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"Cringe: the ultimate insult of our era. It implies a kind of pathetic attachment to hope, to sincerity, to possibility." (Lydia Polgreen NYT)

Without these three things, Unity Farm Sanctuary would not exist. In fact so many amazing things would not have happened in the world. So I want to shout out that we need more hope, sincerity and possibility, not less. A NYT youth survey, albeit unscientific, notes that “eating meat” and “cringe culture” itself were suggested as things we will soon find to be wince-worthy.

Cringe culture and optimism - if you know me, and I think you all do by now, I am pretty attached to optimism, that is not going to change! During the MIT graduate student’s tour of the sanctuary this week, one student posed a sincere question about how we can keep on being hopeful upon hearing me say that “we cannot rescue our way out of the problem” of too many animal rescues. This is true. Our hopeful answer, our optimistic answer… is to grow our humane education program and to simply keep trying.

There are many terrible things happening in the world and this is not a new thing for people to experience. Rather than feel powerless, why not try to tackle some aspect of the present that really worries or bothers you? As the Lorax says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” (Dr. Seuss, The Lorax).

To this end, we are thrilled to grow our humane education program with middle school age Animal Care Circle (small fee), free Scout programs, free K-12 school programs and more.. By working hard on grantwriting and receiving a $50,000 Felicia Rose Grant for our1000 Animal Ambassadors efforts for scouts and school age children, we try to cover as much of the expenses of our education programs as we can. Now, we are rolling out the free LEAP Program for high school students as well.

Let’s think about your strategies to make an impact. Can you reduce your footprint on the planet even in small ways with cleaner power, or reducing/recycling/reusing? Can you take on a Meatless Monday, or a Plant Based Taco Tuesday? Grow some local veggies on a patio when the season permits? Buy sustainable clothing instead of fast fashion?Support or contact legislators in your local area helping your community? Can you volunteer with a farmed animal sanctuary or an animal rescue, help out at a youth center or homeless shelter, veterans center, or a council on aging? If you are doing these things, did you know you can reduce your stress too? (Yes, I believe in the hopeful value of making my bed every morning!)

I will be boosting my own optimism by listening to Jane Goodall speaking in person about “Reasons for Hope” in MA in September, and I can’t wait (she will speak in CA, NY, SC and Canada this year too). There is a new film about Jane and her "Reasons for Hope" you can watch at the Mugar Theatre at the Museum of Science in Boston MA (I hope that becomes widely available).

I am going to send this "hope" out to the universe right now: please help folks around you to focus on the good in the world and grow it, it will take all of us caring a whole lot to make this happen.


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