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Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  1,107 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Leading animal rights activist Gene Baur examines the real cost of the meat on our plates -- for both humans and animals alike -- in this provocative and thorough examination of the modern farm industry.

Many people picture cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens as friendly creatures who live happily within the confines of a peaceful family farm, arriving as food for humans only

Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Touchstone (first published March 4th 2008)
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Apr 15, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Amazing book by one of my favourite organizations: <3

Devastating yet hopeful, heartbreaking yet heartwarming.. this is a wonderful book that I think everyone would benefit from reading. I think it's so important that we understand where our food comes from and educate ourselves with how it's made. After each chapter there's a profile featuring one of the many animals at the sanctuary that they've rescued. There's also a list of resources included at the back of the b
Ira Therebel
Jul 07, 2012 Ira Therebel rated it it was amazing
A few weeks ago on a weekend trip to Watkins Glen I went to a restaurant that promotd vegetarian options on its window and found a leaflet inviting to visit Farm Sanctuary that was a short drive away. Of course I went. It ended up being a wonderful experience. I saw many well taken care of animals, got to interact with these friendly creatures and heard a lot of storis from the tourguide. When leaving I saw this book in the gift shop and jus had to have it. And I am very glad I did.

This book tel
Dec 21, 2008 Shaya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shaya by: Robert
I thought Farm Sanctuary was good not incredible. I liked the beginning that was more personal narrative and described the path to creating Farm Sanctuary. The part in the middle was less engaging. Maybe that's because I have read other books and get the basic point that our food system is really bad and cruel. I would have liked it if he had spent more time on kind solutions for the consumer to still eat animal products because I don't think the world will ever go entirely vegan, but creating d ...more
Dec 08, 2011 Shel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the causes one could devote their life to in this world — farm animals? It's easy to forget how much we love them. Gene Baur offers a reminder.

Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary,, a farm animal protection organization with sanctuaries in New York and California, talks about his activism on behalf of farmed animals.

The book contains disturbing descriptions of suffering and facts about how animals are treated. It also examines the consequences for human health
Jul 28, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last Thanksgiving I adopted a turkey.

Ok, he didn't actually come to live with me; I "adopted" him financially with a gift to Farm Sanctuary.

Farm Sanctuary, a haven for rescued farmed animals, began 20 years ago when Gene Baur rescued a goat -- which he named Hilda -- from a pile of dead goats in a stockyard.

In "Farm Sanctuary" Baur takes readers through the past 20 years of his life and that of his sanctuary, which now has two locations -- Watkins Glen, NY, and Orland, CA. He recounts stories of
Aug 19, 2010 Molly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm with Baur in spirit, but the writing was stilted, and the organization struck me as strange. There was no true narrative thread to follow throughout the book, and the book itself never seemed terribly human. Humane, yes. But there were no "characters" to connect to throughout the storytelling, no steady lens. I think I was more interested in the goings-on on the actual farm as opposed to the reasons for the farm--I didn't need the continual glimpses into slaughterhouses and onto feedlots or ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Melina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw Gene Baur interviewed last year on Jon Stewart's Daily Show and felt compelled to read his book, Farm Sanctuary. I have to admit it took me several months to finish the book as I would take long pauses between chapters. He provides his hard to stomach real life experiences saving farm animals in dire situations and also goes into great detail describing current commercial farming industry practices. As a vegetarian, I found it hard to read some of the gruesome stories, but found the rescue ...more
Sally Bennett
Apr 04, 2015 Sally Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Having visited Farm Sanctuary and heard Gene Baur speak on more than one occasion, I had a good idea what to expect from this book. I knew I would learn so much more than I had already learned, and the book didn't disappoint. More than ever, I so admire those activists who took action years before I finally figured it out. They've had to face so many hurdles and challenges and setbacks that would have defeated many.

