International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

A day at Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary

IVU News - Issue 3 - 1998

'To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.'
- Mohandas Gandhi

'No longer now he slays the lamb that looks him in the face.'
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy

'Progress is the realisation of Utopias.' - Oscar Wilde

The thrilling prospect of spending a day out in the country at the vegan-run Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary in Cambridgeshire, UK - with rescued ill treated, sick and unwanted animals considered by their previous owners not to be worth the cost of veterinary care or even a painless end - allowed me the unique oportunity to become acquainted with the individual animals and enjoy their fascinating personalities.

The animals, happily unaware of what might have been their fate - even after death, none of them will finish up at the renderers - all receive necessary medical attention and once they are nursed back to health they answer to their names and enjoy life to the full.

Entirely financed by donations and adoptions because undoing the work of animal exploiters does not enjoy tax exempt charitable status, the sanctuary is home to 500 animals lucky enough to have escaped the butcher’s knife and the inhumane living conditions and degrading treatment reserved for most of their kind. Children, in particular, love the adoption scheme and the photos and letters they get from their adopted animals.

Among the potential adoptees (see pictures), Wiggy, a huge and endearingly gentle pig made himself my unmistakable choice when he interrupted his peaceful rest to come to greet me as I looked on. However, if that particular mischievous escapee - found tired and hungry, trotting along the road - fails to become your preferred choice of adoptee, a visit to the farm will certainly provide plenty of oportunities to meet that special animal who is bound to win you over: Mickey, a darling ram, enjoys a good massage; Miss Piggy, a very conciencious eater, briefly stopped munching to say hello; Geraldine, a gentle sheep who enjoys human company but prefers to keep a certain distanc; Gromit, a handsome unwanted calf; Remus, a three-legged ram, seemingly unaware of his disability, rescued from a transporter with a badly broken leg that couldn’t be saved; Sarah, a rescued cull ewe not worth her keep when she failed to get pregnant one more time; Luckdragon, a sweet tempered little ewe born prematurely and found lying unnoticed in a hedgerow when her mother was startled by hunters; and many many more.

Whether it be fame, fortune, or the fulfilment of real or imaginary needs, when we compare the usual human perspective of Utopia - as a modified version of the artificial anthropocentric world we know and have helped to create - with the delicately balanced symbiotic relationship of non-human animals with their surroundings, their sources of food and complex social systems, their most ardent desire, as yet generally unrealised, must surely be a vision of a planet without any signs of human life or one filled with those like the dedicated volunteers who run the sanctuaries where they are cared for, whose love and attention fill their lives with all the meaning and purpose they lack as the meat, milk or wool producing machines they were raised to become.

Our own unrealised potential as compassionate and caring individuals, capable of extending our ethical boundaries, is a price that non-human animals should not have to pay. Our moral responsibility must therefore be to show them that the relatively few who truly care can make a real difference by challenging the entrenched habits and ideas limiting the existing ethical boundaries which perpetuate animal slavery and the human self-destructive folly which threatens the breakdown of essential social values and the very quality and purpose of our lives.

- Francisco Martín


Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary, Trustees
59, Edgell Road, Staines, Middlesex TW18 2EP, UK
Tel. 01784 461360 Fax 0181 265 3277
E-mail: Website:

Contributions to IVU News are welcomed. Material published does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the policy of the International Vegetarian Union.