We have received hundreds of comments from supporters across Canada and around the world. Send us your comments and show the Canadian government that plant-based prison farms enhanced by sanctuary are what the people want.

“The concept of teaching prisoners to rescue animals rather than prepare them for a violent death is a no brainer. This is a worthy cause with a lot of merit and I hope it succeeds.” – Dan Piraro, Bizarro Comics


I fully support this excellent proposal that aligns with so many of our highest priority civic goals: financial stewardship while encouraging a livable, sustainable and green city supported by a smart economy. (Mary-Jean M., Kingston, ON)

Better rehabilitation would mean learning to treat others with respect and as ends in themselves – not as objects to be used. An animal sanctuary is a perfect way to learn work-related skills, as well as emotional connection – both are presumably necessary to prevent recidivism. (Laura K., Kingston, ON)

I find this proposal for an animal sanctuary and plant based farming operation exceptionally sensible and heartening. My concern is more on providing helpful skills, both functional and attitudinal for the prisoners than on saving the animals but the two are very persuasively allied in this plan. If this plan were adopted for prison farms, which will hopefully begin to proliferate again across the country, we will have taken giant steps forward in rehabilitation techniques, while providing an experience of what it takes to begin to create a healthier, sustainable, compassionate world to prisoners. (Toni P., Kingston, ON)

The prisoners would learn valuable skills, like empathy, by taking care of animals in a sanctuary setting. Many prisons provide opportunities for inmates to learn empathy, for example, in training service dogs and socializing strays. This should be done in Kingston. (Marg B., Kingston, ON)

I support this paradigm of modelling compassion without killing. (Brandy M., Kingston, ON)

Trust: A Mother’s Reflection on Prison Farms (Franceen Neufeld, co-founder, Evolve Our Prison Farms)

What a brilliant idea! I fully support this petition and the rehabilitation it would provide for both the animals AND the incarcerated! (Meghan N., Kingston, ON)

Anyone who has watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Netflix will understanding that raising cattle for dairy/meat is one of the worst environmental disasters there is. (Pierre P., Kingston, ON)

What an incredible idea! I’m certain that any kind and compassionate Kingstonian can agree … that Saving vs. Slaughtering is the perfect option! (Sharon A., Kingston, ON)

A Sanctuary at the prison for farmed animals would be wonderful. It would allow prisoners to work with the animals and allow them to live the balance of their lives in safety and freedom. There is a very great need in Canada for such sanctuaries for all farm animals, many of which have suffered abuse. (Dianne S., Kingston, ON)

This is a wonderful idea, in keeping with the vision of “Sustainable Kingston”. (Judith W., Kingston, ON)

There is no such thing as Humane Slaughter. At least give Kingston something to really be proud of, and also help climate change by bringing them home to safety for life. (Christine B., Kingston, ON)

I’m signing this petition because I care about what happens to these animals. (Margaret F., Kingston, ON)

I’m signing because all animals deserve a right, just like us! (Elizabeth V., Kingston, ON)

Please take a stand for compassion and bring these innocents home to sanctuary. (Linda H., Kingston, ON)

These animals deserve better. Why not teach care and flourishing to inmates, not violence, fright and death. (Rebecca G., Kingston, ON)

I believe animals have a right to life, and we have a duty to protect them. (Brandie H., Kingston, ON)

Allowing prisoners to see compassion and take part in selfless acts towards preserving life rather than taking life will undoubtedly have a positive impact on them as they transition into a post-incarceration role in society with an enhanced sense of empathy and kindness. Putting them in a setting where the animals are treated as commodities destined for slaughter will only further remove the rehabilitative traits of compassion, kindness, and selfless caring. (Spencer M., Kingston, ON)

I don’t want a slaughterhouse or factory farm 2 blocks from where I work, or at all for the matter. We should be helping animals, not harming. (Sophia P., Kingston, ON)

Teaching kindness and respect is the ultimate rehabilitation of the human spirit. (Eva G., Kingston, ON)

Please save the animals! (Jolene S., Kingston, ON)

Now is the time for positive change. We know what to do, we know how to do it, let’s be brave and do the right thing. (JoAnn R., Kingston, ON)

