When The Microsanctuary Movement was founded, we felt a strong opposition to buying animals from for-profit sources, such as from farmers, livestock auctions, breeders, stores, etc. (We do not consider paying shelter adoption fees to be buying, since these are not profits for the shelter and do not directly contribute to more animals being born.) While the individual animals who are purchased and get to live at a sanctuary/rescue are surely better off, it’s systemically counterproductive to pay people to do things we need them to stop doing. It does not make sense to pay for an animal when doing so guarantees another will be brought into existence to take their place, over and over again. However, we realized that there is a lot of debate about this and that the experiences of rescuers on the ground might not be addressed well with a blanket core principle for TMM.
We now feel it is important to update our Core Principles to reject purchasing animals under the guise of “rescue.” It often may be difficult to reject the emotional tug compelling us to buy an animal to get them out of harm’s way, but we always have to consider how our actions as rescuers either counter or contribute to the continuation of animal agriculture. Paying farmers will not end animal agriculture.
For more on this, please read Susie Coston of Farm Sanctuary’s article on (not) buying animals: https://blog.farmsanctuary.org/2015/09/buying-animals-not-rescue/.
Core Principle 7
Animals will not be purchased from for-profit sources, and steps will be taken not to enable farmers to continue exploiting animals: While buying animals can be said to help the animal in question, paying farmers for animals supports exploitation of future generations and does not directly contribute to ending animal agriculture. The goal of rescue and of sanctuaries should be to end the harmful system of animal agriculture, as well as to help individual animals in need. Our goal should be to put ourselves out of business…when there are no more farmed animals who need to be rescued from exploitation.