This was supposed to be one of my first posts because of its utter importance; the draft has been in existence for over a year. And now it’s here!
This is the story of the animals and the people who made me go vegan. In autumn 2014 I travelled for two months through Finland. I had made quite an unusual choice there, governed by the fact that I had to decide quickly where to go and that I happened to have two friends there, which made it the easy option. My stay has had a huge impact on how I am as a person.
I learned that as a person you do have an impact. I met a lot of people doing amazing things, trying to improve the world in their own way. Among others, I met people building communities, people focussing on working on themselves, I met vegans and animal rights activists.
The Animal Sanctuary
I came in contact with the animal sanctuary Tuulispää, which is a retirement home and rescue shelter for farm animals. I helped the amazing founder Piia for a week with tasks like cleaning and feeding.
Piia is amazing. She showed me how it is to dedicate your life to the things that are most important to you. And she has success! When I visited over a year ago, there were many animals living in Tuulispää, of many different species too. The website says it’s over 50 animals, but I don’t know the current number. I imagine it to have grown. I believe Piia and her sanctuary to be quite famous in Finland. Lots of volunteers came regularly to offer their help.
Piia not only wants to save the animals she shelters, but she also believes in education and sees her sanctuary as an educational centre as well. Visiting there can be a real eye-opener, to see all these beautiful creatures that have been left behind by there previous care-takers because according to them they didn’t give the right benefits. I would say Piia is some sort of super woman, but maybe we are all super women and men, able to do great things if we choose to.
The reality of farm animals is really sad. Luckily, great people are doing their best to give animals better lives, with results. Hopefully in the future no animals have to live under bad conditions.
Now, look at the happy animals and the beautiful area they deserve to live in. 🙂
I don’t know how much the sanctuary has grown in the meantime. It’s good to mention that a lot of animals and species aren’t in my pictures, for some reason. There were chickens, guinea pigs, actual pigs, dogs, a hamster, and just more individuals of many species. Tuulispää has Facebook, but unfortunately every post is written in Finnish, which makes it hard to understand. The pictures are still nice to see though. 🙂 They are still taking volunteers, so if you are in the neighbourhood: check out the website and get in contact! It will be a good experience for sure: the animals and people are really nice and they all have their stories.
Ah, and as you might have guessed: my ‘first’ reason to not use animal products is the direct suffering they cause on the animals that are being used. However, I think everything is interconnected and everything comes down to one thing: compassion, unconditional love.
And I’d also like to thank the other volunteer, Saana, who was great company and who helped and taught me a lot, among other things that being a vegan is actually a lot more fun than you might expect.
Thank you for caring!