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My trip to Farm Sanctuary

May 29, 2012

Farm Sanctuary has three locations and one happens to be less than two hours away from me in Watkins Glen, New York.

The People Barn and B&B at Farm Sanctuary in the distance

A glorious day at the Sanctuary

  • To see the animals you must take a tour which lasts about one hour.  The cost is five dollars per person and the first tour begins at 11:00am.  You purchase your tickets in The People Barn.  Prior to the tour a short video will be shown.  You may preview the video here.

Start your Farm Sanctuary experience here

  • There is a gift shop which offers many vegan snacks and drinks.  If you bring food with you, it must not contain animals or insects or their products, such as eggs or dairy, out of respect to the animals.
  • Do not wear shoes that you like.  You might step in poop. 

Lots of room to roam and eat a natural diet

Now that’s what I call HAPPY!

  • Hand sanitizer and clean bathrooms are available
  • This is family friendly so bring the kids.  Before bringing them please let them know that this is not a petting zoo or a farm.  This is a sanctuary.  Sanctuary means ‘sacred place’ or ‘safe haven’.  These animals are now safe and need to be made to feel safe at all times.  They have survived the abuses of the food industry. We are visitors in their home.

Goats can remember up to 50 faces. One may remember you the next time you visit. They actually get sad when the tour group leaves. At first they are nervous but quickly crowd around as they want to be your friend.

  • You can bring companion animals (dogs) but they are not allowed on the tour and they do not want you to leave them unattended or in your hot car.  In other words find someone nice to let your dog out for the day!

Turkeys are not meant to be this color or grow as rapidly as we make them grow. As a result they can barely walk.

A lovely Tom who also can barely walk due both to his size and having his toes cut off. This is done without anesthesia while the Tom is still very young.

Toes are cut back to the first knuckle with scissors and no anesthesia.

To learn more about the treatment of turkeys click here.

Did you know pigs love to eat grass and root for insects? They are bred to be white and as a result will burn in the sun without sunblock.

Pigs are friendly and loving and smart. They are as smart as dogs and know their own names.

Pigs are inquisitive!

Pigs love to wallow in mud not because they are dirty but because they have very few sweat glands. It helps to keep them cool. Thus the phrase’ Sweatin’ like a pig’ should be changed to ‘Sweatin’ like a human’ unless you’re trying to say you don’t sweat much. . .or that you have just covered yourself in mud.

To learn more about the treatment of pigs, click here

These lovely ladies have endured hardships and horrors beyond what I could ever imagine. And yet this girl allows me the privilege and honor of touching her and she even gives me a smile.

To read more about dairy cattle and animal treatment in general, click here.

  • Located within an hour or so you can visit the Corning Museum of Glass where all kids ages 19 and under get in for free or make your way to Watkins Glen and hike the Gorge or have a picnic at Havana Glen Falls.  The wonderful woman in the Watkins Glen Visitor’s Center will tell you all you need to know about the Gorge, Havana falls and anything else to do in the area.  She’s great!
Hiking the Gorge!

Hiking the Gorge!

  • If you hike the Gorge it is located right in the village of Watkins Glen.  It is walking distance from the Harbor Hotel, just 11 blocks away.  The path is well maintained with a ton of stairs and goes straight up about 50% of the time for 1.5 miles.  You will pass around 30 water falls so it’s worth it!  You can take the Indian trail back if you don’t want to walk back down all those stairs or if you want to avoid all the crowds of people.  You can take a shuttle up and walk down or walk up and take a shuttle back.  The best time to go is in the morning before the trail gets packed with people.  Also the best time of year is in Spring when all of the waterfalls are flowing.  They dry up as the season progresses. Depending on crowds, someone of average health can do the hike both up and down in under two hours easily.  If you are in good shape it will take less than one hour but all of the people may block your way and affect your pace.
  • If you want to picnic at Havana Falls just drive on the 14 until you get to Havana Glen Park – about a 15 minute drive from Watkins Glen – and turn into the campground.  It’s two dollars to park.  It’s a two minute walk to the falls.  There is a pool at the bottom you can swim in at your own risk.  The area is small so I fear it could get pretty packed with people on a hot weekend.  When we were there we practically had it all to ourselves.
  • Watkins Glen caters well to folks who don’t eat animals or their products
  • The bakery offers vegan breads, cookies and bars.  I highly recommend the peanut butter cookies, the oat bars, and the amazing hearty white bread!  It is walking distance from the Harbor Hotel.

