Animal Place- Grass Valley, CA

Last Saturday my boyfriend and I made a trip up to Grass Valley, California to visit one of the longest running animal sanctuaries in the country. We left early, around 6:30 and headed north towards Sacramento. Neither of us had been to a sanctuary before and we definitely picked the right one to start with.

We arrived a little before 11:00a which was when the tour was set to begin and got checked in. Our tour group ended up being around 10-15 people and we had quite a few members of the sanctuary leading us along. Before getting to meet the animals, our group was educated on some of the cruelties in animal agriculture. They had a small museum of donated cages displaying the living conditions of chickens, pigs and small calves in the veal industry. After a brief description of how the animals are forced to live their lives in these factories and warehouses we began our tour.

First, we got to meet the sheep. Upon entering, we were instructed which of our new found friends liked people and that we were encouraged to feed and pet and which were more skiddish and thus we needed to be respectful of their space. We then went to see the cows (one of them had just passed away so to respect their mourning period we did not actually get to meet them), the goats, the bunnies that we got to feed with the food we were allowed to bring, the chickens and finally to see the pigs.

This trip was one that I have wanted to do since going vegan and I was so so happy when Aaron surprised me with the tickets. All of the staff members, the volunteers, and the interns that we met along the way were very nice and very knowledgeable. I thought that the realness of the animal agriculture industry was presented in a way that wouldn’t disrespect a carnivores choices but simply open them up to the brutality that they are funding without them feeling personally attacked. It can be extremely hard to teach and explain the reasons of choosing to go vegan and at Animal Place the educational and respectful way of education on animal cruelty was certainly in full effect.

Now, what we’ve all been waiting for:

pictures of the adorable animals 🙂 

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Seasons Passed

though the season had passed

& a thousand golden suns

did not raise towards a blue summer sky,

time spent with you

came to be about much more

than solely what meets the eye.

though seasons had passed

& acres of strawberry fields

had not lasted forever,

time spent with you

came to be about much more

than our latest endeavor.

though time has passed

& again it is

time for us to part ,

time spent away

will come to be about

a warmth I feel within my heart.

4/5/17


Hey there! Thanks for reading my piece called “Seasons Passed.” This was a poem I wrote for my dad before I left to move across the country. We really only got close after I moved out of the house in August of 2015 when I was 18 and in this poem I refer to some of the great times we shared together in the summer of 2016.

Something that had been on my bucket list for forever was to see a field of sunflowers. Last summer my dad read an article about a field of sunflowers not too far from where we live. Maria’s Field of Hope  is 50 acres of field that was created and is sustained through sponsors who donate to Prayers for Maria a childhood glioma cancer foundation. The field was absolutely beautiful, however due to the nature of it’s purpose, there were a lot of stories of children who lost their lives to cancer posted on cards on flowers spread throughout the field. While it was inspiring that so many have contributed to the cause, it became apparent how many had been affected by similar circumstance.. needless to say we left with a very heavy heart.

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We learned about the field at the end of the season and didn’t make it to see all of the sunflowers raised towards the sun, and note the gray skies that always loom over Ohio, but we had a great time regardless.

We also went strawberry picking for the first time. Though it doesn’t seem like much it was a great time spent together. We had planned to go a few times this summer but now that I am across the country, that does not seem very likely. I’m so happy that we went last summer because if we would have waited and said “there’s always next year,” (which is the excuse for too many things) it would have been something that we never would have been able to do together and to me that means the world. (I also snuck a Beatles reference in there because he absolutely loves The Beatles.)

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Our delicious hand picked strawberries from a local farm.

I feel so lucky that our relationship finally grew and that after all those years, he is my best friend. Growing up I was always jealous my friends who were so close with their parents because I never had that with either of mine. It is not a triumph however, I could simply care less that I have reached the same level as my friends who have a far more normal family dynamic, it just means the world to me that someone I can never get rid of, even if I wanted to, is finally someone who I can tell anything and everything to. If you have that, never take it for granted, and if you don’t, never give up on it.