Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Monthly Archives: March 2008

using our personal strengths

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I still feel like I don’t have very clear answers for myself. Maybe there just aren’t clear answers.

I’ve been blogging for almost two years, if not consistently. I’ve been keeping in touch with a couple of the SHAC folks for over a year. One of the frustrations they’ve expressed, especially in response to some of the frustrations I’ve expressed, is that the blogosphere is not the movement.

Does blogging make a difference? I have no idea. I started because it was suggested by a friend, not because she thought I had interesting things to say, but because she thought it would be interesting if I used my photography interest to sort of give visuals of activism. I never really thought I’d make a difference, and I doubt I have.

Does leafletting make a difference? I have no idea, though it seems to address some points that blogging doesn’t – getting information into the hands of people who aren’t necessarily seeking the information. And I have no issue with taking an hour here and there and passing out a few hundred pieces of information. If I’m not being effective, I’m certainly not expending much effort in any case, and it isn’t taking away from other things I would otherwise be doing. I do like to do passive leafletting, for lack of a better term, by stocking my local coffeeshop and library with pamphlets. That’s even less effort.

What does make a difference?

I really have no idea. The people I’ve influenced (that I know about) were purely by accident on my part. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

I’m not sure if anyone really knows what makes the most difference. And even if they did, there is still the question in my mind about how I, personally, can make the most difference. See, what if getting up in front of large crowds and giving speeches was the most effective way, in general? I just can’t do that, so while it might be effective (and I’m making no claims either way, I’m just using it as an illustrative example), it wouldn’t be something that I could do to be effective.

We’re not all the same. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, different interests, different ways of interacting. It seems to me that we should make it a point to do what we can where we would be most effective as individuals.

I usually feel like when people encourage us to get involved, there is little consideration given to what our personal strengths might be. We’re told to put thought into what we’re doing (at least some will tell us that) but the suggestions I hear are always the same.

I don’t have suggestions to give to people, so maybe this is just a pointless post, but what I think is actually that we are the ones that will come up with where we can be most effective. I have a friend who is getting back into a web-design business, a second job for him, and he’s determined that he will give a portion of his time to non-profits that he believes in. He’s already made a big difference for one sanctuary by volunteering to design their website, and I think it has a lot of potential in general.

I’m sure there are a lot of potential ideas out there. I love hearing about creative ways people make a difference in the movement.

I also think that we too-often ignore supportive roles, and their very real worth within the movement. Of course I could be saying this in a self-serving way, since much of what I do seems to be supportive rather than directly working on changing people…

Regardless, I know that my biggest interest and talent are in spending time at sanctuaries and taking pictures. I am no Ansel Adams, not even close, but I have been able to use my photography in small ways. Maybe I’ll figure out how to put it to better use as time goes on. I do feel that it makes more sense to me to focus on that, than to try to become something I’m not. Like a public speaker, someone who enjoys talking to politicians, or any number of things that are likely very important but which I’m not suited for.

sally and ainsley

It might be hard to see in the small picture, but this was Ainsley, who is about 2 years old now, and Sally two weeks ago, checking each other out. It was sweet the way the cows were so interested in her antics, and in meeting this little baby. Check out a bigger picture if you like.

(miss you sally)


Yet more babies arrive at Poplar Spring…

I swear, this has been the spring of many babies at Poplar Spring! I asked Dave today if it has been an unusual year, in that sense, because I don’t remember this many babies arriving last year. I gather that there have been some more than usual, but in general there are babies arriving year round. And that’s true enough of this past year as well – Emily, the blind calf, arrived about a year ago. Newman, arriving as a six-month old goat, came sometime this past fall. And there was Hermie, the itty bitty chick rescued from a reptile show in September or October, and then the five baby chicks that came in early November, I think. In December or January it was Petey and Otis, two baby pigs rescued from an abuse situation, and then more recently it was Sally, the flying nun, and the two baby lambs (Billy and Butch) and their momma (Betty). So it has been pretty continuous.

Today there were four babies! Two more baby goats, four days old, and two baby pigs, who had never even seen straw until just a few days ago.

Sadly there was some awful news today as well. Sally died this past week, primarily due to the negligence of the vet clinic. It is hard to comprehend, really, that the sweet little goat that was so full of life and happily performing acrobatic feats off of the pigs just two weeks ago has died. I can remember how she felt as I carried her two weeks ago from the pig yard to her stall in the goat yard for her nap.

