In an ideal world, there would be no need for Farm Sanctuary. There would be no factory farms or stockyards, and cows, pigs, chickens, and other farm animals would not be abused. They would be free to laze in the breeze, bathe in the sun, scratch at the earth, and enjoy life.
Unfortunately, animals raised on today's industrialized farms are treated like unfeeling commodities, and their basic needs are completely ignored. They are crowded in factory farm warehouses, and confined so tightly that they cannot walk, turn around or lie down comfortably. Farm animals are de-beaked, de-toed, tail-docked, confined, crowded, neglected and denied the very basics of life: fresh air, wholesome food, room to move and, most importantly, freedom.
Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about "farm animals." At Farm Sanctuary, these animals are our friends, not our food.
We started out by visiting farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and we found animals literally left for dead. Hilda, a sheep found on a pile of dead animals behind Lancaster Stockyards, was the first animal to be rescued by Farm Sanctuary. She lived with us for more than a decade, and died of old age.
Through the years, we have rescued thousands of animals, and educated millions of people about their plight. People are shocked to learn about the intolerable conditions that are commonplace on today's industrialized farms.
Our rescue and education work continues, as we advocate for laws and policies to prevent suffering and promote compassion. We are reaching out to legislators and businesses, and working to bring about institutional reforms.