Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary

On 17th September, my friend Ally and I went to the BFAS open day to cuddle some animals, eat some vegan food and cuddle more animals. We were not disappointed.

99% of the food served was vegan (there were only a few cakes that weren’t) and there were so many options. In the two and a bit hours we spent there I ate baklava, a hot dog & a scone with homemade jam & coconut cream – and that was with some restraint! I could have happily sampled every cake there.

HeartCure Clothing were also there selling amazing vegan activist t-shirts, hoodies and more. They were so friendly and we also got to meet their little pup Chico. In fact we got to meet a lot of lovely people and a lot of lovely pups that had come along to join in the fun.

However, the best part was meeting all the animals at the sanctuary and hearing their stories. They broke my heart but the work BFAS helped to fix it. All the animals have these brilliant personalities from the sweet-natured horses who want to be stroked to the cheeky piggies rolling around in the mud and playing up to the crowd.

I know I shouldn’t have favourites but Charlotte the piglet who was running around chasing a ball was a highlight. That being said, Wendy the sheep stole the show for me. She is a Cow-Sheep, because she has been raised and accepted into the herd of cows at the sanctuary. Not only is this the cutest thing ever because all the cows look out for her and treat her as one of their own, she was also the fluffiest and friendliest sheep. We stood and gave her lots of love and attention for a good long while because we were just so taken in by her personality.

The work BFAS is doing is incredibly inspiring. They are run completely by volunteers and all are vegan (although you don’t have to be vegan to volunteer!). They rescue around 2,500 animals a year, many are rehomed, others released back into the wild after some recuperation and others live out their lives there, safe from the slaughter houses. These animals have had a rough start to life so it is truly heart-warming to see how there are people who care enough to save them from slaughter, mistreatment, a life as a fashion accessory (cough cough people who buy micro pigs) and so on.

Thank you BFAS for all the work you do, I cannot wait to come back and volunteer.


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the new taylor?

Last week saw the long awaited new single from Taylor Swift who hasn’t released anything for 3 years. It came after she had deleted everything from her social media platforms and posted some mysterious clips of an animated snake.

Then came ‘Look What You Made Me Do’.

Full disclosure, I have been a long time Swifty. I discovered her music when I was 13 and it quickly became the soundtrack to my teenage years. It was played on an iPod on family trips in the car, blasted in my room when I was angry at the world for not understanding me, played quietly as I cried over silly boys and acted as a point of common ground that began a lot of friendships over the years. So it is safe to say that I am ever so slightly emotionally invested in Taylor’s music and career.


So when I heard the new single for the first time you can imagine I had a LOT of thoughts. 99% of them weren’t positive.

  1. We listen to Taylor’s music because it is so relatable, in fact, that’s why we love it so much. I can’t relate to her various public arguments with other celebrities. The blatant references to these ‘enemies’ were kind of uncomfortable.
  3. “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now..why? oh…because she’s dead”. This is the line I had the most trouble with. She has built up a fanbase from the ‘old Taylor’, people have so many memories that ‘old Taylor’s’ songs accompanied. I understand that people grow and change and I don’t have a problem with that. However, you can’t disregard your past as it is what has built the person you are today.


My main problem with this song is that it promotes revenge and ‘getting even’ rather than being the bigger person and saying, no I won’t be a part of the name calling and the public dragging. If there is one thing I have learned in my short years it is that if someone wrongs you or hurts you, the best thing you can do is use the experience to learn and grow. People who have hurt me in the past have become the templates for the people I don’t hang out with now. I have learned from them and surround myself with people unlike them. I do not spout nasty words for all the world to see.
Don’t just take it from me though. I asked a couple of dedicated swifties how they feel about this new Taylor:


Well I didn’t like the song, couldn’t even listen to it all. It sounded so petty and immature. The video is not at all what I expected, it made the song sound better, I found it funny but also once again quite immature. However when you think of it from her perspective people are always judging her and saying things about it, so I guess it was her chance to say just let out and say a big FU. I’m really hoping her album is her good, 1989 was one of the best albums I’ve ever heard and she’s a great songwriter so I just hope that doesn’t go away.



I feel like it’s such a combo of her personality and what she’s been through al the judgement she’s faced just for being herself Taylor has never done anything to hurt anyone she’s only ever just stood up for herself. People even complained about her court case complaining that it didn’t do anything properly for being sexually assaulted.But it set a precedent…

Her music video and the song itself is such an inspiration ballad for people who have been unfairly treated and humiliated in public. Why should someone’s reputation suffer because of other people’s minds and jealousy? I like how she is owning what people tried to defeat her with ie. the snake.



Taylor Swift’s song writing career has been based in part upon that she has captured the hearts of her listeners through heartfelt, intense emotional lyrics, but most of the time this includes the finger being pointed at the other person involved in her story. Rarely do we see her blaming herself or seeing her own faults for the issues she faces/relationships gone south. I think, oftentimes, life experiences (like the heart break of the public shame of her reputation,) need to have someone to blame, but sometimes that means taking hard look in the mirror and realizing that you have to take full responsibility. This means more than poking fun of your self in a music video ( referencing the end scene of taylor calling out taylor for playing victim). Taylor, I’ve loved you since I was 14, and you need to know that as a fan for almost 10 years, I am really not supportive of the work you’ve put out. It continues to know others as your rise to claim your kingdom keys again. There is room for everyone, and there is no throne to compete for. There are so many more pressing things in the world and so many good lyricists who take crappy life circumstances and make them beautiful and poignant and worth celebrating. Look what you made me do, is sadly not one of them. I’m interested to see the rest of the tone on the album but it’s not what I expected.


So there we go. It’s definitely a mixed bag of opinions but we will have to wait and see what the album holds.

*obviously all photos are not mine, from google images*

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