Meet “Balarama” of Paramatma [VEGAN] Animal Sanctuary, Colombia, South America!

Meet “Balarama” of Paramatma [VEGAN] Animal Sanctuary, Colombia, South America!

Paramatma Animal Sanctuary, located in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, is run by Juliana Castañeda. It is home to thirty-four animals and is the only vegan animal sanctuary, not only in the country, but in all of South America! It is the second one in South America with protected cows. The following story, you are about to read, depicts a calf, who goes by the name, “Balarama.” His mother escaped a slaughter operation and came to the animal sanctuary. She quickly gave birth to her calf and was taken away. Balarama is receiving care, living a good life at the sanctuary thanks to Juliana, who says, “I like the Vegan Fierce website… It is like a web full of hope!”


Balarama, The Gentle Giant

“Balarama really is a giant. When standing, his shoulders are close 6 feet high and he must weigh well over 1500 pounds, and yet, he is the sweetest thing. He is my ‘big boy’ and I love him so much. You’ll notice that he has a very distinctive mark on his forehead — a love heart!!!

The story of Balarama’s arrival at our farm is a sad one, but also a day to rejoice. He was the son of a dairy cow that escaped to our farm. His mother broke through the fence and came to our farm distressed, looking for a safe haven to give birth to her new calf. Instinctively, she knew that if the calf was male he would be killed within months, and if female it would be destined to the same abuse she was now undergoing. Within a few hours of her arriving at our farm she gave birth to a little male calf. The farmer then arrived and was about to take the young calf away but we pleaded with him to allow us to keep him. We paid him $100. Sadly the farmer took the mother away and our new calf, Balarama, never got to see his mother again. Essentially I became his new mother and I am very proud of that.

Balarama is happy grazing all day like most cows or bulls, only he has the reassurance that he will never be killed and will live a long and natural life. Most people are unaware that cattle can live as long as 25 years, but sadly most dairy cows only live for 3 years. Another odd thing about our modern society is that most people have never seen a cow or bull in the flesh. These docile and kind animals that serve humankind unconditionally are often kept away from public view in crowded feedlots. When people get to see and pat these gentle giants they are overwhelmed with joy and typically feel conflicted afterwards about their decision to eat meat. I am sure that if you ever got to meet Balarama you too would fall in love.”



This story, as well as the images contained herein, have been authorized for the Vegan Fierce website by the owner of the sanctuary herself, Juliana Castañeda.  The only exceptions are the introductory paragraph above the title and any and all grammatical/punctuation necessary for the article’s inclusion, which have been revised by the webmaster.  It was taken from with express permission.

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About the author

I began this website as a way to showcase that going vegan is easy, cost-effective, delicious, and most importantly, fun. No animal has to suffer or die for a meal. Since the age of four, I have not eaten meat. I learned at a young age that the family puppy shared the same types of emotions as wild animals and farm animals. I never thought that it was okay to exploit them. Twelve years ago, I gave up cheese, not knowing the suffering through which cows had gone. I am dedicated to the vegan lifestyle, animal advocacy, and in furthering the social justice movements for all people, animals, and the planet. I am pleased to announce that since this blog began in 2014, there are many more vegan businesses from restaurants, a fully vegan shopping center, a school that only serves vegan food, and a vegan medical center. Although I have no affiliation with them, I feel that it is noteworthy to say that the movement is growing, and I hope to see the property status of animals one day change to acknowledge them as "persons," not things.

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