One woman's inspiring journey from animal lover to animal saver (no, you're crying!)
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If you talk to most vegans, there’s usually a specific moment that inspired them to change their lifestyles. Maybe it was a YouTube video, a documentary, or a trip to the zoo. 

For Marla Riley, the founder of The Riley Farm Rescue, her journey to veganism started with a few adopted chickens. 

“I quickly realized that I had become quite fond of them after seeing their unique personalities and how full of life and joy they were,” Marla writes on her website.

Soon after her chicken adoption, she visited a live auction that was selling animals for slaughter and decided she had to do something to help. With a few rescued animals and some social media help from her daughter, The Riley Farm Rescue was born in 2017! 

Now, about two year later, she’s rescued more than 100 animals and has dedicated her life to giving animals their voices back. How amazing is that?

From animal lover to animal saver

Piggy and Daisy are sheep rescued by The Riley Farm Rescue
Peggy and Daisy

While Marla was always an animal lover, she didn’t have much experience with farm animals. She told us she quickly learned on the job that goats have very sensitive stomachs (who knew?!) and the process of taking care of animals was really straining on the body.

“I’m 5’2 and 120 pounds. I’m dealing with goats — big male goats— that are 250 pounds,” Marla says. “It was definitely my biggest learning curve, learning how to be the leader of the herd so they’re not basically herding you around.” 

Of course, with the challenges come lots of remarkable rewards. She says the most fulfilling part is watching the animals transform from “being completely broken to happy and content.” 

And if you take one look at this video of Starlight and this clip of precious sheep— you’ll see what she means. But we’ll warn you, you may want to grab some tissues for happy tears!

Why we had to get involved

Marla from The Riley Farm Rescue
Marla and Eugene

When our team at Wholesome Culture learned that the Riley Farm Rescue needed a down payment for a bigger farm for their 104 animals, we knew we needed to get involved and donate. We’re so honored to stand behind this amazing organization and share the love in any way we can! 

Once the new farm is up and running (the goal launch date is spring of 2020), they’ll be hosting everything from educational programs and tours to paint nights and fundraising dinners. 

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the farm rescue or get information about ways to volunteer, check out their website and be sure to sign up for their newsletter!  

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