Last Friday was supposed to be a day like any other at our New York Shelter. But that all changed when a set of very special guests arrived at the sanctuary after Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, guitarist Justin Young, and their fellow band mates decided to take a break from their summer tour with Sheryl Crow to pay us a visit.
Though this was their first trip to Farm Sanctuary, our relationship with Colbie and Justin began a little while ago. At a pivotal time in the Ohio ballot initiative campaign, Justin expressed interest in our work via his Twitter page. We began communicating with him and, in a show of solidarity for abused farm animals, he coordinated free space at their tour’s next stop in Kettering, Ohio for us to table and collect signatures. He wore a Farm Sanctuary shirt and spent a lot of time with our volunteers, making sure everyone was comfortable and happy. At another concert in Cleveland, Ohio, Justin once again made sure we had space to table. He even gave our Ohio volunteers an onstage shout-out for all their hard work!
Kim Gordon piglet hangs out with the band.
When Colbie, Justin and their band mates realized that their tour would place them close to our Watkins Glen location, they decided to undertake a mini-road trip. They arrived in the early afternoon and I had the pleasure of taking them around the shelter. We weaved through the different barns, meeting all the rescued cows, sheep, pigs, birds, and goats. The band spent time with rockstar piglet Kim Gordon, who charmed everyone with her adorable antics. At the goat barn, baby goats Zuzu and Otto did tricks for everyone and showed off their boundless energy. By the end of the day, it was very obvious that the band and our residents had become fast friends.
When the time came to leave, it was hard to say goodbye but the day clearly left an impression on the musicians. That very night, as they played to a crowd of enthusiastic fans in Canandaigua, New York, Colbie talked about their visit to the sanctuary and made sure everyone knew how wonderful the animals who call our shelter home truly are!
Justin and Colbie visit with the pigs.
But their dedication to Farm Sanctuary does not end there. Justin had been planning on walking in our 2010 Santa Monica Walk for Farm Animals, but his tour schedule got in the way. Still determined to take a stand for farm animals around the country and support our efforts, Justin is planning a benefit concert to support the Walk on September 24 in West Hollywood. (Keep checking our Walk website for details.)
Through their involvement with Farm Sanctuary, Justin and Colbie are raising much-needed awareness for the billions of farm animals who suffer in factory farm facilities around the country each year, and, for this, we can’t thank them enough!
Top photo: Colbie with Larry.