Book Review: Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals by Sharon Lee Hart

The Book: Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals



Where to buy: To purchase this book, CLICK HERE!

About the Book: This first monograph by Lexington–based photographer Sharon Lee Hart is a book of dignified black-and-white portraits of rescued farm animals, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers. A long term vegetarian turned vegan, Hart considers farm animals “some of the most abused, overlooked animals on the planet.” For this project, she traveled to sanctuaries in Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Michigan and New York State to document “the lucky few who are free to live out their lives in peace.” Not surprisingly, after spending time with the animals she discovered that each had its unique personality. “Some are quirky or funny, while others sensitive, shy, playful, intelligent, mischievous, or inquisitive. And all seemed to have complex emotional lives.” These characteristics come through in Hart’s poignant photographs. Essays are by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns; Kathy Stevens, founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary; and Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary.

About the Author: Sharon Lee Hart was born in Washington, D.C. and teaches photography at the University of Kentucky. Hart earned her MFA from the University of North at Chapel Hill and her BFA from Maine College of Art.  She recently received a grant from the Tennessee State Art Commission and an activist award for her “Sanctuary” project from PhotoPhilanthropy.  She has exhibited her photographs and mixed media work throughout the country.

The One Green Planet Verdict: Sharon Lee Hart has beautifully encapsulated the stories of both the rescued farm animals photographed and those moved by their experiences as caretakers in Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals.


In Hart’s book sanctuary workers share intimate details about rescued cows, ducks, goats, horses, sheep, and chickens. From Karen Davis, founder of United Poultry Concerns, we learn that a rescued duck named Arnold enjoys spaghetti and hanging around with the chickens. Terry Cummings, Co-Founder of Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, assures us a rescued sheep named Hickory is likely to greet us for a pet and a hug should we ever visit the farm.

The detailed stories along with carefully captured portraits reveal the spirit of each photographed animal. As someone who has been vegan for years I was moved to tears by  these stories of triumph and rescue. Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals also serves as an approachable coffee table book allowing any reader to learn of farm animal abuse and the sanctuary movement.


10% of the proceeds from books sold through Sharon Lee Hart’s website will be donated to the sanctuaries depicted within the book.

To purchase this book, CLICK HERE!

CONTEST DETAILS: (Closed on Sept 3, 2012)

You know our verdict, now you decide! A few lucky winners will receive a copy of Hart’s moving and approachable book.** Be one of them!

To make our jobs easier, all you have to do is:

1. Complete this sentence in the comments section below, With whom would you share Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals?”


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**Contest open to U.S. residents only