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Lawyer opens a farm animal sanctuary on his ranch

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San Diego Tribune reports on John Fiske, and how he went from a courtroom to a sanctuary.

The 32-year-old attorney had a “light bulb moment” watching Cowspiracy, and decided that the toll that animal agriculture takes on animals and the environment is too high. Now, he’s opening the San Diego Farm Animal Sanctuary on May 15th, on his home ranch. The 2.5-acre Elfin Forest property currently houses four rescued horses, a crippled pig, two hens, a German shepherd, and will be home to some goats soon. Fiske plans on fostering animals and finding them forever homes, and no one will yell “I object!” to that.

Long dedicated to using law to help the environment, he has represented a number of California cities in suing Monsanto for the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) they’ve released in to waterways. But it was one of Fiske’s former girlfriends that helped him understand the impact animal agriculture was having, and encourage his transition to vegetarianism. We think he’s going to need a vegan girlfriend, ASAP, if he hasn’t made the same connections to the egg and dairy industries.

But he understands that things need to change across the board. “Our society has drawn a line between eating cows and pigs and eating dogs and cats, but there’s no real reason for it. The number of farm animals killed each year is astronomically high,” he told San Diego Tribune. That speciesism he’s referring is something we know all too well.  He continues, “Our food system has become a grotesque, violent industry, and unless we help out those who can’t help themselves, our job isn’t done.” And we don’t all need to open sanctuaries for that, even if we all secretly want to. We can go vegan, and start making a difference right away. 

To cover the costs of animal feed and upkeep, Fiske rents out a studio apartment on the property through Airbnb, and sells cherimoya fruit from his own grove. He still works in law by day, but can be found snuggling animals by night. We think that if he uses his voice, farm, and influence to promote veganism as a moral baseline, he’ll have the greatest impact. 

Photo from San Diego Tribune

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