She’d wormed her way into all of our heart, as babies have a tendency to do. As hard as it is when any of the animals die, there is something comforting in being able to say “they had a good life at PS, and had a chance to be comfortable in their last years” when the animal is older. Sally was only a few months old, and her death is the kind where you can only say “it shouldn’t have happened.” She’s not the first who has been lost to the negligence of the vets – you can imagine the struggle any sanctuary has finding vets who will treat “farm animals” with the same consideration and competence we demand of those who treat our cats and dogs and other pampered pets. Terry and Dave actually had taken Sally to a vet that is 3.5 hours away, because they can only trust the local vets for certain procedures, and even then they aren’t always happy with the service they get. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

We need some animal rights people to become large animal and bird vets and live near the various sanctuaries so that the sanctuaries can depend on qualified people who understand just how seriously the sanctuaries take the health of their residents. I know that all sanctuaries deal with this issue.

Spending time at the sanctuaries tends to drive the cycle of life home. For every moment spent in grief over the loss of one, there are moments of joy over the saving of others. Today was especially bittersweet, with the new baby goats.

leo at ps

Leo, just four days old today, arrived this past week with his brother. They seem quite big for just being four days old! You can see their extreme youth in their unsteady balance, and in their focus on nursing from whatever they can find that seems vaguely nipple-ish. Fingers are popular, but they’ll make do with jackets and noses as well.

lenny at ps

Lenny is the bigger and bolder of the two, though they were both very friendly and had no hesitation in approaching new humans and demanding food of them. They’re an “alpine breed” and their story is very interesting, as it highlights the misconception of the “friendly family farm.”

It starts with a woman who went to a small family farm that sells goat cheese. I can fill in the blanks and make some guesses – she probably believed that small family farms were “better”, perhaps she believed in buying locally, and in any case she made the effort to go to the source to buy her goat cheese.

What she found there horrified her enough that she purchased six one day old babies, to save them from being sent to the market for slaughter. The woman running the farm with her husband was more than happy to sell these babies for $15 each, since she’d likely get from $1 to $5 at market, and selling them for a greater price at a younger age both maximized this woman’s profits and minimized her expenses.

When she picked up the baby goats, instead of the goat cheese, she witnessed a baby being born. The goats are bred spaced throughout the year so that there is never a downtime when there are no goats lactating. And so the babies are born year round. This woman watched the baby being born, after which the husband scooped up the baby and dumped it in a manure bucket and carted it off. As if it was waste. Which, to them, it is. Their money comes from the cheese, the babies are simply a by-product of a process they need to make happen in order for the goats to produce milk. The babies aren’t allowed to nurse at all because, as the husband told the woman-rescuer, it would cut into their profits.


So the woman who now had her eyes opened wider than she could comfortably bear about the dairy industry, having witnessed the horrors on a family farm first hand, came home with six day old baby goats, and quickly realized it was more than she could handle on her own. And that is how Leo and Lenny came to Poplar Spring this week.

Since this post is already incredibly long, I’ll just keep going!

Mork and Mindy are the two piglets who arrived this week. They actually came from the same vet clinic that killed Sally, for a bit of irony. They were used, essentially, for vet students to learn procedures on. Most years what happens is that the piglets, bought at market, are used for this purpose, and then sold for slaughter. And yes, this is a vet school doing that, which I find chilling. This year they brought the two piglets to Poplar Spring instead. Mork and Mindy lived their entire lives on concrete, in cages, except when they were being prodded, bled, and having tubes inserted into them. They were driven down, a 3.5 hour ride, in cages with no bedding. When they arrived at PS, it was the first time they’d ever seen straw. Can you imagine? Clearly they are loving their new home already, though they’re still quite frightened.

mork and mindy at ps

They’ll be rolling over for belly rubs before long, I have no doubt. Mork is on the left, having buried his face in the hay. Mindy is the cutie on the right.

Billy, Butch and Betty are mingling with the rest of the sheep and the goats now that they’re clear of all parasites. Many of the sheep are a bit frightened of them, but with the babies as ambassadors it won’t be long before they are all comfortable with the new trio. Billy is the white lamb, Butch the brown lamb (though technically they’d call it “black”!) and Betty is their mom.

betty, billy, and butch at ps

I realized as I watched them today that I have never had the chance to see babies grow up with their mom at PS. And indeed, it is an unusual event to have the moms arrive with the babies. There was one cow years ago who arrived pregnant, and so there is a mother-son pair of cows, but Stewart was grown long before I ever visited PS. It will be interesting to watch Billy and Butch grow up under the watchful gaze of their momma in a community of fellow sheep.

