On the Farm: with love from Italy

May 16 2014

Working for an animal welfare organization, one would think that I interact with animals on a daily basis. Besides pets, I actually don’t have that much interaction with animals. Instead, I help animals using digital tools, social media channels, and my creativity. I motivate the world to protect animals by doing what I love. 

I’m particularly passionate about farm animal welfare. Our Choose Cage-Free campaign focuses on the wellbeing of chickens, and aims to make cage-free the standard for hens worldwide. The campaign has raised my awareness of the global impact of factory farming, and the subpar living conditions of most livestock. I’ve learned that it is absolutely necessary for farm animals to live comfortable and display natural behaviors, and that it benefits not only the animals, but the consumer and the environment as well.

Recently while I was on vacation in Italy, I had the opportunity to visit an organic farm in Tuscany. The farm produced organic olives, wine, and cheeses. Before sitting down for an incredible lunch paired with the farms finest wines, I was thrilled to learn that we would be able to get up close and personal with the animals that call the farm home.

After taking in the incredible views of San Gimignano in the distance, we made our way to the cows that reside on the farm. In total, there were roughly 12 cows in the area. In addition to a large field for the cows to roam, they also had an indoor/outdoor barn where they would eat their meals. I was pleased to learn that these cows were all grass fed, with no corn or grain in their diet. When I approached the barn, I saw one cow go through the back door to go lay on the grass. I could instantly tell that these were cows that were treated well. Some of the cows were roaming inside, while a few were lying outside soaking up the sun. I was also fortunate enough to be there just weeks after two calves were born. They were cuddled up next to each other and you could tell that their mothers were keeping a close eye on them to make sure no one got too close to them. We were advised to keep our space because mother cows are protective of their calves.

In the distance, I could hear the chickens on the farm. As I glanced over to take a look at them, I saw them out and about in a large fenced in area. It made me immediately think back to our Choose Cage-Free campaign and made me proud that I work for an organization that’s moving the world to protect chickens and allow them to live in a natural habitat. Although we didn’t get close to the chickens like we did with the cows, it was great seeing how healthy and happy they were. It also allowed me to feel more connected to the animals that I work to help on a daily basis. 

The farm visit strengthened my hope for a future of humane and sustainable farming practices, where farm animals live out their days without suffering. As human beings, we have the responsibility and the practical means to treat other living creatures with respect, regardless of whether they will be used for food production or not.

If you haven’t yet, I urge you to sign our Change For Chickens petition. If you have, please share this post with your friends and family. You can help us make all the difference.  

By Kara Wooten, Digital Marketing Coordinator
Kara Wooten is a natural storyteller, passionate about using innovative digital tools to share information and increase public mobilization. She is a lover of all animals. When not helping animals, you can find her on a mountain snowboarding or by some type of body of water.

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