The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats, USA
Julian and Carol transformed their Dairy Farm into a Sanctuary
Award winning goat cheese makers Carol and Julian Pearce spent their lives caring for animals. Carol’s career was focused on veterinary medicine and Julian was a sought after pre-ruminant specialist. Julian’s professional focus was on building optimized dairy production through better lifestyle techniques for cattle. Their own 800 goat operation was the best they could envision in terms of the trade-offs needed for animal food production. Since the day the two of them met while rescuing sick calves, it has always been about the welfare of the animals for them. Deciding to go vegan and give up the goat cheese operation was not something that happened overnight. They had been rescuing the most vulnerable animals they found from euthanasia for years. They believed in rescuing the animals with the toughest health cases, the ones that even other sanctuaries couldn’t take.
”The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats believes that we have a moral imperative to honor and respect the animals who have spent years in service to us on farms, as well as those who simply need a new home and a little kindness to survive.”
Carol and Julian realized that they would have more room for rescued animals if they were to give up their dairy operation to make room. Additionally, it was clear to them that although they only sold their male goats to brush clearing operations in an attempt to create more humane lifestyles for the farm offspring, they couldn’t be sure of the goats welfare or eventual treatment at the hands of others. Additionally, they found that providing the level of animal welfare they believed in was not conducive with labor practices in dairy operations overall. Their decision to become a sanctuary and focus on their rescue animals was finally made once and for all after they they rescued a 1 day old baby goat whose mother had died during birth. The baby goat was left blind from the experience and they named her Hope as they spent many hours and days hoping she would live.
FARM & TRANSFORMATION FACTS
- Sanctuary at Soledad Goats currently houses and provides excellent care and veterinary support to 120 goats, 3 cows, 2 sheep, 20 pigs, 6 horses, 6 rabbits, 60 roosters and 1 chinchilla.
- Odin, one of the horses who has been able to find a safe refuge there, is 36 years old, as well as blind in one eye and would have been put down years earlier if not for the sanctuary’s intervention.
- Julian Pearce is originally from Dorset near the south coast of England and grew up among dairy farmers there.
- Now that they have transformed, Sanctuary at Soledad Goats is using their experience from making award-winning goat cheeses to make handmade nutmilk cheeses.
- Additionally, they have created a variety of retail products for sale on their website and at their farmers market booth, from handmade vegan chocolate to coconut based bodycare and candles as well as their own branded merchandise.
- Sanctuary at Soledad Goats is building an additional sanctuary property to house more animals and make nutmilk cheese in Florida in 2018.