On Saturday, October 13th, U of M students and other CAA community members had the exciting opportunity to tour SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary and interact with their residents.
SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary is in New Richmond, WI. Located about 45 minutes from Minneapolis, SoulSpace is a local farm sanctuary doing the crucial work of rehabilitating farm animal rescues and educating their surrounding communities about the impact of industrialized animal agriculture.
Upon arrival, the visitors met Kara Breci, founder and executive director of SoulSpace. Kara founded SoulSpace about three years ago after retiring from the St. Paul Police Department due to an injury. Since its start, the sanctuary has grown to house 45 rescued farm animals and be supported by over 100 volunteers. Each year, the sanctuary hosts a number of events to raise awareness about cruelty against farmed animals and to show others how to live in a more compassionate way.
Kara led the group around the facility to meet some of the sanctuary’s 45 animal residents. Each one has a unique story, which Kara was delighted to share with the visitors.
The tour met London the pig, whom Kara described as the “sassiest resident,” and Frederick the sheep. Frederick spent the first three months of his life in a trailer with a litter of puppies. All were so neglected that the puppies chewed off one of his ears. Today, Frederick loves to eat bananas and still thinks he’s a dog instead of a sheep.
Visitors also met Wally, another one of the sanctuary’s rescued pigs. Wally made headlines about 19 months ago after jumping out of a truck headed to a slaughterhouse in South Dakota. Luckily, Wally did not suffer any major injuries and is now very happy in his new home at SoulSpace.
Throughout the tour, Amos, a 24-year-old donkey curiously followed the group around the sanctuary. In his younger years, Amos was forced to give rides to children and later became a companion animal. Today, he enjoys taking selfies with visitors at SoulSpace.
The group encountered many more animals as well, including hens, roosters, peacocks, ducks, turkeys, dogs, and a cat. Kara explained that each animal has their own personality, and often surprise people with how friendly and affectionate they are.
At the end of the tour, Kara explained that the goals of the sanctuary are to educate others about cruelty against farmed animals and to encourage individuals to make more compassionate choices. Kara and the SoulSpace residents aim to show their visitors that farm animals have a lot in common with some of the more familiar companion animals and hope that this will encourage people to consider more closely the impacts of their food and lifestyle choices.
One of the most amazing things about this sanctuary is how friendly and loving all the animals are. Each one was ecstatic to receive visitors, which shows that farmed animals have much more in common with companion animals than most people think.
Each day, sanctuaries like SoulSpace receive housing requests for newly rescued animals. As it currently stands, there is not enough sanctuary space to give care to all of the animals that need it. The more people that are aware of this issue, the more support the sanctuaries will receive, and others will begin to spread the message of compassion toward animals.
Right now, sanctuaries need our support. SoulSpace and other spaces like it prove that education and compassion really do make a difference in the lives of their residents, visitors, and the billions of farmed animals currently living in abusive and inhumane conditions.
SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary hosts tours every Saturday along with camps, volunteer workdays, and many other events. Visit soulspacesanctuary.org for more information on how SoulSpace is continuing their quest to save farmed animals from cruelty.