Hof Narr, Switzerland
Sarah and George transformed their Farm into a Vegan Animal Sanctuary
Sarah Heiligtag and her husband George came into farm transformation through a unique angle. While studying philosophy, she became absorbed in the question of ethics. This line of study opened up many theoretical questions about both the rights of humans and animals. Simultaneously George was studying environmental science. As their understanding deepened they became vegans and together came to the resolution that why wanted to create a vegan farm. After school was completed and while passionately working for animal rights, Sarah went to farming school to do the certifications required for farming in Switzerland. And although she didn’t agree with their methods, Sarah was able to study what she would need to someday create the farm of her dreams.
“At Hof Narr, animals will have a home for the rest of their lives, but we are focused on producing vegan food. We use as little resources as possible and produce wholesome food, we want the whole farm to work together.”
Sarah began to rescue animals and make friends with her neighbor in order to have space to corral her rescues. This friendship deepened as the farmers confided that they wanted to quit farming because they were frustrated with the challenges involved with farming animals. Overjoyed to have the opportunity to transform a farm into their ethical vision, Sarah and George took over their neighbor’s farm and transformed it into Hof Narr, a veganic farm and animal sanctuary. In addition to growing vegetables and caring for their rescued animals, Hof Narr hosts educational events to help their community learn about sustainability and veganism. These educational events gave them media exposure and additional visibility within their community. Due to this visibility, farmers now contact them looking for support as they transition out of animal farming in Switzerland. In one case, Sarah and George were able to oversee and support the complete transformation of another farm. This farm, ZuKUHnft started their transformation with the support of the Heiligtags in October 2017. ZuKUHnft no longer practices animal agriculture and is devoted to veganic farming.
FARM & TRANSFORMATION FACTS
- Hof Narr literally means “The Fool’s Farm”, which metaphorically refers to the old European concept that the fool actually speaks the truth. It’s meant to be a fun nod to the integrity of their mission.
- Hof Narr now has 80 animals including chickens, ducks, rabbits, horses, pigs and goats as well as cats and dogs and occasional wild animal visitors.
- Before opening the farm, Sarah worked with Direct Action Everywhere, which is known for it’s direct animal activism. During this time George worked for the global environmental group Greenpeace.
- Like the US, animal agriculture is subsidized by the government to make it a viable enterprise