Sanctuary Animals Give an Invaluable Gift
The early morning was cool as my daughter Angela, our friends Teagen, Rose, and Rachel, and I set out for the 164 mile drive to Animal Acres. I had long wanted to visit this sanctuary for rescued farmed animals, a bit north of Los Angeles. Finally, my friends set the date and invited me and Angie to be part of the adventure.
I was relaxed, looking forward to spending a cruelty-free day. In summer my favorite haunt is the beach, in search of the perfect body-surfing wave. Being carried by the ocean feels like being a piece of laundry in a washing machine.
The only drawback is the killing I see on the beach every time I’m there. People fish for the remnants of creatures left in the ocean now that humans have taken 90% of their species. Kids deliberately smash sand crabs in full view of their parents, or otherwise devastate these helpless creatures.
At Animal Acres, the well-being of animals is the main goal, so I knew I could relax. I was expecting the kindest place on earth.
While the sanctuary is deeply kind – and quite joyful – the main emotion that flooded me as I wandered and stroked the animals was inner peace. What a rare gift in today’s harried and complex world. Being is lived on its simplest terms.
All the creatures at Animal Acres have painful pasts. All were abandoned, abused, starved, mistreated, or injured before their rescue. Yet these sanctuary animals seem happy, just getting on with their lives, bonding with people and each other. They are role models for us of how to be happy with what we have, not always needing the “more, more, more” that drives dissatisfaction and restlessness, the opposite of inner peace.
These animals provide the greatest gift in their life, not their death. In the nutrition world there is some debate over whether “a little” animal foods – say 8 ounces a week – is harmful to physical health for humans. On the one hand, T Colin Campbell, Ph.D, found in The China Study that there was no lower limit to the health effects of abandoning animal foods. In other words, the less meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy people ate, the healthier they were. Period. Other plant-centered nutrition researchers believe small amounts of animal foods are compatible with health and including these in a diet plan leads to
Nutritional issues aside, my day at Animal Acres made one thing clear – even the tiniest amount of animal foods , even just one bite a year – will be harmful to inner peace. To reach this state of oneness with nature and animals, relating to these creatures as directly as we communicate with our own dreams, we must stop harming them. Then the rescued animals, and all animals, will share a peace that transcends all physical health and daily strife. They ask nothing for this gift except kindness in return. Any violence, even one bite, tears a hole in the peace that cannot be mended.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, the smart person’s nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.