Goat Cheese Dairy Farm Turns into Vegan Sanctuary

Goat farm Broken Shovels’ owner Andrea Davis shut down the “humane” dairy farm after realizing that “there was no right way to do a wrong thing.”


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Former dairy farmer Andrea Davis is transitioning her Colorado goat farm into The Sanctuary School at Broken Shovels Farm, an animal sanctuary and vegan educational center. Nine years ago, Davis wanted to make goat cheese as “humanely” as possible, but soon realized that the dairy industry comes with a set of inherently cruel practices. While Broken Shovels never sent “unproductive” goats to slaughter (as many farms do), after making goat cheese for five years, Davis came to the realization that she could no longer separate baby goats from their mothers, who continued to exhibit separation anxiety similar to humans. Last winter, Davis began to keep family units together, remove the number of goats milked on the farm, and provide sanctuary for the remaining animals—which includes 24 chickens and eight sick cats and dogs she rescued from a traditional dairy farm where she worked in North Carolina, along with other farmed animals Davis rescued from slaughter. “I came to terms with the fact that there was no right way to do a wrong thing,” Davis said. “At some point I found vegan education, and though initially and stubbornly resistant to the idea, everything I was reading made undeniable sense.” Now, Davis is hoping to raise funds to help the transition, keeping on-site animals well-fed, housed, and accessible to interact with children visitors with the goal of teaching compassion to animals. “This is the most terrifying day of my life, believe me,” Davis said, “as well as the happiest. I have 250 lives depending on me.” Davis posted an itemized “wish list” to the new sanctuary’s Facebook page—with the animals’ well-being as a top priority—for those interested in making a donation.