Manda Crawford sponsored this day of sanctuary: “In honor of Burrito, Jamie, Jody, Annie, Missy, Foxie, Negra, Honey B, Willy B, and Mave. The best day ever! Independence Day!”
Thank you so much, Manda, for helping to ensure the chimpanzees (and cattle) have as much freedom, independence and choice as possible, for all their days forward. We’re so grateful to be able to celebrate these things in the chimps’ lives. Happy Fourth of July!
Independence means different things to different people. Our personal and collective versions of freedom can be found in the broader sense of the word, yes, but also sometimes in the smallest of places. For the chimpanzees, while the freedom of living the natural lives they were meant to was taken from them, a home in sanctuary where they can just be themselves and are able to make as many choices as possible about their day, is the closest to freedom they’ll know.
Here at the sanctuary, in a way, we get to celebrate a kind of Independence Day every day, in one form or another. It’s a profound joy, a privilege and an inspiration to witness each of the chimpanzees explore both their inner and outer independence each and every day because of what you make possible for them. And while we celebrate and hold profound gratitude for these experiences in the chimps’ lives, we hold a space of honor and support for all those still waiting for their Independence Day, in whatever form that may take. Ultimately, all any living being wants and deserves is the freedom to live their lives as they’re meant to, to follow their hearts and make their own choices with the same dignity and respect afforded anyone else.
Whether it’s in taking the first tentative steps outside of not only your comfort zone, but all you’ve known, like Willy B:
To express the joy of being ourselves, like Honey B and Mave:
To rest in comfort, like Negra….
…and be at ease when you need to, or just because you feel like it, like Jody:
We see it when Missy runs to her heart’s content for no other reason than her sheer joy of running:
In Jamie’s freedom to express her wants and needs (and know she’ll be heard):
In the freedom to choose who you spend your time with and how:
In the ability to raise your children and live your lives with your family, like Betsy and Nutmeg:
and Honey and Meredith:
To walk your own path as you choose, like Annie:
To simply love who you love, like Foxie:
To dream, hope, and imagine (Jamie).
And to just be (Burrito):