CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A national farm-animal rights activist is trying to get people thinking about what they are eating.

“Most people don’t think very much about the impacts of when they eat and those impacts are profound not only for our own health but for the well being of other animals and for the planet itself,” said Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary.

In 1986, Baur came up with the idea of creating Farm Sanctuary, which today has grown to a network of three farms in New York and California where rescued factory animals are retired to live our their lives naturally.

Since the start of Farm Sanctuary, Baur has been on a mission to educate people about purchasing animal foods from factory farms. He was in Charleston Wednesday night doing just that. Baur said most people don’t realize what goes into creating that fast food hamburger.

“It is legally acceptable for diseased animals to be slaughtered and used for human food,” Baur said. “The majority of antibiotics produced and used in the United States are used in animal agriculture to keep animals alive and growing in this factory farming system which results in the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria and that can impact human health very negatively.”

On top of that, Baur adds that animals are treated inhumanely on the factory farms and additionally there is an enormous amount of natural resources used to create meat, eggs and dairy.

When food is processed, a lot of key nutrients are removed like fiber and then harmful additives may be added, according to Baur. He said that’s why he recommends eating whole foods.

“Whole food’s bring more nutrients, more fiber and more of the things that are good for us and less of the bad things, less of the additives that can create problems,” he said.

In fact, Baur, who is a vegan, encourages people to live a vegan lifestyle.

“It’s good for us, it’s good for the animals and it’s good for the planet,” Baur said.

Baur, however, understands that the vegan lifestyle is not for everyone, but he just wants people to think about their personal food choices and decide what is best for them based upon the facts of factory farming.

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  • Keri P

    Here is some reliable data for anyone interested in the truth about animal agriculture. The speaker, nor the journalist seemed to do any research on this matter.

  • Keri P

    Joan H. is correct. Having a masters degree in agriculture, I can assure everyone that 80% of antibiotic use in America is used on humans and pets. If an animal is given treatments due to illness, there are withdraw times that farmers must abide by before an animal can be sent to slaughter. Our farmers work very hard every day to provide safe and high quality products to consumers. Let's not continue promoting this false information which is detrimental to farmers ability to do a job that we ALL benefit from.

  • Joan H

    Mr. Baur should familiarize himself a little better with federal law. It is NOT legal for diseased animals to be sold for human consumption. 98% of farms in this country are family-owned, and just like any good businessman, farmers take good care of their animals, so they can bring the best product to market.

  • Earl Ray

    It's capital, not Capitol. Lol you should really have made sure your condescending post was spelled correctly.

    • Hop'sHip

      Are you saying he should have not Capitolized it?

  • 2XLPatriot

    While I agree with food choices and am a strong opponent of factory farming, antibiotics, steroids and hormones, I will not embrace the vegan lifestyle. The FDA allows certain amounts of known cancer causing fillers and additives in foods. Fast food restauraunts are for population control, plain and simple. I'll raise my own animals on the grass they are meant to eat and seasonally, harvest the true fast foods of nature, deer, squirrels, rabbits, etc.

    • Michelle

      Agreed 2XLPatriot. I do not eat beef, pork or poultry - mainly due to the antibiotics/steroids/etc that are in factory farmed/raised foods. I will eat wild game that I know where it comes from (the hunter/the area/how killed). The FDA has it's hands in big business- when it should be separated to keep Americans healthy. Sadly - money will always win out, so it's up to the consumer to decide what is healthy to go in their bodies.
      Gene Baur is not a radical spouting off becoming a vegan. He CHOOSES to do it- and as well he understands it is not for everyone. He does however want everyone to have safe and healthy foods if they choose to consume those meats.

  • That guy over there

    People on here have nothing better to do than grammar police....Internet etiquette 101...If you have nothing to add to an online discussion, point out bad grammar.

  • Wes

    Someone didn't turn the spell check on.

  • Jane

    Nice spelling job in your headline... I mean it's only the state Capitol, no reason to get that right.

  • thornton

    Does one need to look farther than FS locations of New York and California?

    But, for kicks and giggles and according to their website..."Goats are merry pranksters" and one charming soul opines..."I wouldn’t deliberately eat a grouper any more than I’d eat a cocker spaniel. They’re so good-natured, so curious. You know, fish are sensitive, they have personalities, they hurt when they’re wounded.”

    As is all too common today, the extremists drive the discussion of what can be legitimate concerns re any issue.... in this case livestock, et al. In addition here, the extremists are also certifiably loony.

    • NorthernWVman

      Very Very Very Well said!!!

    • Jennifer

      Thornton- well said!