Whew, what a great day! Unlike this week at work, today was a long day full of fun and happy scenery. Since going vegan, I’ve wanted to visit a farm sanctuary to see farm animals in a happier, more natural environment free of stress and cruelty. So I was thrilled when I saw the free Meatout event Animal Place today where samples of vegan meat alternatives and vegan treats would be served along with tours of the sanctuary.
We arrived about noon, just in time for lunch and dived into the samples for pre-tour fuel. Field Roast and Tofurkysausages were served hot off the grill dipped in ketchup and mustard and they were delightful even though I’ve had them before.
And I had to sample the sweet treats too, like the wonderful caramel candies from Annabel’s Lil Rescue Hen Vegan Bakery and the generously huge moist vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company. Of all the flavors, Double Chocolate Decadence just called to me.
And it was like an amazing dark chocolate brownie packed with dark chocolate chips.
Fueled and ready, we set out on a self tour of the sanctuary visiting the sheep first.
Then onto the pot-bellied pigs.
They were very social coming up to the fence to check us out.
The weather was perfect and the sanctuary grounds were well-maintained and gorgeous.
Each area had informational signs about the animals covering instincts, intellect, and natural habitat. Also sad details on how they’ve been affected and exploited by factory farming.
We visited the goats next and were impressed that each area had volunteers to answer questions and let visitors get close to the animals.
And enjoyed watching the goats interact and play.
While taking in the peaceful and beautiful scenery.
Next was the rabbit sanctuary, a little slice of heaven with a large protected indoor and outdoor area for the rabbits to roam freely between.
A sanctuary volunteer explained many of the rabbits were rescued from school science projects, Easter events, and labs and have been fixed to prevent further breeding.
The pig area was my favorite because I’ve never gotten so close to pigs before!
This guy was rescued as a little piglet and has been living at the sanctuary for 10+ years! And he was very socialized enjoying belly rubs from visitors.
And even rolled over for us! Two other pigs were getting a little jealous of all the attention he was getting.
I was amazed at how big these guys were, but so friendly and gentle walking right up to visitors.
We also had a blast in the turkey and chicken area discovering the many varieties and interacting with them all.
The sanctuary is huge, each area has large fenced areas for the animals to roam freely and visitors were allowed to roam with them today.
Many of the chickens came right up to check us out.
And flocked to us when we offered food.
Hubby really hit it off with group of young female turkeys, should I be jealous?
Turns out they wanted his watch and followed him around the grounds.
Hiking around the sanctuary was beautiful, everything was so vibrant and green.
And so peaceful.
We visited the sheep again on our way back to the entrance.
And watched the cows enjoy a lazy afternoon.
It was a perfect day, I already can’t wait to visit the sanctuary again. And it’s one of the reasons I dream of retiring early so I can volunteer full time for such wonderful causes.
Animal Place is located in Grass Valley, CA, very near the Sacramento area and easily drivable from the Bay Area and Tahoe. They have a lot of great events and tours that you can see on their events calendar here and I was told a nice live music event in the summer that I’m looking forward to.