Amna Iqbal is a Nutrition student at MSVU. She submitted this post to us following a presentation by Gene Bauer of Farm Sanctuary. Here’s her synopsis of the presentation. For more information, visit: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/
I had the privilege to attend a presentation by Gene Bauer, the President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary. Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 in the United States, to fight abuses of factory farming and to encourage people to become aware about farm animals.
It was an organization started by volunteers who funded the cause through sales of veggie hot dogs from a van. Through years of hard work, endless battles with the law to advocate for policies to prevent suffering of animals, Farm Sanctuary has now become one of the leading farm animal protection organizations. Gene Bauer’s presentation revolved around three main issues: mass production of meat through factory farming; laws revolving around animal welfare; and people becoming disconnected with values and source of food.
As the demand for food increases, producers look for means to produce food in ways that are much faster, easier and require fewer resources. Factory farms are now raising animals in industrialized farms in harsh conditions, while treating animals similar to commodities, ignoring their basic needs. They are mostly crowded in farm warehouses, and confided to tight spaces with little/no room to move comfortably. These conditions not only make the animals feel emotional pressure, but leads to health implications as well.
According to the laws in the United States, farm animals are not subjected to certain animal welfare rights protecting their integrity against cruelty. Farm Sanctuary works in collaboration with a number of organizations to prevent cruelty and to encourage legal policy reforms that promote respect and compassion for the farm animals.
Gene Bauer, in his presentation also brought up the idea of people becoming disconnected with their values. With busier lifestyles, people pay little to no attention to the source of their food, along with the reputation of the sources. There’s is a feeling of uneasiness associated with knowing where their meat comes from and the environment that these farm animals live in. Bad has become normal, where animals are now being manipulated genetically, artificially bread and killed before time for food, all in name of value. Animals were largely “downed”, due to being an economic burden.
All in all, Gene Bauer and his objectives behind Farm Sanctuary focus on being kind to animals that provide food for us; this in return, not only enhances the environment but also is in line with our values of being compassionate to other animals. Also, knowing and appreciating the source of food is essential to support sustainable agriculture which involves food production through healthy means, without harming the environment and respecting the humans and animals involved in order to support the farming communities.