Volun­teering USA California Animal Welfare – Marlene

Receive further information about our animal protection project in California: Marlene spent four weeks as a volunteer in the USA. Learn more about her time.


Volunteering in North California

I wanted to spend my time between leaving school and starting university in a meaningful way so I did some research on the internet and soon found NATUCATE's website. The animal protection project in California appealed to me because I've already been dealing with the topics of factory farming and veganism for a long time.

The animal protection centre is a farm in California that offers a new home to many different animals that have formerly been used for factory farming or animal testing. Since these animals are oftentimes very sick the centre's goal is to make the rest of their lives a good one. What really fascinated me is the fact that all of this can be financed with donations only.

My main tasks at the centre were feeding, cleaning the stables, and so-called “socializing” which simply means spending time with the animals to get them used to the interaction with humans – this was actually one of the best tasks.

What remained particularly positive in my mind is the interaction among the staff members because they were incredibly open and very kind. I also very much liked the tasks that were given to me because I enjoy spending time with animals and thus didn’t perceive it as work.

The temperature in California during the summer months can rise up to 40°C what made the physical work a lot more difficult, but I quickly got used to it and was able to manage my tasks.


I was assigned with tasks on the farm four days per week and had free time on the remaining three days. On one of those three off-days all of the interns and a staff member took a car to do some shopping since the farm is very remote and you can’t reach anything by foot or by bike. We also spent some time together that day; either handing out flyers at a college, cooking a vegan meal together or playing games.

I would have liked to spend some time with the staff members outside of my working hours and maybe go on some trips to the surrounding national parks, but unfortunately I was not able to pull off this plan since I didn’t have a car and most of the staff members lived further off. I’d recommend getting a car for the time of the project so you have the opportunity to use your off-days and visit cities like Sacramento, San Francisco, or some of the surrounding national parks.

What really stood out in a positive way was the handling of the topic veganism. All of the staff members pursue a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons and I often talked with them about it and learned a lot. Anyone who is interested in this topic and wants to participate in the project will have a great time.

I was 100% happy with the NATUCATE's support. I never felt abandoned or left behind by the team and am very thankful for the great support. All in all, it was an interesting and diversified experience that I can recommend to everyone who is interested in the topic veganism.

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