May 19, 2023

Waylon Lewis w/ Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn Animal Sanctuary.


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Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis presents:

Waylon talks with Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, a national organization that rescues and loves unwanted animals, and heals people with stories of abuse and neglect. They talk about the work she and her team do at The Gentle Barn(s), how it all started, and the #1 way we can help without leaving our homes. ⁠⁠

“The Gentle Barn was my dream. I was born loving animals. I saw them as my best teachers, healers, and friends. It perplexed me that the people around me didn’t see animals the way that I did. And from the time I was seven, I kept saying, when I grow up I’m gonna have a big place full of animals and I’m gonna show the world how beautiful they are.

The Gentle Barn is a 24 year old national organization located in Los Angeles, California, Nashville, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. And we are home to horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, llamas, emus, and dogs. We specifically take in animals that have nowhere else to go that are unadoptable—they’re too old, too sick, too lame, or too scared to be adoptable. We bring them in, we rehabilitate them with a whole slew of methods including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractics, energy healing, animal communication, and of course, lots of love.

Once they’re happy and healthy, if we can find them homes of their own, that’s great. And if not, we give them sanctuary with us for the rest of their lives. And then if and when they’re ready, we partner with them to heal people with the same stories of trauma and connect people to the love and magic of animals.” ~ Ellie Laks

A clip of our conversation: 

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“It is a big job and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Whenever I feel exhausted or defeated, I go out to the barn and those animals recharge my batteries and keep me going.” ~ Ellie Laks

Or, listen to the podcast:

“Love should be the norm in our society. I like to say that going vegan is a feminist issue because it’s the mothers that are suffering for people to eat their babies, and inside the dairy industry the only way that you can get breast milk from a cow is to impregnate that cow and have that cow have a baby. It’s breast milk. And so they have to create a baby to have the breast milk, but then the baby is killed and the breast milk stolen for people. And the same with the meat industry. They impregnate the moms who have the babies that then go off to slaughter, and then the moms are impregnated again.

So it’s a feminist issue. It’s something that all moms should stand up against. If you have a mom, if you are a mom, if you understand being a mom, it’s time to stop exploiting animal moms because they want to love, nurture, protect, and raise their babies just like we do.” ~ Ellie Laks

“The only animal that we’ve never adopted out is a cow, which I think is crazy because I think everyone in the entire world should have a cow. They’re the best.

I’m either the most needy person on the face of the earth, or I just don’t understand how people survive life without hugging a cow and being with these animals. I have to hug them at least once a day.” ~ Ellie Laks

“We can’t do any of this work without the help of the community to afford the hay and the vet care and run our programming. So donating is such a big need because every dollar that comes in means another life that we can save.

The other way people can help is is to follow us on social media. Fall in love with these animals and share it with their friends and family.

And honestly, the biggest way people can help is to go vegan. One person that goes vegan saves 200 animals a year, 1,100 gallons of water a day, and an acre of trees every year. And we decrease our own risk of Western disease by 90%. It’s a win-win for the planet, for animals, and for our health. And most importantly, once the world goes vegan we’re not gonna need sanctuaries. We’ll just all love animals together. My goal in life is to work myself out of a job. We’ll have a vegan world and we’ll just be able to love animals together.” ~ Ellie Laks


The Gentle Barn is on Instagram; follow here (and share!) And they’re on Facebook, here.


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