Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary is located on Tabularasa Farm in the beautiful area of Greyton in the Western Cape province of South Africa. We were fortunate enough to visit them recently.
The sanctuary offers a forever home to orphaned, sick or retired farm animals, giving them a natural, full and long life with all their needs met. Vets attend the farm regularly. They have a no breeding policy for all the animals, including their rescue cats and dogs. The sanctuary is owned and run by Nicola Vernon and Rohan Millson. The sanctuary is vegan, which means that they do not use the animals for their skin, their flesh, or their secretions e.g. milk or eggs. It is a resource for Greyton Transition Town‘s Humane Education Programme which aims to reach every child between the ages of five and eighteen years within the area of Greyton and neighbouring communities within the next five years.
It is just a few kilometers outside of the beautiful little town of Greyton, along the Krige Road. Depending on when you go, grab a meal at Pure Café, a sustainable, vegetarian/vegan restaurant/shop that supports the work of the Non-Profit Greyton Transition Town. It is the heart of GTT’s Incredible Edible campaign which is supporting local organic farmers and helping them to grow and thrive, to bring food security to Greyton and surrounding villages. Most of the produce is fresh, seasonal, organic and locally grown or made. We stopped here first, and had an amazing brunch.
Unfortunately Nicola was at a conference in Cape Town when we arrived, but we were greeted at the gate by Rohan. Rohan is passionate vegan activist and author, who we had previously seen speak at the Earth Animals Community Conference at the University of Cape Town. Rohan studied Plant Based Nutrition at eCornell University in New York, and is the author of a book titled “Why Animals Aren’t Food; and How Low Carb and Paleo Diets Sicken and Kill Us”. The book is available from Amazon in case you’re interested.
Rohan showed us around the sanctuary and introduced us to all the amazing animals that they look after. I was blown away by how huge the sheep were. When I commented on this, Rohan informed us that they are normal sheep, but that we will probably never have seen them at this size because sheep on regular farms are slaughtered at six months old. Theirs are about five years old. Some were really shy, and watched us from behind their shed. Others were really affectionate and came up to rub themselves against us. The baby pigs were ridiculously cute. I could spend hours just watching them play and run around.
The bigger pigs can be intimidating at first, but once Rohan showed us how to basically flip them over by rubbing their belly, they are so gentle and content. They love it so much that as soon as you bend down and scratch their tummies, they just flop onto their side for more. Next Rohan took us to where the baby lambs are kept. OH. MY. WORD. They might be the cutest, most fragile little animals I have ever seen. We cuddled and fed them for a while. As we walked around and meandered between the different areas, Rohan told us the history of the place, and the stories of each of the animals that they have rescued or received.
Being there was, at the same time, heartbreaking and inspiring. It made me realise just how much potential we have to coexist peacefully with these amazingly complex and gentle animals, yet choose to slaughter them on a massive scale every hour of every day, killing them, killing our planet, killing our connection to the other animals and the Earth, and killing our own compassion and empathy. We do not need to consume animals to survive or to be healthy. Animal agriculture and its proponents are lying to us and are devastating our planet.
I challenge anyone who consumes animal products to visit, and to experience these animals in a context outside of the one we are all used to, one where the animals are not simply resources. They have lives, needs and desires of their own, and they are living them out happily and in peace. Experience what it feels like to share a connection with an animal who has feelings, enjoys tummy rubs, and returns affection; animals usually seen in terms of their “cuts” and what they can produce for us to use, consume or sell. I challenge you to draw the connection when you visit, and realise that there is no difference between the animals you love and the animals you eat. I challenge you to go vegan.
Visitors need to book an appointment to visit the farm by contacting Nicola on 0825587752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They ask for a donation to the sanctuary of cash or food for the animals. Their pigs need fresh vegetables, acorns (in season), rabbit pellets, parrot food, sunflower seeds, good quality vegetable oil, sunblock and tummy tickles. They also welcome donations and sponsorship of the animals.
Their bank details are:
Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary,
FNB Caledon 200212,
Cheque account number 62524403376
They are also registered with PayPal as Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary.
Words by Pete | Photo’s by Cara