A cohesive community is unlikely to emerge if its members do not subscribe to shared common values. Simply this is sanctuary. While values must be shared, the structure should recognize the need for diversity in the community.
The first seed community will bring together a small diversity of people with a shared commitment to:
- transforming themselves as they act for Animal Liberation,
- weaving justice and sustainability into every step of the journey,
- to actively be of service to animal-persons as an inspirational model of living,
- working together to create social change and community amongst ourselves, and
- diversification of skills and the development of social competence to share and care for self and others (necessary additions to community purpose).
Currently, the sanctuary buildings are designed and built to immediately inspire a sense of beauty and to foster the kind of emotional landscape where change comes easy — this beauty is important to contribute to as the sanctuary becomes community.
The community will utilize existing infrastructure of Piebird Farm Sanctuary and successively launch it’s own housing projects to form the cooperative. The sanctuary is five separate land titles so there is multi-dwelling flexibility that most other lands do not offer — we envision one of the buildings being a small multi-unit living space. Broadly, the community will achieve affordable housing by it’s very nature and accessible land ownership. If the community is able, it would be really meaningful to offer one of the spots to activists in need (ie: animal liberation activist just released from jail, or other marginalized persons, etc) — third-party investments would be welcome for this.
It was in seeking responsible solutions for long-down-the-road and continuing the sanctuary beyond our own lives that initially got us thinking of community. Small, multi generational, community— with resilience. This is a learning that was furthered by observing the flock and herd sizes where the friends feel most comfortable and secure, and where diversity fills-in the roles.
But then the richness of this community model shone for us with all the ways interspecies community could further Animal Liberation: from providing an alternative land-ownership structure that could challenge the “legal property” stance of animal-persons (to them co-owning the land where they live) — to better communicating the ideas and ethics of this work — to simply the mutual inspiration and all the other rich beauty that comes with sharing and collaborative visions.
We are keeping all of this intentional vague to allow a truly collaborative vision to emerge. We are open to most possibilities of community as long as they in some way address the one need the sanctuary has: always move towards (rather than away) Animal Liberation and the long-term security for the sanctuary residents.