Nonprofit spotlight: ECOV's Cow Sanctuary

Five years ago I became a vegetarian for health and compassion reasons. "I want to hug them, not eat them" is how I feel. But before I go any further, I'm not here to try to convince you to become one or to judge/alienate any carnivore readers out there. ( I live with one!) 

While in West Virginia, I got to spend some time up-close and personal with these gentle giants, and learn about the local cow sanctuary, ECOV. I whole-heartedly support animal rights, and I am happy to share some good work being done on behalf of these beautiful creatures.  

Up-close and personal and I mean it!

According to the website, ECOV (Earth Cows Opportunity Village) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to cow protection, local production of food, sustainable housing, alternative energy production and energy conservation. Cow protection includes not sending cows to slaughterhouses and letting them live out their lives until a natural death.

Regardless of dietary preference or philosophy, I think we can all agree that factory-farming slaughterhouses are just the worst. 

The West Virginia location is the first of many small villages ECOV wants to build around an agrarian, spiritual lifestyle based on the mission of plain living, high thinking, and close connections to Mother Earth in a sustainable way.

This little could not be bothered and nursed/slept most of the time

We took a walking tour of the barns and pastures, and since we had two kids with us, we mainly visited the oldie 'slowie' cows. They were just straight up chilling, living out the rest of their days in peace. They were all so gentle! The bulls are kept behind closed gates for everyone's safety, but the cows have more freedom to roam around. 

The idea is really neat, but there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of work to be done. ECOV accepts financial donations but the nonprofit also invites folks who want to help to spend weekends or vacations helping out, hands-on. That's the difference-maker, right there. Not just for the organization, but also for those volunteering.

Their work with cows is year-round, but there are numerous other projects in the works from March until December. From planting trees and maintaining them, to building fences, garden spaces and low impact construction projects, there are plenty of nature-related activities for volunteers.

Have you ever gotten your hands dirty with soil? Helped build or care for something? 

It is life-changing. Visit their website for more information, and check out these other resources if you are interested:

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West Virginia


  1. I love this post. I've wanted to go to an animal/farm sanctuary for YEARS. We have a vegetarian household for several reasons, but even if we didn't, I'd still want to spend a day with animals on a farm!

  2. Happy cows!!! I love this. I've been a vegetarian/ pescatarian (I do eat fish) since High School :-)

    1. Thanks Julie! And good for you - I'd love to hear about your experience!

  3. Wow it looks like such a cool place to go visit!

  4. I love the post idea of focusing on a non-profit that you care about. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Thanks for linking up with the #REASONS2TRAVEL linkup!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth... And these are some of my favorite post to write!

  5. I'm so glad you shared this at Waiting on...Wednesday! I love to learn what people are passionate about! I hope to see you back tomorrow!

    Holly @

  6. I agree the slaughter houses are the worst and unfortunately very much a part of reality for anyone who consumes meat. I eat meat ( not in over consumption...but I do) and I cannot pretend that this is not the reality. Part of the problem is over breeding of animals and over consumption in general. The mass slaughter houses cater to the excess of meat that is on the market. If we were to all go back to having one red meat meal per month, think of how the production chain, grocery stores, farming ...everything would be different.

    Thank you for linking this up with the #REASONS2TRAVEL linkup. I also host a mom style linkup every Tuesday that you are welcome to visit ! Not everyone is a style blogger but it is a great community of moms (many of them travelers!).

    Angie from reasons to dress, fashion, travel and life as a mom in Italy.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading, Angela. You are right, it's not a pretty reality, but it is the reality. I think (and hope) that little by little things are changing for the better though.


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About the Writer

I'm Louise, a Tampa Bay based Brazilian-American travel blogger. Join us as we learn and share the ins-and-outs of traveling with a toddler and our sweet rescue pup Oreo, while promoting local nonprofits and wellness along the way.