As one already on board with the mindset, I found it hard to read some of the hor
Jun 15, 2011 Katey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
The first portion of the book was making it shape up to be nothing special. As a vegan and someone who has read many different accounts and facts about the horrors of CAFO's and slaughterhouses and the factory farming system in general, nothing was new to me. It also seemed like he wasn't promoting veganism but improved farming methods as a way to end the suffering (the book was only leading up and hinting at it until the end, where he explicitly stated it, so that's good) But it was Gene Baur's ...more
Alex rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2014
Linda Riebel
Jul 08, 2012 Linda Riebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, describes the cruelty of factory farming, where cows, chickens, and turkeys are confined, mistreated, and neglected in order to maximize profits. This thorough account also covers agribusiness practices, weak or poorly enforced laws, and exploitation of human workers. Profiles of individual rescued animals showcase the humane alternative Baur helped pioneer. The appendix of organizations and websites that support compassionate food and animal advocacy gives re ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Kristine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has changed my entire view on the meat that sits on the shelves of grocery stores. I do not eat meat but my family does and after reading this book I will be making some serious changes with the food that enters our house. There were moments where my jaw dropped to the floor at the cruelty some of these "farmers" inflicted on these defenseless animals and Gene Baur and his staff should be respected to the highest degree for the work they do. Farm Sanctuary is less than 4 hours from whe ...more
Chris Fenn
Sep 05, 2011 Chris Fenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It must be understood that this book is aimed at the broader public, thus those familiar with veganism and animal advocacy may find it somewhat basic. Nevertheless Baur succeeds in weaving together an excellent general interest book that combines autobiography, advocacy and history. This is one of those books that re-affirms my own commitments and is a fascinating look at an unlikely success story. Having visited Farm Sanctuary this summer I wanted to know more and was very satisfied by this boo ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!

The Book was a wonderful read and full of information in regards to the welfare of animals that are viewed as commodities in Food Industry and how much the farming industry has changed over the last 50 years, I loved how the book also featured profiles of animals that were rescued by Gene (Author )and the Farm Sanctuary team. This Book is a wonderful read for anyone interested in how Animals are farmed in the 21st century, The treatment of animals in the production line(s)and
Bethany Ransom
Aug 27, 2013 Bethany Ransom rated it it was amazing
I am visiting the southern California Farm Sanctuary in a couple of weeks so I decided to read this book to lean more about it. I already know the horrors of the factory farm industry so that part of the book wasn't new to me, but it was very well done. Reading about the cruelty brought tears to my eyes many times. I also had tears of happiness many times while reading the stories of the rescued animals. Farm Sanctuary is a wonderful organization. A very good book for anyone who likes animals.
Tim Smerken
Mar 02, 2012 Tim Smerken rated it it was amazing
Farm Sanctuary gives a very good description of many of the abuses that take place on factory farms, while also shining a positive light on the many animals that have been rescued and are now living out their lives at Farm Sanctuary. The book also features a large list of resources and organizations to follow for continued learning/guidance. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, as it is very important to know the truth behind the food we eat!
Josephine Morris
This book so eloquently describes the plight of the over 10 billion (yes you read that right, 10 billion) farm animals that endure suffering every year in the United States for human consumption. Baer has reminded me the importance of living not only a vegetarian lifestyle but truly a compassionate vegan lifestyle. I am continually surprised at how positive he is about the small steps of progress being made in such a horrifying industry.
Mar 05, 2009 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Gene Bauer does a good job striking common ground with activists and non-vegetarians alike--I think it would appeal to anyone who cares about the environment, health, and basic animal welfare. A good overview of the ills of factory farming -- mixed with a lot of redemptive stories, personal anecdotes that make it an intimate and readable book.

Dec 31, 2014 Bobby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gene Baur is one of the founders of Farm Sanctuary from wence this book's title comes. The book, however, doesn't spend a lot of time talking about life at Farm Sanctuary's locations in New York state or in California. Most of Baur's tale is of the work he's done trying to fight for better lives for farmed animals, mostly on a much larger, government level. There is lots of insight into what different farmed animals go through - especially cows, pigs, chickens, calves raised for veal, and ducks ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Skylar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only regret was that the recipes were almost all exotic and thus a bit intimidating. Most include ingredients I've never used before. I don't know how they taste, much less how to prepare them correctly, so I'm disinclined to make the recipe. I'd have liked to see a more even balance between exotic foods and familiar foods (especially since this is a beginner book), maybe even some that are naturally vegan like the constantly-mentioned chumus! And how could they leave out a cheesecake recipe? ...more
Lyndsey Page
Nov 14, 2014 Lyndsey Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book needs to be read by everyone who either consumes or wears animals in order to understand where your food/fashion comes from. While it promotes a vegan lifestyle, the greater message is of treating animals with the respect they deserve as sentient beings. I was in tears several times while reading about the appalling conditions and situations factory farmed animals are placed in. Farm Sanctuary is an amazing organization doing wonderful things to improve the welfare of these animals. Pl ...more
Laura J
A seminal work about the treatment of animals in the food industry and the evolution of a sanctuary for farmed animals. I so admire Gene Bauer for witnessing and documenting and then relating the situation in a straightforward way. I wish everyone would read this book.
I especially liked the last chapter. A few key passages:
"The best and easiest way to promote health, compassion, and sustainability is to adopt a vegan lifestyle and to buy locally produced, organic plant foods. Animal foods...was
Marta Borowska
Aug 05, 2015 Marta Borowska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What really sets this book apart from other animal rights books are the short stories about an animal at the end of each chapter. They were really enjoyable and put a personality to each pig, cow, goat, duck, turkey, and chicken. Made you think of them more on par with humans than just reading stats about them.

