National BBQ Day at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary

I have been interested and involved in Meal Exchange activities ever since the first Halloween I dressed up and collected canned food instead of candy. So when they started promoting National BBQ day, and the idea of supporting local producers I was completely into it. It happened to fall on the same day as Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary’s Open House. Perfect.

Cedar Row Sign

JC rented a zipcar and we drove down to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, we weren’t sure where to stop – until we saw the HUGE row of cars along the street (with the occasional Go Vegan or solar energy bumper sticker.) Heartwarming to see such a crowd.

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary has been in operation since 1999, and is entirely family (and volunteer) run. Located a few kilometers outside of Stratford, Ontario, it is a place where pigs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, and many others have been rescued from the neglect and slaughter found on meat, milk, and egg farms.


To me, there is no greater community to meet and BBQ, than a vegan community BBQ. Local products, a vegan Bake Sale, live entertainment, and getting to meet the amazing people involved in helping make animals lives better. In addition, meeting animals that would not be alive if not for the work of these amazing people was powerful and moving.

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary


Eating and living the way I do has always been about animal rights, it hasn’t been about health, and it hasn’t been directly about the environment. It’s always been about being unable to be a part of an unethical food system, where living sentient things are killed for my consumption. Meeting everyone at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary just reinforced how I had felt all along.

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary - Chickpea

These animals can be curious, playful, angry, and trusting. They have complicated emotions. Looking at a little kid (goat) reminded me of Emmiecat, that silly destructive look of mischief combined with “do you have a snack for me?” Watching two pigs play in the field made it impossible not to see them as two pink little four-legged children chasing after each other in the park. Looking into Chickpea and Charlies eyes made me think of the Franz Kafka quote, “Now at last I can look at you in peace, I don’t eat you anymore”. This is why I’m vegan. Visiting Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary made it clear that to me eating non-human animals would be like eating my cat.

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary - Charlie

Emmie Cat

We were treated to veggie burgers off the grill and drinks and picked up a bunch of treats from the bake sale. Plus I had the opportunity to see a fellow PPKer. It’s always nice to meet (again) in real life.

We had one of those great summer days, and it was lovely to spend it outside with JC. It also happened to just be the perfect day for a road trip around Southern Ontario, since we were in the area anyway. We stopped at McCully’s Hill Farm in St. Mary’s, Ontario for some (delicious) jams, chutneys, salsas, and jellies, and stumbled upon at a roadside stand for fresh Ontario Kent strawberries, asparagus, and zucchini. One basket of strawberries didn’t make it into Toronto.

Grilled Veggies

When we got home we had another little nighttime BBQ for two on the patio. Grilled veggie kabobs, with the zucchini, we picked up on the way back home, onions, and mushrooms on skewers and grilled asparagus rubbed with a garlic smoked salt spice blend and avocado oil.

Another lovely Saturday.

2 Responses

  1. Sounds like a lovely day 🙂 and a great farm! Makes me want to go vegan when I think how animals are treated. As much as I can I get animal produce from high welfare organic producers