Are Animal Sanctuaries a Good Thing?

Graeme M

Forum Legend
Nov 23, 2019
Reaction score
Canberra, Australia
  1. Vegan
I saw a post on FB about an animal sanctuary visit by a local vegan activist. There was a lot of criticism for this on the basis that the activist had only recently posted about the right of animals to be free and not owned by people; commenters saw a parallel between animal ownership and exploitation and animal sanctuaries.

I am not fond of them as I have seen too many fail and end up leading to poor outcomes for the animals. I also don't know whether it even makes sense to rescue farmed animals and keep them locked up, even if they have room to move. Animals exist to reproduce, that's about it. In nature, their lives are about being part of their group, of looking for food, mating, producing young. They tend not to contemplate life as humans can. Yes, a pig at a sanctuary might be "happy", but I am not sure her life is fulfilling in the sense that her natural behaviours are able to be explored. I suspect sanctuaries really exist to make people feel good, to feel they are making a difference. Perhaps even to give their own life meaning. Which is fine, but I can't help feeling that is a little at odds with the underlying philosophy of veganism.

What do you think about animal sanctuaries, are they a good idea? Are they even vegan?