Spring at Eastern Shore

Rich came down from NYC this past weekend so that we could head out to Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary and lend pattrice a hand for a day. Rich has wanted to visit the sanctuary for a while, and I like to get out there once a month or so. Well, once a month is my stated goal, but I’ve only made it out there four times in the past ten months!

There are many reasons why it is important to me to make that trip. Partially simply to show some kind of support and solidarity, to make the effort for someone who is a bit off of the beaten path, for someone who contributes so much to the movement, and to the life and health of over a hundred chickens. And a few ducks, cats, and dogs as well. Support is important, and sometimes I think it is a part of activism that we don’t pay enough attention to. As it happens, pattrice is the author of Aftershock, and creating sanctuary for each other is something she talks about. It is something I think about often.

There is also the fact that I learn a lot every time I am there. I learn about gardening, about composting, I learn that the chickens and the wild birds communicate effortlessly, and that even I can pick up a phrase here and there. Last weekend it was the hum that can be loosely translated to “be alert, something might be up.”

Added to that is simple enjoyment. I got to see the babies I’d taxied down last month, as well as the rooster. The rooster was the same, a bit full of himself, but not so much that he was challenging the others. He is obviously thrilled to be wandering around the sanctuary. The babies grew a ton, but were still definitely babies. They grow so fast! I’m glad I got to see them one more time in their baby guise. They’ll be full grown in no time.

baby chicks at eastern shore

Don’t they look like the rooster is showing them something important?

After Rich and I cleaned out one of the coops and spread a fresh layer of hay, we raked two areas of the yard clear of the sweetgum fruits. They are hard to walk on, for birds, humans, and I imagine dogs and cats as well, and they also inhibit growth of plants. So we raked up the fruits and added them to the compost pile. pattrice worked on some gardening tasks, which included planting a couple clumps of grass. This proved fascinating for the birds, who gathered around to nibble on the treat!

chickens eating grass at ES

On one of my trips back from the compost pile, Sparrow posed for me. Beautiful and photogenic, which I think she was well aware of!

sparrow at ES

Of course it wasn’t all work, as enjoyable as it was to spend time working outside in perfect spring weather! Rich and I brought some lunch and other goodies from Stickyfingers, and so we all enjoyed a delicious lunch, great conversation, and had plenty of time to give love and attention to the various cats and dogs that have come to find a home with pattrice as well. The most recent addition is Loca, who is full of amazing energy and joy.

loca at ES

Someday I’ll have to post about Madeline, who is part deer, part cat, part pig, part Jurassic mammal, and all that hidden in a dog costume. She needs her own post, as you can imagine!

cat bounty update

I’m not exactly posting on breaking news, but having posted already about the cat bounty in Randolph, Iowa, it seemed only fair to post that they’ve rescinded the bounty.

The City Council approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints about feral cats. Under the initial policy, which went into effect March 1, stray cats without collars would be taken to a veterinarian, and if they weren’t claimed, they’d be euthanized. That caused an uproar among animal lovers.

On Thursday, the city voted to end the bounty and form a task force involving three organizations, Maryland-based Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends Animal Society of Utah and Feline Friendz in Nebraska.

“We’re very keenly interested in helping this community. The mayor is reaching out for help,” said Barbara Williamson of the Best Friends group.

The task force will meet next week to devise a plan, which the City Council will consider on Thursday, said Elizabeth Parowski, spokeswoman for Alley Cat Allies.

“What will happen is the cats that are truly feral will return to the outdoors and the cats that are strays that are actually socialized will be adopted into homes,” Parowski said.

Sherry Haftings of Feline Friendz said she already has several veterinarians lined up to help, but a lot more needs to be done.

This change of heart doesn’t surprise me – when you have a town of 200 people hitting headlines in the national news in a way that makes them look like uncaring animal haters, there are a few things that is going to happen. You’ll have animal groups stepping up to make a point and help the people and animals, and you’ll have a town that is going to be more than happy to get the negative attention off their backs.

