Victories and Milestones

Victories and Milestones


Farm Sanctuary is selected as the national benefit charity for the 2015 Golden Globe Awards Style Lounge.

Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur releases his second book, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day (Rodale, 2015).

Gene Baur appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, inspiring a wider audience to make more compassionate choices.

Farm Sanctuary convinces the city of Long Beach, California to pass a Meatless Monday proclamation urging residents to take a break from meat at least one day a week.

Farm Sanctuary arrives on the scene in Brooklyn to rescue 60 “broiler” chickens, who had fallen from a transport truck en route to a slaughterhouse.

Farm Sanctuary rescues Marcia, a blind goat, from a commercial meat farm, and she finds a best friend in Maurice at our Northern California Shelter.

Farm Sanctuary and fellow animal advocacy nonprofits submit a 38-page petition for rulemaking to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), asking the agency to better enforce the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMSA).

Bruno Barba, a former Future Farmers of America (FFA) member, seeks a more compassionate future for his friend Lola pig, and we welcome Lola to our Northern California shelter.

Idaho’s ag-gag law criminalizing agricultural-institution investigations is ruled unconstitutional, due to opposition from Farm Sanctuary and related organizations.

Farm Sanctuary brings Emma, a three-legged calf rescued from the side of the road, home to our Northern California shelter after five months of intensive care and rehabilitation.

Farm Sanctuary joins forces with the Citizens for Farm Animal Protection Coalition on an initiative to ban battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates in Massachusetts.

Research produced with grant money from The Someone Project and published in the International Journal of Comparative Psychology finds that “pigs possess complex ethological traits similar…to dogs and chimpanzees.”

Farm Sanctuary leads a rescue of more than 170 animals from a cruelty case in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Tracey Stewart publishes her first book, Do Unto Animals, featuring rescue stories from Farm Sanctuary.  A portion of proceeds go toward Farm Sanctuary’s rescue, education, and advocacy work.

Farm Sanctuary launches The Daily Squeal, a Facebook project highlighting the Stewarts’ first sanctuary residents, Maybelle and Anna pigs.

At Farm Sanctuary’s 29th anniversary Gala, Tracey Stewart announces that their New Jersey farm would become Farm Sanctuary’s fourth location.

Tracey Stewart joins Farm Sanctuary’s Board of Directors.

Farm Sanctuary voted “Favorite Animal Organization” and “Favorite Animal Sanctuary” in VegNews magazine’s Veggie Awards readers’ poll, the latter for the 8th year in a row.  President and co-founder Gene Baur’s book Living the Farm Sanctuary life also wins Book of the Year.

Expert panels at our Conscientious Table events in NYC and LA explore what’s broken and what needs fixing in our current food system.

People Magazine covers Alicia Silverstone’s celebration for son Bear’s birthday, held at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres.

Emily Deschanel, of Fox’s Bones, joins the Farm Sanctuary board of directors.

Bovine reality-show stars Betsy, Honey, and Meredith retire to our Northern California Shelter.

Farm Sanctuary rescues blind dairy cow Sweety from slaughter, and she becomes best friends with fellow blind cow Tricia.

Eighty hens fall off a transport truck onto the Staten Island Expressway and Farm Sanctuary rises to the challenge of rescue and rehabilitation.

Former-pig farmer Bob Comis transforms his operation into a vegetable farm, and Farm Sanctuary not only transports and rehomes his special-needs pigs, but also takes in a pair of pig pals, Gus and Roxy, to its New York Shelter.

Humane League hails Farm Sanctuary’s vegan-advocacy video What Came Before, as the most effective at inspiring requests for vegetarian resources among target-demographic audiences. The video goes viral, attracting 1.8 million views.

Farm Sanctuary launches V-Lish, a one-stop resource for meat-free recipes, tools, and tips.

Farm Sanctuary and fellow animal advocates defend California’s ban on battery-cage eggs against a challenge from the state of Missouri.

Farm Sanctuary defeats potential or proposed “ag-gag” bills which threaten investigations of agriculture facilities in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont.

Time has “10 Questions” for Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur.

