Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary


Esther and Mira

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is “surviving.” Thanks to Wendy for the prompt and to our host, Linda Hill, for keeping us going! You can learn more about #JusJoJan at Linda’s post HERE.

Until I started volunteering at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary, I hadn’t had much personal experience with chickens, goats, or pigs. Now, the menagerie is like extended family. At the sanctuary, they are not just surviving, they are thriving, and they are loved.

Every Thursday, I prepare lunch for the sanctuary residents. I cut up produce and feed it to the pigs and roosters and check to make sure the goats have plenty of hay. The pigs were rescued from factory farms and the roosters from kapparot where live chickens are twirled overhead. The roosters get along fine for the most part. After feeding, I like to hang out with the gentle old lady goats. The goats were rescued from petting zoos or breeders where they were not well cared for. Esther is one of my favorites. It’s taken a while for her to trust me.

Esther’s stomachs are permanently distended because she was not fed properly. When she arrived at the sanctuary, Esther was secretly pregnant. Her daughter, Mira, short for Miracle, was a sweet surprise. Mira, being born on the farm, is friendly and assertive. Now, Esther gets different kinds of hay, forages in the yard, and gets lettuce and other greens as a treat. She loves it when I pick an occasional green leaf off of a tree for her.

Surviving is usually better than not surviving, especially if there’s the hope of something better. Animals living in small cages, enclosures where they cannot turn around, as with veal calves and lactating pigs, or living in terribly crowded conditions on factory farms, may be surviving, but their lives are miserable. We humans can do better. This is why I’ve progressed to being about 95% vegan and why I volunteer at the sanctuary. If you’ve thought about reducing your meat consumption, it’s now easier than ever. Vegan alternatives and restaurants are popping up in most cities. Consider meatless Mondays. It’s a great time of year for minestrone or lentil soup!

‘The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest’ – Dr Michael Gregor (quote found here.)

Don’t forget to check out Linda and Wendy’s posts at the links above!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

26 thoughts on “More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary

  1. What a terrific place to volunteer your time. It is joyful that the animals are thriving.

  2. Lovely photos. The clue to the animals thriving is the fact that they are loved and cared for. what a wonderful place to volunteer.

  3. Nice post and photos about the sanctuary. I am glad these animals were rescued. It is great you are volunteering there.

  4. That looks like a great place to volunteer. Thanks for doing that.

  5. Sounds like you are doing a great job and yes those animals are doing much more than just survive.

  6. The Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary is an amazing initiative. How wonderful for you to volunteer your services!

  7. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your menagerie of animals at the animal farm where you volunteer!

  8. How wonderful to see you volunteering at this beautiful place. I’m glad to hear I have another vegan friend now, Joanna, I’ve been vegan too since 2021, but just like you about 95%. I am thriving to get there 100% soon. The first 6 months when I started off, I did fairly well but the last few months I’ve slipped a few times.

    It’s incredible how much of plant based food is available these days, yet we chose that to meat, which is a deplorable industry where the animals are mistreated. And the diary industry is responsible for a big chunk of the green house effect too.

    Wishing you a great week ahead!

    • It’s always great to get support of our vegan lifestyle. I have been vegetarian at various levels since the late 70s. Volunteering at the sanctuary, where almost everyone is vegan, but not judging, gave me the nudge to be more committed to letting go of shellfish and dairy. The 5% is mostly when I don’t read ingredients, like in granola bars. I’ve started making my own snack scones with peanut butter, bananas, and oatmeal as an alternative. Thanks for commenting and connecting!

  9. We should listen to animals, they are always telling us everything

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