Why do I write?
I write so people can feel, know, and understand.
And sometimes avoid experiences I wouldn’t wish on others.
What was it like working as a Tour Operator for the 10 Billion Lives Tour, run by FARM?
It’s been a hard week – between:
- Quitting the F.A.R.M. job, due to extenuating circumstances.
- Facing the consequence of my Co Operator being stressed by the circumstances, and now tiffed at me that I didn’t give more notice and have postponed her work through the org
- Planning to visit my friend in San Francisco, and finding she would have to leave before I could see her because her mom was ill – and then on her flight home, learning her mom’s heart had stopped and she had passed away
- Changing my plans to head there early to catsit her three beautiful Persian cats while they are away.
- Needing to figure out what I ought to do next in my career and knowing I still need to work, can’t travel and volunteer just yet as my husband has at least a couple more years to further develop and firmly establish his post production company
- The random dog bite and need for an antibiotics treatment and gratitude that I have insurance to have covered this.
I thought that when I wrote my post about my experience with Farm Animal Rights Movement, I would write a piece, focused on its improvement.
This concept remains central in my evaluation of my experience there, but in the light of the recent passing of my close friend’s mother – and in the harm FARM mismanagement caused my friendship with my Co Tour Operator, I am more reluctant not to say anything.
The experience was really wonderful most days that we were on the road.
I loved seeing people’s minds change as they:
- Learn the suffering one’s choice to eat meat or dairy puts animals through
- Become empowered with this knowledge to make choices to no longer support the farm industry
- Make a commitment to improve their lives and the lives and life around them.
- Extend the life of our Earth and its many creatures with their decisions.
- I loved traveling.
- I loved my Co Tour Operator Grace.
- I loved running early in the morning for hours before heading out to do outreach with Grace.
- I loved the freedom inherent in living in a mobile home. We could be in Bakersfield one day, Visalia the next, spending the weekend in the Carters’ driveway right after.
I would have continued:
- This experience
- This life.
- This adventure.
But the light of this project was dimmed and then snuffed.
I do not want to go into nitty gritty, but throughout my time there – training and on the road – little support was provided to assure we had a smooth trip.
- Often it was disorganized.
- Often we received little support from our managers.
When electronic equipment for outreach and essential van equipment broke, there weren’t immediate solutions or contingency plans in place to fix things, despite some of this greatly reducing our ability for outreach or just to be able to live in the van.
This lack of respect, responsibility, safety, and care made it impossible for me to continue with this tour.
By the time I quit…
- The van electricity no longer worked.
- An alarm was going off for one of the van batteries.
- The lights were flickering on and off.
- Electricity, lights, water, microwave, refrigerator, freezer no longer worked.
- There was no distinct advice as to what we ought to do, or where we ought to sleep that night – despite the alarm and flickering lights.
- Either a number of tablets or kiosk batteries were no longer working, requiring Grace to spend hours, over the course of outreach, moving screens around trying to get tablets to charge.
- We had to use our own money and hope to be reimbursed because the business credit card promised us never arrived until a month into the tour.
- We had to request the manager the night before a campus to request information on it, despite this being info that was simply copied and pasted from past tour visits to a location and could have been input weeks before – actually preparing us for outreach the next day.
- I felt the need midway through the tour to call the Executive Director of the nonprofit to explain everything that was going on. She was surprised and alarmed and assured us things would improve, but nothing changed…
- When I spoke to the Executive Director after I quit, as well as the training manager who had been trying to support us, neither of them were surprised or seemed very upset with my choice because they knew the circumstances were poor enough that most people would not want to work there.
- Many other little things, including over and over again, hearing from past and current FARM employees – 9 of them in total – that they disliked the organization cause they found it either did not appreciate them or disrespected them over the course of their time there.
I wish all the best for FARM
I’m sure that my feedback will help FARM to improve, and I don’t want to damage their reputation, but after all of the negative feedback I have heard about this nonprofit from those working there, as well as from my own experience, I know others would rather know this information before either choosing to donate to or work there.
But I would encourage those looking to donate or to perform animals rights or vegan outreach to look into these organizations that I have heard positive feedback about:
- Vegan Outreach
- Humane League
- Farm Sanctuary (where we enjoyed volunteering for their Valentine’s Day event)
- Mercy for Animals
Additionally, you can check out Animal Charity Evaluators for reviews on various animal charity organizations. If you have information about an animal charity or would like to help in the review of animal charities, they are currently looking for external reviewers. Knowledge is power.