I think the prison farm should be re-opened in Kingston as a farm sanctuary. There is a desperate need for a sanctuary for abused farm animals. Prisoners working with the animals can be therapeutic and rewarding for them. (Adrienne S., Kingston, ON)


Effective rehabilitation should mean teaching empathy. I don’t think that empathy and compassion are communicated through slaughtering gentle animals – how much more effective would these lessons be if the prison had a farm sanctuary? The idea of sanctuary (peace, harmony) would be life changing for the inmates. Violence leads to violence – maybe gentleness and empathy can lead to gentleness and empathy! (Heather M., Toronto, ON)

What better way to rehabilitate inmates at a prison/correctional facility then for them to have such an amazing responsibility to care for animals that have been hurt, neglected, abused, slated for slaughter, etc. I think it would be amazing for all parties involved as it would be a positive way of life and possibly a way to learn love and respect …… violence would be necessary. (Patricia K., Cathcart, ON)

Standard farming will only teach prisoners animal ‘husbandry’, while animal sanctuary setting will allow deep healing that safe from harm animals can offer. Please look at fabulous work Gentle Barn is doing with at-risk youth. (Grace R., Toronto, ON)

What a wonderful idea for rehabilitation of both human prisoners and animals who were once imprisoned. Please implement the sanctuary rather than animal agriculture. (Rachelle B, Woodlawn, ON)

The farm animals at Joyceville Penitentiary were the first farm animals I ever met. We went to visit when I was in grade school. They were lovely. Gentle. Beautiful. Dignified. And this is the way for farm animals to end their lives. Would we want anything different for ourselves? Please ensure these beautiful animals spend the rest of their lives in sanctuary. Those who once cared for them, the prisoners who “paid their way through agriculture” would want this, too. (gretta v., Toronto, ON)

Give inmates a more meaningful job to do…..rescue not slaughter (Lynda S., London, ON)

Prisoners in the United States who were given responsibility to look after the welfare and needs of animals turned out to be fully rehabbed citizens when paroled. (Sharon K., Toronto, ON)

Better to teach compassion than dispassion, especially for inmate rehabilitation. (Josh N. Kitchener, ON)

Prison programs should encourage emotional growth as a part of the rehabilitation process, not encourage desensitization. (S. Crawford, Hamilton, ON)

Please use this opportunity to teach compassion and love. Raising animals for the purpose of slaughter and human consumption is a ridiculous thing to be promoting, especially to people in prison where you’re supposed to be rehabilitating them. This could re-enforce peoples beliefs that their personal wants are more important than other lives. (Jason N., Montreal, QC)

Prisoners need to learn to embrace love, compassion, and empathy not be taught to ignore such emotions. Animals can heal and teach us so much. Please let this be a lesson in kindness not animals used as a commodity. (A. Vannatter, Princeton, BC)

What prisoners don’t need in their lives is another example of violence! A sanctuary would provide a much more loving and peaceful experience. (Candace R. Grenville, ON)

Getting close to animals, and then having to send them to slaughter, is cruel for both the animals and people. Inmates need to learn compassion, not more of the disconnecting thinking they have done in the past. (Kim W., Millbrook, ON)

I agree rehabilitation begins with non violence. (Natalie V., Ottawa, ON)

Violence leads to violence – maybe gentleness and empathy can lead to gentleness and empathy! The idea of sanctuary would be extremely beneficial to the inmates mental health. (Diana H., Stittsville, ON)

It would be much better if prisoners could help farm animals, instead of participating in the commodification of them. What can it do to a person to see a sentient creature they have invested love and care into be slaughtered, or deprived of their offspring, or subjected to repeated pain? What kind of a rehabilitation is that? I would think it would contribute to an inmate’s cynicism and disassociation from society. Show all species some compassion and give the human prisoners a chance to help the non-humans live out their natural lives with love and care. (Anne L., Toronto, ON)

