The times are certainly changing … in favor of animals! Jay Wilde, 59, is a vegetarian farmer in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England and he recently gave his 63 cows to a Norfolk rescue center in order to protect them from a slaughterhouse.

Wilde, who has been a vegetarian for 25 years and grew up herding cows, took over the family farm when his father died in 2011. He then switched from dairy farming to organic beef production, stating that dairy farming is difficult because the calves and the cows often become distressed when they are separated. But now he is giving up animal production entirely and donating the animals to a sanctuary because he “couldn’t believe it was right to eat them.”

The cows will now head to Hillside Animal Sanctuary where they will live out their days in peace. Not only that, but 30 of the cows are pregnant and will be able to raise their babies instead of having them taken away.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary founder, Wendy Valentine told BBC that Wilde is not the first farmer to have donated his animals, recalling a couple who, “could not bear to continue dairy farming and kept their cows as pets with the help of the sanctuary.”

“Cows have good memories and a range of emotions. They form relationships. I’ve even seen them cry. It was very difficult to do your best to look after them and then send them to the slaughterhouse for what must be a terrifying death,” Wilde told BBC News


Now, Wilde will be running a vegan organic market farm supplying garden produce without the use of animal products or fertilizers. Amazing, right? Moving all of the cows to their new forever home is no easy feat and requires a lot of funding. If you are able, you can donate to Hillside Animal Sanctuary as they prepare to take in all of the cows and provide lifetime care.

We can’t wait to see updates about these lucky cows from the sanctuary!

Image source: Hillside Animal Sanctuary