From August 8 to 16, New York-based animal sanctuary Catskill Animal Sanctuary will be hosting The Goat Games 2020 in an effort to raise money for the animals. In recent months, Catskill—like many other animal sanctuaries around the world—has lost 30 percent of its income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has had to pivot from its traditional events (such as tours, classes, and speaking engagements) to online events. The Goat Games is a virtual event that challenges participants to finish a 5-kilometer run, walk, bike, hike, or swim at a location of their choosing between August 8 and 16 to raise funds for Catskill’s animals. Participants can register under one of five goat teams: Team Alice (run), Team Chester (swim), Team Nellie (bike), Team Violet (hike/walk), or Team Bartleby (your choice). Catskill has thus far raised nearly $3,700 of its $25,000 goal.
“Everything has changed at farmed animal sanctuaries, except for the daily needs of thousands of animals,” Catskill Animal Sanctuary founder Kathy Stevens told VegNews. “We’re all reinventing how we raise money. The Goat Games—a play on the Olympics—gets people out of the house, connects them with fun-loving species (goats are always in trouble), and creates healthy competition when we’re missing it due to COVID … it’s all good! And hopefully, there’s a subliminal reminder that eating animals is why we’re in this mess in the first place.”
The Goat Games is one of several ways the sanctuary has pivoted its fundraising efforts to compensate for the revenue loss. The sanctuary also offers virtual tours along with virtual cooking classes by award-winning chef and cookbook author Linda Soper-Kolten.