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Shining World Awards

Shining World Compassion Award Recipient: The Gentle Barn, Part 1 of 2

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Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn, a vegan a nimal sanctuary in Santa Clarita, California, USA. When she was seven, Ellie had already dreamt of a place where she could live together with all the beautiful animals. “What was very clear to me at seven years old, was that I had this very, very deep connection with animals and I saw us as the same. I could hear them and communicate with them and they had so much to teach me. It was so clear to me that animals were here to help us, teach us and heal us. So, I had this idea that when I grew up, I would have this big place full of animals and I would show the world how beautiful these animals are, show people the intelligence of animals, their communication, their affection, and their magic, and maybe more people could be more compassionate and kind to them and we can head towards a gentle world.” The Gentle Barn’s mission is “Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.” The sanctuary teaches by example through their meticulous attention and loving care given to their 200 plus animal residents. The gentle rescued animals in turn help teach visitors the same kindness and compassion, opening their minds and hearts. Kindness begets kindness and that is how we heal our world. In her welcome speech to visitors at The Gentle Barn, Ellie also urges people to adopt a plant-based diet. She and her staff provide delicious vegan food and informational flyers to help guide people towards the compassionate and earth-conscious lifestyle. “I’ve done a lot of research, and it seems that the most effective, most efficient, most powerful thing that we can do as individuals to make a gentle world is to go vegan. Did you guys know that when one person goes vegan, we save 200 animals a year? That’s thousands of animals over the course of just one lifetime. When one person goes vegan, we save 1100 gallons of water a day. The cumulative effect of that will end this drought. When one person goes vegan, we save an acre of trees every year, which will combat deforestation, which will ensure that we have a planet to live on in future generations. And if that’s not exciting enough, when we go vegan, we reduce our own risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and dementia by 90%. When we set our bodies up for success nutritionally, a plant based diet and a vegan diet is not only crazy easy, but really, really yummy.”
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