A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of meeting some of Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary's rescued animals. The visit, the farm, the animals, the people, everything was emotional - comforting, upsetting, but all heartwarming.
Each animal that I met was saved from various types of abusive situations, or from being sent to slaughter.
Our first friends that we met were the pigs Pecan and Tomo. I have had a fascination with pigs my entire life, and meeting these two was a dream come true. Tomo was rescued from a breeding facility where during childbirth, his mother and all of his siblings died. Pecan was rescued by a student at Rutgers where he was being used for educational purposes. As you can see in the pigtures (sorry... I had to), they both look so comfortable and happy to call Tamerlaine home.
Next stop on our tour of the farm was various birds - chickens, turkeys, peacocks, and ducks. The first enclosure that we entered had a few turkeys, a few peacocks and many chickens. The chickens in this area were saved from the Kaporos ritual that happens every year in Brooklyn. In brief, this ritual takes place on the night before Yom Kippur, and involves the public slaughter of around 50,000 chickens in order for those practicing this ritual to atone for their sins. I'll leave it to you to look up this ritual if you would like to know what happens in more depth than I've mentioned here.
In a separate enclosure were other various types of chickens. We learned about the difference between chickens used for meat, and chickens that are bred for laying eggs. The most interesting part that we learned on this stop of our tour was the difference in their eating habits. Those in the enclosure that were used to lay eggs (or were rescued for other reasons) had food available to them at all times, and would only eat when hungry. However, those that were rescued from the Kaporos ritual are referred to as broiler chickens and are normally intended for human consumption. These broiler chickens, because of the way they are raised will eat whatever they can and as quickly as they can. At Tamerlaine they have a set feeding amount and schedule as opposed to having food available to them at all times, for their own health and safety.
After meeting the various birds, we all got in our cars and drove over to their newly acquired addition to the farm sanctuary land. This new land is not only significant for the fact that it is now home to rescued animals, but the home on the property was a stop on the Underground Railroad - how cool!
The current residents of the new property were a large herd of goats, a sheep, 3 cows, two horses, 3 more pigs (including a potbellied pig), as well as the 11 piglets they recently saved from the top of a dead pile that they were keeping in quarantine.
We heard many heartfelt stories of the familial relationships between some of the goats residing at the sanctuary. We met Artie the pot-bellied pig, Diego the Holstein cow, and Apache who was rescued from his life of being a show horse at a wild west theme park.
As our tour came to a close, I had a chance to reflect on the time that we had spent there. I thought about the numerous happy animals I had met that day, and imagined what their lives would have been like without Tamerlaine. It brought so much comfort knowing that each of these animals was taken in by this safe haven to live out their lives like they deserve to.
I cannot recommend a visit to Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary and Preserve enough. You will not only learn about the farm, the animals, and animal friendly practices, but you will learn about yourself and the relationship you feel with each animal that you meet. It truly is something that you need to experience for yourself.
PS. After your tour, I recommend stopping at Fogwood and Fig for a late lunch. While looking at the menu I couldn't decide what to order - I wanted to try it all! I ended up choosing the Fogwood Smoky Burger and it was one of the most amazing vegan burgers I have ever had.