And that's not the last time you'll hear those two words together, when you listen to the podcast. Maybe I'm purposely misdirecting you, as the wild ass was the origin of the breed we now know as the domesticated donkey, but it's fun to say and makes me feel like a more exciting girl. That said...
The Donkey Welfare Symposium. The recipe is like this:
1. 200 (plus) people passionate about donkeys, from both a professional and personal perspective.
2. Set the meeting at the University of Davis Campus, one of the biggest agricultural colleges in the U.S., located in the middle of one of the biggest farming areas in the U.S.
3. Include a day at the historic U.C Davis horse barn, with donkeys of all shapes, sizes and colors.
4. Do seminars on manicures, pedicures and massage (yes, there was a farrier and yes, donkey massage is a thing - again with the more exciting girl).
5. Have scientists and experts fly in from around the world to talk about one of the oldest domesticated animals (Egypt, 5,000 years ago is the answer to your burning question).
6. Include organizations dedicated to education, sanctuary and humane treatment.
7. Have lots of wonderful food. And an open bar. And a band. And more food. And more open bar. The singing farrier starts up, and we have it on tape.
This was one of our most exhausting, yet enjoyable film shoots. It was like the cross between a science lab, farm visit, U.N conference, SPCA meeting, genetics study, and a class prom. We hope they'll allow us back, as Elara did have a glass of wine, then cornered the really interesting PhD from the University of Cordoba (Spain) with esoteric questions on the history of donkey migration and evolution. He did escape eventually. We do not have that part of tape.