Leanne Lauricella gave up a six-figure salary as a corporate events planner to follow her passion for rehabilitating goats with special needs.
After moving to New Jersey, she would always see goat farms during her daily commute to the city. One day, she decided to pull over with her husband and check one out. It was love at first sight! Since then, she has taken Instagram by storm with her goat rescue group Goats of Anarchy.
“I had a great job in New York City,” she told Cosmopolitan, “but the commute was awful, the stress level was high, and I often asked myself, ‘Is this what life is?’ I was feeling completely unfulfilled and I knew there had to be something more.”
Although she loves her goats, Lauricella was also inspired by her husband after he left his corporate job to do something he was passionate about: “My husband worked on Wall Street for 25 years and had left his job to fulfill his lifelong passion of restoring and selling classic Corvettes. He opened his showroom, and although the first year was tough, he has never been happier because he was doing what he loved. I wanted the same for myself!”
Instagram decided to feature one of her photos on the homepage and got over 30,000 followers in one night. She took it as a sign that she was on the right track.
She says that she struggled with the idea of giving up shopping since her goats chew holes in everything she owns: “When you find and follow your passion, all of the silly things you thought were important, don’t seem so important anymore.”
“I decided to trade in the high heels for muck boots and my Mercedes for a classic Chevy pickup,” she says.
Growing up in Texas, the transition to owning a farm was easier than she thought. She also decided to become vegan in 2012 after developing loving relationships with her animals.
The couple’s compassion for goats has since grown outside of just goats. They now help bunnies, pigs, cows, and sheep, all of which arrive from the Barnyard Sanctuary, where she volunteers.
“Some people have called me foolish or irresponsible for quitting my job without a plan, but for me, it was a leap of faith,” Lauricella said. “When you find and follow your passion, all of the silly things you thought were important, don’t seem so important anymore.”