August 6th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
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Editor's note: Video by Jeremy Harlan, CNN photojournalist; text by Sarah LeTrent, Eatocracy editor.

Some residents of Grand Isle, Vermont, don’t want to talk about what happened in that blue building on Pearl Street. Others have an awful lot to say on the matter.

A cattle trailer, spray-painted in red with the Animal Liberation Front’s acronym “ALF,” still sits out front of the complex now shrouded in overgrown weeds.

It’s an eerie reminder of the events just four years ago that thrust this tiny town of fewer than 2,000 people into the national spotlight.

In October 2009, the now-deserted structure – which once housed the veal processing plant Bushway Packing Inc. - was permanently shut down by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after an animal protection organization, the Humane Society of the United States, revealed an undercover video showing plant workers kicking, dragging, stunning and skinning live calves that were less than a month old.

It was yet another blow to the U.S. veal industry, which has long been mired in conflict with animal welfare groups because of its use of crates to restrain the calves’ movement.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, consumers seldom cite animal welfare as a concerning food issue but express it as “a matter of high concern” for veal.

But just 40 miles from where that horrifying video was filmed in Grand Isle, in the small town of Fairfield, Vermont, the folks behind Stony Pond Farm are among a number of smaller-scale dairy farmers trying to persuade consumers and fellow farmers alike to think outside the pen when it comes to veal – and they’re aiming to make more humane rearing and slaughtering practices an industry standard.
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July 30th, 2013
03:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series, showing how people have turned hobbies into jobs. Have you transformed your passion into profits? Share your story with CNN iReport, and you could be featured in a CNN story.

Helping families build homes was a job that Jessica Vu excelled at. As a sales consultant in Bellbrook, Ohio, she walked people through buying homes, selecting floor plans and customizing everything from doors and windows to counters.

Then the housing market crashed in 2008, and she was laid off while she was eight weeks pregnant with her first child. Like many Americans who lost their income sources when employers cut more than 1.2 million jobs in the first 10 months of 2008, she struggled to find her footing.

As the ripple effects of the recession continue, with monthly unemployment claims up in July, people like Vu are seeking alternatives to traditional office jobs and gambling on their passions.
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Filed under: American Journeys • Small Business


July 30th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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It was a difficult choice: the apple pie or the New York-style cheesecake?

Both sat in front of me, looking succulent on separate plates, on the counter at Liberty Pies & Cakes in Madrid. I pushed my coffee aside to study this opportunity.

We were in the middle of filming a report about Burton Novack, an American expat in Madrid whom you might call an unusual entrepreneur.

In the midst of Spain's economic crisis, he opened a shop two years ago to make and sell American-style pies and cakes.

Unusual because he's an octogenarian. He looks pretty fit. He says he still plays tennis. He certainly still drives because I took a ride in his car from the shop to his office, where I met his large parrot.
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Filed under: American Journeys • Spain • Travel • Video


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