Author Archives Justin Van Kleeck

SoL Criations Farm Sanctuary – Endeavor, WI

November 16, 2017
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mortySol Criations Farm Sanctuary is on twenty, mostly wooded acres tucked in at the end of a private, dead end road. It is currently home to 67 residents, including: 13 alpacas, 4 goats, 3 pigs, 17 chickens, 7 guineas, 2 geese, 1 duck, 2 turkeys, 2 pheasants, 4 dogs, 7 cats, and 5 humans. Our sanctuary is a 501c3 non-profit, run by Brenda and Jon Vetter and our three girls, Tabitha, Madilyn, and Samantha.

Our journey began when we moved here, into the woods and an agricultural community.  Our dream of living in the country and being more self-sufficient started with raising chickens for eggs.  The goats came next while we prepared for our big dream of alpacas.  Our dream of raising alpacas came true and we fell in love with them and “farm life.”  But, when we became involved in our small way in animal agriculture and we proceeded into the world of raising animals things began to feel very uncomfortable.  What we were taught about raising animals and things that were usual and/or necessary often didn’t feel right. The animals have been our greatest teachers and we began to understand and see what it all meant to them.  We questioned everything we had been taught and dove head first into learning about animal agriculture. We were completely devastated by what we found about how farmed animals are treated in order to produce food for humans and how our Earth is ravaged and destroyed. Everything fell apart and our hearts and souls were literally shattered.  We felt completely helpless. We worried for the animals, our Earth, and about a future for our children.  We searched and searched for the answer to what we could do to make a difference.  Through a broken heart and countless hours of educating our minds and hearts, it has become our passion to make a change, to do something, to speak up, be a model of the change we wish to see in the world and to share.  Jon and Brenda both trained with Dr. Will Tuttle to become World Peace Diet Facilitators, and we now provide sanctuary to farmed animals and live a vegan lifestyle with respect and reverence for our Earth and all life.

budsIn our SoL, it is our vision to offer sanctuary to the animals who find their way here, the humans who live here and visit, the wildlife who call this home, and the Earth who gently supports us all.  We aspire to create a biodynamic space and peaceable kingdom and to educate others and offer a different perspective–a new story of peace and gentle reverence for all life, helping to reawaken connections with animals and the Earth and to recognize the value of each individual life. Widening circles of compassion to include the Earth, all animals and to treat all life with the deepest kindness and respect. Caring, advocating, educating and mentoring for the animals through making connections, empowering hearts, and opening minds to make conscious, compassionate choices for the animals, the Earth, and ourselves.

Our name: SoL Criations (SoL ~ “Space of Love” inspired by a book. Criations ~ a baby alpaca is a cria and we carried over our name from our alpaca farm).

SoL Criations is the recipient of a microsanctuary seed grant!

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New Core Principle on Buying Animals

November 7, 2017
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When The Microsanctuary Movement was founded, we felt a strong opposition to buying animals from for-profit sources, such as from farmers, livestock auctions, breeders, stores, etc. (We do not consider paying shelter adoption fees to be buying, since these are not profits for the shelter and do not directly contribute to more animals being born.) While the individual animals who are purchased and get to live at a sanctuary/rescue are surely better off, it’s systemically counterproductive to pay people to do things we need them to stop doing. It does not make sense to pay for an animal when doing so guarantees another will be brought into existence to take their place, over and over again. However, we realized that there is a lot of debate about this and that the experiences of rescuers on the ground might not be addressed well with a blanket core principle for TMM.

We now feel it is important to update our Core Principles to reject purchasing animals under the guise of “rescue.” It often may be difficult to reject the emotional tug compelling us to buy an animal to get them out of harm’s way, but we always have to consider how our actions as rescuers either counter or contribute to the continuation of animal agriculture. Paying farmers will not end animal agriculture.

For more on this, please read Susie Coston of Farm Sanctuary’s article on (not) buying animals: https://blog.farmsanctuary.org/2015/09/buying-animals-not-rescue/.

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Animals will not be purchased from for-profit sources, and steps will be taken not to enable farmers to continue exploiting animals: While buying animals can be said to help the animal in question, paying farmers for animals supports exploitation of future generations and does not directly contribute to ending animal agriculture. The goal of rescue and of sanctuaries should be to end the harmful system of animal agriculture, as well as to help individual animals in need. Our goal should be to put ourselves out of business…when there are no more farmed animals who need to be rescued from exploitation.

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Xanadu All-Beings Sanctuary – Colorado Springs, CO

October 25, 2017
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Founded in September 2017, Xanadu All-Beings Sanctuary (X.A.B.S.) is committed to caring for victims of oppression and exploitation. They aim to amplify voices which often go unheard by sharing their ongoing stories, providing a compassionate example of what is possible when we stop commodifying other beings and start recognizing their individuality.

