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The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  432 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Temple Grandin meets Michael Pollan in a poignant, provocative memoir of survival, compassion, and awakening to the reality of our food system.

Jenny Brown was just ten years old when she lost a leg to bone cancer. Throughout the ordeal, her constant companion was a cat named Boogie. Years later, she would
make the connection between her feline friend and the farm animals sh
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Avery (first published August 1st 2012)
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Daria Zeoli
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, Jenny Brown is one of my heroes. I've been lucky enough to visit Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary a few times and, on my first visit, took a tour that she led. We briefly spoke afterwards and I was heartened to hear of the changes other tour-goers made after visiting.

This book is an interesting look at Jenny's journey from a meat-eating kid in Louisville to one of the best voices in the animal rights movement today. It also gives a glimpse into the lives of the animal residents of WFA
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book! What an inspiring, incredible love story. Jenny Brown's humor and passion comes through on every page as she so clearly explains why a love of justice and freedom extends to the animals that share our planet. Vegans are a growing segment of the population, and this book makes clear why that is. Jenny's natural curiosity led her to a successful career in documentary filmmaking, which in turn led her to discover the atrocious truth behind the standard American diet. ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a book-club selection, and while I tell myself and others that I like book club because I read books I wouldn't normally otherwise, I realized while reading this book that if I don't enjoy a book (even for book club) I often don't finish it. So finish 'The Lucky Ones' I would (and did)!

I appreciated the author's story, and some of her viewpoints, but her vegan agenda was so strong and turn-off-ish at many points, that I felt she lost some ground in her arguments. For example, I own thre
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Although not as technically proficient in writing style as other recently-published animal advocates Gene Baur and Wayne Pacelle, The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown may reach a wider audience with its conversational style and mix of memoir, humor, and education.

Diagnosed with childhood bone cancer, Brown suffered a leg amputation at age ten. This early trauma and the resilience required to cope with it meant that Brown grew to be highly empathetic with other helpless beings. When Brown adopts a weak
mad mags
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Five-Hankie Review

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review at the publisher’s invitation.)

“I often envision a giant protective bubble over our property, and inside it a place where everything is right in the world, the way we want it to be. Animals roam free, living happy and peaceful lives the way they should. They are free to be themselves, among friends and, in some cases, family. There is no fear of harm, no want for food or water, warmth or shelter. They have every
Martin Rowe
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I should acknowledge that I know and like Jenny Brown, have contributed money to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS), am thanked in the acknowledgments, and consider myself a vegan animal rights activist—so perhaps I may not be considered a disinterested critic. Jenny and co-author Gretchen Primack have done an excellent job in giving a face to, and providing information about, the horrors of factory farming, as they intersperse stories about the rescues at WFAS with Jenny's life story (i ...more
Ms. Brown’s love for animals and her utter dedication to saving crippled, lost, injured, abandoned or broken creatures from factory farms and various other places shine through this novel as she outlines her long and arduous path from cancer-ridden pre-teen to outspoken advocate on the behalf of animals everywhere who are exploited for their skins, meat or milk.

That having been stated, her clear horror and near-disdain for human meat eaters are hard to hide. She wonders, over and over again, how
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings on this book.

The story was itself kind of interesting, but the writing could have been smoother.

I liked a lot of things in this book, but at times it was rather disjointed & at times came off preachy. BUT... it also made me want to try harder at totally eliminating dairy completely. I don't have much really, just on occasion, but it did make me think I can do better than I am doing. Most of the stuff I was already aware of, although I did enjoy the section on wool, & that
Laura Zurowski
Belonging to a quality book-club is great because it compels you to read things that you might not pick up otherwise. So was the case with Jenny Brown's The Lucky Ones.

I think most people come to vegetarianism/vegan-ism for one of three reasons: a last ditch effort to save their health, because they love animals and can't imagine eating or doing harm to another creature, or in direct opposition to the horrific conditions imposed upon animals by corporate food factories. Jenny's book is a nice b
Sarah Walker
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
This book earned only two stars because it was a little too preachy, guess the word "passionate" in the title should have tipped me off. I was looking forward to an interesting memoir and an uplifting story about animal rescue, which I fully support. But there was much more emphasis on choosing a vegan diet than I wanted to read about. I do believe that God gave humans dominion over animals in the beginning (Gen 1:26.) Another version of the Bible says "be responsible for." That's how I look at ...more
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Lucky Ones is a perfect book is you're still counting chips somewhere between Day One to twenty plus years of vegetarianism... It's worked wonders on me above and beyond the decades of pulled heart-strings of dozens of vegan and vegetarian friends and lovers. The genuine sincere love of Jenny Brown for our two, four and sometimes three-legged chums transcends simple anthropomorphism of the beast and shows the window into the soul of our shared beauty.This simple story of one woman and her pe ...more
Sheila Stafford
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An eye opening inspiring read

For anyone who feels a bond with animals, this book will help expand that feeling. As a follower of WFAS, it was very interesting to learn how it all came to be. Jenny Brown's journey from a person who loved animals to a person dedicated to saving the most vulnerable in our meat loving culture will feel familiar to anyone who feels compelled to dedicate their lives to animals. Loved it!
Cindy Taylor
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful memoir. Well-written, humble, and honest...Jenny blends her personal history and journey toward veganism and the care of rescued farm animals with solid facts and information on the vast problems with animal agriculture, including institutionalized cruelty and damage to the environment. She helped me transition from more than 35 years of vegetarianism to giving my best effort toward veganism. She lives her values and that is inspiring.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read for Vegan Book Club-
I heard Jenny Brown speak at Vegetarian Summerfest 2012 where she did a powerful job!
This book is the story of her life interwoven with her film career and her passion for farm animals and about Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary near NYC.
One summer we visited Farm Sanctuary near Watkins Glen, NY and experienced their wonderful work there. I want to return.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful written book.
I recommend to anyone looking into becoming a vegan or learning more about veganism and animal sanctuaries.
Jason Panella
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it

The Lucky Ones is a memoir of Jenny Brown, the owner of the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. A childhood cancer survivor, Brown ties her experiences growing up with an artificial leg with her eventual advocacy for the treatment of farm animals.

