National Farm Animals Day, April 10, is an important holiday to help raise awareness of the plight of animals destined for human consumption. Each year in America an estimated 10 billion farm animals are killed for food. An unfathomable 99 percent of these animals are forced to spend their entire lives confined to factory farms. These intelligent, loving and gentle beings are being deprived of all their natural behaviors, and in turn are being reduced to mere commodities who bear the brunt of our desire to eat their products.
Thankfully there are many organizations working year round to put a stop to this cruelty, and to share with the public just how amazing farm animals truly are.
To celebrate this worthwhile holiday, we’ve compiled a collection of 10 beautiful photos of farm animals enjoying their lives as all animals should.
1. Brothers and sisters running free
Photo credit: Vacaloura Animal Sanctuary
All lambs used for food are killed before they are even 18 months old, with some being slaughtered as young as 10 weeks. This trio of lambs from Vacaloura Animal Sanctuary never have to worry about ending up on someone’s dinner plate as they will spend the rest of their lives in peace at the sanctuary.
2. Kisses from a piglet
Photo credit: Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary
It’s not every day that you see pigs and humans involved in such a heartwarming exchange, but anything is possible at animal sanctuaries like Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary. When given the chance, farm animals almost always surprise us. From kisses and cuddles to tail wagging and attention seeking, they aren’t all that different from our dogs and cats!
3. Spent hens experiencing freedom at last
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur | Farm Sanctuary
Through collaboration with farm animal sanctuaries across the country including Farm Sanctuary, Woodstock Sanctuary and Catskill Animal Sanctuary, thousands of spent hens rescued from an egg factory farm literally took flight in their very own private jet to find their way to loving homes the nation over.
4. Love knows no species
Photo credit: Gaia Sanctuary
Samuel was rescued from the dairy industry after being separated from his mother at birth and forced to live in a tiny veal crate. He now spends his days at Gaia Sanctuary snuggling up by the fire, hanging out with all his new friends, and generally enjoying life to the max.
5. Albie the amputee
Photo credit: Woodstock Sanctuary
Found wandering the streets of Brooklyn, Albie most likely made a lucky escape from one of the 100 live-kill markets in the NYC area. Picked up by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, it was obvious Albie needed special attention. After weeks of TLC, Albie had to have part of his leg amputated but it hasn’t slowed him down one bit. He is a goofy, friendly troublemaker who roams the farm ransacking the food bins whenever he gets the chance!
6. Mikey the huggable cow
Photo credit: Cara Frye
A lucky soul spared from slaughter, adorable Mikey was taken from his mother at birth and purchased by a broker who rented him to a nursery where he was used as part of a petting zoo. Mikey is one of the sweetest and friendliest cows, who loves running and playing in the grass with his rescued friends at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary.
7. Five orphaned lambs
Photo credit: Edgar’s Mission
Surrendered to Edgar’s Mission, these five little lambs are lucky to be alive. Who they’re going to cuddle up to at bedtime and when they’re going to get their next bottle is all they have to worry about now that they are living safe and sound at this inspirational sanctuary.
8. Piggy playtime
Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary
Most people don’t realize that pigs are big softies who love nothing more than a belly rub or a good scratch behind the ears. They have complex personalities and are far more intelligent that people give them credit for. This group of porcine friends are fortunate enough to enjoy the bliss of life at Farm Sanctuary.
9. Life is so much better outside of a cage
Photo credit: El Valle Ecantado
Saved from an unimaginable life of cruelty where they were force fed until they couldn’t take it anymore, these five beautiful birds are victims of the foie gras industry. Life outside of a cage at El Valle Encantado is a whole lot better as they get to swim, peck and flap their wings to their hearts’ content.
10. Not just a pretty face
Photo credit: Tatiana Mendez
Meet Victor. Found walking down the sidewalk on Thanksgiving day, Victor has been living happily at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary since 2005. He likes to strut his stuff, puffing out all his feathers and showing off for the camera (and the ladies).