In this episode we talk wih Gene Baur, co-founder Farm Sanctuary, the first Farm Sanctuary in the world. Gene is a pioneer and national as well as global leader of the farm animal protection movement, hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine and a solutions focused advocate for the welfare of animals worldwide.
We discuss the sanctuary movement and how sanctuaries often develop in direct response to needs, the resource intensive work that sanctuary management requires as well as the importance of not only saving animals but directing our focus on the systemic change that is essential to achieve. We also discuss the phrase he has coined plant-based community oriented agriculture, the empowerment of youth and humans in general through food and agriculture as well as the power of humility, respect and kindness to help connect to hearts and minds.
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View the video version of the interview here
Quotes from the talk:
“We will continue to work on stopping cruelty, but I think that promoting solutions is really important.” -Gene Baur
“One of the other things I have been thinking a lot about lately is the idea of mutuality, as opposed to the common factory farming practice of extraction and exploitation which applies to animals who are exploited- their lives are taken from them, their milk is taken from them, their eggs are taken from them. So there is this this exploitation and extraction to animals as well as to workers who are exploited, to the Earth which is exploited- the soil is destroyed, toxic pollution is spread, waterways are polluted. So this is a system of extraction and exploitation and disrespect and we need to create a new system based on mutuality. Where we live with other animals in ways that are mutually beneficial. These can be wild animals, domestic animals as well as interactions between people. Mutually beneficial relationships instead of relationships based on extraction. At the core of all of this is power and power dynamics and those who have power tend to exploit and appropriate and take from those who don’t have power. So that is part of the systemic change we need to create. Those with power have historically had access to capital, to land and to resources. We need to shift that so that folks historically who been denied these things have better access- to capital, to land and to resources.” -Gene Baur
On plant-based community oriented agriculture: “There is an empowerment through food and agriculture and connecting with the Earth and the land and to me there is so much opportunity there. Not only to grow healthy food and to create a healthier eco-system (to sequester carbon into healthy soil!), but also to create hope and to create new opportunities, especially in places where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of opportunity.” -Gene Baur
Visit Farm Sanctuary online at https://www.farmsanctuary.org/