Offbeat L.A.: Barnyard Love- Animal Acres at Farm Sanctuary in Acton

The author meeting sleeping pigs Maisy & Jimmy (photo by Traci Murray)

The author meeting sleeping pigs Maisie & Jimmy (photo by Traci Murray)

Visitors at Farm Sanctuary, Traci & Timmy Murray (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Visitors at Farm Sanctuary, Traci  Murray & Timmy (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Hanging out with animals can be the greatest confidence builder, ego check and source of unconditional love. If everyone in the world would regularly make a habit of spending quality time with animals we might have a lot more happier people on this planet. This Offbeat L.A. author routinely seeks out local “animal encounters” and visits rescue organizations for those very reasons. Several months ago a visit to the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita was a truly magical experience. Luckily I found another organization, very similar to the Gentle Barn, that also specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating farm animals that have been abused or abandoned. Located on a scrubby 26-acres in Acton, 45 minutes northeast of L.A. on the 14 freeway, Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres is a great experience for all ages.

One of the residents at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

One of the happy residents at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Home to over 100 cows, pigs, horses, goats, sheep and more, Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 as a direct response to the cruelties and mistreatment of animals by factory farms and stockyards. With two additional larger locations in Watkins Glen, NY and Orland, CA, this organization has a mission much greater than the animal lives it saves. They are determined to educate visitors about the evils of industrialized farming and to promote a vegan diet. Obviously not all visitors are ready or willing to make fundamental dietary changes, but a visit to Farm Sanctuary creates awareness about how individual choices can affect the world around us.

The author meeting Pinto, a 6-foot tall steer rescued from a factory farm (photo by Traci Murray)

The author meeting Pinto, a 6-foot tall steer rescued from a factory farm (photo by Traci Murray)

Taking the hour-long tour at Farm Sanctuary is full of both joy and heartbreaking stories. It is inspiring to meet and great the animals, petting them and giving them hugs, but it is extremely sad to hear tales of the abuse experienced by some of them, such as a slightly wounded animal being left for dead in a stock pile at a factory farm. Seeing these abused animals in a thriving environment is heartwarming. Visitors are taken by group into the various enclosures to meet pigs, steer, chickens, turkeys, goats and sheep. While listening to information about the animals from a knowledgeable guide we are given the opportunity to bond with the animals and take photos with them. A visit to Farm Sanctuary might be exactly the prescription you require if some grounding and compassion is needed in your life.

Goats enjoying the sunshine at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Goats enjoying the sunshine at Farm Sanctuary (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

 

Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres: 5200 Escondido Canyon Road
Acton, CA 93510; (661) 269-5404.

Admission: Adults $10; Children $5.

Tours held Sundays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Farm Sanctuary Tours

 

Nikki Kreuzer

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for over 30 years. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring & photographing the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written 110 Offbeat L.A. articles, published at the Los Angeles Beat. As a journalist she contributes regularly to LA Weekly, Blurred Culture and The Los Angeles Beat and has also been published by Oddee.com, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also a mosaic artist, radio DJ and published photographer. Her photography has been featured in exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art, in print at the LA Weekly and is part of an upcoming show at the Neutra Museum in Los Angeles. She has recorded with the band Nikki & Candy as bassist, vocalist and songwriter, directing and appearing in the 'Sunshine Sunshine Santa Claus' music video for the band. She co-hosts the monthly radio show Bubblegum & Other Delights on Dublab.com. Her acting credits include a recent role in the ABC-TV show 'For The People', 'Incident at Guilt Ridge', 'Two and a Half Men', the film 'Minority Report' and 'Offbeat L.A.', a web series, written and hosted by Nikki Kreuzer. Her writing, radio and video portfolio can be found at OffbeatLA.com, her photography work @Lunabeat on Instagram and her music history posts @NikkiKreuzer on Twitter. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon or at NikkiandCandy.com.
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