This past weekend my family spent the day at The Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, volunteering our time to help care for the animals. We were able to meet some of the dedicated volunteers who keep this operation running and were able to spend time getting to know the animals and learning the story of how they each arrived at the farm.
Fortunately, for these animals, the story had a happy ending and they will live the remainder of their lives in this warm and loving paradise, but for the majority of their fellow brothers and sisters, the story does not end quite as well. If dogs and cats were subjected to the types of atrocities that farm animals experience on a daily basis, our society would be outraged and the culprits would be dragged off to jail in handcuffs.Yet factory farms and slaughterhouses continue to exist and are both condoned and protected by the government, their practices for the most part kept hidden from the public eye. It’s shameful.
Thankfully, there are people who are dedicating their lives to changing the plight of the farm animal, both through their rescue and rehabilitation efforts and by educating the general public about making more conscious food choices. Volunteering at The Woodstock Animal Sanctuary was such a positive experience for my children, as well as for my husband and me. My children got to see that there is no difference between dogs, pigs, goats and cows. They are all sentient, intelligent beings, each with their own personality and full of unconditional love. Our treatment to these farm animals shouldn’t be any different than how we treat our own household pets. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that in our home, our dogs are showered with love and attention every day. Why should it be any different for a pig or a cow?
Personally, this visit to the animal sanctuary reinforced my commitment to following a vegan diet. For the rest of my family, it has opened their eyes and has (hopefully) set them on a path towards making more conscious food choices. These animals will forever be etched in our hearts and I look forward to returning soon for another volunteer trip in the future. If you are interested in volunteering, visit www.woodstocksanctuary.org or visit them on Facebook.