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First Vegetarian School in Nation Visits Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Saugerties, NY (PRWEB) June 15, 2013

No Mystery Meat Here!

PS 244 in Queens, NY recently made headlines around the world when it became the first public school in the country to serve exclusively vegetarian meals for both breakfast and lunch. Now on June 19th, while children around the U.S. eat chicken nuggets in their school cafeterias, fifty third graders from PS 244 will hold chickens in their laps at the Saugerties-based Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS), one of the nation’s leading havens for farm animals rescued from abuse and neglect.

Like many urban children, most of the PS 244 students have never seen live farm animals, let alone lain in the straw with 800-pound pigs. But on June 19, they will spend “up close and personal” time with animals that most kids experience only as menu items like ribs, nuggets, drumsticks, and bacon. The children will enjoy a unique tour of CAS that includes holding chickens and turkeys in their laps, snuggling with pigs, and hugging a 2,000-pound steer named Tucker. They will also enjoy hayrides and eat lunch prepared by the sanctuary’s vegan chef.

PS 244 is one of hundreds of schools to have visited Catskill Animal Sanctuary since its founding a decade ago. Through its educational programs, including a children’s camp and a vegan cooking program, CAS changes both human and animal lives. “Helping people in their journey toward vegetarianism saves more animals than all sanctuaries combined could ever save,” explains Kathy Stevens, founder and director of CAS, a former teacher. “Our food choices matter--not only for our own health and the health of our planet, but for the animals who want their lives every bit as much as we want ours.”

PS 244 partnered with the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to test recipes and create kid-friendly school breakfast and lunch menus. “We believed that, if we taught kids to make healthy choices, it would help them to grow as students and well-rounded children,” explained Principal Robert Groff. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott hopes to expand the initiative to other schools.

Photos of children with the animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary:,

Catskill Animal Sanctuary has saved over 2,500 animals—from horses to chickens—since its inception, and exponentially more than that by supporting people in adopting a plant-based diet. Founder Kathy Stevens and her message of “kindness to all” have been featured in media including the New York Times, Good Morning America (CBS) and NBC Nightly News. Kathy is a blogger on farm animal issues for the Huffington Post and the author of the critically and commercially successful Where the Blind Horse Sings. Her latest book, Animal Camp: Reflections on a Decade of Love, Hope, and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, has just been released.

Michelle Alvarez, Outreach Director
917-414-9428; michelle(at)casanctuary(dot)org

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