The traditional term ‘farm’ has evolved from being centred around manual, sustainable methods of using cattle manure as natural fertiliser for crops, and immensely valuing the labour of domestic animals, to a more mechanised, artificial fertiliser-dependent, less agro-friendly form. Where does this new form leave the domestic animals – particularly cattle – that were once so significant for farmers? Thrown into large factories where they are injected with doses and doses of hormones to increase their milk-producing capacity, to support India’s thriving dairy industry. Abandoned, slaughtered, left to die. “I contemplated shooting myself looking at the suffering every act of consumption causes but then that wouldn’t have been an improvement on the situation. The only logical reason I found to keep on living was to reduce the suffering around us,” says Robin Singh, co-founder of Peepal Farm – an organisation that once again revolutionises the term ‘farm,’ but this time, for the better.
Initially an extension of the sanitation program Singh started in Delhi, in which they worked with 20-24 dogs every month, Peepal Farm began in 2014 and is now a stray animal recovery centre along with an organic farm. Based near Dharamshala, their vision is to alleviate animal suffering. They hold an animal clinic, a cow shed, four dog kennels as well as animal recovery areas, and take in any injured animal they come across. They’re constantly working towards a larger solution to the problem of animal suffering, and their recovery centre is a stepping stone to achieving their aim.
The organic farm that the residents and volunteers at Peepal farm maintain provides the space they need for accommodating the countless animals they help. In addition, the food these members eat is completely vegan in an effort to live as sustainably as they can.
Peepal Farm also grows its own products, again wholly vegan, which are available for sale – not only to promote organic farming, but also to expose an increasing number of people to its work.
What we found most interesting about Peepal Farm is their ‘Hacktivism’ – their incredibly creative efforts to make change. Their initiative ‘Desi Log Desi Dog’ aims to promote the adoption of Indian dogs, using the simple idea that desi people should, naturally, adopt desi dogs. An overwhelming number of stray dogs are left abandoned and without homes on the streets of India everyday, while we support what’s becoming a puppy industry when we buy dogs from breeders. With the limited funds that they have, the members of Peepal Farm are making every effort they can to promote their initiative, including stunning street art.
The members of Peepal Farm have dedicated their lives to helping animals, and giving them the life they deserve.
Donate, volunteer and learn more at their website.
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