“What, like horses?”
This is one of the most common replies to the mention of a sanctuary for farm animals.
While genuine, this response shines a light on the need for farm sanctuaries like Farmaste Animal Sanctuary. Although over 10 billion land animals are raised for food in the United States every year, these animals are largely hidden from public view – and from our thoughts. Providing sanctuary to animals raised for food is such a foreign concept to most, that even upon hearing of such a sanctuary many don’t consider these often-invisible animals.
So if not a horse rescue, what is a farm sanctuary?
The specific missions of farm sanctuaries vary widely (some do rescue horses!), but they tend to share some common goals.
First and foremost, they provide life-long care to abused and neglected farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. At sanctuaries, these animals are able to move past their traumatic pasts and live happy lives free of the stresses of the agricultural industry. Pigs are able to root and wallow, chickens can scratch the ground and give themselves dirt baths, and goats get to play all day long. In other words, they get to be themselves!
Existing farm sanctuaries are at capacity, yet they receive calls daily as animals are removed from abusive farms, escape the agricultural industry, fall from transport trucks, and are surrendered to companion animal shelters after well-meaning animal lovers discover they don’t have the resources to keep farm animals as pets. Farmaste is proud to be the first farm sanctuary in Minnesota! As one of the top ten agricultural states in the country, the need for loving homes for farm animals is enormous.
The second goal of most farm sanctuaries is to help the public connect with farm animals – to see them as the amazing individuals that they are! Just like the companion animals with whom we share our homes, farm animals love to play, explore, give and receive affection, and spend time with their family and friends (much more on this in future blogs!). In getting to know farm animals, we hope that sanctuary visitors will start to think more deeply about where their food comes from, the conditions under which “food animals” are raised, and how they can better the lives of farm animals.
We can’t wait to open our barn doors to the animals and to you this summer!