First we got baking (a vegan’s secret weapon) and we have had several stalls at markets and events, with an amazing array of baked goodies, raising in total £534. Then on the 2nd August 2014, we arranged a work-day at the sanctuary, a small group of us taking a trip to Evesham for the day, to paint fences, chicken coops and do a bit of DIY.
It was great to re-visit the sanctuary, and even better to help out. We gave the weathered coops a lick of fresh paint, while hens and dogs scurried around the sanctuary yard, and elderly sheep bleated to each other in neighbouring pens. A beautiful golden cockerel was making himself at home in the sheep pens, and occasionally let out a surprisingly loud cock-a-doodle, his huge neck reaching up to the sky, and his legs planted like tree-trunks.
We broke-up the work day with a bring-and-share lunch in the yard, and while we were contentedly munching away, a cunning hen launched herself from the top of a coop into our picnic and made off with some lentil rissoles. After lunch we fed the sheep a few rich-tea biscuits that we’d remembered to bring along (they are the sheep’s favourite treats), and this nearly started a sheep riot such was the enthusiasm.
Then on to paint the main hen house in the fox-proof chicken enclosure. The hens were even more curious here, and pecked at our shoelaces or followed us around. In the background they were enjoying the sunshine, and dust-bathing in little hollows they’d made in the dirt, or just hanging out, pecking at the soil and scratching – all the natural behaviours that the Farm Animal Sanctuary gives these rescued hens the freedom to explore.
By the end of the day, we we’re all splattered from head-to-toe with brown paint – what a sight to behold, but very happy to have finished painting the large chicken house. It was a great chance to lend a hand to a good cause and enjoy spending time with fellow Glos Vegans.
The Farm Animal Sanctuary is such an inspiring example of positive action being taken to give farm animals (the most badly treated and exploited animals in our society) a chance they’d never otherwise be granted to live out their natural lives free from fear or harm. The number of animals given sanctuary at Evesham is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the approximately 900 million animals that are reared to be used by humans for food and clothing each year, but I see it as a small oasis of hope in a very non-vegan world. If you’d like to donate to them, adopt an animal, or offer your time to help out, please see their website for details.
Thanks to everyone who came along, and to Jan at the sanctuary for letting us help out.