Guest Post: A Day at an Animal Sanctuary
I'm so excited to share today's guest post with you from my friend Lindsay at Kiss Me, I'm Vegan! blog. She is a frequent visitor to one of my fave animal sanctuaries, Animal Acres. I wanted her to share her experience with my readers so you can see how awesome farm animals are through her eyes. Just look at how happy she is with them! Love them, don't eat them. Visit her blog for more goodness and you can follow Lindsay on Twitter too.
For me, a day at Animal Acres is like being in heaven. This farmed animal sanctuary in Acton, California, boasts some of the sweetest, most gentle, curious, and happy rescued animals around. Take Lila, one of the beautiful rescued turkeys, for example. Lila’s favorite thing to do is cuddle up next to a human and purr as she is stroked softly on her back, much like a kitty. Or take Fred, Animal Acres’ resident goat boyfriend to every single lucky lady who crosses his path. Fred is so kind, so affectionate, and so patient that if a goat/human marriage were permitted in the state of California, I just may consider it (just don’t tell my human husband!).
And when I visit Animal Acres, I’m home. Home, because by spending precious moments with these gorgeous, funny, and unique animals, I am able to celebrate my vegan lifestyle. Home, because when I look at these animals, I know that I’m doing everything I can to help them live a better life. Home, because each and every animal residents’ eyes sing the word home like a sweet lullaby. After years of living in pain, desolation, and confinement, the goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, pigs, cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, and geese of Animal Acres are given refuge here in every sense of the word. No longer are they looked at as food to be eaten, but rather individual beings with distinct personalities and temperaments. The critters of Animal Acres are treated with abundant amounts of respect and love, which I see every time I observe employees Cameron O’Steen, Frank Allen, and AA founder Lorri Houston interact with them. To Cameron, Frank, and Lorri, these animals are more than just rescued companions – they are family.
I went vegan in 2008, after spending twenty-four years in the dark about how corrupt, violent, and abusive the animal food system is. It took a moment in 2007 – watching a film that showed the kill floor of a slaughterhouse – that changed my ways forever. I’ve been vegan for over two years now, and I have to say it has been the single best choice I have ever made for my own life and the lives of so many animals in need. Living this way has shown me that to live vegan is a gift – it is the very least I can do to honor this earth and all our inhabitants.
In the six short months I’ve frequented Animal Acres, I’ve learned this much – that turkeys are just as sweet and playful as our feline and canine companions, that giving a pig a belly rub should be on everyone’s bucket list, and that cows are B.F.G.’s to their very core. Mostly, I’ve learned that animals like those at Animal Acres are heroes and ambassadors of love – after experiencing intense abuse at the hands of humans, these beings have learned to forgive us and, more extraordinarily, trust us again. What a gift to be able to exist with them, if even for an afternoon. Like I said before, it’s a little trip to heaven.
Lindsay Wolf is a Los Angeles-based actress, vegan life coach, animal advocate, and founder of Kiss Me, I’m Vegan!, “a blog for the happy vegan in all of us.” KMIV blends Lindsay’s personal vegan journey with the journeys of other vegan superheroes who endlessly inspire her. Lindsay has also guest blogged on The Kind Life, Your Daily Vegan, Vegan At Heart, and her work has been documented twice through videos on LeaveItBetter.com. She’s a regular visitor and fan of Animal Acres Sanctuary in Acton, CA and loves nothing more than to make a mean vegan stir-fry with her hubby and cuddle up on the couch with their four rescue kitties. Photos by Joanna Wilson Photography