Yesterday I visited The Retreat Animal Rescue in Ashford, Kent for their open day with my Mum and friend LJ (Literary Vegan on Instagram).
The Retreat looks after many farm animals to live out their days in freedom and safety. There were some animals who were very new to the sanctuary, some turkeys that had arrived just the previous day and a calf who was saved from the veal trade due to an eye infection while the rest of his brothers in truck are now being fattened in Europe soon bound for somebody’s plate.
The Retreat has a cafe which is exclusively vegan. They explain that it would be hypocritical for them to save certain animals while others end up being eaten.
On the open day they had a range of events including raffles, sales of clothes, second items and cakes as well as lots of activities for the little ones and even some live music.
It costs £500 a day to run the sanctuary and you can support them by heading to their website to make a donation or to sponsor one of their animals.
It helps as an activist to see animals who have been saved from the terrible lives their brothers and sisters have to go through, and give us a reason to continue our fight for there rest of them.
LJ is a poet and she very nicely gifted us a copy of the latest collection to say thank you for giving her a lift to the sanctuary. You can find this and her other work here.
The Retreat is open for one more weekend before it shuts for the winter so you can get there if you get your skates on. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until they reopen in March.
On Sunday I had an impromptu visit to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood for their Summer Barbecue. I can’t believe I’ve never been before as this is my nearest sanctuary, but I’ll definitely be a regular visitor now.
Hopefield is a non-profit organisation which rescue abandoned animals.
They have a lot of farm animals as well as exotic animals who have been bought as pets and their owners did not have the specialist knowledge to look after them properly.
I love chickens and the one with the ‘fro just made my heart melt.
There are so many horses! There were a number in the field to came up to see us, as well as those with health issues in the stables.
The pigs were having a great time basking in the sun.
How gorgeous is this guy?
I was really interested in the tanuki, and were surprised some people had been keeping these beautiful animals as pets.
There are also an increasing number of reptiles being looked after at the sanctuary.
Spending time with these animals reinforces my vegan beliefs and why I want to end their use and exploitation.
This is sanctuary’s longest resident and who the sanctuary is named after.
I would recommend you visit Hopefield if you are in the area or you can support them by donating online or sponsoring one of the animals.