Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

Nice Is Not Always Nice

We are a few months into our Peace Enhancement Program for the year and are already in love with the kids. The kids have hugged cows, fed horses, held chickens, and planted a winter vegetable garden. In November, we will introduce the children to our turkeys, and we cannot wait to see what other joys the rest of the year will bring.

Each month when the kids come out, we start the groups by asking them what word describes who they are and what is their dream; we want to constantly help the kids cultivate self-awareness and hope for the future. We have noticed that many of the young girls describe themselves as “nice.” At first, that seems like a very pleasant sentiment, and they certainly do seem very agreeable. I find myself wondering, though, if they are nice because they have been raised with strong hands, in harsh environments, and have been conditioned to do what they’re told. One of the things we have been working on with the young ladies this year is discovering what is underneath the “nice.”

We live in a patriarchal world where females are raised to be polite, to do what they are told, to please and care for others, and to keep their passions and voices mostly to themselves. Males, on the other hand, are typically raised to be powerful, strong, opinionated, and outgoing. Jay and I can say the same statement with the same conviction, and I am seen as rude and Jay is seen as the hero. I spent the first part of my life lost and alone. Now I finally know who I am. I am strong and clear and I make no apologies. Even though it is so hard to be a strong woman in today’s world, I believe that it is the feminine energy that will bring this planet back into balance. The Earth’s future depends on strong women.

When we host inner-city children at The Gentle Barn, we connect them with animals so they can heal their traumas and learn to be gentle, but we also help them find themselves in the barnyard. They hand feed horses and practice confidence and courage. They walk horses on the trails and practice leadership skills. They interact with all the animals and practice listening and speaking with body language. They work with each other on projects and practice being generous. Then we work with the kids to find out what is underneath the “nice.” We help them find their voices. We help them square their shoulders, lift their heads up, and look others in the eye. We help them speak clearly and with confidence. We help them find their center, their power, and their purpose. We don’t need more “nice” girls; we need strong, powerful, resilient, nurturing, compassionate, empathetic women who are connected to animals and nature, who will save us all! Thank you for supporting The Gentle Barn and our programs so we can turn girls into the leaders of our future.

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"Because Animals is a small company with a big mission: to create nutritious pet food without ever harming any animals or the environment. We believe that factory farming has no place in pet nutrition, which is why all of Because Animals' products are made without slaughtering animals. "

"Our ultimate goal is to end the raising and slaughtering of farmed animals to feed our pets.
Until we get to that point, we are so very grateful there are sanctuaries like The Gentle Barn’s three locations to give refuge to abused, tormented, neglected and suffering animals who deserve so much more from the world."

~Dr. Shannon Falconer, CEO, Because Animals