A World of Thanks: A Special Thanksgiving Tribute to the Passioneers In the Business of Compassion…

Nov 23, 2016 by

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It is Thanksgiving week and it is a time to think about what you are grateful for. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank some special organizations who are helping the truly helpless–animals. For them I am deeply grateful. I love the opening quote from Mr. Rogers which are words from his mother he found comforting and reassuring. She essentially said “When things are scary, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

For me, there is something very special about people dedicating their lives to saving and rescuing animals. The fact that there are so many new animal sanctuaries launching around the country tells you that goodness is rising.  More importantly, compassion and empathy are rising. If we can have empathy for another species different from us (yet most are sentient beings just like us) we are on our way to a more evolved and kind world.

I follow a few of these special animal sanctuaries on social channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and I thought I would encourage you to do the same. You will find links below…

Please have a look–what is the worst thing that could happen? You end up giving up turkey on Thanksgiving?  Once you begin to follow, you will see farm animals as the real sentient beings they are, and your heart may break open. It will hurt at first, because you will now be aware of the great suffering the animals have endured before they were rescued. After you allow yourself to feel, you will become elated. Yes elated– because you will realize there are wonderful passioneers dedicating their lives to helping these helpless animals and also creating safe sanctuaries for them.  After the elation, you then will feel pure joy, because you will discover that these animals are not only forgiving of humans but truly show great love and affection for their caretakers who rescued them. All of this will remind you that OUR SPECIES, can be incredibly kind, good and compassionate, and the animals we share this beautiful planet with are equally awesome.

So when things look scary in the world, look for the helpers and take a look at these sanctuary organizations. Then look into these animals eyes, and you will soon feel heartened that goodness and kindness is all around you. I’m not here to tell you to not eat the turkey, only you can make that value driven decision.  But I am here to remind you, that there are truly wonderful compassionate people out there, saving turkeys, pigs, horses, cows, goats, and yes, cats and dogs. One animal at a time, they make up for all the ugliness in the world, and remind us of our better human nature. For this I am truly grateful, and I extend a world of thanks to these special people on behalf of my fellow humans. Have a look and follow their social pages. I promise all that anxiety you worked up in 2016 will melt away and the animals will capture your very fine compassionate human heart.  Wait until you learn how the planet, your environment, and your health benefits from protecting farm animals. The news just gets better and better…

 

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P.S. A special honorable mention to my favorite cartoonist  Patrick McDonnel  ( a fellow NJ citizen) creator of ‘Mutts’ and a tireless champion for all animals, not just cats and dogs. We have grown to love Mooch and Earl, who are really wonderful ambassadors for the animal kingdom. His fun and inspiring work can be found here…http://www.mutts.com/meet-the-cast 

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Compassionate Passioneers

Below are a few of my favorites and you can also find an animal sanctuary in your area via this great organization CFEI http://www.compassionatefarming.org/sanctuaries.html

Gentle Barn Sanctuary: Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

The Gentle Barn rescues animals from severe abuse and neglect who are too old, sick, lame, or scared to be adopted into homes. We are sanctuary to horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, peacocks, emus, cats and dogs. Once rehabilitated, the animals help us give hope and inspiration to children with the same stories.

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WOODSTOCK SANCTUARY 

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Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is driven by the simple philosophy that kindness and respect to animals is our duty and that all the creatures that share this earth are here with us and not for us. Farm animals are feeling individuals who deserve to be treated with compassion.

We are a place where visitors can come face to face with the animals they may only know as dinner and learn about the devastating effects of modern-day agribusiness on the animals, the environment and human health. Here you can frolic with goats in a large open pasture, sit down with a pig who wants nothing more than a belly rub, cuddle with chickens who seek out your attention or get nuzzled by some very friendly sheep!

At the heart of our mission is the hands-on work of rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for farmed animal refugees — as well as educating the public about the typically horrific treatment of animals who are raised for food.

 

FARM SANCTUARY:

The Someone Project:
Farm Animal Behavior, Emotion, and Intelligence

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 “Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined…they are individuals in their own right.” — Jane Goodall

Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 when Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur rescued Hilda from a stockyard dead pile. Since that time, we’ve met, loved, and provided refuge for thousands of animals. Many people see two classes of animals: The animals with whom we share our homes, and everyone else. But other animals are not different in any way that matters morally from the dogs and cats with whom so many of us share our lives. At Farm Sanctuary, we share our lives with farm animals — chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, geese, and cattle. And we can tell you from personal experience that farm animals have the same range of personalities and interests as cats and dogs.

 

 

BARN SANCTUARY

 

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We’re a hands-on animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for animal refugees. We educate the general public about the horrific treatment of animals raised for food, and the positive impact that a plant-based diet can have on the environment and our health.

