I was an intern at Farm Sanctuary's California shelter this past July. I had the most incredible time! Interns live on-site and work 40 hours a week. During our time off, we can wander around and go visit any of the animals. It's so fun just to hang out with them.
We also got to go see "Peaceable Kingdom" at its San Francisco premiere! It was so awesome. A couple of my fellow interns hadn't been to SF before, so it was especially exciting for them.
Farm Sanctuary also holds a yearly event, the Walk for Farm Animals, which is the fund raiser they first put in place to buy the New York shelter so long ago. I have decided to participate in the walk this year, in San Francisco (of course!) on October 23. I asked the lovely Erin Pavlina about sponsoring me, and she suggested it might be a good idea to post the same request on the boards. So if anyone is interested in sponsoring me and helping out Farm Sanctuary, it would be really wonderful and I'd appreciate it muchly!
Some details about pledges -- if you pledge $20, you become a Farm Sanctuary member and you also get a newsletter subscription. Of course, any amount is fine with me... I have a feeling that a similar e-mail sent out to my omni family and friends will yield a net response of zero!
So anything anyone is willing to pledge for me is just great.
Farm Sanctuary is a large organization with all kinds of printed material, t-shirts, books, and various e-mail newsletters to raise awareness about animal abuse and factory farming. But they also care for a large number of animals! At the CA shelter, we never lacked for something to do. All of the barns were cleaned (or "mucked") every day -- I've never moved so much straw in my life! Every week, one day (usually Wednesay) is designated "Animal Health Care" day -- for bunny health care, each rabbit is thoroughly examined, given some hairball meds, and has nails clipped. Trying to catch bunnies is about what you'd expect -- frantic and comical.
And the animals are fed quite well. Hay feeds are kind of fun -- albeit a bit dusty. But the cows, goats, and sheep dig that stuff. I personally know how much one week of "bunny produce" costs -- almost $90! They get lots of greens, and carrots too.
Of course, sometimes animals get too sick from one reason or another, and there were actually two animals euthanized while I was an intern. Vonnie was a sweet pig, about 10 years old, who had liver failure. When I first arrived at the sanctuary, she had started to get better and was eating and drinking more. But then she just went downhill. It was so sad. She came to the shelter, with her mother Bridgette, when she was a piglet. They came from a horrendous cruelty case, where many pigs were found starving -- most had died. Then we had to let Missy the sheep go. She had been adopted from the shelter by an amazing couple who had some land and rescued all kinds of animals -- they even had a large population of FeLV-positive cats (which touched my heart, since I lost my cats Mabel and Travis due to feline leukemia). Tragically, this couple lost nearly everything during a fire. I think Missy and one other animal survived. Missy was burned on her face and ears, and she came back to Farm Sanctuary to live. Soon it was discovered that she had a cancerous tumor growing on her side. It was removed once, but had started growing back. This was her status when I arrived at the beginning of July. Poor Missy just kept getting worse, and stopped eating much of anything. One of my fellow interns decided to make a loaf of alfalfa bread for Missy -- we had an awesome time doing that (which involved using the coffee bean grinder to make alfalfa flour!) and I took pictures of the whole process. But the vet told us that Missy's cancer had spread, and we could see that she was in enormous amounts of pain. So the decision was made to euthanize her as well. Another sad day at the sanctuary for everyone...
Anyway, this is a book! But I just wanted everybody here on the VegFamily boards to get an idea of what goes on at Farm Sanctuary every day, just in case you thought about sponsoring me for the Walk but weren't sure if your money would be put to good use. If anyone is interested in making a pledge, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
Additionally, there may be a FS Walk scheduled in your area --check out www.walkforfarmanimals.org
to see! AND, if you get a chance, go visit either the NY shelter in Watkins Glen or the CA shelter in Orland! I never felt so hopeful and at peace as I did during my internship. I didn't want to come home!!
Thanks for reading all of this!