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.
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.
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.
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!