Farm Sanctuary: Chickens are smarter than a 4-year-old human

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Bruce Friedrich of the Farm Sanctuary wrote an editorial concerning the intelligence level of chickens, published August 16 on the New York Daily News website.

Friedrich notes the Farm Sanctuary has been caring for rescued chickens and other animals for 25 years. They have “come to understand them as individuals with interests, desires, and personalities.” They respond to their names and react when they are called.

He references supporting research by the University of Bristol, where the studies suggest the chickens can be smarter than human toddlers. Chickens show a capacity for “empathy, navigation, communication, social interaction, transitive inference” and learning basic arithmetic.

We are learning so much more of late about animal cognition and state of consciousness. The studies are troubling for segments of society that might have a financial problem with this news getting out to general public. Some industries will resist humane methods of treatment for animals, because they will claim it cost more.

But the science is in and it can no longer be ignored.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Quick – Surprise your loved one with a Farm Animal Adoption for Valentine’s Day

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I’m a bit late posting this, but here goes.

The Farm Sanctuary, billed as America’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization, is hoping animal lovers will choose to Adopt A Farm Animal for a Valentine’s Day present this year, as opposed to the traditional flowers and candy.

You can sponsor a rescued cow, pig, sheep, goat, or chicken who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California. The recipients will receive an adoption certificate, which features a color photograph, adoption card, and an invitation to schedule a VIP tour to meet their adopted friend.

From the Farm Sanctuary release:

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Farm Sanctuary is a special place. A place of healing. A place of understanding. A place of trust. And for some rescued residents such as Elle and Randy, Farm Sanctuary is a place to find true love.

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Farm Sanctuary: Rescued pig named “The Doctor” cares for the other residents

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John Corbett, the star of “Sex and the City” and “Northern Exposure,” narrates a Farm Sanctuary video about “The Doctor” – pig at a Farm Sanctuary shelter who helps care for the other pigs.

From the press release:

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LOS ANGELES – January 7, 2013 – “We should all learn to live life like a pig,” concludes John Corbett at the end of “The Doctor,” the latest installment in Farm Sanctuary’s “Animal Tales” video series. And after spending 3:07 minutes getting to know arguably the most charismatic pig to grace screens since Babe, it is impossible disagree.


In “The Doctor,” Corbett’s famous voice brings us the story of a life-loving pig who earned his name for his endearing assistance to medical caregivers at an emergency rescue site. “I love The Doctor!,” says Corbett. “Many people don’t realize that pigs and other farm animals form strong social bonds and want to help get each other through tough times, just like we do. When you hear about the intense devotion The Doctor showed to his sick and injured pig friends following the Iowa floods of 2008, it changes the way you think about pigs. We should all be so lucky to have a friend like The Doctor.”

Farm Sanctuary’s “Animal Tales” project launched in October with Allison Janney’s story of a shy chicken named Symphony and continues to tap some of Hollywood’s most recognizable voices to share the magic of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters and the farm animals who call them home. Farm Sanctuary residents are ambassadors for all farm animals on factory farms, and each one has a story to tell.

Check out John Corbett’s new video “The Doctor” and learn more about farm animals at

Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for almost 1,000 rescued farm animals. These animals — including The Doctor — are ambassadors for the billions on factory farms who have no voice, and their stories help raise awareness about the harsh realities of factory farming.

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Farm Sanctuary video: What Came Before

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The Farm Sanctuary has asked that I post the following information on the blog.

Be forewarned, the video is very difficult to watch, as it shows graphically what animals on factory farms suffer through every day. While it’s hard for us to watch, the horrors experienced by the animals are infinitely more difficult.

From the Farm Sanctuary:

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This holiday season “Jackass” star STEVE-O wants to “introduce you to someone you’ll never forget.” Starring in a new 10-minute film short titled “What Came Before,” the star best known for inflicting pain on himself is on a mission to end the pain and suffering of the billions of animals raised for food inside America’s factory farms.

WATCH the film short here.

In the film, Steve-O introduces viewers to Nikki, Symphony, and Fanny — three animals who found refuge at Farm Sanctuary, America’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. But even more gripping than their escape stories is what came before: the life they endured packed inside modern factory farms. “What Came Before” takes viewers into the lives of Nikki, Symphony, and Fanny, and will forever change the way we look at what we eat.

