Now that my muscles have sufficiently recovered, I can tell you all about Sunday’s volunteer day at Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary without wincing and grimacing! (Just kidding – they really didn’t work us that hard…)
After rising early to prep some vego and some vegan lunches (this is a requirement of the farm), arriving impressively on-time to the meeting point, and carpooling our way an hour or so north of Melbourne, we arrived at Willowmavin. What greeted us there was a scene almost too perfect to exist outside of a movie: running, skipping, hobbling, waddling and trotting down the path towards us was a group of sweet and curious creatures, some of the free-ranging residents of Edgar’s Mission, hurrying to meet and inspect the newcomers. If I remember correctly, Ruby, the energetic red kelpie got there first. I can not for the life of me imagine a more welcoming sight.
It was a warm day, and thanks to recent heat waves and drought-like conditions, the grass at Edgar’s had been seared to a brittle, yellowy brown. My group of six was lucky to get an indoor task: the cleaning out of one of the barns. It wasn’t glamorous work (we picked up droppings and swept away rat sh*t) but with all the animals – including a very playful baby lamb called Nellie – popping their heads in to check on us, we were constantly reminded of why we were doing this.
After a lunch break that involved sitting in a stall, scratching the bellies of piglets as they trotted past, causing them to stagger and drop to the ground and roll over like pet dogs, we went on a tour of the farm. We fed weetbix to sheep and deer and pigs and cows and goats, with many of us getting to meet the individual animals we personally sponsor through the Edgar’s Mission Best Buddy program.
For me, it felt amazing to give back to an organisation I respect so much – and to feel validated in the choice I made to change the way I eat. I recommend volunteering at Edgar’s Mission to anyone interested in forging a more compassionate existence; their message of kindness is one worth spreading. We’re already planning our next trip! And if not Edgar’s – any organisation you feel passionately about. There are so many worthwhile causes out there that could benefit from a group of enthusiastic individuals eager to make a difference.
P.S. I spent quite a bit at the on-site store – you can see some of my purchases above. Pictured: two awesome wooden brooches and a photo portrait of Charlotte the sheep. For more items, check out their online store!