Mar 29, 2011

Sanctuaries For Our Food And Our Friends - Part Two

In Sanctuaries For Our Food And Our Friends - Part One I took a look at new "reversed" systems that could provide food by growing it indoors and could give animals a real life, by letting them live outdoors.  Kind of a revolutionary idea - isn't it? But then so is the idea of providing "food" animals with loving homes. And after a comment left by Bren McClain,  I realized this tribute to sanctuaries for "farmed animals" was sadly lacking in my blog. So I'm dedicating this post to correcting that.

Mama Red
I have added some well known and not-so-famous sanctuaries on the side bar and will of course add more as they come my way.  I'd also like to acknowledge Bren McClain's story in appreciation. I was deeply touched by her memories of a cow named Mama Red.  And so happy that Bren is writing a novel that explores the whole 4H beef raising competition and sale, a rite of passage for many young people.  Any personal experiences of readers who have ever participated in these "feeding out the steers for market shows," should get in touch with Bren at and share these stories with her.  I'm sure they would be a great contribution to her very important work.

Frequently absurdities are most clearly seen when contradictions are set along side of each other. The juxtapose of profit-oriented "livestock" and havens of rescue such as Cow Sanctuary couldn't be more evident to that. One values flesh as a dead "product". The other cherishes animals alive, even if at "cost" to make and keep it so.

But the idea of rescuing "food animal" is frequently met with total, heartless ignorance. There are some that feel quite threatened at the idea that anyone could care for this type of species at all, aside from the significance they serve to be placed at the end of a fork.

There's an article here about how Whatcom Humane Society is showing a documentary film called "Pigmalion", the story of an 800 pound Yorkshire pig named Lisa, that was sent to Sanctuary One rather then sent to slaughter. With so few comments, the ones left by Garnet appear all the more hurtful and crass.  Her (?) comments: "I for one am tired of the "do-gooder" animal rescue stories of livestock food animals" and "They cannot be used for breeding, and they are not to be eaten. They are now a pet". She thinks that Lisa instead should have been butchered to feed the dogs... And that since Lisa is an omnivore, she could never be trusted not to harm someone.  Well, I suppose Garnet has that right about not trusting omnivores.  Certainly the human ones can sure snuff a lot of lives in the name of "food".

Anyway, one of the best things about sanctuaries is they have the opportunity to tell the stories of how the refugees one by one or sometimes by the hundreds made their way to safety. Where they could live out their lives in the way that all beings should be allowed to.  I admire and respect all who have ever provided loving homes to the ones who would be "worthless" otherwise. A special appreciation too to Farm Sanctuary - Now celebrating 25 years of rescue and hope.  ~Thank you~

Part One


veganelder said...

Hooray for All! Hooray for each one! Hooray for the human animals that make the sanctuaries possible and hooray for the fur/feather/fin/skin animals that live there and inspire the human animals!

Hooray to Bea for writing this!

SBH CLAY said...

Double-ditto veganelder's horrays!

I enjoyed reading not only this blog, but also the ones linked to it. Especially Cow Sanctuary and its cowches (and rats!). What a fabulous idea! Clearly Helga and Harvey were meant to be partners in the grand scheme orchestrated by the one Mind that aligns the planets in the universe -- of Love!

Have Gone Vegan said...

Thanks for the link to Bren's site -- that's a novel I would love to read! And I thought your reply to Garnet really put them in their place. ;)

I too have been thinking about sanctuaries as I'd like to visit one, so am determined to find and list ones locally (here in Ontario, Canada) and put them on my blog as well. I know there's a database of sanctuaries in the US, but wish there was one for Canada! And maybe there is, but I just don't know about it.

Bea Elliott said...

As always veganelder... Thanks for the cheers and support! <3

Double-ditto thanks to you too SBH CLAY! Glad you liked Cow Sanctuary and the sweet story of Helga and Harvey. It certainly did all end "Good"! ;)

Thanks Have Gone Vegan! I agree I'd love to read Bren's book too... In novel form it might reach an audience that would otherwise be missed if presented by just the "hard facts" of it all. I however, would be intrigued to read the first hand experiences she accumulates. Many I'm sure would confirm what is obvious about animals, children and "livestock". I really should forward this post to Bren in appreciation --- As I catch up - I will.

As far as sanctuaries in Canada the only advocate I'm familiar with is animal rights activist Twyla Francois - I'm thinking if you google her name you might find more info and maybe a lead to some sanctuaries. may have a few as well:
Hope that helps - Good luck! :)

Have Gone Vegan said...

Thanks Bea! I'll check out those leads and add to the list. :)

Have Gone Vegan said...

Found an interview with Twyla conducted by an organization right in my own region! Cool.

Bren McClain said...

WOW! Bea, this is so wonderful of you to give sanctuaries all this attention AND for you to post a glorious photo of sweet Mama Red right smack in the middle of your blog. And thanks to all who want to read my novel! I am writing as fast as I can and soon will be posting audio clips of small bits of it. (

On behalf of farm animals everywhere, thank you thank you thank you! Am going to post your blog to my whole world. Yes -- let's get the word out.

Thanks again, Bea!

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Have Gone Vegan! Glad you made some connections! Just today a similar thing happened to me. As I was walking in a parking lot I notice a few animal rescue and AR bumper stickers on a car and stopped pronto in my tracks! It was like I was an "alien" on another planet who had finally met one of "my own" kind!

I jotted a note to say "I'm veg too!" and placed in on the windshield. I have high hopes to meet with someone in my immediate area - Maybe get something "veg" going in (slow) Polk County! Believe it, I feel your joy! Goodie, goodies!!! :)

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Bren! Who could resist Mama Red and her incredible story??? Just had to share! And thanks for doing likewise.

Looking forward to hearing some of your book! Every time I come across another 4-H article I wince, but think to myself, somewhere someone will tell the real story... No pressure here - But we're counting on you! ;)

I remember last year an online group of us started a letter campaign against the Wagner Farm, in Glenview, Illinois. If you ever needed more material there's an in depth dialog between advocates against 4-H and the parents who enrolled their kids to participate. Of course, they claimed the kids were fine with it... Or that they'd get over any foolish sentiments quickly... I know you've heard it all before but in case your interested:

So keep us updated... I'll check in on your site in the hopes of an audio post. Thank you so much for putting your energy into writing this story that really needs a truthful telling! :)

Have Gone Vegan said...

That's cool Bea! :)

I was thinking the other day that I should put an ad on Craigslist asking if there are any other vegans in [name of town] just so I can feel like less of an "alien" as well. I still don't know any vegans offline! :(

Bea Elliott said...

Have Gone Vegan - "I still don't know any vegans offline! :( " Well I know you're trying to make them! Sooner or later the formula will be just right! :)