Traditionally, animal sanctuaries are started by a kind-hearted person who takes pity on an animal in need, and from there it grows: More animals arrive, and at some point – tada! It‘s an animal sanctuary!
The person has to learn how to care for the animals that arrive, build housing for them, and recruit volunteers to come and help. Maybe a charity gets founded, but, regardless, money is spent, spent, and spent. And after that person’s savings are used up, fundraising has to start.
Fundraising itself is a time-consuming task, taking valuable time away from the animals and becoming a real challenge, a constant worry. Anyone who has gone through this knows the feelings–that constant chasing of one’s own tail!
For more than one reason this is not sustainable, and sanctuaries need to think of ways to generate income for the animals, as strange as this may seem for a charity. After all, sanctuaries are not supposed to be money-generating operations but a haven for animals and opportunities of educating the public about their plight.
A vital part of running a sanctuary is the responsibility of keeping the animals well-fed, housed, and provided with veterinarian care. Therefore, money needs to come in regularly–ideally in a manner that doesn’t distract from the critical task of caring for animals.
In a more compassionate world, there would be sanctuaries everywhere, more sanctuaries than farms (ha!). Those who run sanctuaries would also be able to support each other and network to be the best of their ability, for the animals. However, in the real world, charitable donations are limited. But we cannot afford to let this fact stop us from doing the work that needs to be done. We have to put on a business hat and step outside of the confines of a traditional charity.
Our animals do not owe us anything; they do not have a job to do for us humans. We owe it to them to allow them to live long and happy lives, on their terms. As vegans, we reject charging people to see them. In a genuine sanctuary, animals are not made to perform tricks or be the center of saleable services. Their eggs, wool, and all other body parts are theirs and theirs alone.
It is a privilege to have them in our lives! And this is where sanctuary stays come in.
By offering accommodation for people to come and stay, and, when possible, meet some of the animals and watch them live their best lives, we can help bring people and animals together, and foster a better understanding of how animals should be cared for. Offering such stays can be a great way for sanctuaries to raise funds that will allow them to accomplish the core tents of their mission: To care for animals in a manner that is sensitive to their needs and to bring awareness of their plight.
From a vegan traveler’s point of view, wouldn’t you want to put your travel money to good use, and potentially connect with some animals at the same time? Well, clearly you do because you are a compassionate human being, and nuts about animals, just like we are.
You have come to the right platform, and animal rescues all over the world thank you for it!
We look forward to seeing you at the sanctuary!
Founder, Tribe Animal Sanctuary TASS