Leilani Farm Sanctuary

Have you been to a farm sanctuary? Having been vegan for well over 5 years, you’d think I would be able to answer yes to this. But prior to our vacation in Maui, I hadn’t yet gone to one.

I originally went vegan strictly for health reasons, my own person health. But over the past several years, my reasons have broadened. Shortly after going vegan, I stopped buying any products with animal in them, not just food – it expanded to clothing and household goods too. I also try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and lessen my negative impact on the planet. I feel like going vegan has really inspired me to be a better person overall. And I have a lot of admiration for those who rescue and care for animals.

During our trip to Maui, we took a tour of Leilani Farm Sanctuary and this was by far my favourite part of the trip. It was an experience like none other I’ve had before. It opened my eyes, my mind, heart and soul. We were fortunate enough to meet the founder of the farm, Laurelee Blanchard. I found Laurelee’s story very empowering, she left an incredibly comfortable & well-paid job to commit to the care of animals in need. She is a completely gorgeous woman, inside and out.

She showed us around the lush 8-acre farm in Haiku, Maui. Laurelee had a modest 600-foot house built on the farm so she could be live with the animals.

The sanctuary is non-profit and has help from volunteers to tend to the farm and it’s many inhabitants, including chickens, cats, goats, rabbits, donkeys, pigs, deer and ducks.

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This adorable little goat follows Laurelee wherever she goes and comes when called. So cute!

She told us many of their stories, and although they were all touching, the one about this little piggy stuck out to me the most. This pig, George, came to Laurelee too overweight, barely able to support himself and ended up going blind from the too thick folds around his eyes. Laurelee gave him this area with the beautiful ocean view even though he couldn’t see it in hopes that one day he would be able to. A well-known veterinarian in Hawaii (known for traveling between islands to help with rescued animals), heard about George and was able to operate and his vision was restored! National Geographic has filmed an episode about George the pig for an upcoming series about rescued animals. You can learn more about it here.

One happy pig!

I would love to volunteer with a farm sanctuary, or start my own. The ones I have heard of are pretty far from here, but maybe I can find something nearby. In the meantime, I think I will sponsor one of the animals from the farm.

It makes my heart happy to meet people in the world who care so much for animals. I will definitely be back next time I’m in Maui =)

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