"We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them."

The words above belong to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I think they go really well with today's post. The entire quote reads: 

"One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them." 

As you all know, I'm a huge lover of farmed animal sanctuaries. I don't know what I love more about these beautiful, loving places - that they shine a positive, healing light on the animal advocacy movement or that they humble me beyond belief once I visit with the rescued animals there. For me, farmed animal sanctuaries are one of my very favorite kinds of advocacy, because they allow some of the closest human to animal connection of any effort. And it doesn't hurt that the animals there are always so darn cute!

On Saturday, I took my family to Animal Acres in Acton, California, and what we experienced can only be described properly in one word: bliss.

From Lila, the sweet, cute turkey who melted down onto the ground every time I pet her in just the right spot (underneath her wings), to Cowboy, the baby cow who licked my hands for five minutes as I cuddled with him, to Macy, the friendly pig who rubbed up against visitors and grunted sweet hellos to us, every single rescued animal at Animal Acres expresses a distinct personality and zest for life that is just plain magical to behold. As usual with all of my sanctuary trips, I had no desire to leave after three short hours whizzed by.

One of my favorite moments was capturing on film the interaction between my brother Jon and one of the happy little roosters at the sanctuary - Jon must have spent five whole minutes with the chicken in his arms, Jon's head nestled on the bird's chest and smiling like he was five years old again.

Jon and his new feathered friend.
It is my earnest hope to find time to volunteer at this amazing place and find ways to help them whenever I can. If you live in Los Angeles or in the Southern California area, you should definitely stop by! Tours are given on Sundays at 11AM and 1PM, and it will be an experience unlike anything else. You WILL make return stops here after checking out this place - I promise!

It should be noted that founder Lorri Houston's lovely sanctuary has two very hardworking, passionate, and exuberant activists working there who should definitely be mentioned. First is Cameron O'Steen, the sanctuary's humane educator, who helped share the animals' stories and backgrounds as we visited with them. Second is Ciddy Fonteboa, our tour guide for the day and star of the hilarious and touching online film, "A Journey to Animal Acres":

Isn't Ciddy the most adorable gal on earth?

I couldn't imagine my life - or our world - without animals, and Lorri, Ciddy, Cameron, and the good people over at Animal Acres make sure that no one has to be. Animal Acres is a California gem and a place that I will be talking about more and more now that I'm a West Coaster.

Cowboy and I share a snuggle.
For more information about the animal and human friends at Animal Acres, please visit www.animalacres.org.


All the snuggling is so adorable. "tapping into that kindness" "Compassion" - Amen!

Luckily I have dinner all ready - The food made me so hungry! :D

I totally wanted to rub the piggy's belly too ;-)
Meghan said…
Hey Lindsay! Just as a head's up - the link for Animal Acres at the bottom of your post goes to a website for a wool/fur farm!Mangham Manor Wool & Mohair Farm! How weird?!?! I wanted to let you know so you can look into it. Thanks for the great article :-)
Lindsay said…
Jeri - thank you as always for the beautiful feedback and love! Meghan - I am so glad you caught that! What a horrible alternative to Animal Acres! Ah! :(

I just made sure all of the links are for www.animalacres.org.

Thanks again for your support and help!
Liz said…
Lindsay I love your farm sanctuary blogs!! That place looks so beautiful and uplifting and that video made my day. The pic of your brother and the rooster is adorable :)
jana said…
oh. so. JEALOUS!!! Blarg! I am hoping to get to Farm Sanctuary in New York this summer! can't wait.
ktr said…
Animal Acres was an amazing experience, a place I will definitely be visiting again on the West and East coasts. I have boasted about this experience to everyone especially when I got to give the pig a belly rub! Jon and I both came to the conclusion afterward that we know we need to step it up as vegetarians, the experience was life changing. Now I know more than ever that I need to work hard so I can have my own cow and pig when I grow up! A year ago I wouldn't have touched or stood near a chicken, on that day I wanted to pick one up! ~Kate
Lindsay said…
Aw Kate - the experience was beautiful, and I'm so happy to hear you're gonna make more changes - that's awesome! :)
Our Journey said…
I will be attending (I live in NYC) and I bought 2 lunches and wanted to offer a lunch to someone this Sunday 10/10/10 for the Thanksliving Banquet @ the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (http://www.woodstocksanctuary.org/news-events/events/thanksliving-details/).

Thank You for you!
Much Love & Light,
Its amazing how much animals will share their own personalities with you if you are willing to respect them and actually take the time to care about them!

While at our local fair, my girls {and my husband and I} were anxious to visit the farm animals.

While in their "stalls" which were very nice and open- very animal friendly by the way... in the midst of the mass of confusion around them... they behaved in a "I'm just a farm animal" manner. But when we visited them and cuddled them and talked to them... They perked up and responded in sweet ways... It was truly wonderful to experience. I wish that more people would make that kind of connection!

:)By the way- I think that county fairs need to have more vegan items available... just sayin'! :)