Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food Paperback – Nov 4 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1986, after rescuing a live sheep from a pile of dead animals in a stockyard, the author founded Farm Sanctuary, an organization that rescues discarded living animals from stockyards, slaughterhouses and factory farms; provides shelters for them; and advocates for humane animal treatment. In this impassioned book, Baur paints an appealing picture of these shelters and the animals that live there far from the brutality of industrial farming, which he describes in detail. Some of this inhumane treatment is not news—chickens packed into tiny cages—but accounts of living animals discarded like garbage because they are ill or weak surprise. Baur's nonprofit promotes legal remedies to stop the inhumane conditions chronicled. He believes that the best way to demonstrate concern for industrially farmed animals is to adopt a vegan lifestyle, but doesn't proselytize. Rather, he makes a strong case that meat eaters have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the animals they eat have not been abused. His well-argued book includes helpful lists of resources and organizations that deal with factory farming, animal welfare rights, humane food production and the environment. 18 b&w photos. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"In Farm Sanctuary Gene Baur highlights the appalling conditions billions of animals are forced to endure in factory farms -- in order to produce more meat more cheaply in the shortest possible time. His descriptions of the courageous battles fought by many individuals to end such practices are touching. Filled with hope, this book is written for all who strive for a more compassionate world -- I highly recommend it." -- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
"Starting in the 1980s, Gene rescued neglected, abused, and injured animals from the appalling, disgusting conditions at auctions and stockyards. Meet in this insightful book the fascinating animals he saved." -- Dr. Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"I have always admired the tremendous work of Farm Sanctuary. Farm animals need our ethical consideration, and Farm Sanctuary has played a central role in getting the issue of their plight on the national agenda." -- Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States
"A beautiful and stirring book, as filled with the spirit of mercy as the place that inspired it." -- Matthew Scully, author of Dominion
"Farm animals couldn't ask for a better advocate than Gene Baur." -- Rory Freedman, coauthor of Skinny Bitch
"The factory-farming industries do their best to keep people from knowing the truth about how meat, eggs, and dairy are produced. Gene and Farm Sanctuary deserve high praise for working so hard to educate the public and make the world a more compassionate and humane place." -- Moby
"Factory farms subvert democracy and are some of the nation's worst polluters. This book shows how they also treat animals with unspeakable cruelty. Farm Sanctuary is a compelling testament to the need to civilize this industry and end its radical practices for producing meat, dairy, and eggs." -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
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The parts I was most interested in, however, were the three chapters outlining the common practices of industrial farming with a focus on the three most extreme forms of confinement (gestation crates for sows, battery cages for hens and veal crates for calves) Gene Baur tells it like it is from point A to point B with all the details in between. The information in this book is reliable because its based not only on research but on the author's own personal stories of trips to stock yards, factory farms and slaughter houses.
Not only has this book given me loads of information on industrial farming but it has brought to light just how unique and intelligent farmed animals really are! This book may break your heart, but thankfully, between each chapter Gene tells an uplifting, inspirational story of a Farm Sanctuary animal resident and their path to freedom. :)
Throughout the book and in the final chapters Gene talks about the law: past and present reforms, Farm Sanctuary success stories, industry's control of government officials/law makers etc... It has made me realize just how little rights farmed animals have in todays farming industry and how much information is intentionally and systematically hidden from the general public. It's a total shame!
Although I gained a lot from this book, I did, however, find Gene Baur's message to be a little blurry. For example, Gene is a vegan himself and throughout the book he makes it clear that he is morally opposed to animal exploitation...Yet, his activism is based on reform and IMHO reform only creates more animal exploitation.Read more ›
I highly recommend and everyone should read something on the cruelty animals are being put through daily and needlessly for profit.
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It is also a story of courage, compassion, and hope. Through his revelations, Baur reveals the unique personalities of these animals, whom we come to see as the individuals they are, and in the process, compels us to explore our own hearts of compassion and seek practical ways to create and support positive social change.
Baur is a gifted writer who sheds a bright light on a dark, demonic segment of our culture. His bold accomplishments will astound, unsettle, startle, provoke, and move you to action. Farm Sanctuary is both a fascinating and disturbing page-turner and a testament to how one man's fortitude can ignite the mercy within us all. It is a powerful, important, and unforgettable book.
Farm Sanctuary chronicles Baur's personal development as an activist on behalf of factory farmed animals. The organization he founded is as the subtitle states, 'changing hearts and minds about animals and food.' (And changing laws to better protect farmed animals as well). For anyone unfamiliar with the accelerated assembly line that now treats animals like machines in order to glut the market with cheap meat, milk and eggs, this book will be an excellent introduction to that history and a survey of present conditions. For those already familiar with the cruelties, false economies and environmental dangers euphemistically known as 'concentrated or confined animal feeding operations' Baur has readably chronicled, widely and deeply, the realities for the animals and those who tend the animals-as-machines, as well as the consumer.
Background stories on the rescued non-human residents of Farm Sanctuary provide living examples of the manipulation and abuse that farm animals suffer. Downed animals are a case in point. Baur and his organization have worked for the humane treatment of 'downers' -- animals too weak, sick or injured and unable to walk into the slaughterhouse. Such animals are not legally supposed to enter the food supply, but there is every economic incentive to prod, drag or otherwise coerce a weak animal to walk, because a downed animal makes no money for anyone. One case in particular (p. 31), illustrates "another absurd feature of the economics of farming. Clearly the humane thing to do was to euthanize the cow. If she'd died without the vet's intervention, insurance probably would have covered her market price; if she'd survived, a local slaughterhouse might have paid something for her meat. Euthanizing her meant a financial loss -- it was cheaper to leave the cow alive and suffering. Economic interests were in direct conflict with humane concerns."
In addition to the book's comprehensive coverage of the conditions under which farmed animals are raised and slaughtered, an appendix of associated resources is also included, as well as a bibliography for related reading.
Being in the world of Farm Sanctuary working hands-on with those animals, who, like Gene states, are each individuals, is a positively unique experience. Though I may seem a bit biased by writing this review, I must say that I have truly experienced the Farm, Gene's story, and the animals in a refreshing, new and beautiful way.
If you are new to the animal protection movement, and do not know yet the facts about industrialized farming, and the terrible falls our society has made toward abuse and neglect (by way of animals as well as consumers, farmers, employees and your every day family trying to eat a decent meal), then I STRONGLY recommend this being the first book to introduce you to these issues.
Written with a sense of passion, but without the sometimes harsh political jargon of AR activists that may appear to the average person as slanted, Gene weaves the roots of his activism and beliefs, factual information, touching stories about real animals, and the history of (in my opinion) the most bold, successful and important animal sanctuary in existence into an captivating read.
I believe that in years to come, once this incredible book has circled the hands of people over and over, that we shall see even more of a spread of compassion around and back again. Farm Sanctuary's story is an important one to tell, and god bless Gene, his work ethic and drive to have completed it and put it forth for the world to hear. For those of you out there, pass this on to everyone you love-- it just might change their minds, hearts and lives.. as well as the lives of animals depending on us to help.
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