A few months back I wrote about an event – The National Conference to End Factory Farming – which I was hoping to attend. I missed the event, however, I did not miss the opportunity to learn more about the work of Farm Sanctuary, the organization behind the event. Today for our Organization Spotlight I wanted to share more about this amazing group.
Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to, as they website states, “combat the abuses of factory farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about “farm animals.” The organization has gone from a small grassroots effort to the biggest animal protection group in the United States. The have three shelters; a 175 acre parcel in Watkins Glen, New York, a 300 acre parcel in Orland, Calif., and a new property in Acton, Calif. where they plan to build an animal hospital.
The organization works under an umbrella of three approaches – rescue, education and advocacy.
When it comes to rescue, Farm Sanctuary is as hands on as it gets. Their large Emergency Rescue Team focus on bringing farm animals which are abused or neglected to their sanctuaries, and according to their website they have rescued over 8000 animals and found homes for nearly 3000 through the years. You can learn more about specific rescues by the years here.
Another major contribution that Farm Sanctuary is making is opening it’s doors to the public via farm tours at all three locations. These tours allow you to immerse yourselves in the setting and have the opportunity to see the animals, which have been rescued, thrive. In a study done in 2007, it was reported that over half of the farm tour visitors “intended to make future changes in their diets based on their experience visiting our sanctuaries.” Amazing.
There is much more to say about Farm Sanctuary, including all of the fine details about their tireless work as advocates for animal cruelty (did you know that in most states farm animals are excluded from the Animal Protection Act?). For now I recommend heading over to their website, Facebook, or Twitter and educating yourself about what they are working on – and if you are in New York or California, arrange a trip out to one of their sanctuaries.
I finally had the opportunity to sit down and watch the Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer event which was filmed last week in Hawaii. As expected, it was amazing. Engaging, thought-provoking, funny – the kind of thing you pause multiple times to discuss.
Wayne Dyer often uses analogies, stories, or poems to get his message across, which is why I find him so intriguing to listen to/watch. During the video he told of an interaction with Dr. Christiane Northrup, (a fellow Hay House author), where she excitedly shared a new piece of research; food which we grow ourselves will provide the exact nutrients our bodies are lacking. (I have searched high and low for this study but came up empty handed, likely due to the fact it is so new).
This is not truly surprising if we think of what we already know about plants. Have you ever heard of the Backster Effect (aka plant perception)? In the 1960′s an American polygraph expert, Cleve Backster set out to prove that plants are sentient. He began his experiments by dipping the leaves in hot coffee only to find that the plants were not reacting. Eventually, he decided to mentally visualize harming a plant by burning it – this cause a huge spike on the polygraph.
The plants were reacting to the Backster’s thoughts. Multiple tests confirmed that this was the case – that plants are able to sense human thoughts and emotions.
While his theory has been discredited by scientists who question his lack of following experimental protocol, I believe Backster’s evidence is convincing. If you have ever successfully grown anything yourself, you can likely attest to the fact that plants must be nurtured to grow. I have many family members with thriving gardens every summer, and have always noticed that they treat their plants like family members. They talk to them, care for them, encourage them, and are rewarded with abundance.
Taking into consideration both what Dyer shared and our knowledge that plants are sentient, can you imagine an even greater disconnect between us individually and our food thanks to large scale farming and genetically modified crops?
I relish in the thought that those of us who have the opportunity to grow our own food will do so on a larger scale, and those of us who don’t due to location, or lack of free-time will support local farmers.
The annual conference, held by the farm protection organization Farm Sanctuary, will feature 30+ speakers including Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, and Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of the ground-breaking book, The China Study.
The topics that will be discussed during the conference include; Economics of Factory Farming, Farm Animal Sentience, Public Health: Disease and Contamination, Creating Change in the Marketplace, and Models for the Future.
If you are anywhere near the Arlington area, or are a member of the agricultural industry, this is a must-go. Online registration is closed, but it’s not too late to register if you call in. Tickets are only $150 and include your conference pass from October 27-29, Friday meals, and a Saturday morning breakfast.
If you have some time, and have not yet done so, take a look around Farm Sanctuary‘s website. They have some really amazing resources for teachers, bloggers, parents, or anyone who would like to be part of putting a stop to factory farming and all that it encompasses.