Farm animals — goats, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and other animals that are farmed for our food supply, are among some of the most horrifically abused animals on the planet. Virtually unprotected by laws, and rarely given humane treatment particularly in ‘factory farms,’ many have stepped up — including farmers — to help them.
Among the most highly publicized is Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, who left the show to open a farm animal sanctuary with his wife. A number of other farm animal sanctuaries and rescues exist around the world, and work to not only save and rescue farm animals but give them a safe, caring and abuse and cruelty-free place to live. They also help fight abuse laws, play a role in shutting down “backyard butchers,” and advocate for better, more humane treatment of farm animals in our food and other industries. They also help people learn how to adopt vegan and vegetarian lifestyle for those interested, and have visiting hours where people can meet and learn about the animals and visit the farms.
Many of the organizations are active on social media, where they share the names, stories and updates on the animals in their care. People might be surprised to learn that cows love to run and play, turkeys are highly social, pigs smile when they’re happy, and chickens are highly intelligent. Most of all, they love people! Even after years (and often years) of living in horrible abuse, neglect, and fear by humans, the animals learn to trust, have fun, and enjoy the care and lives that they never received.
Some awesome farm animal sanctuaries:
Farm Sanctuary — Farm Sanctuary has multiple locations where it cares for rescued farm animals of all kinds.
Gentle Barn — Gentle Barn has two locations with turkeys, goats, horses, and other animals.
Edgar’s Mission — Based in Australia, Edgar’s Mission often takes in and helps not only abused farm animals, but those who have been injured.
Be sure to follow all of these great organizations on their social media pages! You can read and learn about the stories of their animals, from Sir Fancy Pants and Dudley at Gentle Barn, to the brand new baby goat born at Farm Sanctuary from a mother goat the organization rescued while pregnant from a backyard butcher this year. Though many do not want to give up meat, you can find many humanely raised and caring, compassionate farmers and farm brands as an alternative. While all farms serving the food supply should be carefully investigated for abuse claims including those that say they treat animals humanely, cage free, etc., it is a better step in the right direction than the horrific factory and other farms of the food industry to date.
You can help help animals in the farm industry by raising awareness, boycotting or avoiding factory farms and farms with high abuse claims, buy from farms proven to be cruelty-free and/or humane, supporting new laws and legislation, and of course, donating your time or money to the organizations that help rescue and care for animals from the farm industry.