Okanagan vegans raise thousands of dollars to save calves from dairy farm

Okanagan vegans raise thousands of dollars to save calves from dairy farm

Three newborn calves are being bottle fed every four hours at the Critteraid animal sanctuary in Summerland, B.C.

Volunteers are calling them a Christmas miracle because the young cattle would have been destined for a slaughterhouse.

Instead, an employee at a dairy farm in Chilliwack reconsidered and was desperate to find them a forever home.

On Sunday, volunteers answered the call and hopped in a minivan to rescue the animals.

READ MORE: ‘They’re such a misunderstood animal:’ Turtle Valley refuge rescues neglected donkeys

“In minutes, we had three calves in our van and away we went,” said volunteer Don Ludington.

He made the 600-kilometre, round-trip commute just before the holiday.

“Some good faces at the Chevron in Hope where a guy looked into the minivan and there was three calves looking over my shoulder,” he said.

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The animal rescue organization shared the story on social media.

READ MORE: Barn destroyed in big fire at Agassiz dairy farm

A crowdfunding campaign was launched to cover transportation costs, vet bills, bottles and formula.

Soon, vegan social media influencer Erin Ireland pleaded for donations from her 150,000 Instagram followers.

“I made a donation and I would like to ask all of you to join me in donating just $10 or $20 dollars,” she said online.

The efforts helped raise $5,000 in a single day.

READ MORE: Is Canada’s supply management system the cause of disappearing dairy farms in U.S.?

“The vegan community just poured in and has just overwhelmed us with support,” said volunteer Sheanne Moskaluk.

“It’s extremely touching when you see how many people care about these babies. It really reinstates your faith in humanity.”

The organization has named the calves Vixen, Dancer and Prancer. They are now the characters of a vegan Christmas tale.

“They’ll always be our Christmas miracles here at Critteraid,” Moskaluk said.

“They’ll live out their lives here and have a happy wonderful life.”