Lake Tahoe Local to Stand-Up Paddle Around Lake to Raise Funds for Animals Confined on Factory Farms


Kings Beach, CA – August 24, 2009 – Lake Tahoe local, John Merryfield, doesn’t take animal abuse sitting down. That’s why he is going to stand-up paddle the circumference of Lake Tahoe to raise awareness for animals on factory farms and much needed funds for Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.

“I was inspired to do this paddle during a visit to Farm Sanctuary, where I met Josh Hooten, publisher of Herbivore Magazine, who had just ridden his bike from Portland, Oregon to the organization’s shelter for rescued animals in Orland, California,” says Merryfield. “He raised a lot of awareness for animals trapped on factory farms and over $12,000 for Farm Sanctuary programs. I felt it was my turn to speak out for the voiceless.”

Merryfield has already swam and paddled across Tahoe, but this new endeavor will see him navigate the 72-mile circumference of the lake. An avid surfer, he feels he can deal with the cold, but admits the wind might be a challenge. Two others have already signed on to join him.

The creative fundraiser has generated a lot of buzz at Farm Sanctuary too. “We are thrilled that John Merryfield is doing a stand-up paddle to benefit Farm Sanctuary’s vital rescue, education and advocacy work for animals abused on factory farms,” said Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur. “His inspiring endeavor is a terrific example of how people can utilize their own special talent or hobby to make a real difference in the lives of farm animals. There are endless opportunities for involvement.”

Merryfield will camp on beaches at night and a kayak will serve as a companion boat to bring him supplies. Pushing hard, he expects the journey to take about two days, and he welcomes any other paddlers who want to join him for all or part of the excursion to call him at 530-583-6190.

Merryfield and friends will set off on September 11 at 8 a.m. in Kings Beach, Calif., across from Tahoe Paddle and Oar.

Donations can be made on his Web page,, through which more than $1,800 in donations have been raised so far.

If you would like to speak with John Merryfield or a representative from Farm Sanctuary, please contact Meredith Turner,, 646-369-6212 or John Merryfield at, 530-583-6190.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.

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