My vegan journey has been an amazingly extraordinary learning and growing experience. I am grateful that my husband and daughter are on this journey as well. People become vegan for several different reasons, but for me it was because I witnessed animal abuse in a documentary and literally became vegan overnight. I shared the various vegan documentaries with my husband, but when you're raising a vegan child you take a different approach.
It's amazing how kids understand veganism and the concept of protecting all animals much faster than adults. They just get it. My daughter understands, and I always try to find teachable moments to help her. Little did I know, a big moment was fast approaching. I had researched Full Circle Farm Sanctuary in the past and knew I wanted to make the trip there with my family, but my schedule never allowed me to visit. This year my daughter's class was taking a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, so I knew exactly where to take my daughter instead.
After we visited Full Circle, I posted about our trip online. There were many people that genuinely didn't think about the concept of visiting a sanctuary instead of a zoo or an aquarium. In the past, I was one of those people. An animal sanctuary and zoo are not the same thing. When I learned first-hand about Full Circle Farm Sanctuary from our wonderful guide, Riki, I was blown away. My daughter was in awe.
Full Circle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a safe place for rescued farm animals. Farmed animals are the most abused, neglected, and exploited animals on the planet.
-"Full Circle Farm Sanctuary exists to counter the undeniable cruelty and exploitation inherent within animal agriculture, providing loving lifetime homes for individual farmed animals who otherwise would face horrific suffering and premature deaths."-Full Circle Farm Sanctuary website
Full Circle Farm Sanctuary operates fully on donations. Each animal there has an amazing story, and they are all precious. Some were bought as exotic gifts for children and then became unwanted. Some faced abuse, and some had been abandoned. Others were facing slaughter, but instead of death they are living full lives in their forever home. I was amazed at how large some of the cows and pigs were, but instead of their great sizes being normal occurrences, it's an exception in today's society.
Pigs can live 15-20 years, but most pigs are slaughtered around the age of six months, a mere fraction of their intended life spans. Factory farmed cows also face the same fate. Cows can also live 15-20 years or longer, but beef cattle are usually slaughtered around 18 months, and dairy cows around four years. Mere babies.
This is why organizations like Full Circle Farm Sanctuary are so vital. They provide educational outreach, programs, and events as well. They host everything from cooking classes to tours and family days.
There are many ways to get involved. You can participate in a volunteer workday, become a business partner, sponsor a resident, transport supplies or animals, and much more. I encourage you to visit and bring a friend and definitely your children. It's a first hand lesson in compassion, and it's a trip that my daughter and I look forward to making again in the near future.
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About Tabatha James
Tabatha James is a wife, mom, and children's book author navigating her way through a vegan way of life!