In the 1950s, Mike Lanigan and his family moved to a farm to raise and slaughter cows. After graduating high school he went for further schooling and was gone for the next 20 years. He spent these next 20 years first getting a university education then working with the forestry department. After his dad died, he bought the farm and resumed the farming business. Although he did many other farming-related things, raising and selling cows for meat was his main source of income. He has never liked the selling cows for slaughter process and just this year finally decided to call it quits. He finally came to the conclusion this summer while lovingly coaxing a newborn calf to take milk from its mother.
An old farm hand employee of his fathers by the name of Wilfred Fletcher came to mind. Fletcher, he recalled, had been notably as loving toward all of the cows just before slaughtering them. It was then that Lanigan resolved to change. To this end, he garnered the assistance of a vegan colleague to help him make an affordable farming transition. This vegan ally, Edith Barabash, has become his partner in the task. In the end, he turned the farm into a farming sanctuary for all animals. So far in addition to the 21 cows there are geese, horses, and a donkey.
Barabash has become just as committed to the sanctuary farm as Lanigan. To get the word out and to help get the farm official sanctuary status, Barabash created a video and Facebook page about the farm. They are hoping this will help them raise the large amount required to maintain a farm. Lanigan does not regret his decision. He wants to be able to retire with a clear conscience which he simply could not do if he was selling cows for slaughter. But he admits missing the extra income that makes farming so much easier. Instead, for income he sells vegetables, lumber, and maple syrup.