National Shelter Director Susie Coston gets a day of glamour, and talks about farm-animal sheltering, in O, the Oprah Magazine.

Farm Sanctuary and fellow coalition members sue Idaho over its unconstitutional “ag-gag” law, which criminalizes agricultural-institution investigations.

Farm Sanctuary and fellow plaintiffs declare legal victory against producers who left 50,000 egg-laying hens to die in a Turlock, CA, facility.

Research produced with grant money from The Someone Project and published in Animal Cognition finds that “fish perception and cognitive abilities often match or exceed other vertebrates.”

A compelling animated Farm Sanctuary PSA shows viewers why pigs are friends, not food.


Farm Sanctuary launches The Someone Project to educate the world about the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral complexity of farm animals.

Eleven states propose “ag-gag” laws seeking to criminalize undercover investigations of factory farm cruelty across the United States; all 11 are defeated.

Farm Sanctuary rescues 23 turkeys who fell from a truck.

After a mail-order snafu, Farm Sanctuary saves 102 chicks who sat in a box, unclaimed at the post office.

Farm Sanctuary rescued 200 Leghorn hens from a factory farm that was closing.

Farm Sanctuary rescued 500 laying hens from a factory farm.


Proposition 2, which will ban battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates in California, withstands a court challenge.

Farm Sanctuary releases What Came Before, an educational film introducing the world to three Farm Sanctuary animals and documenting what would have happened to them if they had not come to Farm Sanctuary; it is seen more than 1 million times in its first year.

Julia, a pregnant breeding sow who had been severely abused in a factory farm, is rescued; she gave birth to 16 premature piglets a mere eight hours after her rescue.

Farm Sanctuary rescues 60 sick and emaciated sheep, cows, and chickens after a neglect case investigation revealed horrifying abuses in Cattaraugus County, New York.

Farm Sanctuary participates in a joint rescue at a factory farm in Modesto, California, where 50,000 hens used for egg production had been abandoned to starve for two weeks. Dozens of staff members and volunteers come together to rehabilitate hundreds of the hens at our Northern California Shelter.

Farm Sanctuary launches Compassionate Communities Campaign to help activists become more effective in their communities.

Rhode Island becomes the 9th state to ban gestation crates, the 7th state to ban veal crates, and the second state to ban tail docking.

The production and sale of foie gras are banned in California. One of the nation’s two foie gras producers closes.

Farm Sanctuary joins the Animal Legal Defense Fund and other groups in suing the USDA for allowing the sale of foie gras, which is an adulterate product that should be banned under the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Top Non-profit


We were honored to learn that a group of 170 experts identified Farm Sanctuary as among the top five high-impact nonprofits working on animal welfare, rights, and protection in the U.S. One expert had this to say about our work: “They have been effective at bringing attention to the plight of farmed animals and using

individual rescued animals as ambassadors for those remaining on factory farms.” Learn more here.

Farm Sanctuary acquires Animal Acres and adds Southern California Shelter to its national program. Learn more here and plan your visit!

Time magazine describes Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur as “the conscience of the food movement” in an article squarely addressing the morality of eating meat and, on their Twitter account, post the following tweet: “Vegans have a point. Sorry, meat lovers.”

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur appears on The Martha Stewart Show’s first-ever “vegan show,” educating the domestic icon’s millions of viewers about the treatment of animals raised for food.


2010 VegNews AwardFarm Sanctuary voted “Favorite Animal Sanctuary” for the third year in a row in VegNews magazine’s Veggie Awards readers’ poll.

Comedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres signs on as the 2010 spokesperson for the Adopt-A-Turkey Project. Project participation and income doubles.

Built on the foundation of the passage of Prop 2 in 2008 (see below), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs A.B. 1437 into law, banning the sale of eggs from hens confined in battery cages.

Farm Sanctuary petitions the USDA to stop allowing the sale of livestock who are too sick or injured to walk.

Landmark agreement reached in Ohio to end some of the most egregious factory farming practices, including a ban on veal crates, gestation crates, inhumane killing on farms, and the transport of downed cows and calves, as well as a moratorium on new battery cage confinement facilities.


Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signs legislation to ban the inhumane use of battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates in the state.

Maine bans the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes history when he signs a tail docking bill, ending the painful and unnecessary amputation of dairy cows’ tails in the state.

President Obama announces closure of downed cattle loophole. Farm Sanctuary continues to urge for federal legislation to end the marketing of ALL downed animals, including pigs, sheep, and other livestock.


Landmark victory in California when Prop 2 passes with 63% of the vote. Ballot measure bans three of the cruelest factory farming confinement systems – battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates – in the state by 2015. Farm Sanctuary is a co-leader of this campaign.

Colorado bans the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs.

Precedent-setting legal victory achieved when N.J. Supreme Court unanimously rules that factory farming practices cannot be considered “humane” simply because they are widely used.

Farm Sanctuary formally invited by the Iowa State Department of Agriculture to rescue 69 pigs, including many pregnant sows, abandoned at factory farms during the Midwest flood disaster.

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur publishes a critically-acclaimed book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, which becomes a national bestseller.


Oregon bans the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs.

Farm Sanctuary’s Turkey Express, as part of its annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project, is featured on the front cover of The New York Times on Thanksgiving Day.

Farm Sanctuary rescues more than 200 animals from live markets in New York City this year: notably, Joey, the goat from Brooklyn; Lucky Lady, the sheep from the Bronx; and Maxine, the cow from Queens – her rescue becoming one of the largest media stories of the year for Farm Sanctuary.

Four living, breathing, and beautiful farm animals residing at Farm Sanctuary are featured above the fold on the front cover of the Food Section of The New York Times, in an article addressing how animal rights has hit the mainstream.

After a two-year Farm Sanctuary campaign, Wolfgang Puck announces that he is removing foie gras and crated veal from his menus, as well as implementing a nine-point plan addressing animal welfare concerns, including the addition of more vegetarian options throughout his businesses.

New Holland Sales Stables found guilty on three counts of animal cruelty after a Farm Sanctuary humane officer in Lancaster County, PA, files charges. New Holland Sales Stables has been the subject of multiple animal cruelty investigations over the years.

The largest pork and veal producers in the U.S., Smithfield Foods and Strauss Meats, announce that they will phase out the use of gestation and veal crates.


Arizona voters overwhelming vote yes on Proposition 204 to ban the use of gestation crates for breeding pigs and veal crates for calves in the state. Farm Sanctuary is a leading backer of this campaign.

Farm Sanctuary’s 20th Anniversary Gala for Farm Animals, co-chaired by Daryl Hannah, wins a VegNews Veggie Award for the best event of 2006.


After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Southeast, colossal warehouse-like poultry farms lay in ruins. Farm Sanctuary and other dedicated groups rescue as many birds as possible, and hundreds of dehydrated and starving chickens are brought to the New York Shelter, where they receive vital care. During its first two decades, Farm Sanctuary has rescued and provided lifelong care for more than 7,000 farm animals in need.


Farm Sanctuary is invited to speak about animal rights at the USDA. This is the first time an animal rights organization is asked to speak publicly at the USDA.

Farm Sanctuary responds to a cruelty case in Butler County, PA, where 26 cattle, including several pregnant cows, are found starving to death inside a filthy, dilapidated barn. The mothers and babies are brought to safety at Farm Sanctuary’s New York Shelter.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs S.B. 1520 into law, banning the force-feeding of ducks and geese to produce foie gras, as well as the sale of the cruel product in California.


Farm Sanctuary’s Veg for Life Campaign launches to encourage people to move toward a plant-based diet to promote good health, environmental stewardship, and compassion toward animals.

At Farm Sanctuary’s urging, USDA promulgates a rule to prevent the slaughter of downed cattle for human food. Farm Sanctuary attorneys later negotiate settlement of this lawsuit against the USDA in response to the agency’s no downer rule.

When the first case of mad cow disease is discovered in the U.S., Farm Sanctuary is sought out for comments by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Taipei Times,, and others.


