In the lead-up to Niagara VegFest 2015 on June 7, we’d like to introduce you to some of our wonderful vendors, exhibitors and volunteers who make the festival happen. In this Q&A, Kara Burrow of Ralphy’s Retreat tells us about the services and educational programs her sanctuary offers, what she’s looking forward to at VegFest, and why Niagara and its people are dear to her.
NVF: Tell us about your organization.
KB: Ralphy’s Retreat is a family-run animal sanctuary in Norfolk County, Ontario. We have been in operation for 11 years, but became known as Ralphy’s Retreat in 2013. We specialise in providing sanctuary for pot-bellied pigs, as well as providing support for pig owners in the form of boarding services, feed, behaviour advice, and re-homing help. Our sanctuary is currently home to horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, and a rooster. When we are full, we find loving homes for farm animals in need.
As well as being a sanctuary for pigs, we offer education programs for schools and community groups, children’s summer camps, and animal-assisted therapy at the farm.
NVF: What are you most looking forward to at Niagara VegFest 2015?
KB:We are looking forward to introducing Niagara to some of the wonderful pigs that call RR home, as well as spreading our message about pot-bellied pigs and the predicament many are now finding themselves in as unwanted pets. Most people do not associate pot-bellied pigs with the meat industry, but due to indiscriminate breeders, changing by-laws, and large numbers of unwanted pets, more and more pot-bellies are ending up in the food chain. We want people to understand that these are pets not food. We are also looking forward to meeting the other vendors and members of the public who share our desire to have a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
NVF: Why is Niagara VegFest important to you?
KB: Niagara region and its people are very dear to us because several of our piggies have found homes there, and we have many supporters in the area. VegFest is the perfect place to spread the word about these wonderful animals and let people know about the services and support we offer.
What to get involved with Kara’s wonderful organization? You can find information for volunteers, students, educators, and parents here.