Gene Baur, the president and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Farm Sanctuary, speaks about how providing sanctuary to farm animals can heal us and help us reconcile our lives before choosing a vegan lifestyle. I have not yet read his book¬† Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, but I’ve heard Gene speak in several interviews and have been inspired to “live the farm sanctuary life” as a chef.

One day, I hope to create a nonprofit vegan restaurant that directly funds an animal sanctuary. I envision a casual eatery where people enjoy delicious and healthy vegan food while supporting the animals. This is the change I want to see in the world.

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When I was a kid, my grandmother lived on a nonworking 15-acre farm in Northeastern Pennsylvania.¬† There was a pond, a chicken coop, a barn, a stream, a gristmill, 10 acres of forested land and a farmhouse. Most holidays and family gatherings were spent at Grandma’s. It would be perfect location for a diverse farm animal sanctuary. And what a dream come true to revitalize the property that my whole family holds dear. But any farm can become a farm sanctuary. Like all of us, it must simply desire to change.

Heyer Mill, Nazareth, PA, 1987