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.