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Thursday, 12 April 2007

Rescue Me: The Farm Sanctuary in Orland, California - Page 3

Written by Jennifer Anthony
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On a warm Sunday afternoon in October, Lily the pig lies flat on her side, eyes closed, snaggletooth poking out from a wide, peaceful grin. The enormous fans trained on the bevy of sows combat the heat and ruffle their short, wiry hair. Lily grumbles just a little when the pig leaning on her back shifts position, but soon settles down again, snorting into the hay. Lost in daydreams, she doesn’t so much as twitch when I reach out to tickle her wrinkly pink neck.

The subsequent visit to the chicken coop is difficult; while I don’t eat lamb or pork, and am making strides toward cutting beef out of my diet, I do still eat chicken. It is hard to reconcile my guilt with the joy I feel as I watch the white chickens before me skittering around. It is certainly easier to be in denial about a chicken sandwich’s origins in a restaurant than nose to beak on a farm.

I confess my omnivorous tendencies to my vegan guide. She is neither militant nor judgmental. She says, simply, “Every little step matters.” When I ask her if it’s hard to be a vegan, she explains, “Yes. Sometimes. But I can always find something to eat. And not everyone’s that lucky.” She is calm, and subtle. She knows the animals’ stories speak for themselves.

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Carrie is one of several staff members at the Farm, but interns also provide support. Many of the interns are in their twenties and are students of veterinary medicine or other related fields. Others, like a recent seventy-year-old intern, just love animals and want to help out a noble cause. Internships range from one to three months, and involve caring for animals, cleaning barns, and assisting with health checks. For those who choose to help out in other capacities, internships are available in administration, campaigning, development, education, and communication. Housing is offered at no charge for all Farm Sanctuary interns at the Orland facility.

The Sanctuary asks that all staff and interns be vegan while on the premises. This Vegan lifestyle includes diet (no meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or other animal byproducts), personal care items (cruelty-free and no animal byproducts), and clothing (no leather, silk or wool). An internship is thus a commitment of time and philosophy.

(Page 3 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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