Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

The Role of Vegan Sanctuaries

From Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary
January 2023

It is important to consider the role that sanctuaries play in the animal rights movement. It is when non-vegans recognise that other animals have feelings and rights, just as we have, that they go vegan. The most powerful form of vegan education by far, is to bring the histories and biographies of rescued animals into the public eye so that they can no longer be objectified and dismissed as human resources.

[Also read The Role of Farmed Animal Sanctuaries in Promoting Animal Liberation from United Poultry Concerns]

Hen Missy

One of the most difficult tasks faced by sanctuaries is having to say no to requests for a place to an animal who needs it. Sanctuaries are expensive to run; they require land, appropriate animal shelter, food, and veterinary care at the very minimum. All sanctuaries have limited resources in terms of funding, space, and staff. However well meaning, volunteers are usually unable to commit to the level of care that sanctuary animals need.

At Eden we make a promise to every animal, as they arrive, that we will endeavour to care for them to the very best of our ability, so that their life is worth living until the day they die. We have an obligation to those already in our care to ensure that their home remains a sanctuary, with sufficient resources to meet their needs. If we take in more animals than we can adequately cater for, we will struggle to care for the newcomers and the animals who already live here.

Sheep Amma

This is true from the smallest animal to the largest. Chickens may be small but they are territorial; they need sufficient space to thrive; and their needs are great due to the deleterious effects of selective breeding on their health. Some of our highest veterinary costs are for the illnesses they develop secondary to being bred to over ovulate in the egg industry and produce large quantities of flesh in the ‘chicken’ industry.

The same is true of larger animals, particularly pigs and cows who require extensive areas of land for grazing and rooting, and need to be moved frequently from field to field.

While we can never underestimate the significance of rescue, we cannot expect more of sanctuaries than they are able to give. To do so risks less than desirable living conditions for the animals and burnout for those trying to care for them. We need to be particularly sensitive to the emotional wellbeing of animal carers who do not refuse a home at their sanctuaries lightly and who frequently experience tremendous worry about the fate of those they are unable to take in.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

3 rescued Cows
Polly, Red and Cormac - photo: Agatha Kisiel

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