Thursday, June 16, 2016

Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue

You may have already read my introduction to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue over on Vegansaurus; if not, that's an excellent place to acquaint yourself with this extraordinary operation.

I recently  had an opportunity to return for a visit with VM and it was another glorious day filled with amazing animals against a stunning backdrop, with the inimitable Mike Stura masterfully directing our tour.

 

Currently running weekend tours at 11:45 and 2:15 on both Saturday and Sunday; follow Skylands on Facebook to keep up with their rescues, as well any updates to their schedule. If you're near enough to visit, know that it's worth the trip; theirs is a tour to end all tours. Bring your friends, neighbors, and families to meet these animals as companions and to hear about why using them for food, textile, and entertainment is a stunning disservice to these and all sentient beings. Mike is incredibly engaging, respectful, and frank; please do be reciprocal if you attend and you will learn a lot. I know I did, and I thought I knew everything already!

This was our view right before the tour was about to start...


VM has been vegetarian for about 7 years now and she was immediately in awe of Mike: the way he treated the animals, spoke of them as part of his family, and explained the horrors of animal "industries."

Mr. Mom

These guys were newbies, so we weren't within petting distance.

 

These various, synchronized birds (duck, duck, goose) were a crowd pleaser: so majestic.


Unexpectedly, there were more than a few small children on our tour. As a result, many of the animals seemed to purposefully keep their distance from the group. Can't say we blamed them. Both VM and I are generally child-averse too. Luckily, I was born an adult.

 

Mike has eyes everywhere; it's obvious that he doesn't miss a thing, as he wouldn't want any single animal or human to be hurt under any circumstance. If you participate in this or any sanctuary tour, please remember to be respectful of your tour leader. As Judge Judy would say, "Put on your listening ears!" Not only is Mike a wealth of information, but safety instructions are also an important part of the presentation that are not to be missed or disregarded. PLEASE, especially if you're going to visit with children, be mindful of the few, but necessary rules of the tour. It's highly nerve-wracking to watch toddlers grabbing at an electric fence when the definition has been explained to the group numerous times.


 Nobody here but us chickens.

 

What's better than a sleeping piggie? Not much, I tell you. This one was on a cool bed of sand and gracefully excused herself from the tour when she had to use the restroom.


Animals with manners are one of my favorite things in all the land.


And a special shout-out to the sweet Emma the momma cow who joined us on our tour midway. Nothing like ambling through a sanctuary tour with a cow by your side.

UPDATE 6/19/16: Thanks to a pal for pointing out that I was terribly remiss not to mention that the amazing volunteers at Skylands also put out an incredible vegan spread after each tour. An astounding amount of cookout-type foods lovingly prepared and displayed under a tent surrounded by picnic tables that overlook the pond. Please remember to contribute in the adorable donation jar located amidst the dishes to keep this food activism going.

I cannot recommend a visit to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue enough. Visit, volunteer, donate...just get involved!

4 comments:

  1. Such cuties! I can't wait to rescue some cows, pigs, goats and chickens one day.

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    Replies
    1. Will you really? That's so exciting!

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  2. What a wonderful place! All of the animals look well cared for, and happy! We have a lion sanctuary here, but I haven't been to visit.

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    Replies
    1. A LION SANCTUARY? You have to go!!

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