Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unsung Heroes for Our Times: Farm Sanctuary's Susie Coston

Susie Coston, National Shelter Director for Farm Sanctuary

Many of us have heard a clarion call and we are doing what we can to combat climate change, the use of toxic chemicals, habitat loss, factory farming, pet overpopulation and more. In early March I began a series of posts I call Unsung Heroes for Our Times to call attention to some courageous individuals who are doing what they can to make this planet a better place. I continue now with Susie Coston, National Shelter Director for Farm Sanctuary, a remarkable organization that works to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals and promote compassionate living.

Susie Coston is an animal advocate dedicated to changing the lives of farm animals. She is also a gifted writer with the ability to infuse her words with truth and power. Her stories about the lives of farm animals are filled with joy, sorrow, freedom and beauty, and they stir the hearts and minds of readers, many of whom are moved to participate in advancing Farm Sanctuary's mission. I highly recommend Susie's blog, Sanctuary Tails.
"Animals who are exploited on factory farms are among the most abused creatures on the planet," says Farm Sanctuary Founder Gene Bauer. But few people are aware of their suffering. In bringing the stories of farm animals to the public, Susie has greatly increased awareness and helped consumers become humane change agents.

About Agribusiness: Agribusiness is a big and powerful machine focused solely on profits. You can learn more about these large scale, industrial operations here. Agribusiness includes fresh produce growing/packing/shipping, aquaculture, growing trees and ornamental plants. Megafarms are sited in remote locations, away from the public eye, because operators don't want you and me to see their abhorrent practices, which in addition to the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, can also include the fouling of air and water through unsound waste management.

On factory farms living beings like cows, chickens and pigs are regarded as “products” to be churned out. Unseen, unheard and unknown, they suffer a short, brutal existence. Those who spin perception to promote what agribusiness does attempt to portray their cruel and relentless production operations as a way to keep food prices in check for consumers and even as a viable solution to world hunger.

Ironically, the truth is that the way these animals are raised ― fed a steady diet of antibiotic laced and often genetically engineered feed, without ever seeing sunlight or feeling grass beneath their feet ― causes them to become extremely unhealthy “food” for us to consume.

Susie Coston understands the needs of farm animals and they need her. For her tireless work in rescuing farm animals from the horrors of agribusiness, and for restoring spirit to those animals who have almost given up, Susie helps spread the message that farm animals are sentient individuals that deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. For all these reasons Susie Coston is an Unsung Hero for Our Times.

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