"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.