Two days ago, my husband and I spent the day at one of the loveliest places on earth. In a town just outside of Woodstock, NY, there exists a small, but thriving farm animal sanctuary, where pigs, goats, chickens, roosters, cows, bulls, rabbits, ducks, and turkeys have been rescued from a life of torture and horrible death. We drove up and spent the day cleaning the sheep pen (oh yeah, there are sheep there, too) brushing the goats, and doing various odd jobs around the farm.
We were asked to only bring vegan food for lunch. We met others who share my feelings for animals and who are commited to their well-being. To see pigs resting happily in the mud, and goats free to roam around, playing about on the grounds, turkeys strolling, hens out pecking through fresh grass, was a sight for sore eyes.
There are farm animal sanctuaries all over the country that need help. You can sponsor an animal, volunteer for the day-or how ever long you wish, and some have internships. What my (unconverted) husband took away from it was a new awareness for animals. That night he ate a vegetarian dinner, and then yesterday, chose to eat vegetarian all day. At the end of dinner last night I asked him how he felt and he said that he felt quite satisfied. He's slowly coming around!
Now, we're talking about rescuing some male goats from a small, family-run, goat dairy farm that we know of. We have the land and we both loved working with the goats. We are thinking of rescuing some hens as well. The power to chose, to change, to act is in all of our hands. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and helpless under the crush of the powers that be, we have the opportunity to do something! Being at the farm was the best day of my summer, so far, and I've decided to drive up once a week to volunteer. I encourage you to find out more about farm sanctuaries in your area. For more information about Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary go to their webpage at http://woodstocksanctuary.org/
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)