John Awen – Patron of Beneath The Wood Sanctuary

In July 2018 I proudly became a Patron of Beneath The Wood Sanctuary. A Vegan run, no kill animal sanctuary in West Wales. It is a safe haven nestled in the Welsh hills where the residents can live the whole of their natural lives in safety. The sanctuary offers permanent residence to sheep, pigs, horses, dogs and cats. Some of which have not had the best start in life. All of the dogs are at the sanctuary because they have behaviour issues, rendered them unable to live in a normal home environment. Many of which were facing euthanasia without the sanctuary offering them a permanent placement. The sanctuary works with other rescues, sanctuaries, vets and people in the local community.

One of my favourite residents at the sanctuary is little Pixie the mini sheep. Pixie came to the sanctuary in July 2018 at the age of 4 months, She was given to the sanctuary by a local farming family. She had not grown properly and was half the size of all their other lambs and appeared to be visually impaired. Her differences set her aside from the other lambs and therefore ultimately saved her life. She can now live her full life in safety at the sanctuary. She is a very unique and friendly little character. Here she is sharing my best friend Pagan’s stick!

As someone that has farmed animals and taken them from birth through to slaughter before finding peace in veganism, the sanctuary is a place where I can reconnect with these sentient beings and absorb their calm and healing spirit. Reconnecting with these beautiful creatures is an important role for animal sanctuaries to help people on their journey of veganism. It is all to easy to look away and not face up to what really has to happen for non vegan food to become a ‘product’ on a supermarket shelf. But when you spend, quiet peaceful time with these animals there can be no doubt that veganism is the only right way.

Spending time at the sanctuary and helping feed the animals and walk the dogs has been very therapeutic. Seeing the dogs, even the one’s that have very serious behaviour problems and can still live a good and happy life. Knowing that no matter how challenging or difficult their problems can be they will always have a home and security at the sanctuary. They are always accepted for what and who they are.

The sanctuary has many future plans, including bigger premises to be able to save more animals and an education centre to help promote a cruelty free lifestyle. The sanctuary runs on and is reliant on donations to care for the residents. As Patron of Beneath The Wood Sanctuary I will proudly promote and help them wherever I can. In my talks at vegan events and in my daily life.

If you would like to help support the residents at the sanctuary you can donate via Paypal, bank transfer or via the website. You can also sponsor one of the residents from as little as £4 per month. The sanctuary runs entirely on donations and voluntary help and is a registered Not for Profit Organisation.