Last Sunday, we had the chance to visit an animal sanctuary for the first time during our vegan journey. We have been putting off the idea of visiting an animal sanctuary for quite some time because we had some mixed feelings about the concept in general.
For those not familiar with the term: an animal sanctuary is a facility where animals are brought to live out their lives with protection. Even though these animals are often rescued from horrific situations or industries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are free from exploitation or that they can live their lives “naturally”. For farm animal sanctuaries, there is a fine line between providing rescued animals with real comfort and being a glorified petting zoo.
Since animal sanctuaries mostly rely on donations and volunteers, keeping their heads above water can be quite a challenge. In the end, taking care of animals can cost quite a lot of money – especially when they are large animals or have special needs. Still, some sanctuaries operate in a “grey area” when they offer services like ‘cow hugging’, ‘alpaca walking’ or ‘goat yoga’ to pay the bills – animal exploitation takes many forms.
Luckily, many animal sanctuaries are precisely what they claim to be: an end to all forms of exploitation and abuse for the animals in their care – @de_nobele_hoeve being one of them!
Our host explained that all animals have their own individuality, needs and history and that we must respect this at all times and offer an appropriate distance for it. If we just observe, we allow them to be themselves, and we learn to be in their presence without wanting anything from them. When they are curious and comfortable enough, they will come to us, and we can give attention in return. We were blessed to have them come over to us, push us aside and say “oi, scratch me back, will ya” – at least, that is what we thought they told us! ❤️🐽
– Let’s be kind to all kinds.
Definitely check out the website from the Nobele Hoeve (click their banner below!).