When you have to go pick up a dinner and drive to your nearest grocery store, you’re probably not thinking about where your food comes from or how it even gets to the store – but in reality, there is a very long process before your dinner makes it to your plate, involving tons of resources.

In the United States alone, around 27 billion animals are raised for food every year. These animals are subjected to extreme confinement where they live in fear and pain on factory farms. In the U.S., an incredible 99 percent of farmed animals are now bred in factory farms. But thanks to growing public awareness, people are becoming more and more aware of the conditions that animals raised for food are kept in, and many are reducing or eliminating their consumption of animal products as a result.

Advertisement

But what happens to the animals that have broken free from the cruel animal agriculture industry, whether by being seized and rescued, or literally running for their lives? Thankfully, farm animal sanctuaries, places that work to rescue abused, neglected and abandoned farm animals, have been sprouting up all over the U.S. to help care for these innocent animals.

Pixabay

Farm animal sanctuaries speak out against animal suffering, using visits from the public, social media campaigns and even celebrity influence as opportunities to reach people about compassion for all. Farm animal sanctuaries also dedicate themselves to providing life-long care, shelter, and love. Unlike zoos, petting zoos and other forms of animal entertainment, the animals are never exploited or subjected to uncomfortable situations.

Advertisement

Staff at these sanctuaries work tirelessly in all weather and are extremely grateful for the help of volunteers, who can aid them in a variety of tasks ranging from cleaning, painting, and maintenance to animal socialization and guided tours. During the wintertime months, extra precautions must be taken to ensure the animals safety and well-being. And the one donation farm animal sanctuaries ask for more than anything else during the winter? Well, it may surprise you.

Hay, Hay, and More Hay 

While a bale of hay may not seem like much, hay is vital in helping farm animals survive the winter. It not only provides warmth from the freezing elements, but hay also serves as a food source. During the winter, most, if not all, farm animal sanctuaries will send out a plea to their supporters, asking for as little as $5 per hay bale. By donating hay bales, you’re helping ensure farm animals have adequate shelter from the freezing temperatures, cold winds, and snow. A truly priceless gift!

Advertisement

If you’re looking for a place to start, farm animal sanctuaries such as SASHA Farm, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, and Barn Sanctuary are all located in chiller regions of the U.S. and could use all the help they could get!

Flickr

If you want to go above and beyond, you could also contact your local farm animal sanctuary and see if help is needed constructing new barns and structures for the animals. This is another crucial task so that the animals have adequate shelter during the frigid seasons that is dry and safe.

Want to Do More?

Still want to find more ways to help farm animals? You could sponsor a farm animal, volunteer your time to help clean and feed the animals, as well as donate your birthday to fundraise for your favorite sanctuary. There are tons of ways to help our adorable friends stay happy and healthy!

There is no doubt about it: attempting to run and finance an animal sanctuary, in a world where most people only value animals as commodities, can be incredibly difficult. Please consider making a donation, whether it be for hay bales or another item to your local farm animal sanctuary. As animal lovers, one of the most important things we can do for them is to raise awareness of their plight in any way that we can and support all those who have the courage to speak out and work tirelessly on their behalf.

Advertisement

Check out these other One Green Planet articles to learn more about volunteering at a farm sanctuary:

Lead Image Source: 12019/Pixabay