Meeting farm animals isn’t available to everyone in person. But Farm Sanctuary shows you sheep, cows, and chickens from an upstate farm, virtually.
Usually, the program includes a classroom full of students, and virtual reality technology, making students feel like they are up close and personal with farm animals.
“We go into schools and talk to students about what we do at the sanctuary so they can meet some of the animals and make the connection between our food and animals and our food systems," said Aliana Turkel, a humane educator.
Farm Sanctuary is located in Watkins Glen where they take care of rescued animals.
“Sometimes they come from cruelty cases so animal control will call us and ask us to take them in sometimes we find an animal on the side of the road that has fallen off of a truck so we’ll take them in," said Turkel.
Those are the types of furry creatures students learned about on Tuesday in a socially distanced setting.
“Offering these presentations virtually so we can still reach students and talk to them and be able to show some uplifting stories during a time that may not be as uplifting," said Turkel. “We did a lot of drawings during today’s presentation and we took a poll during the presentation so people could guess how many hours they think pigs sleep. So it just takes a little bit of creativity but we are still going to be engaging with these students no matter what.”
Learning that farm animals aren’t all that different from ones we have in our homes.
“A lot of people don’t know that farm animals like to cuddle and they recognize their friends even if they’re humans and they love hanging out with humans so just being able to make that connection is really important for us," said Turkel.