This petition has strong ramifications for the prisoner as well. What rehabilitative, psychological merit is achieved by giving prisoners tools of slaughter where a breathing, sentient creature is at risk of being the lightning rod of repressed emotion? In many cases, the animals are at risk of an inhumane slaughter. A sanctuary, on the other hand, fosters love, nurturing, cultivates stewardship and responsibility and allows prisoners to practice positive behaviors. (Gwendolyn T., Edmonton, AB)

I signed the petition and I believe that both the inmates and the animals would benefit from the relationship. However to truly rehabilitate them,we need to teach compassion and empathy. This lesson would be a failure if they raised and cared for the animals, only to turn them over to slaughter. (Erin D., Mackenzie, BC)

It is inhumane treatment of helpless animals and no human being should be subjected to slaughtering for a living as they are probably desperate for work and then suffer psychologically. It’s a horrific circle of events that repeats itself. (Lisa M., London, ON)

I believe that giving the inmates who are eligible (can show compassion & care) should be allowed to look after animals and NOT have them go to slaughter. I believe that farm sanctuary would be very beneficial to all involved, just as the service dog training is in some prisons. Don’t teach them to kill, teach them love and compassion, respect and kindness by teaching them how to care for a trusting, gentle animal. (Judy W., Brampton, ON)

The research shows that offender programs which stress empathy – and which include the care of animals – can be of great benefit to offenders. Making this a sanctuary will thus benefit both the animals and the offenders – it’s a win-win. (Debra M., Red Deer, AB)

Because dairy farming is cruel and not necessary by any means, in any circumstances. It’s also not sustainable, and animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change. If we want to improve on the livelihood of prisoners in Ontario while they are incarcerated but also post-prison, prison farm sanctuaries offer prisoners experience caring for animals in a compassionate and knowledgeable way without cruelty. Farm animals are kind, playful, intelligent, creative, charismatic, and most of all, they don’t want to be raped, alienated, forcibly separated from their families, or used to feed us. (Livia S., Windsor, ON)

Prisoners should actually be taught peace, caring and compassion instead of more violence and abuse. (Justeen C., Shawanaga First Nation, ON)

This is a brilliant idea – teaching prisoners about sustainability. I would be proud of my tax dollars going to this positive change! (Kelli G., Pickering, ON)

Please do not allow prisoners to “have a go” at raising animals for slaughter. This is a violent industry, we do not need more animal abuse or desensitization of the prisoners to suffering. (K. Woodall, Ottawa, ON)

Create a sanctuary for the dairy cows and their progeny and focus the new farms on plant-based agriculture – for the animals, the nation and the planet! (N. M., Montreal, WC)

We need to evolve into compassionate caring human beings. (Pamela S., Vancouver, BC)

Dairy Is Dying – Support Vegan Options. (Rosemary W., Toronto, ON)

It’s amazing that the first thought is to raise animals, causing massive suffering. There is so much to read about how growing plants is less harmful to our environment. Why don’t we just co-operate with Mother Nature? (Pam F., Leamington, ON)

Please send these sensitive emotional beings to a kind sanctuary. Please do not slaughter them. It’s the right thing to do. (Carolyn P., Burnaby, BC)

Having prisoners subject animals to conditions and acts that we would jail them for doing to humans is at odds with building compassion and reducing recidivism. (Heather C., Holland Landing, ON)

Make the change, be kind. Baby cows should drink their Mother’s milk. (Valerie P., Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, NF)

I am signing because prisoners would benefit from a positive environment. Animals being protected. Prisoners are animal lovers also! (Kathy L., Dundas, ON)


This is an absolute must. This is needed on behalf of both the animals and the inmates. Spread peaceful living, compassion, and hands-on healing. (Cara N., Omaha, NE)

It has been unequivocally documented that prisoners find the interactions with animals therapeutic and reforming (i.e. when training seeing eye dogs)… in addition, providing care to animals who have undergone abuse and neglect, much like many prisoners have, is bound to be more connecting for the inmates and impactful in the end – for both the animals and humans alike… what could be better? (Norma S., Yorktown Heights, NY)

This would address a number of connected problems with a beautiful, human-animal non-violent solution. So much education is needed to inspire compassion and build awareness: this program has the potential to do both! (Mary Pat C., Ellsworth, ME)

