This past week, we just enjoyed an amazing road trip to Niagara Falls and it dawned on me, that it was 15 years ago that I was there last. Only, in 2000, my "little Becky" was only ten years old...the same age that my Gianna (11) and Kelsey (almost 9) are now!!
Where does the time go??
At that time, Gianna and Kelsey were not born yet, and Rebecca, now 25, was a little girl, and it was one of the rare times that her older sister, Jessica, then 16, joined us on a vacation. So, the four of us set off on our long weekend drive to Canada.
I was still new to step-motherhood, having only been married 18 months, but I was so excited for our road trip excursion!! My excitement was not only about doing a family trip, but to introduce my new family to the amazing work at Farm Sanctuary.
The farm had previously been owned by traditional farmers who had exploited and slaughtered animals for profit. It was acquired by Farm Sanctuary in 1989. Today most of the 175 acres is fenced as pasture or used to grow hay to feed the animals, but the farm also includes many trees, acres of forest, and three ponds - one for the geese and ducks, one for the pigs and one for the cattle.
The animals at Farm Sanctuary were rescued from stockyards, factory farms and slaughterhouses. In the barns, we encountered pigs slumbering in soft straw, where they once were living in cold, filthy, stockyard pens. Everywhere we looked, we saw animals who had suffered untold agony and cruelty. Now they were enjoying the joys of life for the first time. Walking through the pastures, we saw frolicking calves who once suffered pain and loneliness in veal crates.
The People Barn is a unique Visitor Center, filled with displays, literature and videos and where me met up with our guided farm tour.
After our visit, no one could eat meat. Everyone totally bonded with these adorable, innocent animals. While I had been a vegetarian for years, I was so touched that Becky became a vegetarian.
Here are some interesting facts I gathered during my first trip:
* The Canadian Horseshoe Falls has a drop of 170 Ft
* The gorge extends from the Falls for 7 miles down the stream
* More than 168,000 cubic meters of water go over the brink every minute
* Canada and American equally share the water supply for hydroelectric generation.