Animal Acres is a farmed animal sanctuary about 3 hours north of San DIego, CA.
Acres of Love
Animal Acres’ “Connect the Dots” Program brings compassion to public schools
Continued from Part 2
The program also presents avenues for teaching alternatives to meat consumption.
“I had taken this group into the turkey barn where the turkeys were hanging out and this kid said, “I bet you don’t eat turkey for thanksgiving do you?”
“I said, ‘That’s right. What do you think I eat?’ I thought, ‘This kid really gets it.’”
And just like that, a seed of compassion is planted.
In 2008, Animal Acres rescued 460 animals, 200 in 2009 and on one trip this year alone saved twenty-six sheep and goats, one horse, and eighteen pigs and piglets from a backyard butcher. (Due to severe neglect all the pigs are carrying a disease transmittable only between pigs, which has resulted in the need for an entirely new swine enclosure on the twenty-six acre property.)
How is it that an organization who determinedly denounces factory farming and clearly advocates veganism manages to hold these outings for multiple mainstream public agencies (not just schools, but Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other public youth groups can attend) and not get the typical “stop-pushing-your-vegetarian-agenda” flack from the general meat-eating public?
Because these animals move the children.
Last year, a Los Angeles high school student contacted Lorrie for help. She had been participating in a 4-H program and had raised a pig, who she named Elf, from birth. At the end of the program, she was supposed to take Elf to auction.
4-H programs began as a way to connect agricultural “country life” to public school education. One Los Angeles based 4-H club offers this advice to club members’ queries on raising pigs:
“The goal of the 4-H market hog project is to encourage integrity, sportsmanship, cooperation and an ability to communicate through activities such as demonstrations, talks, judging events, tours and exhibits.
Don’t expect to make a big profit on your project. Your profit or loss will depend on the cost of the pigs when you start the project, the cost of the feed used, other costs (such as veterinarian and equipment bills), and the price you receive for your hogs when you sell them.”
Like most entrepreneurial youth programs, the focus is strongly on the financial aspects of the experience rather than the quality of life of those animals they are profiting from. It’s a tragedy for both the student and the animal. There are currently 4-H programs in every county of every state, boasting six million active participants and over sixty million alumni and an untold number of unnecessary animal slaughters in the name of education. One 4-H program’s own auction website states the number one objective of the 4-H/FFA auctions is “to create an outlet for animals raised in 4-H/FFA programs, Sadly, and in stark contrast to this, there are only twelve states practicing Humane Education.
Go to Part 4
Check out the video below to watch a pet pig learn to “sit”