The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is one of our favourite places to go on days when we haven’t got any plans, it’s free and the donkeys are so lovely. So much fluffier than you would imagine and just so relaxed and chilled out. The sanctuary is huge with lots of different areas to walk around, including some walks that go off into the countryside. There is also a café which has vegan options, so after walking around we head in there for a cup of tea and some vegan cake.
If you’re ever in Devon then it’s definitely worth visiting the Donkey Sanctuary, there are SO many donkeys to see and the work they do there is amazing. All the donkeys have name tags too so you can start to remember each one, we have two favourites Gavroche and Barton who live together and are always the first two we go to visit. There is also a maze which the kids love.
It can be difficult visiting places where animals are kept once you become vegan and start to see animals in a different way, obviously we don’t go to zoos anymore but even places where animals have been rescued can still make for an unenjoyable experience. I guess we feel more connected to the animals and more aware of their feelings so if you see them looking sad and unhappy then it feels wrong to be watching them. For instance, we were at a rescue centre earlier in the year and there was an animal rocking and showing signs of aggression, he kept spitting and everyone was pointing and shouting at him. It just felt he maybe shouldn’t have been in public view during that time, I know I wouldn’t like lots of people watching me when I wasn’t feeling at my best.
We haven’t ever come away from here feeling like the animals were distressed though, they all seem to welcome visitors and come over for attention. We love them and the money you spend in the café goes towards helping the donkeys so eating cake has never felt so good!