SPCA investigators alert Farm Sanctuary to a massive cruelty case in Cattaraugus County, New York, where animals are left to starve in bitter cold temperatures. More than 100 surviving pigs, some frozen to the ground, are brought to our shelter hospital, where they receive 24-hour emergency care and are later adopted into loving homes across the U.S. through our Farm Animal Adoption Network.

Farm Sanctuary is a key sponsor of the first-ever ballot initiative to ban a cruel factory farming practice in the U.S. This measure bans gestation crates in Florida.


First ever star-studded Farm Sanctuary Gala for Farm Animals held in New York City.

Farm Sanctuary files a lawsuit with the USDA urging an end to the marketing of downed cattle for human consumption.

Mary Tyler Moore signs on as chair of Farm Sanctuary’s Sentient Beings Campaign, which works to improve the status of farm animals in the U.S. and to achieve basic legal protections. To date, this campaign has achieved over 60 government proclamations stating that farm animals are sentient beings – capable of awareness, feeling, and suffering.


Future Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone visits the New York Shelter of Farm Sanctuary and decides to go vegan after spending time with the rescued animals.

Farm Sanctuary helps save more than 1,500 hens trapped in crushed and twisted metal cages after tornadoes laid waste to battery cage warehouses at the Buckeye Egg Farm in Ohio.

Farm Sanctuary launches the Cultivating Compassion Program.

1998 – Farm Sanctuary rescues 40 slaughter-bound pigs abandoned without food or water on a transport truck in Washington, D.C.

1995 – Farm Sanctuary helps pass a law in California which prevents dragging, pushing, holding, or selling downed animals at stockyards and slaughterhouses. Other states follow California, passing similar laws.

1993 – Bed & Breakfast cabins open for overnight guests at the New York Shelter.

1993 – Kim Basinger lends her support in a public service announcement to end the marketing of downed animals in California.

1993 – Farm Sanctuary achieves first-ever conviction of a U.S. stockyard for mistreating a downed animal after prosecuting Lancaster Stockyards in Pennsylvania.

1993 – Farm Sanctuary opens a shelter in Orland, California, establishing a presence in the nation’s top agricultural state.

1993 – A USDA-run slaughterhouse in Wisconsin is convicted of animal cruelty for mistreating a downed animal – a rare occurrence thanks to hundreds of Farm Sanctuary members who contacted the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, urging prosecution.

1992 – Farm Sanctuary persuades the Watkins Glen Burger King to sell a veggie burger. Its success leads to the introduction of the BK Veggie burger nationwide.

1991 – Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur debates a meat industry representative on Larry King Live, educating 46 million viewers about food animal industry abuses.

1991 – NBC Network News airs startling footage obtained by Farm Sanctuary showing downed animals being dragged onto trucks. This coverage prompts the nation’s largest stockyards to stop marketing downed animals and leads to the introduction of the Downed Animal Protection Act in Washington, D.C. one year later.

1990 – Lindsay Wagner’s anti-veal public service announcement begins to air on television stations, eventually reaching 70 markets throughout the U.S. and airing during The Oprah Winfrey Show in New York City.

1990 – Farm Sanctuary establishes its first permanent farm animal shelter in the U.S. on 175 acres in Watkins Glen, NY.

1988 – Farm Sanctuary helps obtain a landmark conviction of a factory farmer for leaving 64 veal calves to die without food or water.

1987 – Farm Sanctuary holds its first Walk for Farm Animals, helping to raise funds and awareness. These Walks have grown every year, now occurring in more than 50 cities across North America.

1986 – Farm Sanctuary’s Volunteer Internship Program launches, inspiring hundreds of individuals to make a life-long commitment to protect farm animals.

1986 – Farm Sanctuary launches the annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project, encouraging people to save a turkey instead of eating one at Thanksgiving. This project has educated millions through national and international network broadcasts, including ABC’s Primetime Live, Animal Planet, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, Food Network, National Public Radio, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

1986 – Hilda was the first animal rescued by Farm Sanctuary, lifted from a “downer” dead pile at a stockyard. Hilda spent 11 years roaming green pastures at our New York Shelter, and touched the hearts and minds of millions of people during her life. All that Farm Sanctuary does, from our shelters and investigative campaigns to our legal and legislative actions, is because of Hilda and animals like her.