Ellie Laks, The Gentle Barn; & Respecting the Baby Chicks this Month

May 2, 2014
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Listen to this episode here!

Happy International Respect for Chickens Month! And International Respect for Chickens Day, which happens on May 3rd!

To start the show, Alison reads a touching excerpt from the fantastic book “My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope“, by Ellie Laks. Then Jenni shares her experience of leafletting for the animals at the Party for the Planet Earth Day event in Surrey last week.

Ellie Laks, The Gentle Barn

Our feature interview is with Ellie Laks, who is the founder of a special place located in Santa Clarita, California, called The Gentle Barn. It’s a sanctuary for over 170 rescued animals who go there to be rehabilitated and loved and to live out the rest of their lives in harmony and peace, often coming out of terrible situations of exploitation at the hands of humankind.

The Gentle Barn was founded in 1999 and has since then become a haven for many lucky animals, but also lucky people, as Ellie strives to help at-risk and special needs children as well by having them come to the sanctuary to interact with the animals and learn to heal their own pain with them. She has so many special stories to share about the animals and her journey, and has just recently authored a book all about it, called “My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope”.

In this interview, Ellie talks about how she came to start the Gentle Barn, and she shares with us some of the stories of the animals at the sanctuary and the special experiences she has encountered with them. While the animals are rehabilitated from their former abuse, they also, in return, make a huge impact into changing the hearts and minds of the people who meet them and get to know them.

The Gentle Barn welcomes the public to visit the sanctuary every Sunday. You can also get involved and help the animals at the sanctuary by volunteering, donating, or sponsoring an animal or a group of children. Find out more about that here!

Here is a lovely video about The Gentle Barn:

Twyla François, Mercy for Animals Canada, on Chick Hatchery Investigation

Did you know that Canadians consume more than one billion kilograms of chickens every year? When we eat our eggs and buy Styrofoam-wrapped “chicken” in the store, how often do we correlate that these products were born from baby chicks – the sweet little creatures who children love to touch and who elicit their tiny “peeps” from their little beaks with nary a notion on their mind of the horrors that are to come to their newborn lives, from day one, in order to satisfy the human appetite?

Twyla François, director of investigations of the national non-profit organization Mercy for Animals Canada, speaks with us about some of MFA Canada’s findings in a recent undercover investigation into the lives and treatment of chicks at a Maple Leaf-owned Canadian hatchery in Ontario, and she shares what what we need to know, as consumers, that these beings go through to produce the meat and eggs that people love to eat so much.

Here is a video that depicts some of the investigation’s findings:

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