I have no doubt that the story was manipulated on several levels. Misrepresentation was likely the order of the day. I am quite sure that the people of the town were not as awful as their mayor was quoted to make them sound, and I’m also sure that the quote by the HSUS representative was carefully chosen to give a certain impression. It is all in the name of selling papers and getting attention, and if that means making both the residents of a town and an animal welfare organization sound like animal-haters, well then by golly that is what AP is going to do.

Meghan, with HSUS, left a comment on my blog:

The HSUS’s comments were misrepresented in the article referenced above. HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle wrote on his blog Friday about the organization’s support of Trap-Neuter-Return programs to humanely manage feral cats; you can see that at

And so I went to check it out. I knew what to expect, more or less. I figured that if an HSUS employee (her IP identified her as such, so I’m not just guessing that she’s an employee) was sent out to find random blogs, even small low-traffic ones like mine, to spread the word in an attempt to correct the impression of HSUS, well, the post she’s sending me to is guaranteed to be a bit of damage control spin-doctoring.

I was interested to see how the misrepresentation came about. After reading a rather long post about Cleveland Armory and how much he loved cats, and what various things HSUS does for cats, we came to the closing of the post:

We’re not alone, of course, and I’m personally grateful to see Alley Cat Allies, Alley Cat Rescue, Neighborhood Cats, Best Friends, the ASPCA, and other groups working so hard on this front. A major challenge like this requires that kind of organizational unity, along with the contributions of literally thousands of volunteer cat advocates on the front lines in communities across the nation.

In many communities, feral cats are not welcome, and they’re sometimes demonized by public officials. This happened just the other day, in an Iowa town, where, unfortunately, The HSUS’s role and comments were misrepresented in a poorly edited story that was widely circulated. That situation has been resolved, with an offer of Trap-Neuter-Return assistance being accepted by the local government. But it reminds us that the issue is a challenge in communities throughout the nation. We need to do even more to defuse local controversies surrounding the presence of feral cats, and to address them humanely and responsibly. And we will. Cleveland Amory wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I can honestly say that while I gave them the chance to explain the misrepresentation, they squandered that. And the spin doctor, to me, is that they are trying to imply credit for what Best Friends, Alley Cat Allies, and Feline Friendz are doing for the town in Iowa. The reporter writing the article for the Mercury Sun was careful to include quotes from all three of the groups forming the task force. It irks me that the blog post that was supposed to address the alleged misrepresentation really didn’t address it. At all. And still tried to give the impression that they are part of the task force.


I’m extremely happy that the cats will be helped. That’s the point, in the end.

But I was curious, so I emailed AP to see what the reporter who originally reported on the bounty would have to say, hoping she’d provide the full text or something along those lines. AP doesn’t give us, their audience, direct access to their reporters. You have to go through the general email address and hope that it is a slow day for them (yeah right) and that they’ll bother to forward your email to the appropriate person.

This makes the AP reporters as good as anonymous to me, and if a reporter doesn’t have to answer to his or her public, I wonder whether they feel accountable at all. If we can’t ask them to clarify something, if we don’t necessarily know who they even are, or whether a person by that name really exists, how can we trust them?

I can’t!

Wayne could have easily convinced me that the AP reporter was blowing smoke. He didn’t.

tempest b&w

Wednesday = Vegan sandwich night in DC

Wednesdays are vegan sandwich night at the Infoshop starting today:

Come out to the Infoshop Wednesday, March 19th for the first vegan sandwich night. Starting Wednesday there will be weekly vegan sandwich nights with different sandwiches each week. Next week will feature vegan pulled pork sandwiches and vegan meatball subs.

Sandwiches will be available to pick up at the Infoshop starting at 6:30PM.

$6 donation per sandwich. Donations will benefit the Infoshop.

Which I can’t go to for the next couple weeks, at least, because I have a class that will make it impossible. Hopefully I’ll be able to check it out next month!

dinner table in chinatown

The mouse lives! And The Flying Nun…

If anyone was wondering about the mouse from last week at the sanctuary, good news – he made a complete recovery after a couple days, and they were able to release him back to the chicken barn!