Glen Mountain Bakery and Market

  • The Glen Harbor hotel has a red pepper hummus with fresh baked bread and veggies for 12 dollars and a homemade veggie burger and fries for 10 dollars.  I highly recommend this hotel if you want romance – the views of the harbor are beautiful, the pool and jacuzzi clean and warm, the rooms beautifully appointed with the most comfortable beds and linens in the world!  They offer turn-down service, environmentally friendly toiletries and will bring the coffee bar up to each floor so you needn’t get dressed and go to the lobby in order to wake up – just throw on the luxurious white robe they offer.  But don’t keep it or you will see an extra 75 dollars per robe on your final tab!

The beautiful Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

Morning twilight – view from our fourth floor room

  • The Wildflower Cafe, also walking distance from the Harbor Hotel, has vegan ribs called Moonrose rib $9.95, a portabello mushroom burger $10.95 , black bean burger $8.95 and an eggplant panini $8.95 as well as amazing french fries, sweet potato fries and onion strings. They also serve a veggie penne with asparagus, roasted tomatoes, garlic and spinach for $15.95  They try to use as many local products as possible and coffee is fairly traded and organic.

The Wildflower Cafe

  • The Good Food Grocery located on 4rth street a few blocks down from the main street is a natural food market
  • The Great Escape ice cream shop has vegan soft serve vanilla with tons of vegan toppings and 24 vegan swirl-in flavors

    The Great Escape located walking distance from the Gorge – just go right, it will be within one block. Great way to cool down after a good hike!

I dedicate this blog to two very brave beings.  I dedicate this blog to Hilda, the little sheep who started it all (Farm Sanctuary).  Hilda may you rest in peace and I am so sad I never got to meet you.

I also dedicate this blog to my fiance, a brave man who knows that strength is kindness and is not afraid to be kind always.

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~Raymond Lindquist

My courageous partner!

Kevin at Farm Sanctuary


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! Laurie — you all but planned my family trip! I will be so excited to bring the Parker clan to the Sanctuary and Watkins Glen for a day trip. I showed my older son a few of your pictures with the animals and explained what the sanctuary is. He is super excited to visit!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

    • Yeah it was awesome and so healing. I thought I would cry but I didn’t! Only when I saw Hilda’s grave, then I lost it 😦 I am posting all my pics on Facebook if I can just figure it out . . . I have so many good ones with so many cute faces! Thanks Michelle hope your summer is starting out as great as mine is!

  2. Jeff permalink

    My partner and I toured Farm Sanctuary two weeks ago and made memories to last a lifetime. We met two friends we sponsor, Clementine the hen and Jane the pig, and made new friends, including Jake the goat, Antoinette the turkey (who ate grass from our palms), and Thunder and Conrad, two amiable bulls. I wish I had read your blog entry before our trip; we would’ve probably tried some of the dining places you mentioned. But there’s always next year. Many thanks for sharing about your own visit to Farm Sanctuary, a happy place for animals and humans alike to cherish.

    • I’m so glad you were able to visit! I plan on going back the week before Thanksgiving when the meal is prepared in honor of and for the turkeys instead of you know what. It is called The Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony followed by a vegan holiday feast. I am so excited!

      • jahnjoh permalink

        Thank you! Have fun at the Feeding. My partner and I plan to go to a Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by a farm animal sanctuary located about an hour from our home. An early Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  3. Great posts you post on your blog, i have shared this post on my twitter

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  1. Day 154: It All Started With Hilda – Farm Sanctuary « Cruelty Free Eating

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