Freedom Farm Nac: Teaching Others to See Animals Through New Eyes

Being an animal rights activist in East Texas is a little bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding another vegan in this little Texas town that runs on BBQ joints and fast food restaurants is a nearly impossible task. So imagine my shock when I find out that there is a young woman working towards creating an animal rescue right here in Nacogdoches. 

Freedom Farm Nac is a non-profit organization whose mission is to rehabilitate and adopt out farm animals to show them the human compassion they never knew existed. It is run by 28-year-old, Michelle Jones. She said the idea for Freedom Farm Nac stems from her desire to see an educational platform to share the message of veganism, the impact of animal agriculture on the planet and our health and the horrors of slaughterhouses and factory farming. 

“People have this idea of farm animals as being just this dumb animal that just exists to be eaten,” Jones said. Around [East Texas] there’s... this huge veil over what actually happens to these animals and how people treat them.”

The heart of Freedom Farm Nac is a rescue and rehabilitation facility. It is meant to rescue farm animals from situations where it seems like there is no hope. And on top rehabbing the animals, it is meant to allow people a chance to see what they are eating and meet their meat and question where their food comes from-- it’s a chance to see that the animal they’re eating is a creature capable of love and compassion, not a commodity to be bought, sold and eaten,

“I’m not trying to convert the world to veganism,” Jones said. But… teaching people a different option than what they were raised with-- like when I was raised it was pretty much just understood that you eat meat and dairy and eggs and you don’t ask questions, you don’t ask where does this come from, you don’t ask why am I eating this, you just eat it because your parents ate it and their parents ate it, so you just eat it.”

After years of trying to figure out how to create Freedom Farm Nac, she has figured out how to turn her dream into a reality. Jones sat down with me at Java Jacks and she gave me the scoop on the progress she’s been making. She describes the process of getting such a huge project like this as ‘seemingly impossible.’  

“Right now I’m really just focusing on the legality part. Like what’s all the paperwork I have to get through first and then we’ll go to the animals. We have to get the paperwork done and get our name out there.”

Jones is currently working on gathering donations for the farm, as well as focusing on getting a 501(c)(3)-- the 501(c)(3)allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations. There are currently Freedom Farm Nac T-shirts on sale and the money will go towards the costs of those legal documents and eventually the purchase of land. 

She would like the land to be about 10 acres to be able to accommodate large animals like horses and cows. However, recently the first animal Jones counts as a rescue for Freedom Farm Nac is a puppy named Layla who she felt drawn to after seeing her mange covered body in a Facebook. She just knew she had to take care of this puppy herself and nurse it back to health rather than risk it being euthanized in an animal shelter. 

“She goes back to her vet on the 7th and hopefully we’ll get the all clear. She looks so much better, all her little bald spots are filling in. I’m trying to get her up for adoption soon.” Jones said.

Towards the end of our conversation, I found myself intrigued by her Animalia tattoo. Her tattoo stems from an obsession with biological kingdom classifications and serves as a reminder that animals and humans are all one.

“We’re all under kingdom Animalia, therefore, we are all equal. We all deserve to live a life free from imprisonment, extortion, pain and suffering. If we can do things to alleviate--or even by not doing things-- alleviate some one’s or some other creature’s pain, why wouldn’t you?”

To support Freedom Farm Nac and keep up to date on the progress, you can give them a like on Facebook. Freedom Farm Nac gives me hope that people will pay more attention to what and who they’re eating and that mistreated animals will experience the love that they truly deserve.