Freedom Farm Sanctuary: Giving Animals Hope

So many animals are tortured, killed and abused. But Freedom Farm Sanctuary gives a few lucky animals new hope!

By Noa Ben Moshe

Have you ever met a real chicken, rubbed a piggy’s belly, fed a donkey or had a kiss from a cow? Unless you live next to a farm of some kind, those animals are living far away from our own lives, in cruel, overcrowded factory farms, and the only time we get to see them, or, parts of them, is in supermarkets, wrapped nicely, far from their original form and identity. We have no way of looking in their eyes and feeling their pain.

I believe if everyone got to make friends with farm animals, most people would go vegan. I’ve had several opportunities to get up close and personal with many barnyard beasts, and it’s always counted as one of the best things I’ve ever done.

For example, a few weeks ago, I arrived in one of the most positive, calm, and peaceful places I’ve ever visited. It felt being in a beautiful dream, and didn’t really want to wake up. Where is this place, you ask? Well, it’s called Freedom Farm Sanctuary.

Freedom Farm Sanctuary

Freedom Farm Sanctuary: A Place Of Hope

This sanctuary is a safe haven for abused and rescued animals, located 40 minutes from Tel Aviv. It was created by two inspiring vegan women – Meital Ben Ari and Adit Romano – and supported by people around the world who aspire to make a change in the attitude of human beings towards other earthly creations.

Above all, FFS is an educational, judgement-free place: no matter who you are an what you’re eating, you’re welcome to visit, experience, ask and learn. The farm aspires to highlight the similarities between humans and animal, demonstrating that just like us, all animals experience feelings of love, pain, fear and boredom. They each have a unique personality, just like us, and want to live full, free lives – just like us.

But, unlike cats or dogs, we often don’t think of farm animals as having feelings or personalities. We even created a separate vocabulary that masks the pain and suffering of animals: cows become ‘beef’, pigs become ‘pork’ and dead flesh is ‘meat’, for example. This kind of brainwashing is undone pretty quickly at Freedom Farm Sanctuary, and even if you can’t make it to Israel to visit this incredible place, I sincerely urge you to find the nearest farm sanctuary near you.

I arrived here to do a shoot with the talented photographer Tevel Gilad, and Lada Erfurt,  a cruelty-free makeup artist who’s responsible for this breathtaking glowy look. My co-stars in the shoot are, of course, some of the animal residents at FFS. Get to know them below!

Freedom Farm Sanctuary

Meet The Residents Of Freedom Farm Sanctuary

Eden the Cow

Often when animals are born “damaged” the impairment causes a loss of value for their owners. Ironically, what is “wrong” with the animal is what actually allows them to be saved from a horrible fate. Such was the case with Eden, who was born prematurely. Being too small is what saved his life. Bred for the meat industry, tiny Eden was of no interest to the cattle trader. The farmer kept Eden in a tiny cage with the hope of selling him as veal when the cattle trader next arrived.

During this time, the farmer fell in love with Eden and his sweet and loving nature. When Eden had at last gained enough weight to be sold, the farmer knew she could never imagine him being sent for slaughter- that’s how he arrived at the FFS.

Today Eden is big, strong, smart and so friendly- he loves cuddles and people, and brings joy to many beings!

Yossi the Piggie

I’d never seen a pig in my life before – because In 1962 a law was passed making it illegal to raise pigs on Israeli soil, with the exclusion of scientific institutes and closed zoos. At the age of one week, Yossi (named after my friend after Yossi Wolfson, the lawyer for “Let the Animals Live” organization and one of the most dedicated and educated humans when it comes to  animal rights and welfare) was brutally castrated without any anaesthesia because there is a belief that the castration makes their meat taste better. His tail was docked and his teeth clipped.

These horrors occur daily in pig pens due to the terrible over-crowded conditions which make the pigs develop violent behaviours. This sweet baby was so afraid of humans that he ran every time a human came close to him. Pigs are highly intelligent. In fact, they are the fourth most intelligent mammal, smarter than dogs, therefore, it only took a couple of days for him to realize that at FFS he was safe. Instead of running away, he began running towards the FFW team for food and cuddles.

Baruch the Sheep

Suffering from severe neglect, famished and sick with scabies, Baruch was found near death at a petting zoo, where most of the animals were suffering from the same negligence. Before he arrived at FFS, thanks to Let the Animals Live and a special unit appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Baruch was immediately sent to an intensive rehabilitation facility, and once he was out of danger,

Baruch was transferred to the Freedom Farm Sanctuary. Due to genetic modification, sheep are bred to have excessive wool growth on their bodies. This causes many problems, and they must have their wool sheared at least twice a year. Baruch was so uncared for that it took hours of careful work by a specialist to safely shear him. Now he is healthy and handsome, loves to cuddle, hug and live freely!

The Future of Freedom Farm Sanctuary

FFS’s is in the mission to evolve and grow: with the help of people like us, they will be able to make their vision come true and open a non-judgmental auditorium where lectures, workshops and film viewings will be held. These will focus on the impact of the food and fashion industries on animals, the environment, and human health. There will also be cooking and plant-based nutrition courses; a first of its kind museum exhibiting the terrible moral, health-related and ecological implications of consuming animal products and a vegan restaurant and will introduce the visitors to the surprising wealth and variety of tastes of a healthy, fun vegan diet. Like these ideas? Donate to FFS here!

Freedom Farm Sanctuary

The Shoot: Get My Look

Everything I wore in this editorial was, as always, completely cruelty-free and vegan (special shoutout to  Ovide for my cork jacket, Votch for my watch and V.GAN for my boots) – including the makeup on my face!

In order to give you the best possible description of the creation of this makeup look, I asked Lada to describe exactly what she did, in her own words.

  1. I began by applying moisturizer and liquid highlighter all over the face, focusing on the high points like the cheekbones, nose and the centre of the face. Then I applied a CC cream, using a damp sponge and used concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes.
  2. For contouring, I used a darker shade of concealer with a fluffy duo-fibre brush and then intensified the cream-highlight on the high points and used a soft pink lipstick as a blush on the apples of the cheeks.
  3. Afterwards, I used the damp sponge to set, strategically, the under-eye area and wherever needed on the face making sure not to take away from the overall glow. Then I went over the cream products and intensified them with powder ones.
  4. To mimic the freckles, I used a darker shade of concealer on a small pointy brush. I dotted some dots in no particular order and then immediately used a finger to “copy-paste” the dots around and mesh them into the skin before the concealer sets, to give them a more realistic look.
  5. I Filled in the brows with a brow pencil and powder and brushed the hairs up with a brow gel
  6. For the eyes, I just concealed the lids and blended a warm brown shadow in the crease and some shimmery shadow on the lid. Highlighted the inner corner and brow bone.
  7. Then curled the lashes, applied mascara and half of a faux false lash on each eye and some black liner on the upper lash line (without a wing), mainly to hide the false-lash band.
  8. On the lips, I just went in with a clear gloss and then set everything with a dewy setting spray to add even more glow.
Thanks so much for reading about my experience at this incredible farm! I really hope you will donate to them – it’s well worth it! And if you have a farm sanctuary near your house, please do visit and support them, too!
As always, if you’d like to read more about my vegan adventures, follow my blog, or follow me on Insta.
See you next time!
Photo credits: Tevel Gilad  Makeup: Lada Erfurt
Noa Ben-Moshe
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