Today’s adventure took us about an hour and a half away. Out of Orange County, through Los Angeles and into the hills off highway 14.
We had been wanting to go to the farm sanctuary since a friend of ours started volunteering there about a year ago. Farm Sanctuary’s three focus points are rescue, education and advocacy. http://www.farmsanctuary.org you can learn all about their locations, “meet” some of the animals before you go and see what they’re all about.
The cost is $5 for adults, including children over the age of twelve and $3 for children over the age of three.
I’m going to ask very nicely, if you take your children to a rescue, farm, a zoo, a petting zoo, a pond any place where animals live I ask you to please please please do not permit your little angels to shout the animal “sound” at them or to chase the animals. My children know better and Cohan STILL hollered “gobble gobble!!” At a turkey.
It sounds silly but I explained to him that’s like if someone came into our house, a complete stranger, uninvited and started screaming your name at you “COHAN! COHAN!” He got the idea and didn’t make the mistake again.
I only mention this because the animals at farm sanctuary HAVE been abused and they have been rescued. They already have reasons not to trust humans, don’t give them another reason.
There, my soapbox moment is done.
Moving on! So the tour ended up being an hour and a half to two hours long. You get to visit, touch and enjoy the chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and cattle. The experience is incredible and the kids were thrilled to be so close to animals they only see at state fairs or from the other side of a fence.
On the tour you learn a lot about factory farming. This is hard for some people to hear (they do tone it down when kids are in the group so you’re never confronted with awful imagery or anything) there was a lot that I didn’t even know and even my oldest (a hard core carnivore) left rethinking where his food comes from.
That is one of the upsides (and downsides depending where you stand). If you go to farm sanctuary you will learn about factory farming and what the animals endure while there. Cohan, I think is too young to make the connection and while he sympathized he didn’t walk away rethinking food choices. Kaplan, has had an interest in vegetarianism for awhile now and she knows I support her decisions (but I also don’t force them, it is very much a personal preference) and Brayden, as I mentioned above was pondering where his burgers come from.
Now, I need to say that this was not the point of our excursion there. My reason was so the little mice could experience the farm animals up close and personal and to meet some beings that have overcome great odds and the people that help them.
We didn’t leave feeling bad or upset, quite the opposite. We left feeling happy, supportive and warm and fuzzy from our animal interactions.
I would love to go again and applaud these people and organizations like them that are such advocates for compassion.