Ashley’s Volunteer Story

Today we have a guest post from Ashley, one of our amazing volunteers. Ashley shares why she decided to donate her time to the Sanctuary.

Ashley and Bruce
Ashley and her buddy Bruce

I first learned about farmed animal cruelty and PETA about 6 years ago when I was working at a popular chain restaurant. During that time I was told about what happens to chickens and pigs during the slaughtering process and I was instantly sick to my stomach. Growing up I have always been an animal lover and I couldn’t understand how someone could do such horrific things to these poor sentient beings. Soon after learning that I made the decision to learn more about factory farming and veganism. The more I learned, the more I wanted to help end all exploitation of animals.


Ashley and Michaela
Ashley helped care for baby Michaela when she arrived.

As Gary Francione has said, “Veganism isn’t a sacrifice, it is a joy.” Since going vegan, I had learned about and visited Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen. I loved seeing a place rescuing farmed animals so they can live their lives happily and without fear or death.

I heard about Catskill Animal Sanctuary last spring from a brochure at a local vegan restaurant in my city of Syracuse and knew I had to go. During my tour I immediately fell in love with all the animals (Stencil, Bruce, and Peabody were the first to win my heart) along with the atmosphere at CAS. I had wanted to get involved with a sanctuary and to help the animals. I knew that CAS was where I wanted to be.

I started volunteering last summer and was immediately hooked! I travel from Syracuse every weekend and I even recently spent a full week volunteering. I love the feeling that I get when I am at the Sanctuary and with the animals. They bring so much joy and happiness in my life. I know in my heart this is what I was meant to do — to help animals.

Ashley and Adele
Adele likes to help Ashley in the kitchen.

Family, friends, and coworkers all know about my volunteering. Most may not fully understand it, but they know it’s my passion and what I love to do. When they ask me questions about it, it gives me the opportunity to explain to them why I do it and what the Sanctuary does.

I encourage everyone to get involved and start volunteering. It’s so much fun and you’ll experience the same amazing feeling that I get when I am there. You’ll see that just like you and me every animal has their own unique personality. All you see is pure love in their eyes when they look at you. I believe that if more people are educated, more people will see them as someone rather than something and will view veganism as a joy and a way of life.

Would you like to be an awesome volunteer like Ashley? Then attend an upcoming volunteer orientation and learn how you can get involved!



Love Spoken Here, Sanctuary Life