If you're unfamiliar with Farm Sanctuary, here's a wee bit of background: Basically, it all began in 1986, when Hilda the sheep was pulled from the "dead pile" at a stockyard, rehabilitated, and then went on to spend 11 years living life to the full in the green pastures of central New York.
Hilda became an emblem of hope and inspiration for rescue workers, who turned her recovery into a lifelong mission to "end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living through rescue, education, and advocacy." Today, Farm Sanctuary is the leading farm animal protection agency in the United States.
brown cow (not Hilda)
So, why was I so psyched to be a part of this thing?
My dietary changes may have initially been sparked by sheer physical pain and discomfort, but the more I've learned about foods and ingredients and the way they affect my body, the more my eyes have been opened to the horrific truths behind how certain foods are processed in this country—namely, meat and dairy products.
dairy industry = mean to cows
I don't want to go off on a factory farming rant in this small space, but let's just say that I sincerely believe in what the folks at Farm Sanctuary are doing, and I was delighted to be a part of it, if only for a day.... even if it meant shoveling a barn full of cow manure, which it did!
meet Snickers, the steer
Rachel and the goat, sharing an inside joke
a particularly goofy goat
turkey says, "wassup..."
bonding with Fiona, the pig
me having a moment with another pig...
and finally, meet Emily...
To learn more about Farm Sanctuary and their ongoing efforts to rescue, educate, and advocate, as well as how you can get involved, click here. And if you happen to live near one of the two sanctuaries, located just outside of Watkins Glen, NY, or Orland, CA, sign yourself up for a farm tour or a volunteer work party (which is what we did today)!
Oh, and here's their most recent blog post: Animal Photo of the Week: Lily