Sanctuary Spotlight: Big Island Farm Sanctuary
Located in the rural Naalehu, at the Southern end of Hawaii, is Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
This haven for 84 rescued animal residents is planted amidst cattle ranches and is a mere 10 miles away from the lush Papakōlea Beach, also known as Green Sand Beach.
Big Island Farm Sanctuary focuses on saving lives, touching hearts, and changing minds.
A sanctuary right after our hearts!
So without skipping a beat, we partnered with Big Island Farm Sanctuary when we first debuted Trupo Treats in July 2020. Since then, we’ve partnered with the sanctuary twice more.
So in founder Paula Buck’s own words, what is the mission of Big Island Farm Sanctuary?
“First and foremost, we save the lives of sentient beings and offer them forever sanctuary,” says Buck. “Secondly, we work to touch the hearts of people by giving them the opportunity to meet our animals and make a connection. And last but not least, we work on changing their minds about animals with education about a vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle.”
Buck says that this creates “an ever-growing cycle of kindness and compassion.”
Sanctuary founder, Paula Buck. Credit: Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
It was a visit to the world-renowned Gentle Barn in Southern California for her daughter’s 17th birthday in 2017 that set Buck on her vegan and sanctuary-founding journey. “I thought it would be a fun day petting animals and celebrating my daughter. I'd never even heard of a "farm sanctuary” and I had no idea how my life was about to change!”
The spark of inspiration to go vegan and establish Big Island Farm Sanctuary was all thanks to a 3,000-pound cow named Gentle Ben.
“He was a genetically modified Black Angus steer saved by The Gentle Barn,” says Buck. “He was meant to grow very big, very fast, so that he could be slaughtered at just twelve months of age. When I met him, he was eleven years old, stood six feet at the shoulders, and weighed a massive 3,000 pounds.”
“When my daughter leaned into this gentle giant and hugged him I knew, right then and there, that I could never again be a part of the suffering of sentient beings like Ben.”
“I promised him I would never stop telling his story and that I would spend every day of the rest of my life fighting for sentient beings.”
So, in November 2018, Buck and her husband Josh bought a one-way plane ticket, packed their lives into six suitcases, and moved to Hawaii’s Big Island to start their own animal sanctuary.
The goat gang enjoying the idyllic views of Naalehu, Hawaii. Credit: Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
Big Island Farm Sanctuary got its start as a Once Upon a Farm Sanctuary, a quaint one-acre patch of farmland in Ocean View, Hawaii. At its inception, the sanctuary was home to a Pot Bellied Pig, Scout, and two goats rescued from the dairy industry, Mary Kate and Ashley.
It wasn’t long before Buck realized her dreams for the sanctuary and her drive to rescue more farmed animals in need were much too large for such a tiny plot of land.
So, the sanctuary moved to 25 acres of farmland in Naalehu and was renamed Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
In just two years of operation, the rescue has become home to 84 animals, including chickens, cows, goats, turkeys, sheep, pigs, cats, and dogs.
Ten of the sanctuary’s nineteen pigs are wild Polynesian pigs taken in by the sanctuary as orphaned piglets. The sanctuary’s two turkeys, Jupiter and Echo, came from a Craigslist posting where they were advertised as “Thanksgiving dinner,” and five of the sanctuary’s eight sheep came from a tragic hoarding situation.
Jupiter, the Turkey! Credit: Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
When it comes to partnering with Trupo Treats, Buck says she quickly noticed the similarities between our mission and hers.
“When you ethically produce a delicious product that doesn't contain animal products or by-products, you are helping to change the minds of people who may not believe that vegan or plant-based foods can taste good.”
“Trupo Treats giving a portion of sales to sanctuaries not only shows your commitment to [our] work but helps [us] be able to continue to do it.”
Buck also loves that Trupo Treats “not only give[s] to sanctuaries but team[s] up with them, sharing their stories and helping raise awareness. It shows you truly care about the people and the animals of the sanctuaries you work with.”
When asked about what it was like trying our vegan milk chocolate, Buck has nothing but kind words. “I LOVED it [and am] so excited for the new flavors coming out!”
(Psst...the preorders for our four new vegan milk chocolate bars are live right now! 😉 )
Resident Spotlight: Meet Mamma the Cow!
The matriarch of the herd of 20 cows at Big Island Farm Sanctuary is the black and white speckled Holstein, Mamma. “What she says goes,” says founder Paula Buck. “All of the other cows look to her for direction.”
As majestic and dignified as she is, Mamma lives for the simple things. She loves basking in the warm Hawaiian sun and grazing in the grass alongside her daughters Mia and Reagan. But it wasn’t always peace in paradise for Mamma.
Mamma spent the first five years of her life in the abusive dairy industry. When the facility she was born in shut down, Mamma and Mia were rescued and taken to Big Island Farm Sanctuary.
“It was believed she'd had three babies,” Buck says. “Bringing Mamma and her calf [Mia] home to our sanctuary, knowing that this would be the first baby she'd be able to raise without the fear of her being taken away meant a lot.”
Today the bovine mother-daughter duo roam Big Island Farm Sanctuary’s lush 25 acres, “Even now that Mia is grown and Mamma has another young calf to care for, Mia is never far from her mother. They can often be found laying next to each other, soaking up the sun.”
“They’ll live here for the rest of their lives, free from the horrors of Mamma's past.”
You can help support Big Island Farm Sanctuary by sponsoring an animal resident, donating items on their wishlist, telling your friends about the sanctuary, and engaging with their social media accounts.
And, if you want to indulge your sweet tooth and sample our new chocolates while also helping rescued farmed animals like Mamma the cow, be sure to preorder our brand new vegan milk chocolate bars! 😍
We’ll be partnering with Big Island Farm Sanctuary and donating 25% of the profits from the money we raise on April 22nd and April 23rd to the sanctuary!