By Haley Verre
Last Saturday, the animal rights organization Farm Sanctuary hosted a fundraiser in Medford, MA. Participants had the choice between walking or running a 5K to raise money to aid Farm Sanctuary in its mission to rescue mistreated animals and to promote a plant-based diet.
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s largest farm animal rescue with locations in New York and California. It takes in abused farm animals and offers them a safe new home. Farm Sanctuary works to change the way in which people view farm animals and works toward legislation that supports animal rights.
All of the animals at Farm Sanctuary are rescued and are found through reports of animal cruelty or calls from Animal Cruelty officers.
Simmons College Student Services Specialist Michele Almeida helped to coordinate the fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary. Almeida got involved with Farm Sanctuary after viewing videos about how farm animals are treated in the food industry.
Since then, Almeida has adopted a vegan lifestyle and says it makes her feel healthier, and she feels better knowing that she is not contributing to the food industry’s mistreatment of animals. Almeida also shared her desire to see a student organization at Simmons that works toward justice and compassion for all animals.
Participant Paul Kostopoulos said he decided to run for a better future for animals. “ I am running with a vision of a non-violent world filled with compassion and kindness, which can begin on your plate,” Kostopoulos said.
Wendy Cliggott, another participant, spoke about the importance of compassion to farm animals. She said the animals are the ambassadors of Farm Sanctuary because they teach people that farm animals are more like pets than they are products.
“These animals exist for their own purposes and not merely as consumable resources. At Farm Sanctuary, each animal is allowed to live out their life as an individual who is respected as having the need for love and companionship,” says Cliggott.
According to Almeida, the organization was able to raise about $9,000. The money will go toward medical and food expenses for the animals.