As vegans, we surely care about all life – human and non-human alike. And we are deeply aware of the fact that animals suffer as much as we do – this is why we choose to leave them out of our plates.
But do we really know how much of intelligent, sentient beings farm animals are?
Here is a story by Jonathan Balcombe, a director of animal sentience
at the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy which may give you some food for thought:
On Saturday mornings I drive 15 miles to a sanctuary in rural Maryland where I join a small team of volunteers tending to farm animals rescued from neglect or abuse. Some of these animals will never fully trust a human. Others want to interact.
As a biologist with a special interest in animal happiness, I’ve figured out where they like to be scratched and rubbed. Goats, such as Trudy or Malcolm, walk over to me and lean gently against my leg. I scratch between their horns, caress their faces and vigorously swipe my hand down their backs and flanks. They become noticeably more relaxed. Their eyelids droop and they stand completely still. One of the older sheep, a ram named Adam, wags his tail in approval when he is petted. Another sheep, Clover, once scraped her hoof across my boot repeatedly when I briefly stopped massaging her back — a sheep’s way of asking for more. At the pig barn, 700-pound adults lying blissfully on soft hay will assist the effort to give them a belly-rub by shimmying further onto their sides and raising their legs.
To complement this, here are
12 Heart Warming photos that show farm animals feel as deeply as we do!
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