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42 Incredibly Moving Things You See At Farm Sanctuary

Sometimes it takes animals to show us how to be better humans.

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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to go to one of the most magical places ever: Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. This is what I learned.

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7. Despite their backgrounds, many of the animals are able to establish trust with humans.

Chelsea Marshall

Some are still skeptical, and their needs are respected just the same.

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8. Did you know cows casually roam through the woods?

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(I didn't, and it was magical.)

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18. Most turkeys and chickens of factory farms are "debeaked," a horrible process that burns off the top of their beaks so they don't fight each other in the small enclosures they are forced into.

Chelsea Marshall

Their beaks are filled with nerves so this process is not only extremely painful for the bird but it also leads to a lifetime of chronic pain. There's no other way to put it: It's astonishingly awful.

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20. A lot of the animals will surprise you.

Chelsea Marshall

Full disclosure: I came here thinking I would be terrified of the chickens and turkeys. They just seemed unpredictable and not particularly nice. I WAS SO, SO WRONG. When they're treated well and allowed to just be themselves, they are so loving and sweet. Kind of like humans.

27. Animals who come in with friends or family get to stay together.

Chelsea Marshall

After suffering extreme traumas at the hands of humans, including getting their young repeatedly taken from them, the animal mamas are very protective of their babies. The sanctuary is committed to keeping them together for the mental health of their animals.

29. Pigs love treats and snoozes and should never be approached like a dog.*

Chelsea Marshall

*Due to their poor eyesight, pigs aren’t the biggest fans hands near their face, even if you're just trying to allow them to smell you (like you would a dog).

37. ...and some need some extra sunscreen.

Chelsea Marshall

This guy suffered some awful injuries and burns after a truck accident, so he gets ointment and sunscreen applied to him daily.

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