192: Gene Baur on Farm Animal Protection.

Making choices to help defend animals in industrial agriculture.

Gene Baur Gene is co‑founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, a national non-profit organization working to end cruelty to farm animals and change the way society views and treats farm animals. Hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine and recently selected by Oprah Winfrey to join her Super Soul 100 dream team of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity,” he was a pioneer in undercover investigations and instrumental in passing the first U.S. laws to ban inhumane factory farming practices.
He has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of animal agriculture and our cheap food system. Gene has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, and is a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Vegan since 1985, he’s recently started competing in marathons and triathlons, including an Ironman, to demonstrate the benefits of plant-based eating.

In This Podcast: 

The co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, tells Greg about his life as a vegan and triathlete as well as what prompted him to create a safe facility for rescued farm animals.  He has many helpful tips for those who are wanting to try the meatless lifestyle and diet, and he shares some insight on how to work with those you disagree with.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Growing up in California and watching old oak trees being cut down and animals being hurt by human activity and being deeply affected
  • Going vegan in 1985
  • The focus of Farm Sanctuary
  • Why going vegan is important and what kind of effect this can help
  • How he has been able to participate in triathlons without eating any meat
  • The effects he has seen since changing to a plant based diet
  • Why the gut is so important in the healthy diet
  • More about the conditions for farm animals on industrial farms
  • Why vegans choose to not eat cheese or milk
  • How the philosophy of most vegans is basically about treating all animals with compassion
  • Why he uses the Salem Witch Trials as an example of the killing of an animal
  • More about his new book, which include tips, advice, recipes, and examples
  • Some of the exciting aspects of a vegan diet
  • How we can save money by switching to a plant based diet, and improve our health
  • How to make changes in stages to help move towards a healthy plant based diet
  • Being recognized by Oprah Winfrey
  • Why a book left by some stranger at a vacation rental helped him connect with Jon and Tracy Stewart
  • How that had such an effect on him getting his message out
  • What the new Farm Sanctuary facility is going to be like
  • How people can visit the locations and take part in the programs
  • What the first animal was that they rescued and how they found her
  • Some of the obstacles that they have experienced

As well as:

  • His failure – one of their early campaigns to stop a pigeon shoot and how their tactics was not helping anyone
  • His success – maintaining respect for those he disagrees with and being patient and understand when things don’t go his way
  • His drive – his desire to create a better and more compassionate world
  • His advice – pay attention to what you are doing, try to do things that you can feel good about and are good for you

Books written by Gene:

Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day

Gene’s Book recommendations:      

John Robbins – Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth Second Edition

How to reach Gene:  

Website: FarmSanctuary.org

Facebook: @farmsanctuary and Gene Baur



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1 Comment

  1. Greg, I am all for the humane treatment of farm animals, but I found this episode extremely biased as well as very slanted towards the propaganda usually found in the no meat/vegan diet. In fact, I found myself feeling very angry while listening to it! I think we can all agree there are definitely some inhumane practices out there, however, there are also a multitude of producers working hard to raise their livestock in an extremely positive, healthy environment. For example, check out Ethan Book’s podcast “The Beginning Farmer” and his humanely raised pork, not to mention your former guests Shawn and Beth Dougherty and their methods for raising dairy and beef cows.
    Mr. Baur seemed to demonize anyone who chooses to consume meat in their diet by saying things like “we need to separate ourselves from people who follow this practice” and repeatedly referring to the vegan diet as a better path and those who aren’t there yet don’t need to feel “guilty” for not making the better choice. I’m sure what he has chosen is good for him, but to claim his way is the better way and all others need to see the light of their sins is very closed minded. He only furthers the divisiveness currently plaguing our nation.
    Could I recommend a read of Nina Teicholz’s book “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet”? She would be a GREAT guest on the show. Contrary to what Mr. Baur claimed, I do not feel ill when I eat meat. I feel satisfied and healthy, and a good piece of bacon-wrapped turkey, a filet mignon, or bbq chicken is amazing to eat! Add all the greens you’re eating now to that and you have yourself a healthy diet. Moderation is the key.
    Like I said in the beginning, I strongly believe in humanely raising and processing our farm animals, and to be honest, I find a lot of comfort in taking an approach of gratitude to my animals when it comes time for processing. I’ve done all I can to ensure their health and happiness and I give them my gratitude for providing me and my family food. Thanks for all of your work Greg.

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