Refarm’d: transforming Dairy Farms into Animal Sanctuaries

cows

Veganism is a movement. It’s political, it’s economic, and it’s growing.

As with most social movements, ideas initially appear to be radical. They go against opinions held by the collective, as these new ideas equate to rejecting or reforming old ones.

In order to survive, humans ate the food that grew on the land they lived. They began to plant seeds, harvest their crop and work together as those first communities settled to swap and share what they grew, for what their neighbours grew.

They kept animals, and small holdings, and became self-sufficient.

Our ancestors ate meat, but in 2020, we don’t need to eat animals to survive. We have supermarkets full of vegan alternatives, and ready meals free from animal products. For many of us, our main objective is not to eat to survive.  We have transformed into a culture where taste matters. We cook what we enjoy, we dine out, and we indulge.

So when meat eaters argue that they eat meat because they like the taste of it, what it translates as is that they like the taste that they’ve been conditioned to like; cooked meat, seasoned meat, flavoured meat. We don’t kill the animal ourselves, rip the skin or feathers off, and eat it raw like our ancestors did to survive. This ‘keeping up traditions’ argument is flawed. Our ancestors didn’t fly in planes, or use smartphones, but we do because technology has adapted. And food technology has adapted too.

Farming, as a practice, has been passed on through generations. Although lots of farms claim that they treat their animals well and give them a good life, I never think killing a sentient being is moral; there is no dignity in death. But for farmers, abandoning a business that has taken a lifetime’s work, for a social movement that they may not agree with, is difficult.

That’s where Refarm’d come in. They’re a new social venture who want to help dairy farmers transform their businesses. By turning current dairy farms into animals sanctuaries, they offer farmers the help they need to stop abusing and killing the animals they own. Instead, their farm becomes a safe haven for animals, whose bodies will not be valued by their flesh. Refarm’d also support the farmer with their new income source, by selling plant-based milk. Buying the ingredients directly from a local producer means the farmer can make the fresh plant-based milk on their farm. This allows the farmers to have a quick and easy transition into their new lifestyle, as the animals can stay on the farmland, and they don’t need to worry about whether the land would be suitable for growing plants.

Highlighting a problem of modern society, is of course, crucial for our need to progress, but offering a solution is vital. Our consumption of meat and dairy products is driving us to self-destruction. The Vegan Society state that the world’s population has doubled since the 1960s, but the world’s meat production has quadrupled. This pattern will continue to contribute to climate change, deforestation, widespread pollution, water scarcity and species extinction. More forest fires will burn, like we’ve seen in recent months in South America and Australia.

But by transforming dairy farms in sanctuaries, the planet’s Carbon Dioxide emissions will slowly but surely decrease, and also increase the plant-milk market; which is accelerating at such a rate, that in Spring 2018, New York had run out of oat milk. According to the Dairy Farmers of America, milk sales have dropped by $1 billion, while plant-based alternatives continue to surge.

If you’d like to nominate a farm that you think could benefit from a transformation by Refarm’d (for free) you can contact them here.

Have a browse of their Instagram too, and make yourself an Oat flat white incase we have another shortage!

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