A couple of weeks ago, we did a volunteer work day at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary.
It was funny, one week before, I had said, “We really should find a local farm animal sanctuary to visit.” 3 days later, Meetup informs me that our local Animal Rights Meetup group had a volunteer day coming up about 2 hours from our house. Fate? Destiny? Yes, if I believed in these things, I would say so.
Armed with many pounds of treats from a Costco visit (apples, carrots, pears and a few cantaloupes), we went down and met the folks from the Meetup, and quickly got the chance to meet all the inhabitants of the sanctuary and feed them the yummy veggies and fruits. We made many friends immediately! Veggies have the ability to make you very popular with pigs and cows. The feeding and petting was a joy – these pigs have some serious personality.
For the next 6 hours or so, our group of about 10-15 people cleared lots of limbs from a big area that housed the more feral pigs and installed 160 feet of new fence to create an area for several pigs that were rescued from a factory farm. We also built two shelters for the pigs to hang out and sleep in. This was made more exciting by the looming thunderstorms and the occasional playful chase by the biggest of the feral pigs. He has a reputation apparently as somewhat of a bully, but seemed to be a mostly sweet guy.
The work also included several short breaks to pet the dogs and a really friendly turkey that loved having her head rubbed.
This was a really amazing experience overall. Visiting the rescued animals reinforces everything that we think about animals, from the vegan perspective. These animals are just like us, they want to live, without constant worry, and enjoy simple things like snacking on a treat, relaxing in the sun, and connecting with other sentient beings. All of these animals have a story, and you can almost sense the appreciation from them, that they are now living in a happy place with lots of people like themselves.
If you have a sanctuary nearby, I totally encourage you to visit and help out if possible. You will be rewarded in ways you can’t imagine.