Creating a prison farm sanctuary would teach and empower kindness, connection and love in jail, when so many prisoners have had a lifetime void of such emotion. Such an action is one of the most therapeutic opportunities you could provide a prisoner, encouraging long-lasting change in their hearts and their ways. If you truly want fewer criminals and want prisoners to heal and change their behavior and paths, help them end their detachment by establishing a loving sanctuary model that enables them to connect with animals they can identify with—animals who, too, have been beaten down by a horrific system—and then allow these individuals the opportunity to save, heal and bond with these beautiful creatures, all the while healing their own wounds. What a wonderful opportunity you have to create healing on so many levels— please choose to create love and healing, (as opposed to perpetuating more death and heartache)—by creating a farm sanctuary. (Meredith R., Osterville, MA)

If you want prisoners to learn to be responsible and peaceful members of society, have them care for the animals in a sanctuary, not prepare them for the violence of slaughter or the dairy industry. What kind of people do you want them to be when they rejoin the rest of society–caring and kind, or lacking in empathy? Why would you want them to have experiences that make them comfortable with violence against another living, feeling being? (Nancy B., Brooklyn, NY)

Good people do cruel things to animals when they work on these types of farms. For more of a healthy, therapeutic, healing environment, people should spend their time in a sanctuary, caring for animals that need love. (Ivy B., Bear, DE)

Please consider rehabilitating your inmates by teaching them compassion, meaningful hard work, & nurturing innocent, broken beings. This type of experience would be so very positive. To have the inmates involved in the harsh, cruel world of dairy farming could have a very negative impact on them & lead to encouraging violent behavior, bullying, & abuse. Please, PLEASE reconsider & start a sanctuary. You would be doing good for so very many! Benefiting both prisoners AND innocent animals! Thank you. (Angie S., South Bend, IN)

Stop the needless torture, also lets expose these animals and prisoners to the love they need to change their lives. (Sara H., Tucson, AZ)

This is just a win-win for all involved. The lives of innocent sentient beings are saved, and the prisoners are involved in a peaceful, nurturing enterprise. Contrast that to the misery and violence of raising animals for slaughter. (Judi D., St. Augustine, FL)

A sanctuary could be a very helpful rehabilitation environment for prisoners as well as the animals involved. A win-win situation. (Jolynn S., Salt Lake City, UT)

There are other programs in the US – and no doubt in other countries – that prove that interaction between human prisoners and rescued animals are therapeutic and rehabilitative for both parties. The humans practice caring for other beings who need it, which strengthens their empathy. People who exhibit empathy are less likely to be involved in criminal activity. And speaking of empathy, it’s time to acknowledge that raising animals for slaughter, dairy, and eggs is despicable and so easily avoided. This is a huge opportunity for a win-win situation that could benefit not just some, but all. Why on earth would anyone pass up a chance like this? (Kelsey C., Lawrence, KS)

Because this is the right thing to do. This is 2017..the world is evolving and animals need to be treated humanely and with respect. We know there is no such thing as “just a dumb animal”. We must change as well!! (Sharon W., Beaverton, OR)

Plant based protein is the future. Enough with consuming animals! (Lisa M., St Louis Park, MN)

We have evolved from programs that teach prisoners in the raising of animals for slaughter. (Tina O., Coalville, UT)

When we can do the moral and right thing by the animals in our midst, we should. (Bonni D., Phenix City, AL)

It is not hard to see the right thing to do here. (Laura H., Virginia Beach, VA)

Please do the humane thing. You are CANADA! (Shirley K., Eagle River, WI)

I believe my Canadian neighbors are humane (probably more than we are south of your border)…and I think you want to be on the right side of history with regarding to decreasing cruelty both in the prison population and in the animal population. There are better lessons to be learned in compassion….please help. (Debra B., Denver, CO)

Raising a friend for slaughter isn’t an option on the path to rehabilitation. (Carissa G., Bend, OR)

Farmed animals are the real prisoners. Don’t use prisoners to take more prisoners. Have prisoners give love and attention to sanctuary animals. (Bonnie C., Riverside, CA)

Only love heals. (Robin S., Melbourne, FL)

