Last Sunday we drove over to Acton, north of LA to Farm Sanctuary. There are several branches of Farm Sanctuary, but the one we went to is the closest to us. The next closest one would be in Northern California.
About an hour away, we drove through scenic terrain to get to this farm. Farm Sanctuary does amazing work to rescue animals from getting killed. The animals they rescue have been tortured and mistreated by humans, farm factories, and slaughterhouses. This non-profit organization runs off of volunteers and donations, and the animals they care for now live a better life, where as most don’t have a chance to live at all.
The animals we saw that day were so docile, curious and friendly. None of them would ever hurt a human, and it’s heartbreaking to know that billions and billions of chickens, cows, turkeys, pigs, and other animals are killed and treated inhumanely.
The chickens and turkeys we saw now live in a habitable environment. They are no longer polluted with excess hormones and forced to lay more eggs than their bodies can handle. Free range or not, all chickens and turkeys from these farm factories are living in a space so small, the size of a cabinet drawer, stuffed with other birds where each bird only gets a space the size of an iPad 2. Because these birds are packed inside these unsanitary warehouses filled with foul air and diseases, the birds become so stressed and frustrated that they beak at each other. Their producers then de-beak them to prevent them from poking each other, because this doesn’t make ‘good’ meat. I’ve seen videos of chickens wiggling and struggling, trying to get out of their producer’s grasp as they go through this de-beaking process. Some farms have a facility where the birds are restrained, so they can’t struggle, while machines saw and sand down their beaks.
And on a health note, there are so many health issues found from eating chicken. Check out NutritionFacts.org for more information. If you go to the YouTube channel of NutritionFacts.org, there you can type in “chicken” and you’ll find a good number of videos exposing the truth about chicken consumption and its effect on your health. All information is science-based and Dr. Michael Greger researches the topic and explains them very well.
The pigs we saw were all sleeping and basking under the sun. These intelligent animals are extremely clean, contrary to what people think of them. They housebreak themselves and do their business outside their pens; and after a play session with their toys, they put them away. It’s because they roll around in mud, giving people the perception that they are dirty. They only roll in mud to cool off because they don’t sweat. The mud provides a cooling shield from the sun.
Scientists from Purdue University and University of Pennsylvania have done cognitive studies with pigs and find they are quick learners; they’re inquisitive, investigative and attentive to things. One scientist, Candace Croney, has even taught pigs to play video games with a joystick.
Pigs in the same way as chickens and turkeys are kept in tight spaces. Piglets are castrated without anesthesia and are squealing with pain as this is done. And those that don’t get big enough for their producers are killed. I’m glad to see these pigs at Farm Sanctuary are living a better life.
One of the cows fell out of a truck that was heading to the slaughterhouse. Fortunately, the fallen cow was saved and brought to Farm Sanctuary for a new beginning. Cows are artificially impregnated by devices containing semen so they can get pregnant and lactate often. Calves are then taken away from their mothers for veal, and the moms cry for days, while they are milked dry. None of this pus milk goes to the calves because it is then shipped off for human consumption.
I’ve seen horrible undercover videos of cows stabbed with pitchforks, hit in the head with crow bars, calves thrown around and punched in the face, cows killed by machines or knives that slice their throats, and their horns sliced off with saws, blades, caustic chemicals, or searing hot-iron. The cows struggle violently with pain and are manually restrained in a head bail. We think this sadistic act is so awful and inhumane. When we first went vegan several years ago, it was all for health because the science points to animal products as the root cause to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other diseases and health issues. But now our reason has evolved for animal rights as well. After knowing and seeing how all these animals are treated, I no longer support the leather industry.
The goats and sheep we saw were all docile and had many personalities. Some loved the attention, while others were shy. One of the goats rescued and living at the New York Farm Sanctuary was found with his limbs tied and mouth held shut with duct tape. The poor seven-month-old goat at the time was left that way in a dry creek. Although his mouth was duct taped, his cries were still heard by passersby. It took him some time to relax and let go of his fear when he settled into Farm Sanctuary, but now his life is better.
It was fun to spend some time with the animals. We both really enjoyed it and are grateful for this organization’s work. If you’re interested in visiting, this SoCal Farm Sanctuary is open every Sunday for tours.
Lastly, check out Gary Yourofsky’s — an entertaining animal rights speaker — speech to learn about this further. It’s an hour-long but worth seeing. Even if you can only watch a part of, enough to see the videos he shares, it will inform you where your meat is coming from.