Monica Panzer

NEWFANE, N.Y. – Two weeks ago NU CARES (Club for Animal Rights Education and Sustainability) experienced firsthand the rejuvenation that Asha Sanctuary provides for the animals who are fortunate enough to live there. Asha, translated to mean “hope and life”, is a farm where rescued animals are brought to escape cruelty and start a new life.

All of the animals at Asha have been rescued from an abusive and near death plight in the meat or dairy industry. Each animal’s’ story is unique and moving, especially after seeing how joyful and peaceful they are at Asha. Being able to watch them interact with the visitors and each other was eye opening for those who were experiencing it for the first time.

Asha held their third annual Fall Festival for Farmed Animals on site in Newfane with live music, educational speakers, video presentations, a vegan cookout, and family crafts and activities. The festival is held each year to celebrate the birthday of Asha’s first resident – a cow named Albert who was rescued from an auction house as a newborn three years ago. If he hadn’t been saved, he would have been killed because he can’t produce milk. This is the fate of most male calves. At Asha, Albert and dozens of other animals are healthy and happy with plenty of food, love, and space to be free. For some people in the club this was their first time being around rescued animals, and for some it was just like going home.

NU CARES advocates for animal rights, speciesism awareness, sustainability, and an overall healthier and kinder lifestyle. Their mission is to spread the word about the personal advantages, large-scale benefits, and common misconceptions of veganism, and encourage others to be knowledgeable about their ecological footprint.

Using any animal for their meat, eggs, or milk is not only inhumane, it’s a waste of our time and our resources. Meat and dairy are not as healthy for humans as we have been taught to believe, and it takes much less water, pollution, money, and energy to just be compassionate. A plant based diet benefits everyone – not just the animals. Being able to see evidence of this just around the corner from Niagara University was encouraging to say the least, and everyone in attendance saw that there is, in fact, hope.


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