For me, December is a time of giving. I don’t know why but this time of year just seems like hearts are open wider and purse strings seem a bit looser than the rest of the year. So, I got to thinking, how could Your Vegan Mentor give back to the community as well. Sure, I will have free presentations, but I wanted to do more. Stay tuned to hear about the ‘Tis the Season Cookie Swap I am planning in December. I will announce it as soon as the venue is secured. This is a free event, too—well…you need to bring cookies to take cookies, but there is no charge for the event.
Then I got a great idea. What if I gave a portion of my sales to help out local animal sanctuaries? I loved that idea. So I picked two: Animal Haven of Asheville and Sweet Bear Rescue Farm of Hendersonville. Today I would like you to meet some of the residents of Animal Haven. Then next week, I would like to introduce you to Sweet Bear’s residents.
Animal Haven of Asheville has been around for 17 years. They have approximately 82 animal residents on around 10 acres of land. Animal Haven is run by Trina & Barb and MANY volunteers! Volunteer here. They are a 501c3 non-profit organization. Donate here.
I have had the pleasure to visit Animal Haven a few times in the short time we’ve been in the Asheville area. In fact, we even visited last year while vacationing here from MA. I love how clean and well-kept the place is.
When you enter the gate into the sanctuary, you immediately notice all of the matching red barn structures for all the animals. I also love how they plumbed the water so that there are spigots in each area. That cuts down the water-schleppage factor.
All of the animals seem happy and most of them were quite friendly to us. (I admit, I was a little intimidated by the geese, but I steered clear of them and they of me. )
Perhaps the resident that most steals my heart is Elsa. She is a 5, or maybe 6 now, month old calf. She was born without eyeballs so she is blind. But, she can hear you and she comes right up for love. Here’s her story: Elsa’s owner didn’t no what to do with a calf with no eyes so he was going to shoot her. A woman saw her in the back of the pickup truck on the way to this deed, and asked the man if he would reconsider and let her make a phone call to Animal Haven. He agreed and Animal Haven agreed to take her in. She was only 4 days old! Now, she is living happily at Animal Haven. She is so sweet and loves attention. You can sponsor her or another of her friends here.
I came to a Meetup event at the sanctuary (tour and potluck) and got to feed some apples to JT. He is a pig, who is 17 years old and one (if not) the longest resident at AF. I also met Rudy, also a pig, but younger than JT, equally as cute, though. He was clearly busy eating and couldn’t be bothered with me at that time! lol!
I petted the goats, Penny and Petunia, who followed us around the whole place while Trina was giving us a tour. Perhaps it was because they liked us, or maybe it was because several of the group had fruit and veggies in bags to feed to all the animals. Let’s be real: they just wanted to make sure they got their share!
Gulliver, the ram (which I learned means male sheep), was very regal. I have recently learned that he had a lot of trouble with his hoof/foot, because part of it was missing. He had to have surgery and now they are working on getting a prosthetic for him. If you want to help by sponsoring him, click here. Isn’t he sweet?
Next I met the goat Jiminy and another goat named Mark. Mark was found in a parking lot, abandoned. I could’t get over how beautiful all the goats were. They all look so different and yet all are striking in their own way. Jiminy’s antlers (I think that’s what you call them.) along with his brown and white coloring is striking. Mark, with his bright white and deep black coloring was mesmerizing for me.
These goats were very determined as well. We were having a picnic lunch on the gazebo (located in the sanctuary area) and the goats kept trying to be guests as well. They were clever, too! Good thing there were enough of us to man the table!
I’m pretty sure you can see why I chose to give a portion of my sales to Animal Haven of Asheville this month. They are working hard to provide a safe and loving environment for these animals (and any others that come their way). They are also working on education and outreach. Check out all that they do at their website: Animal Haven of Asheville.
Thanks for reading!