne – Editor in Chief of LAFC!  I want to tell you about a very special event coming up soon in NYC, that I hope you will attend.

Kathy Stevens with Franklin
Kathy Stevens with Franklin

One of my favorite places in the whole world is Catskill Animal Sanctuary.  In the peaceful town of Saugerties, in upstate NY, is a vast farmland full of animals, rescued from abusive factory farming and hoarding situations.  Founder & Director Kathy Stevens and her super awesome team are dedicated to the rehabilitation of these animals, giving them the lives they deserve.

My friend Beth and me, rubbing pig bellies at CAS!
My friend Beth and me, rubbing pig bellies at CAS!

You are in for a treat, as they are coming to NYC to throw their Cocktails and Cow Tales celebration! Come on out and join us on Tuesday, June 7th, 6:00 pm –8:30 pm, at Home Studios (873 Broadway, Manhattan).

Tickets are $125 ($100 is tax-deductible). Hurry, tickets are still available, get yours here!

I love this t-shirt!
I love this t-shirt!

Have some fun, meet great people, pick up one of their fab T-shirts (this one’s my fave) and sponsor a rescued animal with some yummies for your tummy, courtesy of Chef Jay Astafa.  I can tell you from personal experience, Jay’s all vegan, creative fare is worth the price of admission, alone. Round it all out with a cocktail and you have a perfect evening, all in support of the glorious mission of CAS!


I hope to see you there!  But, if you can’t make it, you can still make a difference in the lives of these precious animals, with a donation here

Kathy telling visitors about horses.  Have you read her book "Where the Blind Horse Sings"?
Kathy telling visitors about horses. Have you read her book “Where the Blind Horse Sings”?

To give you an idea of the work done at CAS, here’s a cow tale about CAS’s latest rescue, a calf named Lil’ Guy and watch him here!

He arrived on 5/11 from the beef farm where he was born in April 2015. He didn’t nurse as much as he should have and became weak. The farmer bottle fed him, but he eventually developed an infection. He recovered, but it was clear he had developed a problem with his hind legs.

The farmer continued to bottle feed and care for him, even going as far to help him up. But his condition worsened.

It reached a point where the he either needed to find him a home or euthanize him. A friend offered to help and reached out to us.

We took him in not knowing if we could help him or just make sure his final days were happy. But it was clear that he was not ready to give up, so we aren’t ready yet either.

As typical for new arrivals, we kept him in quarantine as we got to know him. It takes two of us to help him up each time. But we do and have consulted with our vets. We’re still determining the best course of action, but have focused on getting him up as much as possible. While he was in quarantine, we distributed fresh grass throughout his stall to encourage him, however short a distance, to walk towards his food.

We frequently massage his leg and spine — you can hear him sigh when we do. He must be in so much pain, to have a moment’s relief must be a new experience.

He’s now out of quarantine. This week we’re going to introduce him to the Underfoots (the family of animals allowed to roam the grounds freely). Our hope is that being out in the fresh air and sunshine with other animals will encourage more walking.

Stay tuned for stories and photos of the event!  If you see me, say hi and take a selfie with me for the blog!

More info about Catskill Animal Sanctuary at www.casanctuary.org

Our Lifestyle section

Stay tuned!

We’ll be posting some awesome lifestyle features in this area very soon.

In the meantime, have you checked out our latest yummy edition of “Beauty from the Inside Out” on page 51 of our Spring 2016 issue? I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering as we speak (psst: it involves chocolate!).

Join Club #fashcompash on the right (or below, if you’re on a mobile device) to get access to your free subscription!

Do you have a favorite healthy vegan dessert? Share in the comments!