 

 

 

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Visit a Farm Sanctuary in Your Area

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What is a Farm Sanctuary?
A Farm Sanctuary is a place where animals who have been abused, neglected or abandoned in commercial farming institutions can live out their lives in a peaceful environment, where they are cherished and properly cared for. Animals in factory farms often collapse under the pressure of their failing health and agonizing living conditions. They do not receive medical attention because it is cheaper to let them slowly die. Those fortunate enough to enter a sanctuary can leave this nightmare behind. CFEI has unwavering gratitude towards these sanctuaries and the kind hearts that keep them operational and thriving. If you operate a sanctuary or know of one that is not listed here, please contact us to include yours in our directory. Thank you! Ever thought about starting a sactuary? Learn

 

 

 

 

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WWB Presents a Special ‘Passioneer’ Post for Thanksgiving, Dedicated to Tracey Stewart and the Turkeys Who Live…

Nov 25, 2015 by

 

 

Okay, if you got this far I am assuming you care about animals and won’t be eating Turkey tomorrow. But I hope this post also reaches people who maybe are thinking more about the plight of animals and can appreciate the passionate souls out there who are trying to protect them. I am not sharing this post, to convince you to go vegan or vegetarian, but rather to inspire you with a special feature on a ‘Passioneer’ who chose to create a Farm Sanctuary, when she could have done almost anything she wanted. I am speaking of Jon Stewart’s ( the last night talk-show host who is also pretty passionate!) wife Tracey Stewart. Tracey just wrote a beautiful book entitled ‘Do Unto Animals’ A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better. I usually interview authors here at World Wise Beauty, but once her book was released she has overwhelmed with media attention. She was on CBS This Morning with Gayle King and and countless other media outlets you are quite familiar with. Her beautiful  book and mission became a high-profile venture and there are thousands of bloggers interested in talking with Tracey.  I am on the list! But her Publisher was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review and this post is one of my few where I don’t interview the author. Would love to when she has more time!

You see, kindness to animals is one of my passions and I share simpatico with Tracey when it comes to practicing my compassionate humane values. Tracey has shared in many interviews that she never wanted to alienate friends and family who weren’t vegans. I always felt that way too. I knew once I became a vegetarian, that I would make people uncomfortable enough by just being one and I wasn’t going to change their choices by lecturing them. I decided to live my values and hopefully through doing so, it would inspire others. That indeed did happen. My ex-husband jumped on board with me slowly but surely, even if he cheated eating Turkey sandwiches at work every now and then! I appreciated his willingness to consider my values and he also seemed to find himself agreeing with most of them in his heart. But the practice of being a vegetarian/vegan takes work and I myself am not a full-fledged vegan today. I do eat some seafood. But I practice conscious living and do not eat meat and especially factory farm animals. I am the one who saves the stink bug crawling and falling from my ceiling! lol

 

I don’t want to digress, because I am not here to write about vegetarianism, but rather, following our passions and living our values. I will say this, if you are passionate about being kind you will have a hard time not caring about  ‘sentient beings’ which are most animals living on this planet with you. Tracey Stewart wrote us a wonderful (and beautifully illustrated!) book to help us understand animals better, and like everything else in life, when we get to know things more intimately, we do become more open and compassionate.  Bravo to her for writing this book and sharing her own humble journey to compassionate living and finding her passion. Right after her book was released, Tracey formed a partnership with the Farm Sanctuary who will help her take her advocacy efforts to a larger scale. Read this book, and Follow the Farm Sanctuary on Facebook and get to know a few more animals more personally. Better yet visit a Farm Sanctuary in your area! I promise you will be touched and inspired…

Tracey Stewart is a bona-fide ‘Passioneer’ in every sense of the word, and I think whether you are a vegetarian or not, you will be inspired by her story. What I love about her story is the actual bumpy journey. While she always loved animals, even as a child, she never imagined running a Farm Sanctuary. Tracey got an art degree and worked in every facet of design for many years before she followed her passion. It wasn’t until her husband Jon called her out on her unhappiness with her work, that she began to change the course of  her life and followed her passion. He helped her come to the decision to go back to school and she became a Veterinarian Tech. How amazing is that! While Jon was  running a successful talk show on TV, Tracey was working everyday for a Veterinarian clinic! Along the way she started her own family with Jon. I don’t want to spoil the story, and reading her own eloquent words is far more impactful. The key takeaway is once she tapped into her passion, she became more centered and joyful and her purpose to love and save animals unfolded.

EXCERPT FROM BOOK: ” Last year it became clear that our family was happiest when we had the most opportunities for animal encounters, so we up and moved from the city to rural New Jersey ( yes there is a rural part of New Jersey). Our backyard serves as a makeshift wildlife/rehabilitation center, our home as a foster and permanent rescue for animals, and we’re in the process of being able to provide sanctuary to rescued animals. Our family’s code is to live according to the golden rule; we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. I’m proud that I have been able to show my kids that taking care of others has value and is profoundly empowering and necessary. I feel whole, and I am happy to show that to my kids as well.”  ~Tracey Stewart

So on this Thanksgiving I am celebrating a Turkey’s life ALIVE and feel absolutely fantastic about not eating one. After all, it is the side dishes that are so yummy!  Thank you to Tracey and all the Passioneers out there who are educating us about the humane treatment of animals and creating sanctuary for them. You make us all want to join the ‘the army of the kind’.

 

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