I’ve been volunteering with animal welfare groups for several years now. I seem to always have much more drive when I’m doing work I don’t get paid for. This seems a little backwards, I know… But to do work without the incentive of money means you’re doing work strictly from the heart. The rewards far outweigh those which come from a pay check.
For many years I have volunteered with Distinguished Dobermans Rescue (DDR) Inc. in Pennsylvania. DDR rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes well over a hundred dogs every year all on the backs of dedicated volunteers. And not just Dobermans either! I do love Dobermans though. I was a dobie girl from a very young age and just love their temperament, companionship, and loyalty.
So it became natural that this is where I would like to focus some of time. Pulling dogs from unfortunate circumstances, working hard to ensure their success, and finally seeing them thrive with a new loving family brings feelings that cannot be described in words.
As a vegan I also have a vested interest in the [factory] farming industry. Many sanctuaries are popping up all over the world and I’ve recently started volunteering time at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Maryland. These sanctuaries are a place where farm animals can live out their lives after being saved through very fortunate circumstances. Gene Bauer’s Farm Sanctuary is a probably one the most well-known organizations for this work. They have three farms between New York and California and I would love the opportunity to work with these animals. Comedy Central’s own John Stewart, a lifelong animal lover, is starting his own farm animal sanctuary as he retires from The Daily Show. These amazing animals – the goats, sheep, cows, pigs, etc. – all have amazingly sweet and wonderful personalities that are just heartwarming. The opportunity to help care for them is terribly rewarding and so much fun.
I believe you can’t fully promote animal welfare without also promoting environmental welfare. Recently I’ve been doing a lot research in this area. Trying to understand the science and drive behind what we’re facing as a race on this planet. All I can say right now is that I want to be involved. We have no other planet to go to. Animal welfare and environmental welfare ultimately result in human welfare. As they say, this planet and these animals are not here for us, they’re here with us and there is no other option than to take care of what we have.
I urge everyone to find a cause and get behind it. Investing your time in your community is returned many times over to those who live there including you and your children and your children’s children. Not everyone’s cause has to be the same. Diversity in doing good, is great! No one person can conquer all the evils in the world. So let’s find something that drives our spirit and make a real difference.
I am currently looking into several options throughout the world to get involved with animal and environmental conservation. I am really hopeful to be able to include this amazing work in my travel and adventure.