As the sun rises upon our Southern California Shelter, a sense of peace fills the air in the quiet stillness of the early hours. The animals begin to stir in their barns, ready to embrace all that Farm Sanctuary life has to offer. One by one their humanimal pals arrive, excited to greet their beloved companions and administer the individualized care and attention that helps them thrive.
There’s much to be done on the farm each day, from feeding the animals to providing medication and treatment to help those in need enjoy the greatest quality of life possible. But none of this would be
possible without humanimals like Project Assistant Caleb Bachara, who conducts the often unglamorous – yet necessary – work of maintaining clean, safe, environments for the 100+ residents at our Acton, CA sanctuary. When the animals live well they feel well – and by keeping the animals’ homes tidy, Caleb helps them feel safe and loved. At Farm Sanctuary, animals rescued from abuse and neglect can instead focus on healing. And Caleb’s behind-the-scenes efforts are crucial to all aspects of sanctuary work.
Caleb snuggles with his best goat pal Paul Harvey.
With Kelley lamb, who was rescued from a backyard butcher.
Carrying Cinder goat, whom he helped transport to Farm Sanctuary.
But before he was providing support to animals and humanimals at Farm Sanctuary home, Caleb accepted a supporting role to his girlfriend when she chose to make the switch to vegetarian.
“We originally just
started eating less meat because it upset [my girlfriend’s] stomach, which led
her to start doing research into why – and she came across some people talking
about vegetarianism and veganism.”
So that Thanksgiving, when she decided she could no longer eat meat, Caleb opted to follow her lead. “Then we watched Earthlings, and that was it,” he recalls. They
This transition wasn’t
without its challenges, however. While Caleb felt fortunate to have his
girlfriend around for moral support, he noticed how hard it could be to find
community. Caleb grew up – and still resides –
in a small town that offers limited access to vegan and vegetarian fare. And
while there are plenty of ways to fit
veganism into our lifestyles,
it can be difficult to begin or maintain these types of changes without support
from those around us.
But everything changed when
Caleb applied for a job at Farm Sanctuary. This prospect would give him the
opportunity to work alongside the incredible ambassadors for their species whom
he honored each day. And the position would also open the door for an
incredible transformation of his own.
“I had been going from job
to job trying to find something that fit, and I was in between jobs when I came
across the listing for Farm Sanctuary,” Caleb says. “I thought it would be
awesome because I had just gone vegan within the year, and it has been my
favorite job so far for sure.” Caleb started last November – one year after
going vegetarian and kickstarting his compassionate journey. Here, Caleb feels
he has the resources and support he needs to make a difference – and we are
proud to work alongside such a compassionate advocate for farm animals each
At Farm Sanctuary, Caleb
regularly interacts with a variety of humanimals just like him, who are
dedicated to creating a more compassionate world for all. Whether he’s working
on projects with shelter staff or overseeing our monthly
work parties, Caleb has found his calling. Here, he can apply his passions and talents in
ways that are meaningful to him.
Caleb and his coworker Brooke share a lighthearted moment in our hospital crates.
“It has been really nice to
just know that I’m not alone in this,” Caleb says. “Working at Farm Sanctuary
has really solidified my veganism. I never really ever thought about going back
before I started working here, but after meeting all the amazing animals we
have here and seeing all of their unique personalities, I can’t even imagine
Caleb has found the
supportive community that helps him feel at home. The animals and humanimals he
encounters support him as much as he is there for them. You could say that Caleb
has found sanctuary in his personal life as well – and he selflessly extends
the lessons he’s learned (and the compassionate life he’s created) to all whom
he works with and for each day.
Whether he’s interacting
with his pals at the sanctuary or assisting with a transport, Caleb puts so
much heart into his work, ensuring that the animals receive all of the care and
love that they deserve. And it soothes his own soul to watch them truly
relishing Farm Sanctuary life – to know that his actions are changing lives for
the better, and to see firsthand the difference that compassion makes.
Keeping Cinder goat cozy during transport to Farm Sanctuary
“We recently moved
some cattle from Southern California up
to our Orland shelter,” Caleb says. “We had to be super calm when we were
loading them so that we didn’t spook them, but once we got them on the trailer
it went really smoothly. The drive up was long but it was really cool to get to
see different parts of California, and when we finally got to Orland it was
really cool to release them and watch them check out their new home.” Knowing
that friends like Buffalo Boo – who is receiving the care and attention he
needs in our special needs herd – and Rosy – who has found peace and happiness
alongside best friend Susie
Moo – are thriving shows Caleb
that his efforts are worthwhile.
Clockwise: Rosy, Buffalo Boo, and Curly shortly after their big move.
Back in Acton, Caleb is
especially fond of Paul
Harvey. “He is just the sweetest and silliest goat ever, and [we] have really bonded.”
Caleb hangs out with his buddy, Paul Harvey.
Caleb inspires us to do the
best we can to make a difference, demonstrating how beautiful our lives become
when we connect with the individuals and experiences that allow us to honor our
own journeys. We are honored to work alongside him each day and thankful that
at Farm Sanctuary, he has found the haven and support he needs to fuel his
activism and make a difference. Caleb’s journey reveals that there is great
power in numbers – and when we work together, we
can grow and thrive in ways we never thought possible.
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