“I have a tough stomach, and I’ve put myself through a lot,” says Steve-O. “But when I first found out what happens to animals on modern factory farms and in today’s slaughterhouses, I wanted to throw up — I literally couldn’t believe it. I narrated this video for Farm Sanctuary because I’m committed to doing what I can to show people all the disgusting things that happen to farm animals, and encouraging everyone to make more compassionate choices. I love that when someone does a Google search for ‘Steve-O explicit video,’ they’re going to find ‘What Came Before.’ I hope a lot of them go vegetarian.”

Check out Steve-O’s new film short at

Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for almost 1,000 rescued farm animals. These animals — including Nikki, Symphony, and Fanny — are ambassadors for the billions on factory farms who have no voice, and their stories help raise awareness about the harsh realities of factory farming.

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Actress Shannon Elizabeth is 2012 spokesperson for the Adopt A Turkey Project

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The Farm Sanctuary has announced actress Shannon Elizabeth is the 2012 spokesperson for its Adopt A Turkey Project.

From the press release:

Shannon Elizabeth

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As 2012 spokesperson of the Adopt A Turkey Project, “American Pie” star urges dog and cat lovers to extend their compassion to turkeys this Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES – October 18, 2012 – What do dogs and turkeys have in common? According to Shannon Elizabeth (“American Pie”), the new 2012 spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt A Turkey Project, they both want our attention. “The first time I met turkeys face-to-face, I couldn’t get over how they enjoyed my attention just as much as my dogs do!” exclaims Elizabeth. “Seeing firsthand how sweet and affectionate turkeys are, I could no longer separate them from how I thought about my dogs at home, who I always want to feel safe and protected.”

As spokesperson for the annual project, which gives people the opportunity to “adopt” one of the rescued birds who reside at Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California, Elizabeth has a simple message for fellow dog and cat lovers: “If you are like me and oppose animal cruelty, start a new tradition and adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project.”

More than 26 million turkeys are currently confined in miserable conditions and slaughtered each year for the Thanksgiving holiday. For more than 25 years, the Adopt A Turkey Project has provided support for the care of more than 1,000 rescued turkeys, while inspiring people everywhere to make more compassionate choices that protect animals. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters receive a special adoption certificate complete with color photo and fun details about their adopted turkey.

To learn more about the Adopt A Turkey Project, visit or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.
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Farm Sanctuary tells Symphony’s Story

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Farm Sanctuary has launched a new video series – Animal Takes. In the first video, actress Allison Janney narrates the story of Symphony, a hen rescued from a factory farm after a tornado destroyed the facility.

From the Farm Sanctuary press release:

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Prepare for Symphony, Sonny, and The Doctor to give Benji, Lassie, and Maru a run for their money when Farm Sanctuary, America’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization, launches “Animal Tales,” a new video series that taps some of Hollywood’s most recognizable voices to tell some of the most captivating animal stories the world has never before heard. Viewers will be charmed and delighted by these moving videos that capture the charming personalities of the rescued cows, pigs, chickens and other farm animals who call Farm Sanctuary home. With more than 9 billion farm animals exploited and abused annually on America’s factory farms, the series — and its growing list of A-list supporters — looks to be around for a while. Each video will be available on Farm Santuary’s web site ( and YouTube.

“Most people don’t realize that old time farming is long gone. Farm animals face extreme brutality on modern ‘animal factories,’ and their stories of survival, against all odds, are dramatic and compelling,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. “’Animal Tales’ will satisfy people’s never-ending appetite for amazing and heartwarming animal stories, while fostering a better understanding of farm animals, who are just as sweet, humorous, gentle, and endearing as the dogs and cats who share our lives.”

The series launches today as actress Allison Janney tells the story of a shy chicken named Symphony whose life was saved in an ironic twist of fate when the Ohio factory farm where she was confined was destroyed by a natural disaster. Watch the tale unfold here.

Next up:

The Doctor:
John Corbett’s famous voice brings us the story of The Doctor, a charismatic pig who earned his name for his endearing assistance to medical caregivers at an emergency rescue site.

Téa Leoni shares with us the happy ending for Sonny, a forgotten calf whose destiny turned toward recovery when he was rescued from a livestock auction site.

