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 kept in sheds where they have little to no access to the outdoors. Hardly the happy life we’d like to imagine.

This is exactly why, Carol and Julien Pearce have decided to retire from their lives as award-winner goat cheese farmers and transition their farm into not only a sanctuary for former dairy animals but to also make awesome vegan cheese!


The Pearces devoted nearly 20 years of their lives to raising goats to make cheese and always aimed to give their animals the best treatment possible. While in operation as a goat cheese farm, they were strictly “no-kill” and allowed their animals to live out their days long after their milk-producing life was over. They also had a propensity rescuing abused or neglected animals like horses, dogs, chickens, cows and ducks and as the years passed, it seemed that their cheese operation was really more of a rescue sanctuary. While the decision to go plant-based and transition into a sanctuary/vegan cheese operation wasn’t made overnight, it is clear that this plan was always in the works.

In a statement, about why they’ve decided to reinvent their farm, the Pearces explain,“We did the best we could for our animals while still producing cheese, but then we realized – a vegan farm will allow us to do even better.”

The Pearce’s new and improved sanctuary operates under the name, The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats, and they plan to launch their line of cheese soon. With a tagline like “our cheese rescues animals,” the Pearce’s are showing the world just how powerful our food choices can be. 

A story like this one is just another of many signs that as people become more aware of the impact of their food choices – and more alternative options become available – we can be empowered to do something great for animals (as well as the planet, and ourselves!) at every meal. Thanks to pioneers like the Pearces, the food game is changing … and given their incredible knowledge in caseiculture, we definitely bet it is for the better!

To learn more about The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats, check out their website, here.  

All image source: The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats/Facebook