Farm Sanctuary Combats Factory Farming and Transforms Perspectives

by Sycamore May

Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Farm Sanctuary

What They Do: Farm Sanctuary, founded in 1986, is a pioneering organization dedicated to combating factory farming, advocating for institutional reform, and promoting awareness of the inhumane practices of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the social and environmental benefits of plant-based food systems. The organization focuses on rescue, education, and advocacy,  addressing the ways in which factory farming affects  the environment, social justice, and public health.

How They Do It: Farm Sanctuary achieves its mission through three core pillars:

  1. Rescue: The organization provides refuge for animals rescued from factory farms, giving them a chance to live free.
  2. Educate: Farm Sanctuary educates students, civic organizations, and the public about the inhumane practices of factory farming, encouraging awareness of the compassion related to  plant-based human diets.
  3. Advocate: Through advocacy efforts, Farm Sanctuary fights for institutional reforms, including more plant-based, just, and sustainable food systems for animals, people, and the planet.

Mission/Vision: Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to create a world where Sanctuary replaces exploitation.

Latest Project/Campaign: In New York State, Farm Sanctuary is advocating for better opportunities to connect schools and local fruit, vegetable, and legume farmers, creating opportunities for access to nourishing food and opportunities for sustainable farmers.

Major Funding: Farm Sanctuary relies on a combination of donations, grants, and support from the public to fund its operations.

Profit/Nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: not disclosed

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Farm Sanctuary’s pioneering work has led to a significant shift in public perception and understanding of how factory-farmed animals are treated. The rescued animals at their sanctuaries serve as ambassadors, playing a crucial role in creating an understanding of the mental and physical toll factory farming has on farm animals.


  • Location: Headquarters in Watkins Glen, NY; Sanctuary in Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Full Time Staff: Approximately 100
  • Volunteers: Farm Sanctuary relies on the support of in-person and remote volunteers. For information on how to get involved, visit the volunteer page on their website.
  • Areas Served: Farm Sanctuary’s impact extends globally through ts advocacy and educational efforts. The sanctuaries in Watkins Glen and Los Angeles provide a physical space for rescued animals.
  • Year Started: 1986
  • Founder: Gene Baur
  • Contact Information: Miranda Eisen at 

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