Misty Moore-Founder of Welcome Home Animal Sanctuary
As a very young child I knew it was wrong to eat meat. It wasn't even a conscious decision, I just inherently knew that it was wrong to eat animals. Unfortunately, I grew up in a home where my choices weren't respected. Mealtime caused me unbearable anxiety. I wasn't allowed to leave the table until my plate was cleared. I would sometimes sit for hours crying over my plate. As I got older I started slipping the meat into pockets and sneaking as much as I could to the dogs under the table. My poor sister also ended up with as much as I could sneak to her! By the time I was a teenager, I made it clear that I wouldn't eat meat. This caused a lot of turmoil in our family, but I persisted.
I founded Welcome Home Animal Sanctuary because I wanted to provide a safe haven for rescued farm animals. I needed to know that I was doing everything that I possibly could to help animals that have been denied the compassion and respect they deserve. Farm animals are the most exploited, abused and misunderstood creatures on earth. I truly believe that if people were able to spend time with farm animals and experienced their unique personalities, they would understand that all animals are deserving of our respect, protection and love.
Growing up, Jane Goodall was my hero and inspiration. Sometimes I can't put my thoughts and feelings into words so I thought I would share a powerful passage by Jane which expresses exactly what I want to say:
"Thousands of people who say they 'love' animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs - and the journey to get there - before finally leaving their miserable world, only too often after a painful death." Jane Goodall
Since I was little, I knew I was different than most kids my age. I was the one who would be feeding stray animals, making shelters so they could keep warm in the winter and finding the owners of lost pets. I was the one out in the rain/snow every morning or night holding an umbrella over a stray animal to make sure it would keep warm. I was never one to play house or play with friends. Animals were my friends and who I spent all my time with. I have always felt a desire to help all animals, no matter the species. I have a deep connection where I can feel what they are feeling just by looking at them. Up until the recent years I didn't know that it was ''empathy" that I was experiencing. I am an empath towards animals which is why I have a huge desire to help the voiceless and helpless because I can feel what they feel. Just like most people feel empathy towards humans, I feel it towards animals in a way that connects me to them in a way that others may not understand. There are so many people out there dedicated to hurt them and exploit them and that's where a huge part of my dedication and drive comes from and why I feel the desire to be involved in the Sanctuary world. I am originally from Utah and grew up vacationing in Oregon. I knew there was something calling me out to Oregon all throughout my teenage years, I just didn't know what it was but knew I had to move. So, I did. Me and my dog, Jema, packed up and left to the small town named Creswell not knowing anyone or anything about the area. Once settled, I found out that ironically Welcome Home was half a mile from my house and knew that is why I was drawn to a town of 5,000 people. Since I have been involved with the sanctuary, I have felt that my passion and drive for helping farmed animals-for being their voice, my lifestyle of being Vegan, and being the empath that I am towards all animals have all aligned and taken me to the place where I truly belong all while leading me to find my calling and happiness in life.
As most children who grew up in a big city, my early life interaction with animals was limited to dogs, cats, pigeons, and squirrels. I always considered myself an animal lover and would receive much joy any chance I got to meet or see them. As I grew older, I wanted to do something with my life that involved helping animals, but the pressures of capitalism pushed me into a less emotionally fulfilling and more financially fulfilling career path. Throughout my 20's I volunteered with wildlife rehabilitation centers and rescue operations but never gave any thought to the suffering of farmed animals. I think I believed what most people do, that we humans are at the top of the food chain and that cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, etc. are here for us to consume. It seemed like the natural order of things and I found nothing wrong with this dynamic.
Then a few years ago, I began a meditation practice based on Buddhist philosophy. I would end my meditations with a statement of "May all beings be happy, may all beings be well, may all beings be peaceful", and I quickly felt the lack of consistency between my ethics and actions. Once making that realization I decided overnight to go vegan and that I would start a lifelong practice of "Ahimsa", which means a respect for all living beings and complete avoidance of violence towards them.
Since taking this path it has become clear to me why I felt such deep frustration and anger at the world for most of my youth. My parents, teachers, doctors, and government were all part of a system of animal exploitation and abuse. I moved across the country to Oregon to immerse myself into nature and surround myself with like-minded compassionate people. I am eternally grateful to have found Welcome Home Animal Sanctuary because it gave me the opportunity to finally get to really know these animals that I had previously only known of abstractly. I think if most people got the chance to sit down with these animals and see how they each have unique personalities with their own wants and needs, we would have more animal rights advocates. I look forward to dedicating the rest of my time on this planet to standing up for the innocent individuals who don't have a voice to beg for their lives.