Farm Sanctuary, in Los Angeles, held an Open Your Heart event to celebrate Valentine’s Day with happy, rescued animals
Los Angeles — Valentine’s Day is the holiday for those who love each other, and how better to celebrate it than in the company of loving farm animals? A sizable group of animal lovers met cows, pigs, lambs, turkeys and other animals who’ve been rescued from horrific conditions and now live a peaceful life at Farm Sanctuary in Acton, California, just outside L.A. The event, titled Open Your Heart, was a smash success.
Guest speakers included Wayne Hsiung, lawyer and co-founder of The Simple Heart Initiative. There were sweet vegan treats available, such as delicious cookies and a vegan candy buffet.
Farm Sanctuary was co-founded in 1986 by Gene Baur, a vegan visionary and best-selling author, who helped launch the farmed sanctuary movement. Baur also spoke at the event. UnchainedTV’s Jane Velez-Mitchell recently spoke to Baur about the vegan movement. Click below to watch.
Farm Sanctuary Will Open Your Heart
Farm Sanctuary was created to combat the abuses of factory farming and advocate for institutional reforms. It encourages a new awareness and understanding of farmed animals and the benefits of plant-based living. Farm Sanctuary has rescued countless survivors of the animal agriculture industry. Today, nearly 800 rescued animals live out their lives in peace at Farm Sanctuary’s Los Angeles and Watkins Glen, NY sanctuaries. Gene Baur explains how he started his vegan journey that led to this amazing project:
“I went vegan in 1985, in my 20s. Prior to that, I had heard a little bit about factory farming, and I decided never to eat veal. The more I learned the more I realized that I didn’t want to be part of a system that was causing unnecessary harm to other animals, and also to the Earth. As I realized that it was possible to live well without eating other animals or animal products, I went vegan.”
Along with leading the team of animal caretakers at Farm Sanctuary, Baur has investigated the animal agriculture industry and exposed its institutionalized cruelty. He adds:
“I’ve spent many days and even years going into factory farms and documenting conditions, and the more I have seen, the more I am committed to a vegan lifestyle.”
Lobbying for political change has also become part of the Sanctuary’s work. Baur says:
“I’m a proponent of a variety of different approaches to creating change, and sometimes this means passing laws to make conditions less bad — which also tends to drive the cost of animal production up.”
“It’s important to keep our eyes on what we ultimately believe is best, which is a vegan world and a plant-based diet” — Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary
Valentine’s Day at Farm Sanctuary
Baur, who has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine, played a key role in the first-ever cruelty conviction at a U.S. stockyard, and in enacting the first U.S. laws to combat cruel farming systems. He explains why he organized the Open Your Heart event at the gorgeous, 35 acre Los Angeles area sanctuary:
“At the farm in Acton, California, people have a chance to interact with farm animals, get to see them, and get to see animals enjoying life, which is unfortunately too rare when it comes to animals in the agriculture system.”
Sponsoring one of the residents is also an option:
“We have the ‘adopt a farm animal’ program where people can sponsor an animal who lives at the sanctuary. We send pictures and updates of the animal, and you are part of Farm Sanctuary that way.”