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Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary celebrates 20 years of farmed animal rescue

photo by Jasmine Elliott

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary is the oldest of its kind in Ontario, Canada. On June 15, 2019 they celebrated 20 years of farmed animal rescue with a lovely “Year of the Pig” open house.

These open houses (bi-yearly) help our community to build compassionate values through experiencing the presence of animals who have been rescued from all sorts of oppressive situations. Their stories are shared to honour each journey, revealing the true healing that occurs in an environment of love and respect. Their personalities develop with time as they learn to trust again. This is wonderfully inspiring to witness. The rescued animals are true teachers to us humans about life and our relationship to it.

Jasmine bonding with a chicken, Evan, for the first time.

Events like this help Cedar Row to fund-raise for annual costs that come with running an animal sanctuary. Hay and straw serve as nourishment to the animals, and bedding, respectively. The annual cost of those two things combined is $14,000.00. In addition, the constant care of rescued animals consists of countless vet appointments and medication/other special medical assistance to rehabilitate severely injured animals (there are plenty of them, unfortunately). Property/building maintenance and other costs also exist. You can now imagine how important all the support truly is for directly caring for these sentient beings. Siobhan Poole who runs the Sanctuary is extremely compassionate and dedicated. She is there every day, rain, snow, ice, or shine, ensuring that these animals’ needs are met. This is her life’s work and it is TOUGH. Nobody is paying her an hourly rate to do this, but she perseveres on and on, because she is genuinely in it for the animals.

Claire, Kris and Haille enjoying pea-protein burgers.

At the open house, there were vegan-friendly food vendors, a bouncy castle for kids, live music by students of Summer Weiler’s World’s Coolest Music Store, a lemonade stand run by Summer’s daughter Alba and husband from which all proceeds ($293.00) were donated back to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary! Cedar Row had volunteers grilling pea protein burgers and even animal information talks where Samantha Farias spoke to groups about the stories behind how specific animals were rescued and the situations they were once in. A tambola raffle featured prizes generously donated by compassionate businesses and individuals. All the volunteers were visible in bright red tees which I had the pleasure of screenprinting this year! It was blessed to feature vegan monika originals as well- thank you to angelic beings Kristen and Jason Houghton for so kindly letting me borrow their tent that day! It came in very handy during the showers before the open house kicked off.

Shiva, the MC and super-volunteer

This incredible event wouldn’t have been possible without the many volunteers who helped in diverse ways, from event planning and organization, to volunteer work visits leading up to the open house, to the speakers, musicians, and barbeque-ers. Thank you to everyone who came out and showed their support for the compassionate revolution occuring as we speak. Here’s to a world of justice and compassion for all! <3

It was my pleasure to voluntarily screen print the volunteer shirts for this event!
Thank you for reading! More inspo always is in the works <3 Stay compassionate, keep growing! With love, Mona.
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Ahimsa

Originating in ancient Eastern spirituality, ahimsa is becoming more prevalent as a principal of ethical living on a global scale. Its meaning can be described simply as “non-injury”. A slightly more complex meaning of ahimsa is “the removal of the desire to kill”. In this perspective Swami Sri Yukteswar elucidates that ahimsa not only involves abstaining from literal injury to another being. On a deeper level, it even applies to removing the intention of injury before any physical action is followed through.

We are all one in spirit, but at the physical realm of individuals it’s difficult to avoid absolutely all harm (it’s certainly not difficult, however, to live a vegan lifestyle). Even social media comments and posts can have undertones of violent energy. So how do we apply ahimsa in our lives? We need to understand that ahimsa is about our intentions. Do we have intentions to harm others? If yes, then this is not aligned with ahimsa. If we have no intention to cause harm, even if we accidentally step on a bug, etc. this is still to some degree in alignment with ahimsa because at the soul level we purely didn’t intend to do so.

This now comes down to being sincere with ourselves. I still notice thoughts arising in my mind that don’t necessarily align with ahimsa. Coming from a past of substance abuse and body image issues, I still experience remnants of negative thought patterns that indicate the mental health journey continues. It is important to clearly look at this inner misalignment to ahimsa, because the vibrations of our thoughts do affect the world and the lives of others. This is truly why I choose meditation twice daily along with positive affirmations, and other spiritual studies as often as possible. Many thanks to the Self-Realization Fellowship for supplying meditation lessons and techniques, which I am a student of to this day. Living a vegan lifestyle is definitely what ahimsa manifests as on an evolved, conscious level!