This year, I am the volunteer coordinator for the first ever San Diego Walk For Farm Animals. I would love it if you could please donate $10 to my Walk page. It is my birthday and would be the greatest gift I could get. The money goes to the non profit organization, Farm Sanctuary to raise vital funds for helping sick, abused, and abandoned animals and also for farm animal protection legislation, advocacy, and education. Here is my page: http://events.walkforfarmanimals.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=6494
Why I Support Farm Sanctuary
10 Billion. A number so large, so distant from comprehending – it is un-phasing. 10 billion land animals are killed each year in factory farms. You remember Charlotte’s Web – right – Wilbur was based on a real-life pig that E.B White knew as a child. That might be the only story about a farm animal that you know of, where Charlotte crafted “Some Pig” in her web, and it kept Wilbur from slaughter. By her giving Wilbur the chance to be himself – and showcase his personality – it made the farmer and townspeople realize he was not a commodity but a sentient being with much personality and spirit. I have learned of many similar real-life stories of incredible farm animals given a second chance at life with Farm Sanctuary – where animals can live naturally – safe, happy, and getting their nutritional and medical needs met.
Stories of Rescue
I want to tell you about some of the animals that get to live their lives in peace at Farm Sanctuary.
There was a piglet with impeccable instincts who fell out of a truck and ran to safety under a Farm Sanctuary member’s front porch. Another sick pig, Reggie showed a sure sign of love to his caregiver. After getting his medication, Reggie began to pile up fluffs of straw next to him — building a nest for his caregiver to sleep in.
My favorite story is of the cow that escaped the slaughter line and jumped a 6 foot fence – they called her Cincinnati Freedom – she got a key to the city and got to live out her life in peace at the New York Farm Sanctuary. Perhaps she was related to the cow who jumped over the moon.
The first ever Farm Sanctuary animal was Hilda the sheep. Hilda was thrown onto a “dead pile” – a pile of animals that just didn’t make it to be sold at a stockyard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and left for dead. At the sounds of a camera click – a sheep on the pile raised her head. When he realized she wasn’t dead- Gene Baur – founder of Farm Sanctuary brought her to the vet to be euthanized and prevent further agony and suffering. The vet said that the sheep was just dehydrated and gave her some vitamins and fluid. She sprung to her feet in 30 minutes. Hilda went on to live 11 years and now has a special resting place at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen. There are many stories like this – where animals are abandoned and left to starve or for dead – when all they needed was some fluids or medicine (typically costing less than $20). That is why Farm Sanctuary desperately needs funds from events like the Walk For Farm Animals – so they can tend to the medical needs of these animals that are rescued and also raise awareness about these issues.
The Ugly Truth of Factory Farming
Factory farms are large scale industrial operations that house thousands of sentient animals in extremely cramped conditions and treats them as economic commodities – they rarely see the light of day and feel much pain and frustration. You make a vote for these animals at every meal, with every purchase. We can’t say we didn’t know anymore – with all the video proof of cruelty easily accessible. We also can’t deny that these animals have feelings, emotions, intelligence – and trust me if you can love your dog, love your cat, you can have just as much love for a pig, a chicken, a cow, a turkey, a goat if you got to know them.
Like people – animals come in all different types, shapes, sizes - they each have their own nuances and personalities. Besides being denied proper food, fresh air, and space- these animals suffer from brutal mutilations that happen on factory farms, without anesthesia – like a beak being burned off, a tail being chopped off, horns being chopped. In the videos, you can see the fear in eyes of these animals, who had the unfortunate fate of being born into factory farming – and who can’t speak our words but can definitely feel pain and scream out from total agony. Often a pig may break out of her gestation crate – you know – the small metal box where she spends her life in with no hay and can’t turn around? Well, when she makes a run for it – she will loosen the crates of the pigs next to her – to give them a shot at escape too.
