EAT fruit, not friends, proclaims a reusable bag carried by a volunteer at Greener Pastures Sanctuary.
The Waroona sanctuary is the brain- child of Rachael Parker, a veterinarian nurse who became fed up with how farm animals are treated.
“I saw some less-than-ideal treatment of farm animals, in comparison to how people treat dogs and cats,” she said.
“There was no voice for farm animals and they have nowhere to go, yet they have the capacity to suffer the same.”
It was Rachael belief that farm animals were the most abused animals on the planet that led to her becoming a vegan.
This is an often maligned moral stance in Australia’s meat obsessed culture.
But veganism and vegetarianism is growing.
Vegan Australia on social media has more than 18,000 likes and Roy Morgan research found that 2.1 million or 11.2 per cent of Australians are vegetarians.
It’s these selective eaters-cum-volunteers who help Rachael keep her 40ha farm going.
“My husband pays the mortgage and the rest comes from donations. We have 115 animals – horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks, roosters and two foxes,” she said.
All the animals on the farm have heartbreaking stories.
Pikelet the sheep has a permanently disfigured jaw after it was broken when he fell off a trailer. He has no teeth and has trouble eating.
Jimmy is a wild boar who was found lying next to his dead mother.
He’s 11 months old, and they’ve tried putting him in the paddock with the other pigs to no avail.
Jimmy busts out, squealing at the front gate to be let back in with the family.
Baloo, Bagheera and Mowgli are male calves – victims of a dairy industry that has no interest in males that can’t produce milk.
Tiny is an old english bantam rooster who was evicted from his home and sent away from his loving owners because of his big (noisy) personality.
Wombat, another pig, came off a truck in Serpentine. She’s two and is already about 200kg.
Fergie is the farm’s most famous resident, a video of her playing with family dog Faith went viral.
The foxes and the hound.Faith, Fergie and Toby are 3 little brown friends who have so much in common…. playful, affectionate and deserving of love ❤
Posted by Greener Pastures Sanctuary on Wednesday, 28 December 2016
“It’s putting a face to the piece of meat on your plate,” Rachael said.
“It is why we have tours. We are booked months in advance which allows people to meet the animals, see they’re intelligent and make a connection.”
The animals are also victims of human stupidity. Goats and sheep are purchased to be backyard pets to keep lawns mowed.
Pigs are brought as “mini-pigs” but there is no such thing as a mini-pig. They are either starving due to inadequate food portions or balloon into the 200kg behemoths that trot after Rachael like puppies.
Rachael organises farm tours via her website.