Monday, October 18, 2010

My Walk for Farm Animals

This past Saturday, October 16, I hopped in a car with two amazing women and we zipped up to Berkeley, California, a little more than an hour’s drive. After having a scrumptious brunch at Gather on Oxford Street – and luring another equally-amazing woman to join us for the day – we moseyed down to our planned venue. Registration was a breeze and included a spiffy tee; the weather was sunny but a bit on the cool side (perfect for walking) and a solid 200 compassion-minded people, some with their dogs, turned out.

Amy carried a sign in one hand and her dog, Sir Mortimer (don’t you dare say it without the proper British accent) in the other. Isabelle, while sporting a humorous bash on KFC tee, walked (and sometimes carried) Amy’s other dog, Robin. Rebecca and I carried a large rectangular Farm Sanctuary banner that, crookedly at times, reminded readers “a compassionate world begins with you.”

Up and down Berkeley city blocks we walked, passing bookstores and restaurants and street musicians. Sometimes on cue we joined in the chant: “What do we want? Compassion! When do we want it? Now!” We got waves and honks, occasional questions and random opposition – all part of a day’s work in the world of change. It’s easy to respond with a smile and share information in a city like Berkeley, not all that different than Santa Cruz in its liberal acceptance. My hat is off to those brave walkers in areas not as open-minded.

Farm Sanctuary works to end cruelty to farm animals and promotes compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy. The annual Walk for Farm Animals raises awareness about the treatment of farm animals and raises vital funds to support Farm Sanctuary’s life-saving mission.

The walk lasted about an hour, ending at the park where we started from. Having had so much fun and plum walnut French toast at brunch beforehand, we had missed the featured speakers and only had a chance to glance at the silent auction items, but we didn’t miss the reason we were there – to be a voice for farm animals.

For more information about Farm Sanctuary and their rescue, education and advocacy programs in California or New York, please visit the Farm Sanctuary website, become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Even though the Berkeley Walk for Farm Animals is over, tax-deductible contributions may still be made to the cause via my fundraising page or directly to Farm Sanctuary.

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