Farm Sanctuary Brings Hope To Farm Animals And Celebrates 25 Years

Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary

Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, speaking at his organization’s 25th anniversary celebration in New York. Photo Credit: Ibrahim Dabo.

Interview, photos, and report by Ibrahim Dabo

For 25 years, Farm Sanctuary, a New York-based animal rights organization, has worked to “protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.”

Ibrahim Dabo and Gene Baur

Ib Talk Online’s Founder, CEO, and Executive Editor Ibrahim Dabo and Farm Sanctuary’s President and Co-Founder Gene Baur at Farm Sanctuary’s 25th Anniversary Celebrity Gala.

On May 14, 2011, the organization hosted its 25th Anniversary Celebrity Gala at the Cipriani on Wall St, New York, and emphasized the need for more care toward farm animals.

“Since 1986 we’ve been rescuing animals from cruel conditions and raising awareness about abusive factory farming, and encouraging people not to support that industry but to eat more plants and less animals,” Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary told Ib Talk Online in an interview.

“We want people to become aware of these issues, become educated and ultimately make choices that they can feel good about, and also stay healthy,” Baur added.

As part of Farm Sanctuary’s anniversary, Baur embarked on a tour across the country after the gala in his aqua blue Volkswagen van, which in 1986 he used to sell veggie dogs to raise money for his organization, the leading farm animal protection organization in the country.

Labeled the Just Eats Tour, highlighting the country’s latest vegan movement, Baur’s road trip will end in Orland, California on June 4.

Jane Velez-Mitchell

Jane Velez-Mitchell said she attended the gala to “speak for the voiceless and the helpless and the most voiceless and the helpless are farm animals.” Photo credit: Ibrahim Dabo

He told Ib Talk Online that the vegan movement is gaining a lot of attention now and Farm Sanctuary’s anniversary gala is part of that awareness effort.

Jane Velez-Mitchell, award-winning television journalist, bestselling author, and host of “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell” on HLN, told Ib Talk Online she attended the gala to “speak for the voiceless and the helpless, and the most voiceless and the helpless are farm animals,” adding that Farm Sanctuary has been a leader toward compassion for farm animals.

She said 10 billion farm animals are raised and killed for food every year in America and this has to change, adding that she will do whatever it takes to support organizations that savor compassion for farm animals.

Former modeling agent and author and activist Rory Freedman, told Ib Talk Online that she attended the gala because she is “a huge fan and supporter of Farm Sanctuary and the work that they do because they are helping animals, and they are educating people that animals are not here for us to eat, wear or use in any way, shape or form.”

Rory Freedman

Rory Freedman’s book ‘Skinny Bitch’ “talks about a healthy eating diet that does not include killing, torturing or slaughtering animals.” Photo credit: Ibrahim Dabo

Freedman said, “I wrote a book called ‘Skinny Bitch’ and it’s the #1 New York Times best sellers for just less than three years now and with two or three million copies sold. It talks about a healthy eating diet that does not include killing, torturing or slaughtering animals.”

Jasmine Singer, executive director of animal rights non-profit, Our Hen House, told Ib Talk Online, “I am a very excited and proud animal activist and Farm Sanctuary has played an integral role in my activism, both personally and professionally, as I used to work for Farm Sanctuary.”

She said, “It’s not only our moral imperative to go vegan, but it’s our moral imperative to get involved with fighting for animals. We live in a time and place where there is no alternative possible other than working to end the cruelty of farm animals.”

Guests and sculpture

Guests pose for a photo with great piece of art – sculpture made out of ice. Photo credit: Ibrahim Dabo

Singer said chickens are the most exploited farm animals in America.

“They are the ultimate underdogs,” she said. “They are more exploited than any other animal. Over nine of the 10 billion animals killed in this country for food each year are chickens. So when you talk about animal rights you are really talking about chicken rights.”

The gala was kicked off by a VIP and Press Reception, and later followed by a general Reception, Three-course Gourmet Vegan Dinner, Award Ceremony, and Dessert Reception. Nellie McKay gave a special performance.

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About Ib Dabo

Ib Dabo, founder and executive editor of Ib Talk Online, is a writer, journalist, photographer, and communications and IT leader whose mission is to inspire and work with people to make a difference in our world. Visit his official website - - to learn more. Follow @IbDabo on Twitter and also @IbTalkOnline on Twitter.