Gorgie City Farm is just that, a working "farm." Meaning, they kill the animals. The animals people go to visit, call by their given names, and tell their children "isn't' she sweet", "look at her wee curly tail", "see how he rolls in the mud". They kill them. They tell us this on their own web site (http://www.gorgiecityfarm.org.uk/animals/):
(Suzi and her calf - in other words her calf will live a few months and then be killed to be eaten. We are not told what will happen to Suzi then.)
So we know Gorgie City Farm is a working farm. A working farm needs a constant supply of baby animals. That requires procreation. They tell us they breed animals, in some cases by artificial insemination (where semen is forcibly taken from a male and the female is forcibly impregnated using what the industry refers to as "rape racks"), in other cases by manipulating the animals to make them have sex. What could be more exploitative than that?
The animals are their property to do with as they please, and they choose to have them killed, package up pieces of their bodies and sell them to local restaurants. Restaurants that will tell their customers that they source their "meat" from local "farms" where the animals had a good life, so the diners can eat with a clear conscience. Edinburgh Foody
"But the animals are treated well enough, so what's the problem with visiting?"
It's not a factory farm, that is true. The conditions the animals live in are better than the vast majority of "farmed" animals, that is also true.
But, they kill them. "They'll do it humanely though, eh?" What does "humane killing" look like? Do they cradle them in their arms, sing them a lullaby, and put a bullet through the back of their head before they know what's happening? If they did, would that be ok? Would it be ok if someone did that to a dog? Would it be ok to do that to a human? Of course not? Then why would it be ok to do that to these animals? They want to live too. What difference does it make what species they are? What difference does it make that they were bred with the intention of killing them? Does that not actually make it worse?
Of course, that is not how they kill them. There would be too much mess to clean up. It would be too difficult to move straight from the killing to the cutting up. They are killed in a slaughterhouse with all the other "farmed" animals. It all ends in the same place. It is always violent and bloody.
What you don't see when you visit are the animals taken in a truck, scared and stressed, to the slaughterhouse. You don't see their fear, you don't see them panic, you don't see them resist and try to live, you don't see the knife, you don't see the blood. You don't see the violent death. But it happens.
Gorgie City Farm is a lie. Gorgie City Farm says it's morally acceptable to treat animals as property if we minimise their suffering. Animals are living beings, like us. They are not objects to be used and exploited. It says it's possible to "farm" animals humanely. There is no humane way to kill an animal who wants to live. If we visit we support these lies.
But you want your children to meet animals, to see them close up and to have a connection with them. Is this really the way to do that? It's not a factory farm, that wouldn't make for a very nice family day out, but it would be more honest. Gorgie City Farm lies to you and by taking your children there you let them lie to them. Is that the message you want your children to take away from your day out? That it's ok to imprison animals and use them for our entertainment? Will you tell them the animals they are connecting with will soon be killed? Or will you hide that from them?
If you want your children to appreciate animals go for a walk and point out the birds and squirrels living their lives, if you're lucky see a wild rabbit or three, or go into the west and see the deer and stags. I've been within metres of a herd of deer and a protective stag held my gaze for full minutes, and it was amazing. Granted it's not as easy as a trip to a farm on a weekend afternoon, and it's far from guaranteed that you'll see them, but that's the beauty of nature, and it's real.
To see animals close up visit a sanctuary. A place where "farmed" animals have been rescued and are living out their lives in peace. A place where the animals are not put on show or kept in containers, but are free to roam about and interact with the visitors only if they wish. That may be a more difficult trip to organise as it's not in the city, but the effort will be worthwhile. Look at our sanctuary list.
A visit to Gorgie City Farm is easy, but it's not worth it.