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watkins glen farm sanctuary

I often cry hysterically in the presence of animals. It happened when I got to hold a baby kangaroo, when I saw a penguin waddle toward me at the tv station I used to work at in Vancouver (unfortunately Sea World was on the breakfast show), and it usually happens if I’m petting a puppy. Well it happened at farm sanctuary when I was feeding the turkey clan some grass. They eat right out of your hand and have so much to say! I didn’t think it would be the turkey’s that would get me, but then again I’ve never interacted with a turkey before.

Thank you to farm sanctuary for their generosity and for these fantastic photos. Unfortunately, I made a huge rookie mistake – one that I’ve never made until now – and I reformatted our card before transferring and backing up all of our own photos and video footage. WHAT! I know, I’m an idiot. I’ve been raging for hours. But moving on…

Farm sanctuary is magical. These animals are living happily as they should on acres of green pasture and it’s incredible to see them all rehabilitated or in the process of healing from their previous life on factory farms. It’s a peaceful, serene setting that’s home to over 500 animals and each of them have a special story to tell about their journey to farm sanctuary. The staff at farm sanctuary are ready on a whim to rescue animals from dire situations and once in their care they do whatever it takes to makes these animals lives better. Samantha the sheep was so adorable and she actually has a prosthetic leg.

We loved them all, but I did have a crush on a goat named Racecar and a cow named Nik. John had a thing for Palmer, the chinese chicken or “the chicken with hammer pants” as he called him. And there are so many pigs! They all have such distinctive faces and personalities too. It was funny to see them nesting in hay and obviously I couldn’t resist napping with Truffles.

We were lucky to get an overnight booking at farm sanctuary’s cabins on the day before they closed for the winter season. There’s 3 private cabins at the farm and they serve a pretty exceptional vegan continental breakfast. Cherry danishes anyone?

We only stayed the one night, but the neighbouring town of Ithaca, NY is a vegan friendly college town. It’s where Cornell University is! You could sight see for a day or two if you wanted to stay longer and farm sanctuary has conveniently provided a list of all the vegan-friendly restaurants in Watkins Glen and Ithaca. We wished we stayed to do a proper food tour, but we packed in as much as we could.

We’re definitely going to make the trip again, but next time probably for the celebration of turkeys (our new fave) around american thanksgiving. Farm sanctuary has a great adopt a turkey program right now too! When they’re open for the season you can go for a tour on select days, but the whole bed & breakfast experience is the way to go. You can spend as much time as you want with all of the animals. But spending even a moment with a goat, cow, chicken, pig, sheep or any farm animal will show you that they have personalities, feelings, emotions, and the same needs and wants that we do. It’s undeniable that we are equals. All of the animals are smiling at farm sanctuary and we’ll never forget those happy faces.


  • erika 5 years ago

    Sounds wonderful

  • Valerie 5 years ago

    Took my 11 yr old granddaughter this summer. It really is magical! The turkeys have such personalities. She was so saddened to hear the past lives of the massive, peaceful, beautiful cows. Cannot wait to return.

  • Gita 5 years ago

    And if you can’t get into one of their B&B cabins, try staying at the Ginger Cat B&B. It’s 100% vegan and only 9 miles from the Sanctuary.

  • Lyndsey 5 years ago

    I made the trip there in October and fell in love with the turkeys too! I am a little cow obsessed so I was surprised at how much I loved spending time with the turkeys but they really do have huge personalities and were so curious. I absolutely love Farm Sanctuary and all the work they do!

    • Lauren Toyota 5 years ago

      awww yay! The turkeys. I was so surprised too!

  • Jackie Rueda 4 years ago

    I reformatted my memory card before transferring the photos in Iceland and I cried. A lot. But when I arrived home I used this software and I recovered everything. And I cried again of joy.

    • Lauren Toyota 4 years ago

      aaah I will keep that handy. Thank you! WORST!

  • Heather 3 years ago

    The link to the vegan-friendly restaurants is for Farm Sanctuary in CA, not NY…
    would love the link to the one in NY as we go up to the Finger Lakes a few times a year!

  • jb 2 years ago

    Lauren and John,
    First let me say I am a 58 year old male New Jersey,USA vegan…
    Your (you and John) chemistry in your videos is spectacular
    The recipes(even though there are none..until your done..,cuz you make em up as you go) are easy to follow and understand
    and I want to say thank you for enlightening your website followers to Farm Sanctuary
    Until ALL people realize that a turkey or cow or pig or fish or chicken has it’s own
    persona and personality people will still consume animals
    I think one of my favorite FS shirts reads how can you love one and eat the other
    and it shows cats and dogs and pigs and chickens
    Finally keep up the great videos

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