The times are certainly changing … in favor of animals! Andrea Davis is transitioning her Colorado-based goat cheese dairy farm into The Sanctuary School at Broken Shovels Farm, an animal sanctuary and vegan educational center. How amazing is that!?
Nine years ago, Davis set out to make goat cheese as “humanely” as possible but quickly realized the abhorrent cruelty in the dairy industry. Many people don’t understand what life as a dairy cow or goat really entails. We’ve all grown up with pastoral images of dairy farms where the animals are free to roam through huge green fields and routinely stop to be milked by a gentle farmer. This image, however, is a far cry from what these animals actually experience.
On industrial dairy farms, animals are crammed in by the thousand and essentially become milk-producing machines. They are injected with hormones and antibiotics that allow them to produce around 10 times the amount of milk they would normally and are kept in sheds where they have little to no access to the outdoors. Hardly the happy life we’d like to imagine.
Even though Broken Shovels never sent “unproductive” goats to slaughter, as many farms do, after making goat cheese for five years, Davis was having a hard time with separating baby goats from their mothers. Goats are highly intelligent and emotional animals, they also make wonderful mothers. Even after years of separation, a mother goat will remember her baby’s call, illustrating the deep bond shared between these dynamic beings.
Knowing this, Davis realized she wanted to create a paradise for animals, instead of a farm that abuses them.
“I came to terms with the fact that there was no right way to do a wrong thing,” Davis told VegNews about the conflict of owning a goat cheese dairy farm.
Realizing there was no way to produce “humane” goat cheese, Davis began to keep family units together and phased out of the number of goats milked on the farm.
From there, Davis provided sanctuary for the remaining animals, which includes 24 chickens, eight sick cats, and dogs rescued from a traditional dairy farm she worked on in North Carolina. Other animals include farm animals Davis rescued from slaughter.
“At some point, I found vegan education, and though initially and stubbornly resistant to the idea, everything I was reading made undeniable sense,” Davis said.
With 250 lives depending on her, Davis set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money for the transition. She needs to keep the animals well-fed, housed, and accessible to interact with children visitors to help teach compassion towards animals.
All image source: Broken Shovels/Facebook