So – to me, knowing and feeling how much personality, love, and spirit these animals have – I wonder why we as a society allow ourselves to love one type of animal yet eat the others -and ignore the truth of how they got to our plates. I imagine a mother’s love for her baby is the same across any species and she should not have her baby ripped away from her and denied its own mother’s milk. I am reminded of a quote from the book, The Lucky Ones:
“I stopped for a moment and thought about how science-fiction like the whole scene was: A species buying, selling, using, abusing, then killing frightened, innocent other species, viewing and treating them as commodities. This could be a horror film somewhere on another intellectually and spiritually evolved planet – especially since there is so much scientific evidence that we do not need animal products in our diet at all. In fact, its making us sick and destroying our planet. And all because we’re too selfish and brainwashed to realize that giving up meat and dairy is a small sacrifice. All because we insist it’s our God given right. How did it come to be like this? Indifference was law here, humanity illegal” – Jenny Brown
Want more information? I recommend that you watch Food Inc, read Skinny Bitch, and watch undercover video of factory farms. When I saw footage of a baby cow with his face chained inches away from a pole, and scream blood curdling cries from repeatedly being kicked with a boot in the head, well I fell to my knees and bawled my eyes out, because I felt that helpless pain in my gut. There is no way to justify cruelty against a sentient being. Thanks to Farm Sanctuary though, I also have many positive images of rescued farm animals that give me hope and strength to fight for them and - be – their – voice.
We Are What We Eat
They say if factory farms had glass walls we’d all be vegetarian. The connection between disease, cancer, heart attack and animal products has been proven, over and over. By now we know we are what we eat! No wonder we don’t feel good! Animals on factory farms are pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in their food. This “feed” is meant to keep them just steps away from dying from the pneumonia, udder infections, disease, and respiratory ailments that they are plagued with as they stand on concrete ground without access to sunlight, clean air, and kindness.
We can no longer say we didn’t know. We can no longer say we can’t afford to eat healthy. No one can afford to lose more loved ones from disease, heart attack, and cancer. Cheap diet has a high cost. Our kind can’t keep living like this anymore - I have learned about and met so many of the rescued animals from Farm Sanctuary. To give a pig a belly rub and be licked by a cow is a pretty incredible feeling. Though I can’t help but sense their concern that others like them are still suffering. They take their jobs as ambassadors of their species very seriously – with each tour group the goats run out and beg for pets in between their horns. A turkey at the LA Sanctuary is the greeter – and loves to be pet under her wings – on her soft down feathers. In fact, when I went to visit, I saw that she wouldn’t even walk away from people until they knelt down and gave her a pet! It is really special seeing children light up around these animals too – and remembering how when I was little – my grandpa would draw pictures of pigs for me – even when he couldn’t talk after a stroke — he would manage to keep his shaky hand still long enough to draw the most perfect looking pig on a napkin for me.
I encourage you to visit the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen NY, Orland CA or LA. At the LA sanctuary, I saw a turkey interact with a 4 year old boy – I was in awe of how the turkey mimicked the exact tone of the boy’s “Bawwkk” – in a way the turkey was playing a game with him, knowing she was entertaining the child. She herself was unable to walk because she was bred to produce more breast meat, like the Frank-en-stein like chicken. But genetically modifying these animals does not take away their spirits, however broken they might be.
I also like the story of the aging goat who became best friends with a cow. They spent every day grazing the fields together, with the cow calling her goat at night as well. Once the goat passed away from old age, the cow, in perfect health, died of a broken heart. The stories of the bonds cows make with other animals at Farm Sanctuary are incredible. I was so happy to finally meet Thunder – a cow who broke through a fence to tend to the “Special Needs” younger cows. Another case – when one mother cow passed away of natural causes – the other cows were so upset they banged up against the car that was taking her body away – never wanting to leave her side.
When I see the face of a rescued cow, the stature and structure of their face, the deepness to his eyes, reminds me of a horse – an ocean of unspoken emotion hidden. The animal unsure of people. But there is magic in being in the presence of a rescued innocent animal who had suffered under the cruel hand of people before, and now – is giving trust a try – thanks to Farm Sanctuary.
Please donate $10 to my Walk For Farm Animals page, every dollar makes a big difference – food or medicine for an animal in need:
Just because things have been happening a certain way for a long time, doesn’t make them right. Now we have to acknowledge that factory farming is wrong, and think about making compassionate food choices. It is all of the small steps we take that will promote change, and reclaim our health, our morality, and refresh the planet.
Many blessings and thank you in advance for donating to my Walk. It is the greatest gift I could get – sharing the stories of these animals with the people I care about, and helping raise money for such an important cause.
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