To learn more about the fascinating world of farm animals, visit

Farm Sanctuary is North America’s largest and most effective farm animal protection and rescue organization. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and shelter efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, New York; Orland, California; and Los Angeles provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals. These animals stand as ambassadors for the billions on factory farms who have no voice, and their stories help raise awareness about the harsh realities of factory farming.

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Alicia Silverstone promotes Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities Campaign

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Actress Alicia Silverstone is the spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities Campaign.

From the press release:

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“When people think about helping animals, they generally think about dogs and cats, but chickens, pigs, and other farm animals need our help even more. And science shows that farm animals are just as intelligent and interesting as our pets,” says Alicia Silverstone, whose best-selling book “The Kind Diet” shows just how easy and delicious vegetarian eating can be. “Vegetarian advocacy allows busy people like you and me to spare the lives of thousands of animals every year without a huge time commitment. For example, you can spare at least fifty animals a lifetime of misery on a factory farm with just an hour of leafleting. And there are lots more tips at”

Compassionate Communities was created by Farm Sanctuary, North America’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization, to promote and train animal advocates and grassroots groups in the most effective forms of animal advocacy and community building.

Vegetarian advocacy has proven to be the most effective thing caring individuals can do to help the greatest number of animals in the least amount of time. For each person who reduces the amount of meat they eat, dozens of farm animals will be spared a lifetime of suffering.

Individuals who join the Compassionate Communities Campaign will:
• Receive direct support, physical resources, and instructions on best practices to help sharpen their advocacy skills.
• Receive blog updates twice a month delivered straight to their inboxes.
• Receive challenges that will take their activism to new heights while saving thousands animals.
• Complete the challenges and report back on their progress to receive recognition and prizes.

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Peter Dinklage is Farm Sanctuary’s 2012 National Walk for Farm Animals spokesperson

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Peter Dinklage, the star of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” is serving as Farm Sanctuary’s 2012 National Walk for Farm Animals spokesperson. Walks will take place in more than 35 North American cities this fall.

“I love animals and the way they are treated on factory farms is not OK with me,” Dinklage said through a press release. “Numerous studies have shown that cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and other farm animals possess the same intelligence and capacity for fear, pain, and joy as dogs and cats, yet the meat industry uses expensive ad campaigns and clever marketing to hide the reality that animals used for food are treated like unfeeling machinery.

“Fortunately, we can think for ourselves and challenge the status quo by making choices that don’t hurt animals. Please join me in making the world a kinder place for farm animals by registering to participate in a Walk for Farm Animals near you at”

Also from the release – “” For more than 25 years, Farm Sanctuary has rescued and provided sanctuary for abused farm animals, educated the public about the routine cruelty they endure on factory farms, and advocated on their behalf. The Walks bring together thousands of people from different backgrounds in cities all across the U.S. and Canada to raise vital funds to support the organization’s life-saving work and promote kindness towards farm animals. “”

Martha Stewart featured in video speaking out for farm animals

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Martha Stewart has joined the Farm Sanctuary in speaking out for farm animals. The life farm animals lead on factory farms across the country is nothing short of horrible.

Warning: Some of the images depicted in this video might not be suitable for all viewers. It shows the extremely harsh conditions and the extremely harsh treatment many factory farm animals suffer every day.

On a more positive note, the Farm Sanctuary is offering a Valentine’s Day gift idea. The organization says – “Our special organic, fair trade Vegan “Milk” Chocolate Heart is the perfect expression of love and compassion this Valentine’s Day.”

All proceeds from the sale of the chocolate hearts go to support Farm Sanctuary’s work on behalf of abused and neglected farm animals.

Big news for Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project

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Two Boston businessmen are offering a donation-matching program to assist in the Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project.

The press release –

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BOSTON, M.A. – October 31, 2011 – This Thanksgiving, two Boston businessmen are putting their money where their mouths aren’t. Not only will John Talbot, founder of Boston Baked Bonz, a company that makes healthy, artisanal baked treats and gifts for dogs and the people who love them, and Dorr Begnal, Managing Director of Park Street Capital, an employee-owned investment management firm, not be eating a turkey this holiday, they have pledged to save as many birds as they can by matching every contribution to Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project up to $50K.

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