We’re finally kicking off the long awaited Sanctuary Series! Over the years, many of our discussions involving the ethical grey areas directly or tangentially related to farm animal sanctuaries have left many lingering questions that we felt weren’t fully explored. Questions such as:
- How should sanctuaries balance raising the funds necessary to operate with respecting their residents right to be left alone?
- Are sanctuaries a good use of our donation dollars or should we be donating to direct vegan education efforts instead?
- What consideration should sanctuaries give to free living animals that are displaced by sanctuary property?
- Is it okay to stop a fox from eating a sanctuary chicken?
- Is there an ethical conflict with housing residents in buildings initially built to further their exploitation?
- And many many more!
So we decided to reach out to a variety of folks involved in the farmed animal sanctuary world, in a range of capacities, to see how they personally think about these tougher questions.
To get the ball rolling, we talk to Rachel McCrystal, executive director of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. We have long appreciated how Woodstock runs things both on site and in their online education work. Woodstock is a mid to large level sanctuary, and with multiple buildings set on acres of land in the country, caring for nearly 400 residents. As such we tend to think of them as the quintessential farmed animal sanctuary and the perfect place to get this conversation started.