Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

Remembering Buddha


It is impossible to celebrate The Gentle Barn’s 15th Anniversary without talking about Buddha. Buddha was The Gentle Barn’s very first cow. She was also the same age as The Gentle Barn, so she would have been 15 years old now. Buddha was the wisest animal we have ever met and it was very common for people to bend down to hug her and burst into tears. She gave out over 300,000 hugs in her lifetime and she helped the at-risk kids we hosted become vulnerable and open. I hugged her every single day and she would wrap her neck around me and hug me back. I would meditate with her every evening and would feel a deep peace sitting beside her. Buddha’s body eventually wore down from arthritis and it became impossible for her to walk or stand. It was time for her to transcend her body, but the loss at The Gentle Barn was monumental. 

Years later we still have visitors ask for her and cry when they find out she has passed. Buddha embodied unconditional love and sometimes it was the first real hug some of the kids we host ever had. If you met Buddha consider yourself lucky. If you never met her, I’m so sorry you missed her, but when you come visit us, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the magic of The Gentle Barn and the warmth in your heart: that’s Buddha, still here with us, still loving us! 

Happy anniversary, Buddha, we will never forget you!

Written by Ellie Laks

Founder, The Gentle Barn

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The original idea behind Fry’s was to find a way to make nutritious products for our family who are all passionate about plant-based diets. Back when we started in 1991 most people thought we were crazy. “Plants that look and taste like meat, made in your kitchen!?” Okay, maybe we were crazy, but with passion and determination, great things can happen.

We are thrilled to be sponsoring The Gentle 12 this November for World Vegan Month at the three Gentle Barn locations and look forward to all the visitors coming to meet the animals and sampling our delicious Fry’s treats. We adore the work that Ellie, Jay, and everyone at the California, Missouri and Tennessee sanctuaries are doing to save so many wonderful animals and provide them with a safe, loving home. By choosing our Fry’s plant-based products over animal protein, our customers end up saving over 3.5 million animals each year so The Gentle Barn’s dedication to the health and well-being of these loving farm animals fits perfectly with our own mission of saving the planet and all of its inhabitants.