Get ready to meet Chris, one of our fantastic volunteers! In this interview, we chatted with Chris about what led her to FAR and the work she does with us!
Inspiration from an Eye-Opening Open Day Tour
- What inspired you to become a volunteer at Farm Animal Rescue?
My partner and I joined an Open Day Tour in 2019 and were deeply impressed and moved by the stories we heard and the farm animals we met. I remember one story in particular. On that day, Brad told our group about the way some breeders are genetically redesigning pigs to grow more ribs in order to increase pork production and profits in the industry. I found this truly appalling and I was also shocked at my lack of awareness of what actually goes on in the agricultural industry. When I retired from work three years later I wondered if I could volunteer in some capacity on the Farm and simply applied through the website.
Venturing into Volunteering with Feathered Friends
2. What are some of the tasks you perform as a volunteer, and how do they make a difference in the lives of the residents?
I had NO experience with being around farm animals at all, except for a few chickens. So I applied to volunteer as a Animal Living Space Cleaner of two henhouses one morning a week. Since these two areas are the only ones I clean at the Sanctuary, I enjoy trying to make a thorough job of it. Hey, it’s only sweeping up and scrubbing off some chook poo! But it’s a good feeling to provide a comfortable, clean environment for the chickens—even if it’s only for a short while. Candi often pays a visit to the Broiler House at the end of the clean and she provides a counterbalance to any “over-pernicketyness” on my part. Yeah, I see you Candi.
I also sometimes meet and greet visitors to the Sanctuary on Open Days. It’s great to get out of suburbia for a few hours and chill at the Sanctuary. I never get tired of seeing the excited reactions of the visitors when they see the animals up close for the first time and are able to interact with them. In our usual urban everyday lives, it’s astounding how disconnected we become from the lives and needs of our fellow species.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work at a couple of market stalls, one at QLD Uni where I had a crash course in learning how to make FAR’s famous and scrumptious BLTs, and the other at The Green Edge bake stall. They were great experiences and I certainly appreciated lots of kind, gracious words and support from customers.
3. Can you tell us about a specific farm animal whose transformation you've witnessed during your time as a volunteer? How did they change, and what role did you play in their journey?
I love seeing all the chickens who have come from egg farms, skinny, featherless and timid transform into curious, adventurous hens with glossy new feathers and attitude! I love watching Rambo and Phoenix and Squeak exercising their “Speaker-In-The-House-Of-Parliament” role towards anyone who’s misbehaving! I like to think I help make their lives that little bit more comfy and safe and I thank everyone at FAR for providing such an opportunity to me. Maybe the biggest transformation is in me, from being almost, not quite vegan to total vegan. If you’re wondering whether you’d like to volunteer in some capacity at the Sanctuary I’ll be the first to say, go for it. Volunteering is awesome! You won’t regret it!