Visiting Forrest and Friends- sanctuary
Yesterday I went to the visitors day of Forrest and Friends. This is an animal sanctuary in Belgium (near Diest). They take care of a lot of mistreated animals, most of them are pigs. I really love pigs!
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and I'm not going to convince you about veganism/ vegetarianism,... I'm just sharing my personal experience!
First of all the purpose of a sanctuary.
A sanctuary for animals is a place where they give mistreated animals a new place to live. They save the animals from a terrible life/ death and give them a reason to live again. The animals are rescued from mostly: slaughterhouses (yikes), backyard farms/ kid's farms (pedagogical),... so abusers that don't care about the lives of the animals. They don't treat them with respect and mostly just don't want to take decent care of them. People often get animals as a gift, when the animal is funny and cute... but they forget that animals grow up, especially pigs, and they get very big and need a lot of care. People tend to get bored of them and dump them or don't give them the love they need.
A lot of pedagogical farms for kids in Belgium are treating the animals hopefully right, BUT we have to remind ourselves that these animals cost a lot of time, money and energy. When the animals cost too much time or money, they'll probably end up getting killed. I know some people with pet chickens for example, who'd kill their own chickens, when they don't give them any more eggs. Why would we kill our animals if they can't "give" us anything back. Isn't giving love enough? Small animals too, can give us love! Love is such more valueable then only being there to feed us.
The Forrest story.
Forrest and friends started with a family with a great love for animals. Forrest is the dog of the house, get the name? :)
It's an animal sanctuary who shelters animals from the meat-industry and basically saves them. They take extra care of replacing pot-bellied pig (after a screening ofcourse). They have chickens, goats, pigs, ponies,...
What to do on an open day?
What to do? Yes, eating cupcakes haha! A perfect excuse for me to eat more vegan: I' proud to say that I am vegetarian for over a decade now. But finding out everyting about our climate and the entire meat industry, I thought that I needed to do more. When being vegetarian, you still support this aweful industry, you know... And when I was eating eggs and dairy, I felt so bad for the animals every time. SO eating vegan cupcakes is my solution, I'll take the extra calories, I don't care!
No seriously, what to do on open days on a sanctuary? First of all: giving extra love to all the animals, hugging and petting them. Normally, I don't like to get dirty and I like wearing fancy clothes... but to take care of animals, I'll do an extra effort to put on my ugly dirty clothes and wear my hiking boots (fashion fashion).
There were also a couple of animal rights support groups to give more information about animals rights and to sell their merch. Who were there? BE Vegan (tells enough?), Animal Rights (fighting for animal rights, obviously), EVA VZW (an organisation about veganism with a lot of great cooking tips) and Bite Back (also an arganisation who saves animals).
Look at this cutie with his eyes closed, he was obviously enjoying the petting :)
A pinky piggy, cuteness overload. Enjoying life and the Belgian sun (which is a rare phenomenon). Can I bring you home?
After hugging the animals for a while, we went hiking with Romeo (our dog). Here's a couple of shots below. It as such a beautful day and my heart felt so warmed. Reloaded my batteries and felt whole again! Life!
Location: Zoet water- Leuven (Heverlee).
More info about Forrest and Friends : https://www.facebook.com/forrestandfriendsvzw/
Thanks for the love,