What are farm sanctuaries?
Farm animals, especially those in factory farms, often live short, terrible lives. But a few animals are rescued from farms. These animals live peaceful lives in places called farm sanctuaries.
Farm sanctuaries are not animal shelters, and they are not zoos. They are something completely different. Animal shelters adopt out animals, but farm sanctuaries rarely adopt out animals. Zoos are for human entertainment and education, but farm sanctuaries are only for animal protection.
Why are farm sanctuaries so cool?
Farm sanctuaries save a few animals by rescuing them, but most also try to spare more animals by advocating vegetarianism and veganism. Many non-vegetarians don’t fully realize that meat comes from an real, live animal. Sanctuaries allow us to meet real, live farm animals. Many non-vegetarians think that farm animals are stupid and feelingless. Farm sanctuaries also show us that farm animals have personality and emotion. Then, non-vegetarians who visit farm sanctuaries might consider becoming a vegetarian or vegan in order to help those animals.
Sanctuaries also provide motivation to activists. Whenever I think of the animals rescued in farm sanctuaries, animals that had suffered on factory farms, I feel motivated to help these animals through activism.
Farm sanctuaries are also a lot of fun! Farm animals are really cute, so everyone in my school’s club loved our visit to the sanctuary. Also, working one-on-one with farm animals is rewarding and fun.
What can you do at a farm sanctuary with your club?
First, choose a farm sanctuary. Here is a list of farm sanctuaries. Find the one closest to you. This is only a list of sanctuaries in the United States, so if you live outside of the US, look up “farm sanctuary near (where you live.)”
Next, this list of ideas will help you make as much impact as possible, and have as much fun as possible.
Raise money to “sponsor” a rescued farm animal.
When you sponsor an animal, you pay for his or her food, shelter and veterinary care for a given amount of time. Depending on the type of animal you choose to sponsor, and the sanctuary you sponsor at, sponsoring an animal will cost anywhere from U.S. $50 to U.S. $600 per year. To fundraise, I recommend that you hold a vegan bake sale.
Go on a field trip to a farm sanctuary.
Here’s how to schedule a field trip:
- At least a month or two in advance, schedule the date for the field trip with your closest farm sanctuary.
- Advertise the field trip throughout the school. Invite everyone from your school to come. The more non-vegetarians come, the better. Advertise through posters around the school and in bathrooms, school announcements, and video commercials.
- Schedule transportation to the farm sanctuary. Will you carpool? If so, get a list of people to drive. Will you rent a bus? Will you use a taxi, public bus or metro? Will parents take you?
- Remind everyone of the field trip on the days leading up to the trip.
- On the day of the field trip, bring snacks, a camera, and a cellphone.
Tell your school about the sanctuary.
Overall, don’t sponsor an animal for just your club–sponsor the animal for your school. Ask everyone to donate to sponsor the animal. Tell your school all about the animal, and her life in a factory farm before she was rescued. The farm sanctuary will send you a picture and story of the animal.
This is a sneaky form of activism. By telling your school about your animal, you are educating students about factory farming and farm animals without preaching.
Here a few ways to educate your school about farm sanctuaries:
- Set up a table with photos of the sponsored animal and brochures about factory farming and vegetarianism. You can even bring free vegan food samples. Also, ask people to donate to keep sponsoring the animal.
- If you have video announcements, make a video for your school’s announcements. In the video, include stories about your animal, pictures, and details about factory farming. You can plan and film this video during a meeting.
- Put up posters of your animal around your school and in bathrooms. In the posters, include stories about the animal, and pictures of him or her. You can put up these posters during a club meeting.
- If your school has bulletin boards available, make a bulletin board display. Include pictures of your animal, stories about your animal, and information about factory farming and vegetarianism. You can set up this display during a meeting.