Cheryl and Robert

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cheryl and robert

I heard about Farm Sanctuary in the early ‘90s by word-of-mouth from some progressively- minded vegans as I’d begun to learn more about factory farming and how to make life-changing choices. That was really before the Internet was so much a part of our lives. It’s so different now, so much easier for young people to have all that in their consciousness.

Farm Sanctuary has stayed true to its core values as it has evolved and expanded. I still feel that a very substantial portion of the dollars I give go directly to the animals’ well-being. That's not an observation I can make about all organizations dedicated to change.

 I’ve visited the New York Sanctuary, and one of the most memorable experiences has been watching National Shelter Director Susie Coston in action! She has an incredible way with the animals. It’s amazing how they trust her, how she communicates with them and knows everyone as an individual. During one visit, she took me into the pen of some piglets and their mothers recently rescued from floods in the Midwest — it made me cry to see the piglets’ playful joy, knowing that if not for those floods, these particular babies would have been born into horror.

As Robert and I both continue aging and transition to retirement incomes, we realize we won’t be able to give as much to Farm Sanctuary on an annual basis. But we have taken steps to protect our house and keep it in well-cared-for condition, so we have every expectation that it will survive us. We are drawn to the possibility that its eventual worth can mean the fulfillment of a project at the New York Shelter. What we put out there comes back to us, and I’d like to think of a legacy gift as a kind of reverse of this — a thank you for the good fortune of our lives, the freedoms and pursuit of happiness.