Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Farmer's Thoughts on Farm Sanctuaries...


Blogger Katie said...

I've been vegetarian since 1999 and have no interest in eating meat. I need to say that first so you can appreciate the full impact of what I'm about to share. I don't agree with everything you said but I don't disagree either, especially when it comes to the wool and the eggs. I know of one sanctuary in NY that used to give away the wool that was shorn from the sheep every year. It used to show up on my local craigslist. However, my daughter did internships at two other farm sanctuaries a few years back and they both would collect the eggs daily, cook them and feed them back to the chickens. That always made me say, wtf? Like you, I thought of the hungry people, the soup kitchen potential. Not sure what there deal was with the wool.

Anyway,I guess for me its about hating absolutes (I don't want to be told to eat something or not eat something, I want to form my own opinion) but if you're going to eat meat, I agree with your thoughts on buying from the people who are doing it in a humane way.

July 2, 2015 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

You should be speaking at major ag events. You're well spoken and you know your shit.

July 2, 2015 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Louis said...

Obviously there is something going on that has you so fired up, something personal I would guess with a local sanctuary or something. But let me correct you on two points. First, you don't have the copyright on the word "farm." I remember a few years ago when you had a trio of sheep and the locals would snicker at you calling your rented land "Cold Antler Farm" and many of your readers defended your right to call yourself a farm, so don't be so judgmental. Anyone who wants to is entitled to call their place a farm. Second, I used to help out at a farm sanctuary. Most of the animals came there via the sheriff's department when they would seize abused and neglected animals. The deal was, "You poor animals suffered and now we're gonna give you a break and let you live out your life in humane conditions." We didn't push any kind of vegan agenda. In fact, no one I knew who was associated with the sanctuary was vegan. We took the animals to schools to teach the kids to respect animals, and to thank the animals for the sacrifices they make to provide us with food and fiber. No one told the kids not to eat meat or eggs. We even sold the eggs at the farmers market to help pay the vet bills. We encouraged people to buy local food including, meat, dairy, etc. We found good homes for animals. Some folks like to have a horse for pleasure. I put you in that category although you claim that Jasper and Merlin are work horses. Some folks like to have goats or sheep as lawn mowers or yes, even a cow if they have enough land. Anyway, lots of sanctuaries out there are decent places run by reasonable people. I don't know what your "beef" is with that.

July 2, 2015 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger John D. Wheeler said...


July 2, 2015 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

As a goose fan, I'm not so sure about all the fowl language. (get it?!) lol.

A few years ago, I went to The Farm Sanctuary fundraiser in LA. $200 a ticket. (back when I had a job.....nowadays, no $200 is going to ticket for a fundraiser). I talked with people who thought I was c.r.a.z.y. for eating meat but didn't take offense b/c I just wanted to learn the thinking, and I get it. I respect the vegetarian. I was completely turned off, when at the end of the very swanky shin dig, someone got the mic(rophone) and shouted who they thought everyone should vote for. (politics) (*I was just there to support the org.)

I watched some of the other sanctuaries. Several, incl Farm Sanct above, have B&B's. They 'allow' the eggs to go to neighbors in the area who eat eggs. I don't think all of the sancts don't allow others to eat eggs.

(wow, I've used 'I' a lot in the reply here......and ended the thought with a preposition....)

I will say, even though they are on the other extreme of the pendulum or timeline of slaughter factory farms, they have indeed caused positive change through awareness. I respect their care for animals more than the dopes that beat and abuse animals in the factory setting.

I used to be employed and used to send dough to the sancts, (though not a veg myself) but realized, indeed, not all cows (or pick an animal) were going to benefit from the dough. Then, I watched the head honchos of such orgs, enjoying the benes of travel and the like--it made me wonder who really was benefitting from the dollars coming in to the non profit.

This is a personal issue, and watching this, I wonder why you are upset. (almost angry). I read before that you were a veg but aren't anymore. That's cool, but why anger and fowl language?

I don't get upset about vegetarians, but it bothers me that dairy cows only live to be 5 years old now, instead of 15. I'm paying attention to animal welfare, and I'm drinking raw milk from a dairy that is nice to it's animals (20 cows). Intentionally, I've chosen to consume from another farm that doesn't use any grain in pig food, rabbit food, chicken, duck or goose food. It is remarkable the work they are doing. I will email you the website. Cheers.

July 2, 2015 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

A very heartfelt discussion here.

I'm not sure if we have Farm Sanctuaries here in the UK. If we do then they don't market themselves very well! I think I understand the concept you are describing though. We have Donkey Santuarys here, acres of them! :)

We had a huge movement on pig welfare a while back and now pigs have an insane (and well justified) level of laws surrounding their care and dispatch. There is now a similar fight going on for cows, beef ones.

Over here the chicken is by far THE poster child for welfare issues! There are loads of "adopt a battery hen" groups who rescue huge numbers and then find them forever homes, you give a minimum donation per hen, like 50p (more if you want). The big issues they use to promote are the nasty conditions you are saving them from and 'you can get your own eggs'! And it appears to be working, there is movement to remove all battery farms in the UK, don't know if it'll work but certainly their welfare issue is certainly well known.

Unfortunately the 'Adopt a" concept wouldn't work well for cows etc. for them it needs to be a change of feeling towards their care that needs to happen rather than a mass saving. I agree with what you are saying, the sanctuary is a great idea but if it doesn't change practices then it is pointless. The focus should be on educating people on animal welfare rather than eating choices.

July 3, 2015 at 3:52 AM  
Blogger A.N King said...

I love your passion.

July 4, 2015 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Monrovian said...

Hard topic to address but you did a great job. I work with hungry families who would love to use anything livestock could produce for them. Small farms raising livestock to give them a happy, natural life before they fulfill their purpose are a thing of beauty.

July 8, 2015 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Teena Brown said...

I think the point that some folks here missed was that not all sanctuaries are the problem, just those with extreme views. Those who are possibly members of Peta, who do not understand animal behaviour, agriculture, or even nature. In other words, silly, overly emotional, ill informed city folk. One more point I would like to make about those types of animal rights folks is that in trying to convince the world to stop eating meat, what their ultimate agenda has to be is the extinction of the domestic livestock with maybe the exception of a few being kept as pets by the rich! It's not like they can survive in the wild!

July 11, 2015 at 1:03 PM  

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