I recently went to The Gentle Barn for the first time. If you are in Tennessee or Southern California, or visiting either of those places, go visit! You’ll get to hug cows! (But seriously, you will and it’s amazing!)
The founder’s message is that despite the hardships and suffering in our lives and the world around us “by having reverence for all life and by reconnecting with Mother Earth we each can change all that. At The Gentle Barn we stand up for the innocent, and we help animals and children alike remember that they matter. We open people’s hearts to the connections with nature. We open people’s minds to what is happening around us. And we inspire people to be an integral part of the solution. Through the stories and interactions with our animals, we can raise future generations to have reverence for all life, protect our planet, live good healthy, happy lives, and we will all be closer to having peace on earth!”
What I find really amazing, is that the Gentle Barn is healing both the animals and people at the same time. It’s open to the public on Sundays, and the rest of the week they are getting visits from veterans groups and at-risk youth groups and others who might benefit from the healing presence of the animals. And so the animals help people heal from trauma and the people help the animals heal from trauma.
Let me tell you that being next to Buttercup the cow (pictured) and cuddling up was such a profound grounding experience. To feel the grace and spirit of these lovely beings. It’s hokey, and I don’t give a f*ck. It’s true. Please, go see for yourself.
The Gentle Barn asks that you only bring plant-based foods (no animal products) for your time with the animals, as many have them have been saved from slaughter and severe abuse. And they have DELICIOUS vegan sausages there. Mmm.
Also, a plant based diet is lowering your carbon footprint, as the environmental impact and carbon emissions related to growing plants is far less than that of raising animals. In lowering your carbon footprint you give back to animals by not taking their resources and destroying their natural environments.
All this is a practice in yoga by the way! Love to bring it around full circle here. It is an experience in practicing ahimsa – non-violence, and not taking more than you need – asteya and aparigraha. Respecting the animals’ individual boundaries, while remaining open and ready to give love.
But talking about it is nothing compared to going and experiencing the wonderful animals. Go visit the Los Angeles, or Tennessee Gentle Barn locations! Or find other local organizations to help rescued animals to support and visit..