Did you know that, wherever you live, it’s almost certain that farm animals are not protected by key aspects of standard prevention-of-cruelty laws? Animal industries are generally exempt in respect of standard procedures that would be punishable by fines or jail terms if performed on a domestic pet. The practices include various forms of mutilation without anaesthetic and, for certain species, life-long confinement indoors.
In this way, cruel practices are permitted by law and followed as standard practice. In a classic case of Orwellian double-speak, they are usually specified in documents such as the “Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals”.
So if someone tells you, “the animals must be treated well, because the producers assure us they’re following the model code of practice for the welfare of animals”, please enlighten them. The animals are on their own, at the mercy of producers who derive profits from cruelty.
That’s where farm sanctuaries perform an invaluable service. Although the number of animals protected by such havens is tiny compared to the number involved in food processing and other industries (we’re killing more than 66 billion land animals for food each year), farm sanctuaries represent a lifeline to peace and security for the individual animals who inhabit them. They also allow visitors (including those online) to relate to farm animals in a way that may otherwise have not been possible.
Here are a few images that give some indication of the wonderful work of farm animal sanctuaries:
Some bubs, including a couple with bottles:
Some others just hanging out:
The sanctuaries referred to in this post are not farms. I believe that all animal farming is a form of exploitation, and therefore unethical. The best way to protect animals is to avoid consuming products derived from them.
The sanctuaries are also not zoos. In the words of Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, “What separates a sanctuary from a zoo or any other institution that keeps animals in its care is that it places the best interests of its residents above all else. The animals are there to be protected and live out their lives in comfort. They are forevermore exempt from being used for food, entertainment or vivisection.”
At the end of this post, I’ve included a list of farm animal sanctuaries and related organisations. Some of the sanctuaries may not be open to the public, or may only be open on certain occasions. There are no doubt many more. If you’d like any others listed, please mention them in the comments section below, and I will update the post.
I’ve shown lambs, a piglet, goats (including a tiny kid) and a chicken. I apologise to all the magnificent, beautiful, fascinating animals whose images I was unable to show. I also apologise to the billions of individual animals each year who are not so lucky, and who become victims of the animal industrial complex.
Thank you to those wonderful people who have committed so much of themselves to saving or caring for animals who would otherwise have suffered horrendously.
Images: Courtesy Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, Marjie Bremner and Jo-Anne McArthur, We Animals
Some Sanctuaries (farm animals and wildlife):
A Poultry Place, southern New South Wales
Barnyard Betty’s Rescue, Queensland
Brightside Farm Sanctuary, Cygnet, Tasmania
Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, Lancefield, Victoria
Greener Pastures Sanctuary, Waroona, Western Australia
Gunyah Animal Healing Sanctuary, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Little Oak Sanctuary, Canberra, ACT
Signal Hill Sanctuary, Yass River, New South Wales
Tall Oak Farm, Longwarry, Victoria
Willowite Animal Sanctuary, Freshwater Creek, Victoria
Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, New York
International Bird Rescue, California, Alaska and Oregon
Leilani Farm Sanctuary, Haiku, Maui
Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Florida
Sasha Farm Animal Sanctuary, Manchester, Michigan
Save the Chimps, Florida
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Willow, New York
Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, Stratford, Ontario
Fauna Foundation (chimpanzee sanctuary), Quebec
North Mountain Animal Sanctuary, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary, Ontario
Wishing Well Sanctuary, Bradford, Ontario
Ape Action Africa, Cameroon