Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

My Gentle Barn


The Gentle Barn was my dream since I was seven- years old, but it has taken me almost 30 years to get it started. I had times where I got lost, but I never forgot my dream and I was finally able to create it fifteen-and-a-half years ago. I have gone through many trials along the way and have sacrificed a lot, but I finally am living my dream each and every day. My biggest hero is my husband who helped me make my dream bigger and better than I had ever hoped, and the animals who have taught me everything I know about life and about myself!

I know there are so many people out there who have dreams too and I wanted to share my story in order to inspire others to go after theirs. My book, My Gentle Barn, Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope, is a love story between Jay and I, a story about going after a dream, and it is a book about resilience starring all the founding animals and the original groups of kids who came to The Gentle Barn to heal.

My favorite thing about writing this book has been meeting people all over the world who were inspired by it and have shared their stories with me. Here is what one woman who read My Gentle Barn shared in an e-mailed note:

“Dear Ellie and all at the Gentle Barn,

Your book was honestly one of the best I have ever read! I loved it to bits. I wanted to read it all at once but didn't want it to ever end! I live in Alberta, Canada, home of the farmer, rodeo and cowboys, yuck! I hope a lot of people here will read your book and gain new understanding of how amazing farmed animals are!

I am sending you a photo of me sharing your book with a black calf named Hope. Hope is my best friend, I spend all my free time with her and the other 12 cows we have. I grew up on a farm and hated it every year when my father would send the calves I had loved so dearly to market. I became vegetarian at 16 and now at 24 I am transitioning to veganism! Last year my father passed away and so my mom and I were left to make all choices on our farm. We immediately decided to 'retire' our cows who had been exploited all their lives and to keep the calves we had with their mothers forever! So we kind of have a sanctuary of our own!

Thank you so much for all you do! I want to be like you one day! I really hope you will write another book, you are so talented at it! I am trying to write a book about my cows and the treatment of cows on small family farms, but it's quite daunting!

Thanks again for saving the animals and God bless!

Written by 

Ellie Laks


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Upcoming Events

  • Chakra Meditation and Sound Healing (Winter 2024)

    March 2nd 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Clear, Balance and Align your 7 main Chakras through guided meditation, chanting, and Integrative sound bath. When your chakras are aligned, the energy moves through you more freely, and you can feel in harmony with all aspects of your physical, emotional and spiritual self.

  • Thermal Horizon - Windsong Retreat (Spring 2024)

    May 4th 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Let’s come together as a community as we support The Gentle Barn in their endeavor to enrich the lives of abused animals worldwide. Let’s bring our loving hearts, the spirit of opportunity and fill our cups emotionally, spiritually, and physically as we celebrate unity in community by helping these wonderful support animals.

  • Open Sunday in Missouri

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: Missouri.

  • Open Sunday in California

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: California.

  • Open Sunday in Tennessee

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: Tennessee.

Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

At Katjes we believe that every life is precious and these values extend beyond our plant-based gummies. As part of our campaign featuring rescued animals, we’re honored to join hands with The Gentle Barn, to support their non-stop efforts in protecting animals. By drawing attention to their heart-warming stories, we hope to provide food for thought when we say: Kindness just tastes better.

Eliza Jahn

Head of Marketing Katjes USA