In fact, I think I saw him again yesterday. There was a mouse who scurried under the water bowl as I went to pick it up, the very same water bowl that I found last week’s mouse under. After I picked the bowl up, the mouse hesitated a second, and then ran to the hidey hole in the wall. Terry says that it does happen sometimes that the mice go under the water bowls (they haven’t figured out how to stop them from doing that) and then get cold and can’t seem to warm up on their own. This is how she knew that they often perk right back up after they get warm!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day at the sanctuary – sunny and hardly windy, and the temps were in the mid 60’s I think. Sally, a.k.a. The Flying Nun, came with us to the pig yard. She gets lonely in her quarantine stall, so hopefully she’s out with the goats today – they were going to hear back from the vet yesterday as to whether all the bugs she came with were taken care of. Until then, she has to stay quarantined from the other goats and the sheep. Yesterday she came with us to the pig yard, where she had a great time. She seemed to think that the pigs were great big boulders for her to climb on, and the pigs seemed perfectly content for Sally’s little bitty goat feet to scurry across their bodies as they bathed in the sun.

sally playing on the pigs

Sally did actually know that the pigs weren’t rocks – she tried to get Sassafras to play head-butt, but Sassafras didn’t even bat an eyelash.

sally head-butting sassafras

The cows were fascinated by the show Sally was putting on. They’re so curious in general, but they seem especially drawn to the antics of the little ones. I remember them doing the same thing when the two baby pigs, Otis and Petey, went in with the big pigs for the first time as well.

carlyle and ainsley watching sally

It was all very cute. I carried Sally back to her barn afterwards so she could nap, and she’s just the sweetest thing.


cats, and overpopulation “problems”

On CNN this morning I ran across an article about a tiny little town that is having a cat overpopulation “problem”, and is dealing with it by offering a $5 bounty on ferals and strays brought in alive.

If they’re not claimed after an unspecified amount of time, they’ll be killed.

These cats have done things such as eaten cat food that wasn’t explicitly gifted to them, attacked dogs (and I’m sure the dogs were perfectly mannered, and didn’t go after the cats), and in general, existed. For such crimes: death.

Now, in the town’s favor, they probably haven’t a clue how to manage a feral colony. The mayor’s reaction to TNR and other solutions was essentially “you really think anyone in this town would donate money to cats?”

The mayor said several suggestions have been made, including neutering, trapping and asking for donations.

“You couldn’t get a donation to save a cat in this town for the life of them,” Trively said.

And that either says something about how out of touch he is with the thoughts and feelings of the people he is representing (I’m betting on that one) or how cold the people of that town, collectively, are. They also implied that the problem was sudden -either they’d been ignoring it for a long time, or someone recently started dumping cats in their backyard. I’m guessing on the former for this one as well.

The issue, when talking practicalities, is that removing and killing the ferals and the strays living as ferals is that the problem doesn’t go away. It is masked for a while, and then it comes back. It is one of the most basic aspects of population biology. Too bad few people bother to learn anything about this when they’re trying to make decisions that have to do with population biology!

HSUS managed to drop the ball as well.

John Snyder of the Humane Society of the United States said he doesn’t have a problem with humanely killing a stray cat, but said the money spent on the bounty and the vet expenses would be better spent hiring someone who knows what he or she is doing.

They don’t have a problem with needless killing, but I do. And since we all know that HSUS loves to claim victories, why didn’t they take this small localized opportunity to work with the people of that particular town to say “hey, here’s how you set up feral colonies, here’s why it works, and here’s a year’s worth of vouchers for spay/neuter clinics.”

But nope, they instead took the opportunity to assure all of us that they have no problem with killing ferals. Well, maybe someone from that town will win HSUS’s “pet portrait” contest, and get enough money to start up a TNR program themselves.

Ironically I’ve seen people up in arms about how cats are treated in China. I don’t know all the details about what’s going on in China, but I know damn well what’s going on here – 10 million+ homeless pets killed every single year, and 10 billion other land animals killed every year for food. How is it that we think we can point fingers?

tempest and her toy

babies, mice, and rain

billy and butch

Yesterday was a wet and sort of gross day at the sanctuary, at least in terms of weather. Cuteness abounded, however, and we got to spend time with the baby goat, who has been named Sally after Sally Fields in “The Flying Nun“, and the baby lambs and their momma. I think the momma sheep is “Bessie” though Terry might have said “Betsy” or I could be misremembering completely. The babies are Billy and Butch, with Billy being a mostly white fellow, and Butch being a black sheep like his mom. Butch is the bolder one of the two, and he’ll come right up to you to check you out, and even had thoughts about trying to escape the barn where they’re living until they have a clean bill of health and can join the other sheep and goats. Billy is curious as well, but more inclined to stick a bit closer to mom.

