“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony”
Every day, every time we eat, every time we load our fork or spoon we have a choice and the choices we make about our food have widespread effects on our bodies, the planet and the animals.
Animals, just like humans, have innate survival mechanisms built within that drives them to stay alive and avoid death. Animals, just like humans, have social tendencies, nervous systems and bonding capabilities. And animals, just like humans, feel pain. And when we open our hearts to the daily occurrences of big business animal agriculture we cannot help but also feel pain.
Gestation crates too small for a pig to turn around, analgesic free de-beaking of chickens and turkeys, battery cages packed so tightly with egg laying hens they cannot stretch their wings, veal calves chained by their necks for their entire life to ensure minimal movement and tender meat and babies stolen from their mothers immediately after birth leaving the momma dairy cow to yell in pain for her loss are all common practices of animal agriculture in our country.
Although there is a silver lining as of late and these animals now have more advocates than ever before but there is major money in animal agriculture and Washington is definitely not a safe place for their well-being.
That is why we are so very grateful for animal angels like our guest today, Gene Baur, one of the most compassionate people I know. He is co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for farm animals and an educational resource to living a more compassionate life. Gene was named “the conscience of the food movement” by Time Magazine and has been selected by Oprah to be on her dream team, SuperSoul 100. Gene traveled around the country for over 25 years to raise awareness around the violence inherent in factory farming and our current food system.
He has been behind the scenes in slaughterhouses, farms and stockyards documenting the unimaginable conditions that the animals of our food system are forced to endure their entire lives. Gene has testified in court on the local, state and federal level giving those without a voice a chance for a better life. He is an animal advocate, compassionate educator, author and Ironman triathlete. He lives in alignment with his values and sincerely meets people where they are at in their journey to create helpful dialogue for change.
Farm Sanctuary is easy to love, their message is one of empathy and connection. They share stories and videos about their residents in a way that is heart opening and easily digestible.
Farm Sanctuary follows and promotes five tenets of living which include:
-living in alignment with your values
-have a mindful relationship with animals
-have a mindful relationship with food
-eat plants for your own health
-eat plants for the well-being of the planet
We recently spent two weeks in upstate New York where we lent our elbow grease to the massive operation that is Farm Sanctuary. From creating hay beds for the pigs, removing fencing to reveal safe grazing space, shoveling cow pies, raking the grounds in preparation for the annual Hoe Down event and cleaning up Mouse‘s mess after he soaked his pen while playing with a hose, we showed up for the animals and did what it took to ensure the goodness in their lives.
I hope you enjoy this episode with Gene Baur and if you are not following Farm Sanctuary or Gene through social media, click on the links below and get connected today.
Episode #17 Show Notes:
Gene Baur – Twitter
Gene Baur – Instagram
Gene Baur – Facebook
Rethinking the Meat Guzzler – 2008 NY Times article
Ron Finley – The Gangsta Gardener
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