- support human understanding of the nature and lived experience of farm animals, as individuals and species;
- explore the mutually liberatory potential for human-animal relationships and community in a sanctuary setting; and
- support holistic emotional, social, physical, and community care; and explore radical modes of listening, observing, and understanding the expressed desires and agency of farm animals.
We recognize that research methods have the potential to perpetuate oppressive hierarchies and systemic inequity and injustice if researchers are not intentional about engaging in counter-oppressive research practices. Our mission is grounded in a commitment to continuously interrogate and evolve our methodology to counter potential harm and the perpetuation of oppression. That commitment includes, but is not limited to, working to ensure that our research approach counters practices that reflect the logic of human and white supremacy by centering racial justice and the care, needs, and interests of animal residents.
Original research is conducted at the sanctuaries by both our research staff and external researchers in alignment with Farm Sanctuary’s research ethics guidelines. All research at Farm Sanctuary must be designed and carried out with the animal residents’ needs, preferences, desires, health, and safety as top priorities and will either improve welfare, restore agency to the residents, or both. Research should be designed in such a way as to avoid instrumentalization of animal subjects. For example, many research projects highlight the ways that nonhuman animals are similar to humans, but this notion serves to create a hierarchy that places humans at the top and suggests that nonhuman animals who are more like humans are more deserving of our compassion. Research with sanctuary residents should express equal respect for all species as well as individual differences between members of the same species.
Research with the Animals Advisory Committee
Farm Sanctuary has convened a Research with the Animals Advisory Committee to guide our research program by ensuring high levels of scientific rigor and alignment with our research ethics guidelines.
If you are interested in conducting research at Farm Sanctuary, please see our call for proposals!