Gene talks about the journey he and his past partner Lorri took in creating a place called the Farm Sanctuary where they took in and rescued countless farm animals. He talks about all the
Sep 02, 2011 Jacki rated it liked it
Quite often, when the American public pictures a farm, images of green pastures and roaming animals come to mind. It is not often, that we picture two-foot wide wire cages with animals encrusted in manure. Sadly, this is exactly what many of our food animals live in for their few months of life.

Animal rights activitist Gene Baur takes us through the life of our food animals, examining the cruelty they are subjected to on a daily basis. From dairy cows to egg laying chickens, each species has it'
Jul 25, 2011 Lacey added it
A great read that inspires generosity in our compassion and fresh thinking about old habits. This book is part historical account of Gene Baur's road to sanctuary, part expose of the many problems stemming from modern factory or assembly-line "farming," and part guidebook for living a more conscious, sustainable, and humane life.

I especially appreciated this clarification Baur provided: "This [animal rights] cause does not seek to provide animals with the same rights that oppressed people have
Apr 01, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who eats
Shelves: animals
Farm Sanctuary tells the story of the how this animal rights and rescue organization began and how it is continuing to work today. The author and founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, does an excellent job of making the case for being vegetarian or vegan, but without being overly graphic or condemning. Instead of trying to convince everyone to be vegan, Baur is trying to get more humane animal laws in place for the farm animals some of us eat. I personally don't think becoming vegetarian or vega ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was concerned that this would be a sensational treatise on the horrors of factory farming and I was a bit reluctant to read it. The simple truth is horrific enough without a lot of manipulation. Having recently recommitted to vegetarianism, this was an honest and straightforward reminder that modern agriculture believes animals are a product and accepts some "product" damage or loss as a given. I'm also inspired by Baur's unwavering optimism & commitment to this cause despite some heartbre ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An amazing book about an animal rights activist's start in life, and how he got his sanctuary going, and why he wanted to have one. The bond between animals and people, and how we're not so different from eachother. He talks about the cruel world farm animals live in and what they go through, and how its up to compassionate people to rescue them and make a difference by going vegan :)
Andrea Paterson
Not one of the more effective books I've read on dietary choices and animal welfare/rights. I admire Baur for the work he's done as an animal activist and I also admire his Farm Sanctuary project, but this book is mostly an autobiography, and not a very gripping one. Baur outlines all of his animal activism work and the book reads a bit like a very long resume. Yay for helping animals, but I did get a bit bored. I understand Baur's intention--he wants people to get to know animals, and includes ...more
Feb 07, 2008 Alexa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore vegans and animal rights activists
Shelves: green-ish, food
I think the commercial farming practices in the United States are appropriate or respectful of the animals and Gene Baur takes this argument a step further and declares that an animal-eating lifestyle is inherently violent. Fortunately for this book, he doesn't reiterate this idea on every page but it does color the book somewhat. That being said, Farm Sanctuary is an incredible place for animals to go and it stands as a place that educates and informs vegetarians and meat eaters alike about wha ...more
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Ian Somerhalder F...: May Book Club Selection 8 24 Jul 19, 2016 03:42AM  
Ian Somerhalder F...: Question one for Farm Sanctuary 2 15 Jun 11, 2016 02:21AM  
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Gene Baur grew up in Hollywood, California and worked in television, film and commercials, including some for McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants. Today, he campaigns to raise awareness about the negative consequences of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. He lives in rural New York state and is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America's leading farm ani ...more
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“The sixteen hundred dairies in California’s Central Valley alone produce more waste than a city of twenty-one million people-that’s more than the populations of London, New York, and Chicago combined.” 41 likes
“A noted writer in The Washington Post recently described the cause of compassion for farm animals as “the moral calling of our time.” 2 likes
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