Help rehabilitate prisoners and neglected/abused farm animals by reopening the Kingston, Ontario prison farms as a prison farm sanctuary. You have the chance to do something good here, please take it. (Teri P., York, PA)


No animals should be slaughtered; it is cruel as there is no humane way to kill someone who doesn’t want to die. Physically we don’t need meat, environmentally it’s ruining the planet, grains used to feed cattle could feed many more humans and the water intake is huge. Teaching inmates to care would be far more valuable. (Laura W., Melbourne, Australia)

Two days ago, I applauded Canada for opening up the world’s largest pea protein factory. Why can’t the prisoners be shown how to farm for the future, treating animals with compassion and learning how to grow plants for food? (Karen H., Beaumaris, Australia)

Surely a farm sanctuary and vegetable/fruit farm would be more progressive than dairy and slaughterhouse. (Verena H., Blacktown, Australia)

Brilliant idea. (Paula G., Bentley Park, Australia)

Please have a heart & give these gentle souls a safe protected environment to live in peace. (Jemma M., Australia)


Farming/killing does not teach compassion. (Jari P., Turku, Finland)


Dear Sirs, I do hope you will take a moment to read this petition. I believe it would be more beneficial for prisoners to be involved in a farm sanctuary, where they could actively participate in the care and rehabilitation of rescued farm animals, rather than being involved in the raising and slaughter of these animals. Surely, helping the animals and, perhaps, learning to love them, would be a more positive experience for everyone involved? Plus, it is very likely that, as a result of this opportunity, many prisoners might choose to become vegetarian, so this could be a win/win for everyone (and also for the animals involved, of course!!) because it is cheaper to eat healthily on a vegetarian diet, than on a meat-based diet!! Please, at least, think about it. (Rosemary M., France)


We need to evolve beyond animal exploitation in all its forms! (Valerie S., Grammatiko, Greece)


The world is watching. (Niall O., Dublin, Ireland)

New Zealand

This is such a brilliant idea! Standard farms are places of violence – a bad place for prisoners to be. Prisoners would learn kind methods of farming plants for food, and tending sanctuary animals would teach them to nurture instead of harming others. (Kath W., Warkworth, New Zealand)

South Africa

Brilliant uplifting idea! It will benefit both the animals and the prisoners. A win-win. (Deborah P., Cape Town, South Africa)


All I can feel for the animals- is love. What I love, I preserve. (Liudmila P., Founex, Switzerland)

United Kingdom

Please do this – It will help bring kindness to so many which will help make the world a better place for all (Jane A., Oxford, United Kingdom)

We need to be teaching inmates about peace and compassion not torture and murder. How can people rehabilitate when we openly accept this as part of a normal routine? (Abbie R., Derby, United Kingdom)

I’m signing because if you want to brutalize these prisoners further then getting them to exploit and kill (animals) is a good idea but if you want to heal them and to encourage empathy and to nurture the best in them then you can teach them to nurture and heal others (animals) and to care for the world by learning how to grow plants and enhance the environment. Separating calves and mothers and causing them distress, slaughtering and practicing seeing living beings as a means to another’s end and having to quell any natural compassion is unhealthy for anybody, let alone for the misguided, possibly already violent, damaged people and lost souls found in the prison system. Harming others could never be a good way of rehabilitating anybody. (Donna S., Kent, United Kingdom)

At last some hope for these poor animals. (Jean P., Wool, United Kingdom)

What a brilliant idea, save the animals and heal the prisoners at the same time, fantastic, hope it goes ahead. (Wendy L., Bedworth, United Kingdom)

A sanctuary would encourage inmates to care for the animals better as they are seen as valued individuals rather than temporary commodities that are ‘going to be killed anyway’. Giving these people the chance to form bonds with the animals is beneficial and therapeutic, helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression in studies. This cannot be achieved if the animals are to be slaughtered as well as being emotionally unsettling and encouraging of apathy and violence. (Fern L., Holyhead, United Kingdom)

For the animals’ sake, for the prisoners’ sake and for the community’s sake, please open sanctuaries instead. (Sue P., Stockport, United Kingdom)