Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary (in Dallington, East Sussex) is a self-funded and vegan run farm which offers full-time care and a ‘home for life’ to animals and birds ‘rescued from the misery of the meat and dairy industry and the horrors of the slaughterhouse.’ They have just four Open Days per year in which they allow visitors to attend the farm and meet the staff and animal residents. Our vegan friends managed to get us all tickets and so we were very fortunate to go to the first Open Day on Sunday 3rd June.
The farm has both grazing fields for the animals to roam around and pens for the younger animals or for animals which require specific care or treatments. We got to meet a number of farm animals and were allowed to enter the pens to stroke the animals and find out more about why there are in care..
Lambs and Sheep
These little lambs were just ever so sweet. Unfortunately all of their mothers had died, so would have been left to die if they hadn’t been taken into care. They were ever so soft and curious.. they didn’t seem afraid of us humans at all and kept coming up to nuzzle into us, so so cute.
During the Open Day at Hugletts, we got to see chickens, cockerels, ducks and geese. They might have had more or had different breeds of birds previously, but this was all that I could see on the day!
Cows and Bulls
There were a couple of cow fields as well as a few pens for the younger or timider cows and bulls. We got to hear some super sad stories of how some of the cows/bulls were mistreated before coming to Hugletts.
Food at the Pop-up Vegan Cafe
In the middle of the farm, there was a gazebo set up for the pop-up cafe, which of course, was serving vegan-only food! There was pretty decorative bunting hung in between the trees and table and chairs were set up for the visitors. From 11-1pm there were drinks, filled rolls and Craving Cakes cupcakes (who also supply to Loving Hut in Brighton) being served. At 1pm, the hot meals and lunches were brought out for the visitors. On offer, was a Ghormeh sabzi, lentil dahl and vegan meatballs which was served with white rice or a crispy baguette. You could also get a mixed salad box and a lentil pastry tart. At 3pm, they brought out a further 6 or so cakes and brownies by Craving Cakes. They looked amazing but as we already had cupcakes we didn’t fancy another cake (shocker!). I can confirm from previous times, that they are definitely worth getting though!
Throughout the day, there were a few cow walks which you could sign up to. Wenda, who formed and runs Hugletts, told us more about the cows and how they live and act. We were told several stories regarding the suffering of these bulls and how they found themselves at Hugletts. These humble and peaceful creatures were just ever so majestic, calm and beautiful. Some were 7ft tall yet there was such an air of serenity when meeting them. I felt honoured to be in their presence and their space. It was incredible being so close to them, knowing they weren’t there to be sent to a slaughterhouse or to be used for their milk. Seeing them at their full size (which never happens in the animal agriculuture industry) was an experience in itself.
Although I have never been to a zoo since choosing a vegan lifestyle. Coming here really reinforced the importance of not supporting industries which use animals for entertainment. You could really see the emotions of these animals and their different personalities. These sentient beings, show emotion, sensitivity and intelligence, just like humans. These farm animals deserve all the love and care that we show our house pets.
Hugletts really is a special place and they need the necessary donations and funding to be able to keep up with all their amazing work. If you get the opportunity to attend one of their open days, I highly recommend it!
‘All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure, unchangeable, eternal law.’
– Acharanga Sutra