Three goats and two sheep have been spared from slaughter, thanks to five students who made the compassionate decision to send them to Farm Sanctuary.
The young farmers (three girls and two boys) were raising the animals in a Future Farmers of America high school program, where students use their own resources to buy and care for farmed animals before eventually auctioning them off. The vast majority of animals are sold for slaughter. Students raising these animals face immense pressure to conform and sell their animals for food, making it all the more impressive that these five chose to save lives instead.
As a result, goats Bruce, Pam, and Kevin and sheep Shawn and Phry were spared from being taken to the Orange County Fair’s annual Junior Livestock Auction. They are now living in peace at Farm Sanctuary. The beautiful sanctuary boasts 26 acres and is home to around 170 animals, from goats and sheep to pigs, cows, horses, and even a llama named Yoda.
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Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president Gene Baur says that although they sometimes get requests from farming students, agricultural programs make auctioning off the animals seem like a student’s only choice. Baur has seen many young farmers at county fairs agonize over the decision to send their beloved animals to slaughter. He says, “Their conscience, and their empathy, often have to be shut off to pursue these things.”
Luckily, that was not the case for these high schoolers. Rilea Reed, one of the students, fell in love with Phry as a lamb, teaching him to walk on a halter, taking him hiking, and caring for his every need. After forming such a bond, Reed found herself unable to send him to his death. We can only hope that more young people will be like Reed and listen to their heart.
And we can all help farmed animals by choosing plant-based meals! Get delicious recipe ideas with a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today.