The tie between the past and present is tenuous at best, which is a big blow. The book is really readable, but as it breezes by the cumulative work feels like a bunch of stories tossed together. Brown also makes a strong case for veganism; while I'm not a
Aug 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: farming, animals
Jenny Brown grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and her first animal love was a cat named Boogie that she got when she was going through cancer treatment at the age of 10. When she went to college she was exposed to the animal rights group PETA and it rocked her world. She immediately became vegetarian and started working to help PETA's cause. She was going to school for film-making so she used her skills to record footage for the organization. A few years later she discovered Farm Sanctuary, the fi ...more
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jenny Brown's story is a challenge to follow your dreams and keep pushing past the obstacles in your way. Her Kentucky childhood was rocked by a cancer diagnosis and the loss of her leg at 10 years old. A special bond with her cat, Boogie, helped her through the struggle and continued to support her throughout her college years as she discovered vegetarianism and became an animal activist. Despite a successful career in filmmaking, Brown was destined for more. Her first visit to Farm Sanctuary m ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read a ton of memoirs and I read a ton of books dealing with animal welfare, so this book is like the proverbial Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Much like Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals", I believe this book was written with the general public in mind rather than the already vegan looking for fresh horrors to reinforce his/her commitment, which is to its credit.

Jenny Brown is never condescending or preachy, and she peppers the book with enough personal anecdotes and stories to keep it inte
Jeffrey Spitz Cohan
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: veganism
If you can’t get to a farm-animal sanctuary, the second best thing you can do – and it’s a close second – is read The Lucky Ones.

In this autobiography, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Co-Founder Jenny Brown introduces you to many of the animals in her care, describing their unique personalities and colorful antics.

She demonstrates exactly why farm sanctuaries are such an important, indispensable part of the vegan-advocacy movement. These sanctuaries remove the blinders that allow meat-eaters to
I felt as though The Lucky Ones was a well-written and engaging tale about Brown's own struggles and the struggles of the animals she has rescued at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The fact that one of the first animals she rescued needed a prosthetic leg brought the whole story full circle. Brown is no holds barred when it comes to the treatment of animals in this world and veganism. Being a fellow ethical vegan I fully understand her viewpoints and say more power to her for not sugar coating. ...more
Chris C.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a farm animal sanctuary supporter who is already happily vegan, I found a lot of the book difficult to get through. It could be due to the past experiences I have personally had at a stockyard and the animal friends I made while volunteering with a sanctuary, but I felt like I was constantly dodging emotional curve balls hurled at my face. The reality of large-scale animal agriculture is disturbing to learn the truth about, and learn you will. It is a difficult, but important read, especially ...more
Jillian Glantz
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! It's an easy read; entertaining yet very informative and touching. I wish the world was filled with people like Jenny Brown. She takes a very touchy subject and discusses it with great tact. I noticed a lot of other reviewers complained about how she included her vegan stance in the book, but what do you expect? Being a vegan is a very important part of her life and who she is, and it would be strange if she did not discuss it. And the fact that people are complaining about that, only ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some readers have criticized ‘The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals’ for its “heavy-handed promotion of the vegan lifestyle", but those readers seem to have missed the entire point of Jenny Brown’s memoir. The primary reason Brown founded the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is to help animals that were once part of the commercial food industry.

Jenny Brown writes about her conscious awakening of making the mental connection between the suffering of animals caught up in industrial a
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, veg-life
An engaging memoir from one of the owners of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, who also took undercover footage at stockyards and factory farms all over the country, The Lucky Ones doesn't pull any punches when describing what she saw - but those horrible images of animal suffering are balanced by stories of the rescued animals at the sanctuary as well as the story of how Jenny found her way from mainstream documentary film making to the unconventional but rewarding life she leads now. Despite th ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I like Jenny Brown's passion for saving animals. I agree with her that factory farming animals for human consumption can be cruel, however pushing everyone to be vegan, just isn't realistic. I do believe that some smaller farms do humanely raise and slaughter animals, and that consumers need to be aware where their food comes from. Brown totally ignores this idea and insists that all meat operations are bad. The book was interesting to read, and will certainly make you think twice about the prod ...more
Nicola M.
A great read and indeed a passionate fighter for farm animals. Jenny Brown tells how she came to connect with her cat companion at a young age and later how she came to realize that farm animals were no different to her cat: they deserve to be loved and cared for in the same way and certainly don't want to die in a slaughterhouse. From her stories of her own personal loss to doing undercover investigations documenting animal abuse to eventually co-founding an animal sanctuary in upstate New York ...more
Carrie Cook
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
If only I could give this 3.5 stars?! Jenny Brown makes great points (though I was already in line with her thinking), and she provides good information on our nightmarish use of other species. Book not as brilliant as something by Peter Singer or Jonathan Safran Foer, but this should (hopefully) reach a wider audience. And the work she's doing with rescued farm animals is more than admirable -- I'm ready to start my own sanctuary! ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This is another book about "don't eat animals and take care of the ones you have." The sentiment is prevalent today, and you won't read anything new here. However, the story is touching because of Brown's history and the way she came to take care of the animals on her rescue farm. A quick read. This might turn someone into a vegetarian, but most meat eaters will probably not choose the book. ???never know. ...more
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