It’s never too late to stop what you’re doing and reverse your course, especially when you’re doing it for all the right reasons. Mike Lanigan is living proof of that.
Lanigan is a third-generation cattle rancher from Uxbridge, Ontario in Canada. Over time, he started to see the hypocrisy in caring for animals only to send them to the slaughterhouse, not to mention the use of chemicals in farming.
So Lanigan did something about it. He altered his entire operation. Instead of selling meat and produce, now he only grows organic vegetables. Lanigan also spared the life of all the animals on his ranch, turning it into an animal sanctuary.
“I just thought it was hypocritical to give so much love, and then you can shut the door at the end,” Lanigan said of the radical change.
Of course, the transition wasn’t all that easy. Lanigan’s sons, who stand to inherit the family business, were upset at first.
“They were mad at me,” says Lanigan. “For the first month, when they walked by, they would just about spit.”
There was also backlash from nearby farmers, many of whom thought he was crazy for making the switch. Lanigan says that other farmers often snub him in public and that he’s sometimes the subject of jokes at the local coffee shop.
But Lanigan has not let any of that bother him. He’s received support from several animal activist groups, as well as volunteers and donors who help him to run the non-profit animal sanctuary, which goes by the name Farmhouse Garden Animal Home.
Right now, Farmhouse Garden Animal Home is home to 31 cows, three chickens, three horses, and even a duck.
Lanigan has no regrets about the change. His sons have also started to come around to the idea of being organic farmers, and some of his peers have as well.
“You know when you have a really lousy week and you think, ‘What am I doing this for?'” says Lanigan. “Then you go to the market and a lady comes up and says, ‘Mike, you know that we pray for you at every meal?’ That’s happened about three different times.”