When we were in the chicken barn doing our normal chores, I was taking care of the water bowls. I brought one back in and was about to put it down when I saw a mouse on the cement block that we put the water bowls on. Mice live in barns, you often catch sight of them scurrying around, but this one was laying on his side. I thought he was dead. I would like to say I handle these things well and that my excuse for just standing there was that the water bowl was in my hand. And that is partially true, the water bowl really was in my hands, and it is big enough that I couldn’t have done anything while holding the water bowl, but the reality is that I don’t handle these things well, and so I was sort of stuttering and saying “oh my god, there is a dead mouse!”

Turns out he wasn’t dead, though he obviously wasn’t doing well. Terry said that sometimes they just get cold, and if you warm them up they perk right up. She picked him up and held him under the heat lamp. He gasped a few times, and we kept thinking that this was it for him, but then his breathing seemed to get better and he was doing sort of better. I got a mouse box that they created just for situations like this from the storage barn.

The mouse box is a little cardboard box, sort of like a shoe box, but either for kids shoes or for something smaller than a typical adult shoe, and they have cut holes in the sides near the bottom as well as one in the lid, and taped pieces of wire mesh over the holes. There’s a tiny little dish in there they can use to put mouse food (which I suspect is the same as chicken food) and water in. We put some hay in the bottom of the box, put the little mouse in it, and Terry brought him up to the house to see if he’d do better once he warmed up.

When I left a little while later he was still breathing, so I guess time will tell. If nothing else, if he doesn’t make it, he’ll have been warm and comfortable for his last little while.

Terry always impresses me with how well she handles situations like that. She and Dave always seem to be prepared for helping even the littlest of their residents. The mouse ladders, a little mouse infirmary box. It is one of the things I love about spending time there. Everyone counts.

I got to feed little Sally her bottle before I left too. All in all, it was a really great day at the sanctuary, despite the drizzling rain!

Sally's flying nun ears

Sweet Percy

I heard yesterday that the sweetest bunny in the world has died.

Percy was a big fluffy lop-eared bunny who lived at Poplar Spring. He was sweet, and friendly, and petting him always filled me with that same sort of joy as curling up in sunbeams with my cat. Percy was one of four bunnies that live at Poplar Spring, and he was the only one that enjoyed attention from people. Of course people see bunnies and they want to cuddle and coo and stroke the silky ears, and it was all directed at Percy since he was the only one who liked it. He got a lot of lovin’.

They took him to the vet on Saturday because he’d not been feeling great, in a digestion-issue sort of way. He died the next day, of a respiratory problem that he was not showing signs of at all. They found out later that his lungs were very scarred, from a long-ago respiratory infection. He had very little lung capacity, and eventually it just became too much.

Sweet Percy, we love you. You will be missed, you are already missed.

percy and chloe

Percy is on the left. Chloe is snuggled up to him on the right.

condensed soymilk

I was talking to one of my fellow Poplar Spring volunteers this past Saturday about condensed soymilk. He and his wife are from Brazil, and they started importing condensed soymilk from Brazil to the states this past year, which has been sold through pangea and vegan essentials, I believe. They’re starting to import a different brand, which should be in Pangea soon (they’re first because they’re local), and will get out to the other online vegan retailers from there, and then hopefully to local stores. Within a month, he thinks, is the time frame for them to hit Pangea’s shelves.

Tonight, however, I managed to accidentally make myself some condensed soymilk, so if you want to save money or can’t wait for them to be stocked at Pangea, here’s the recipe:

  1. Put some soymilk in a pan
  2. Heat the soymilk on the stove on medium heat
  3. Get involved in doing something else and forget that you’re heating soymilk to make hot chocolate
  4. Forget for a while longer…
  5. At some point wander into the kitchen and realize that you had forgotten that you were heating soymilk and that it has now become a condensed version of soymilk, not suitable for hot chocolate, but delicious on its own merits.

I’d recommend using a pan that is big enough that as the soymilk rises in that bubbly froth that it does when it has been heating for a while (I have a habit of forgetting about my hot chocolate, just not usually for this long!) it won’t run over. I don’t even know for how long the soymilk was heating – 15-30 minutes, at best guess.

It was delicious.

3 volunteers at ps