Animals & Nature
The Listening Project
Excerpts from Once Wild
Animal communicator, advocate, and writer Dawn Casteel Lorick introduces offerings from The Listening Project with selections from her upcoming book Once Wild.
Dawn has spent a lifetime listening and learning from nature and animals, wild and domestic. She lives in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY and is an interspecies communicator, healer, writer, loiterer of wooded places and desolate shorelines.
Dawn’s upcoming book, Once Wild, a pilgrimage of short stories, poems, and essays shared through the lens of the natural world, will be on the virtual shelves in 2021. The Listening Project is an odyssey of the spirit, an ongoing series to remind us of our sojourn back to the untamed, to consciously seek out the original voices of the animals, trees, stones, rivers, transforming our inner landscape through stillness, silently observing, absorbing and listening.
Read selections from Once Wild.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains un-awakened.”
We celebrate organizations for animals and sanctuaries of all kinds that use their work and creativity to provide safe haven, healing and loving care for rescued animals; while also working to advance the understanding of and respect for animals through humane education outreach and creative programs. We are only able to feature a few examples here, as a sampling of what is possible. Unlike zoos, sanctuaries are forever homes of healing and safety for animals and a place of love and learning for people as well. We encourage people to explore the many different kinds of sanctuaries and safe havens for animals that exist, as well as smaller grassroots animal groups, rescuers, rehabilitators and individuals working as a voice for animals or giving care to animals in need, in local communities.
Virtual Sanctuary Tours
Live zoom event Wednesday 11/25 at 1:00-2:00pm EST
Join us in a Thanks-Giving Compassion for Animals virtual tour at Unity Farm Sanctuary with humane education director Marla Andrews, to visit with the sanctuary’s beloved residents and learn their stories. We will also spend some extra time with the turkeys to celebrate these magnificent beings and reflect on ways to bring compassion to the holidays. Advance sign up required.
Click here for information.
Enjoy the video of our past festival event 11/15/2020 at Catskill Animal Sanctuary with CAS founder and director Kathy Stevens. Kathy introduces us to some of the sanctuary’s animal ambassadors and speaks about the emotional lives of other species, and why sanctuaries matter. To learn more about Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s wonderful programs, virtual tours, plant-based cooking demos, humane education events, podcast, and other happenings, please visit their website to explore their amazing work. Click here to read more on this past event.
Here are Some Examples of Other Sanctuaries
“The Power of Sanctuary is a place, a mission, a way of life, a state of being. It is a space of refuge and tranquility, where life is sacred and trauma is healed, where humans and other animals are free from harm and live in peace with dignity. In the physical world, as in our hearts, Sanctuary is a safe place where transformation can occur.”
- Farm Sanctuary
“…It felt as if all of the animals, past and present on this property, were calling to us in that moment and asking us to help them. Arthur was their face, their voice. And so, the journey began. Arthur, who was the last pig to be threatened with death at this place, is the first pig to receive sanctuary here. The place where Arthur was meant to die young and afraid will be the place where he learns to live, to love, and be loved in return. He will welcome new friends, he will be a teacher, he will grow old here, and finally, he will die in his own bed surrounded by people who love him. Arthurs Acres now stands, no longer a negative place, but one with an abundance of love, kindness, positivity and compassion.”
– Arthur’s Acres
The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. Best Friends does this by helping end the killing in America's shelters through building community programs and partnerships across the nation. Best Friends also offers educational workshops and creative outreach initiatives that raise awareness about the plight of homeless animals and ways that we can help them. In addition to this, Best Friends offers resources and information to help people who are helping animals. While the focus of Best Friends is companion animals, the sanctuary is a multi-acre place of healing for many kinds of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, donkeys, pigs, wildlife and others in need of care.
Best Friends Video
Equine Advocates is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) equine protection organization and a safe haven for rescued horses. A 140 acre sanctuary for more than 80 horses rescued from slaughter and/or abuse; it is a forever home where horses get to live out their lives in a healing and natural environment that allows them to socialize with each other. Equine Advocates also offers programs for expanding their message of compassion through tours and the sanctuary’s Humane Education Center, where groups and individuals of all ages can learn about equine issues, responsible and compassionate horse guardianship, humane horse handling, natural horsemanship, and other important subjects. Equine Advocates also has a children’s book written by Development Director Karen Wagner entitled Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?, featuring many of the horses who live at the sanctuary.
New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Foster Parrots, Ltd. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and protection of unwanted and abused companion parrots and other displaced captive exotic animals. The organization, which is featured in Allison Argo’s award-winning documentary for PBS Parrot Confidential, works on multiple levels to bring critical services to birds and animals in transition as well as life-long sanctuary care for unadoptable parrots and adoption services for well-socialized parrots who desire human companionship. NEEWS (or Foster Parrots) also offers Humane Education programs and community art programs (Feral Arts) to connect children and adults alike to animal and environmental issues, to nurture empathy, and to inspire a sense of personal responsibility and accountability toward the care of our earth and our animals.
From cattle ranch to vegan farm animal sanctuary, the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary story is an amazing and inspiring tale of love and devotion that has been featured on national news and television, and can be explored on their website. Below is one of their many uplifting videos that share how the sanctuary, once a cattle ranch, became a safe haven for farm animals, a resource for humane education, a beacon for celebrating animals and the joy of vegan living, as well as being the visionary creator of the Rancher Advocacy Program, for assisting in addressing the complex issues for animal farmers who wish to work towards the systemic shift away from animal agriculture.