Our Vision

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. My mother told me how her father took her to vote for the first time and how he made it into a reverent experience of great import. In my generation Martin Luther King Jr. broke down the walls of segregation and his sermons and speeches on equality for all still ring in our ears. As he famously said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Among the social justice issues of our time, and there are many, animal rights stands out as one long overdue. When I walk my dogs now and meet other people with dogs, so many have “rescue dogs” as are mine, and we happily chat about their antics and where they are from. It brings an extra joy to know we were able to save our dear pups and give them a forever home. Part of animal rights is realizing that farmed animals are no different than our companion animals in the sense that they too are individuals with a personality and possessing the same drive to live as we humans.
Southern Florida Farmed Animal Transition Inc. is dedicated to bringing animal rights to farm animals, primarily dairy cows initially, by providing a means of transition from a farmed life to a free life. The majority of people don’t realize that cows need to be pregnant and give birth to have a milk supply just like humans. I think we have not been made aware of this reality in order to conceal that the mother cow’s baby becomes an inconvenient by-product of the industry, since her milk is sold for people to drink. This is why veal was created, and often there are so many babies they simply need to be disposed of. Dairy farmers, like the rest of us, were brought up to believe that we were born to drink milk and that it is normal, natural and necessary. The mother cow’s milk eventually dries up at which point she is inseminated once again, typically artificially, and the cycle is repeated until she is “spent” and sent off to slaughter.

The documentary film, What the Health, which can be seen on Netflix or downloaded on your computer, describes why drinking the milk of another species really is not natural and is in fact unhealthy. Another documentary, Cowspiracy, also on Netflix, is a huge eyeopener about the devastating environmental impact of animal agriculture on our planet, being a major contributor of methane, one of the gases contributing to global warming and a stronger one than carbon dioxide. Farmed animals really can’t fight for themselves since they are captives in the system. However, the beautiful and unique energies of farm animals speaks for itself for those with a compassionate regard for life. The Southern Florida Farm Animal Transition Inc. embodies this compassion. The documentary film, What the Health, which can be seen on Netflix or downloaded on your computer, describes why drinking the milk of another species really is not natural and is in fact unhealthy. Another documentary, Cowspiracy, also on Netflix, is a huge eyeopener about the devastating environmental impact of animal agriculture on our planet, being a major contributor of methane, one of the gases contributing to global warming and a stronger one than carbon dioxide. Farmed animals really can’t fight for themselves since they are captives in the system. However, the beautiful and unique energies of farm animals speaks for itself for those with a compassionate regard for life. The Southern Florida Farm Animal Transition Inc. embodies this compassion. I have been faced with the question to myself, in my desire to get along with the dairy farmers and business owners, of how can one knowingly, repeatedly inflict such emotional trauma on such beautiful sentient beings? How, for example, can one separate a mother from her calf right after birth while both pitiably bleat their need to be together.?
Another documentary, Peaceable Kingdom-The Journey Home, portrays farmed animals playing and running free. Harold Brown, a former dairy farmer, Howard Lyman and his wife, former big ranch owners from the midwest, and owners of Maple Farm Sanctuary, Cheri and Jim, whose sanctuary was formerly a dairy farm in Jim’s family for three generations, describe their awakening to compassion for the animals under their care. They express, in a deeply personal and authentic way, how their early love for animals was gradually desensitized over time, until the dictates of society and the demand for profit made them devoid of compassion for what became “the other”. All of them had a remarkable reawakening of their empathy and love for the farmed animals that they had seen as nothing but a commodity. Harold Brown expresses it beautifully: “ It’s like going home.” Home to his heart. One point well made in Peaceable Kingdom is that it is not easy to take a position that may be different from our family and friends. Thankfully we have travelled further down the road since this film was made. When I first told my parents one night 12 years ago, that I was vegan, they thought I was crazy-not unusual for parents as some of you know. I remember the inner joy when, 10 years later, my mother and I were discussing where to have lunch while shopping, and she said, ”Well I’m sure anyplace will have something vegan on the menu.” .Vegan had become commonplace. I hope you will open your heart to the plight of farmed animals. They really need your help so that we can provide a home for them that is their own. Please be willing to become part of a new day in which all animals are loved and precious just for who they are. It is our hope that Southern Florida Farm Animal Transition will extend to other states as well. We hope that we can persuade those who love their companion animals to expand and extend that love to other animals as well.
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