This is one of the most important parts of our project. We know that we can’t bring to our farm all the animals in the world, this is not the best way to save all animals, we need to do more. An integral part of our project and why we have an animal sanctuary is to educate people through interactions with animals.
Something that I have found in all these years that I’ve been working with animals is that many people, even the vegans or vegetarians, don’t have a relationship with farm animals. When was the last time that you hugged a bull? Do you remember the last day that you spent running and playing with a rooster?
We lost the connection because these days we are not living close to animals. We work too much and we don’t share much with animals, so the connection is broken.
What we want to do is, by our example, give the opportunity to many people to start a new type of interaction with animals. Not as food at the dinner table, but we need loving interactions, we need to hug animals, we need to play with animals, we need to watch animals. We need to see their relationships, how they laugh, how they enjoy playing, so in that way once we have a relationship with them we will understand that they are just like you and me but with a different body.
It is this relationship that I have had with animals since I was born that teach my heart what I have to do.
I haven’t eaten animals since I was 6 years old, and this is because it was so easy for me to understand that I can’t hurt my friends… my family. Once you have a close relationship you don’t want to hurt the ones you love. It’s one of the main reasons why we don’t eat dogs and cats (well, in most cases, we know that in some places the connection with animals disappears completely, and they eat even their “best friend”).
This sanctuary exists not only to keep some animals safe, even though that is very important for these animals as individuals. There are still many animals that don’t have the opportunity to be safe, and what we want by rebuilding the relationship with animals is that in the future animals won’t need to be protected, because we, their family, their friends, aren’t going to hurt them.
By law in Colombia, every school has at least twice a year opportunities to take field trips to a natural place. Many schools in our country are poor and they can’t afford a good place to visit and spend time in nature.
We want to offer these schools the opportunity to travel to our farm (it’s not far from the capitol), spend time with the animals, receive a delicious vegan lunch (the director of the Sanctuary is a vegan chef) and learn from us how to take care of, respect, and see animals as our equals and family. They will receive some literature about the reality of farm animals, get yummy vegan recipes, and learn other ways to help that they can share with their families.
Meatless Monday at School
We also work with schools in the famous Meatless Monday program. There is a great need to educate children about health and nutrition in a country like Colombia. Meatless Monday meals can create a weekly opportunity to teach students about healthy eating, balanced diets, respect and overall well-being.
So far we are giving free vegan food to many people in need. This past year we distributed 500 delicious and healthy vegan meals.