Living the Farm Sanctuary Life

By Gene Baur, Speaker at the 2015 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

Now, more than ever, we face the inconvenient truths and consequences of our broken food system. We’ve seen the brutal images of factory farming widely available on the internet. We have seen the impacts on our global health and environment. The time is now to adopt an alternative. Our future and our planet’s survival depend on it. How we eat has profound impacts on ourselves and others and fundamentally defines our place in the world. In the U.S. today, we act as if other animals are here solely for our use, and that human beings are entitled to enslave, kill and consume them. This mindset has led to egregious abuses in the factory-farming industry, where living creatures are treated as inanimate commodities. We control every aspect of their lives. They are genetically manipulated and artificially inseminated, then confined in cages and crates so tightly packed that they can barely move. They are crowded by the thousands in factory-farm warehouses, living in filth and breathing toxic fumes, restricted from ever going outside to engage in basic natural behaviors.

Farm Sanctuary began by investigating and exposing these inhumane conditions in the 1980s, and our shelters started when we rescued living animals who had been left for dead. Our first rescue was a sheep named Hilda, who had been discarded on a pile of dead animals behind a stockyard. Over the past three decades, we’ve rescued and cared for thousands of animals who are our friends, nor our food.

Compassion toward animals isn’t just an ideal; it’s vital to our health and planetary survival The United Nations reports that animal agriculture is responsible for our planet’s most significant environmental problems, ranging from the destruction of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity to climate change. Raising animals for food requires vast expanses of land to grow crops and graze livestock, while draining rivers and underground aquifers. Plant-based agriculture is more efficient and requires fewer natural resources, and it’s also less polluting. Our appetite for flesh foods is destroying rainforests, ruining rivers and creating dead zones in the ocean.

These are the costs of supporting a broken food system. Additionally, health experts estimate that we could save 70% on health care costs in the U.S. simply by shifting to a whole-foods, plant-based diet. The risks of heart disease and cancer, our nation’s top killers, could be significantly lessened by eating plants instead of animals. These are statistics we cannot ignore.

Eating animals threatens our well-being, while disconnecting us from others and from our best selves. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. In Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, we share five tenets to improve our lives and the lives of others with whom we share the planet. These are:

1. Live and eat in alignment with your values
2. Engage in a mindful connection with animals
3. Engage in a mindful connection with your food
4. Eat plants for your health
5. Eat plants for the health of the earth
Adopting these tenets will help you be healthier and happier, and it’s good for other animals and the environment too. It’s a win, win, win.
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life also includes 100 amazing recipes from America’s top vegan restaurants, compassionate chefs and celebrity friends. It has never been easier to be a healthy, happy vegan. You’ll uncover all of the secrets to living in harmony with your values when you order your copy of the book today at