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Nestled at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, just south of Colorado Springs, the sanctuary serves as a reminder that even with limited space it is possible to provide a loving home for those in need. As of October 2017, the growing sanctuary is currently home to one house rooster (Glee), a pair of tiny Bantams (Walter Bocker and Fiona), five standard-sized hens (Agatha, Bonnie, Clarice, Dottie, and Eleanor), two pigeons (Aquila and Cygnus), two dogs (Buddy and Judy), and two humans.

Jade and Kile Norby have been dreaming of becoming caretakers for some years. The journey began unexpectedly, when with the sudden loss of a beloved canine companion they began to realize the immeasurable value found in every moment spent serving others, no matter how fleeting the opportunity. The couple has plans to expand in the near future, both by welcoming more residents to their current home and by acquiring a larger piece of land, enabling them to care for a greater variety of species. They will host events for educational outreach as well as offering a retreat for travelers in search of a peaceful, vegan atmosphere to practice meditation.

Xanadu All-Beings Sanctuary is the recipient of a Microsanctuary Movement Seed Grant!

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Green Living Organic Farm – Ontario, Canada

October 4, 2017
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Green Living Organic Farm (aka GLO Farm) is in the infancy of something great! Situated just over an hour outside of Toronto ON, GLO Farm is thoughtfully crafting the foundation of an eclectic business model that incorporates vegan education/outreach, food security and compassion for all through sanctuary.

Run by Faith and Ali Bisram, this small vegan homestead boasts nearly 2 acres of organic, heirloom, non-gmo fruits and vegetables that are grown with love from seed. Currently, the food is used to nourish our family and friends, including the animals. Eventually, we would like to have 25% donated to our local food bank. Faith is also a Horticultural Therapist and would eventually like to have the gardens open to community based therapy. Ali has ownership of the animal care. Currently, GLO Farm is home to 4 cows, 7 cats, 1 dog and the wildest animal of them all – a teenage girl.

Introducing Cocoa, Patricia, Bambi & Valentine – aka, The Girls:

Cocoa is 18, Bambi is 15, Valentine and Patricia are 12. The Girls came to us when the home that they had been in as beloved pets suffered misfortune. Their human dad passed away and their mom was unable to take care of the farm on her own. Bambi and Cocoa are sisters, and Patricia and Valentine are their respective daughters.

The cats and dog consist of 4 cats in the barn, 3 cats and the dog in the house. The barn cats all landed here through rescue, as did the house cats and dog.

Ali is currently working on transforming a camper into a coop where rescue chickens will be offered sanctuary. And once we win the lottery we have grand plans of rescuing ALL of the animals!

Green Living Organic Farm is the recipient of a Microsanctuary Movement Seed Grant!

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Missy’s Legacy – Aspelt, Luxembourg

September 9, 2017
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Missy’s Legacy is a non-profit micro-sanctuary located in the south of the small Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Being located in one of the countries with the highest meat consumption per capita, we are trying to change people’s view on one of the most abused and disregarded animals: the chicken.

The sanctuary is named in memory of a very special hen, Missy. Missy was an ex-caged layer who was rescued in April 2014. She was the first hen I developed an incredible bond with, the first hen to really show how special these beings are. She had so much personality and will to live. She would come on my lap and get cuddles until she fell asleep. For most of her life free she was haunted by health problems and braved them, all while being a super spoiled house hen. A few months after her rescue, our vet found various large lumps in her belly. Missy bravely survived her operation and the vet was able to sterilize her and also remove about 1/3 of her weight in infected egg material. The huge heartbreak to us all came a few months later when she died of an aggressive cancer. She enjoyed every minute of her freedom, even with all her illnesses, and was an inspiration to us all. This is what started my journey towards finding out the most I could about reproductive disorders in hens and helping these girls out as best as possible. Most hens never get a chance to see a vet, much less get hormonal implants or advanced operations.

Our sanctuary’s focus is to rescue spent caged layer hens, rehabilitate them (both physically and mentally), and offer them a permanent home. We have found that the most effective way of advocating for these amazing beings is to give them names, share their stories, share pictures of their quirky individual personalities, and show their journey to becoming free and happy creatures.

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We started small with just 3 hens and now have 21 residents, including 4 roosters. These residents include: our pioneer and sanctuary matriarch Eleanor (rescued December 2013), who is now a bossy house hen; our outdoor wise lady Hazel (rescued April 2014); our Christmas miracle, Dolly (rescued December 2015), who is also a survivor of an extensive life-saving surgery; the bald sisters, June, Sophie, and Bald Warrior (rescued March 2016); the Easter babies, Engelbert, Figaro, Caruso, Hettie, Fleur, and Luna (adopted April 2016), who grew up at the sanctuary; the frosty girls, Maggie, Meryl, Miranda, Moon, and Mystik (rescued December 2016); and the school hatching babies, Cogsworth, Potts, Chip, and Plumette (adopted April 2017).

Our plan for the future is to expand the sanctuary by acquiring more land so we can take in more hens. Our goals are to keep rescuing hens and educate people about how special these animals are. By having people meet them and experience a touching exchange, they will start rethinking their food choices and beliefs.

Website: https://www.missyslegacy.lu/

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