‘Kids’ no longer welcome: Baby goats pulled from two Lehigh Valley vegan-themed events
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Goat yoga — a fitness trend of practicing yoga while being surrounded, and nuzzled, by adorable little goats — once was a viral sensation, with sold-out classes in studios and pop-up events across the country.
But a Berks County-based family farm has pulled out of two local vegan-themed events after negative feedback regarding the inclusion of baby goats.
The planners of Allentown’s First Annual VegFest said Steinmetz Family Farm no longer will be present at the event, slated for Saturday, April 29, at Cedar Beach Park.
- Goat yoga and goat snuggling will no longer be included at two local events
- Steinmetz Family Farm will not appear at events at VegFests planned at Cedar Beach Park or at Bear Creek Mountain Resort
- The owner of the farm said in a Facebook post they were flooded with 'no so nice' messages from animal rights activists
“We have received negative feedback regarding the inclusion of goat yoga,” the Allentown Chamber of Commerce posted to Facebook. “We understand where the comments are coming from and are adjusting our plans for the event.
“We did not intend to offend anyone and want this event to be a fun, educational day of health and wellness with vegan and vegetarian inclusion.”
“If our event at a Vegfest would possibly cause a riot or picketers, then we would rather not be a part of it. I don't feel it would be necessary to ruin the entire event or create unnecessary drama."Steinmetz Family Farm owner Justin Steinmetz
Steinmetz also has pulled out of Bear Creek Mountain Resort’s First Annual Vegan Festival slated for Sunday, April 16, in Macungie.
In a post on its Facebook page, Steinmetz said its inboxes were flooded with “not so nice” messages from animal rights activists, as well as what it referred to as “vegan extremists” about animal exploitation with baby goat snuggling.
“If our event at a Vegfest would possibly cause a riot or picketers, then we would rather not be a part of it. I don't feel it would be necessary to ruin the entire event or create unnecessary drama,” owner Justin Steinmetz said in the post.
“Both Bear Creek and Allentown are open to bringing us back to other events that do not draw such a crowd.
"I understand where they are coming from, and I respect their beliefs. So respectfully we have taken it off the calendar, and hopefully it will free us up for some other events that will be better received.”
Steinmetz said the board of directors for each of the events were happy to have them until the controversy erupted.
Comments on the Facebook post indicated support for the decision, though one reader said she was “sad it has to be that way.”