When Covid-19 hit, Luvin’ Arms Animal Sanctuary freaked out! How are we going to survive? Executive director Shartrina White wasn’t sure how they would continue to care for the 90+ farm animal residents who live and flourish in this idyllic haven in Eric, Colorado. They can’t live on air. Hay requires cold hard cash. The sanctuary had always relied on tours, educational programs, and other social activities, to bring in the critical revenue needed to stay in operation. She feared that they might have to lay off their employees and was terrified they might even have to shut down. Looking out onto the beautiful 40 acre sanctuary, co-founded by Shaleen and Shilpi Shah in 2015, she found herself struggling with gut-wrenching fears about the future of the sanctuary and the animals who’d been rescued from factory farming hell. Then she got a lifeline from a California sanctuary called Sweet Farm, which has developed a genius idea centered around the one place we are all visiting these days… ZOOM! Get this! You can now invite a cow or a pig or a chicken to attend your next zoom meeting! Sweet Farm developed this program and calls it: Goat-2-Meeting! There are friends and family options and corporate options. Sweet Farm invited Luvin Arms and 9 other sanctuaries to participate. Suffice it to say, it’s a huge hit! To schedule a tour, please visit: sweetfarm.org/goat-2-meeting.
It’s turned out to be the saving grace for Luvin’ Arms. It’s also a great way to educate people about the sentience of farm animals and the need to adopt a vegan diet. Individuals and/or companies can request to have Tito, a rescued cow, join their video meetings, virtual conferences, or online happy hours. Brilliant! The demand has been so high… there’s more requests than they can handle! The clients, paying for the virtual tours, join them via zoom from home. They ask sanctuary experts questions and have their children ask questions. Ironically, it’s the children who are opening up the conversations about factory farming. Many are not aware how milk and eggs are produced. By getting to know the animals up close, and seeing their gentle intelligence, people’s hearts and minds are being changed. Some of the residents, like two pig sisters Lily and Lizzie, never show up without each other. They are teaching the virtual visitors that animals have families and friends just like we do!
Any donations to Luvin Arms will go towards supporting daily costs of animal care as well as free virtual education programs for students such as Reading to the Chickens. Please email Education & Outreach Manager Alexis Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning TV journalist and New York Times best-selling author. She is the founder of UnchainedTV and the host of several shows on the network.