The Maleny sanctuary saving cows from saleyard

SAVIOUR: Anthony Walsgott with some of the cattle at his Maleny Save a Cow sanctuary.
SAVIOUR: Anthony Walsgott with some of the cattle at his Maleny Save a Cow sanctuary. Kathy Sundstrom

FARMLAND across the Sunshine Coast is being used as sanctuaries to save cattle from the dairy industry and the dinner plate.

Anthony Walsgott started saving cattle in 2010 when two cows on the permaculture property where he was living were headed for the saleyard.

"I decided that was not going to happen and bought them," he said.

That was the beginning of the Save A Cow Foundation, which is now listed as "Australia's No.1. charity for cows, having saved and homed the most cows in Australian history".

It proudly markets itself as a "voice for the cow".

Mr Walsgott is now caring for 250 cattle, including bulls, steers, calves and cows.

They are homed on a property at Maleny as well as various sanctuaries scattered across the hinterland, where they are "living out the remainder of their natural lives safely and free from human exploitation and cruelty".

The organisation is funded partly out of Mr Walsgott's own pocket as well as through open days at the sanctuary and fundraising efforts.

Only two weeks ago he launched a frantic search to find more suitable farmland for his cows on the Sunshine Coast.

"We found a 120 acre property at Cooroy which we are renting for $200 a week," he said.

Mr Walsgott was born into a farming family in Victoria, where his dad used to kill cows and sheep for the dinner plate.

But it was when Mr Walsgott was a teenager at boarding school that he began to embrace the vegan lifestyle.

Now he is committed to stopping "slaughterhouses" and making people aware cattle should enjoy the right to life.

Abraham Lincoln was part inspiration behind the sanctuaries.

"When Abraham Lincoln had the idea to abolish slavery, he bought up a heap of slaves from the south and released them as free men in the north," he said.

"This was so people could get used to them and realise they are like us.

"But he had to buy them, in the same way I do everything completely legally and upfront because we have property law."

He said it was the "right thing to do as a human to protect other species".

"We need to live in harmony.

"In a way, it is way worse than the slaves (in Abraham Lincoln's time) as they weren't born to be eaten.

"What happens to farm animals is horrific for farm animals.

"Then they get to the slaughterhouse and get butchered in a horrific way.

"Its the equivalent to the Holocaust.

"They are being shipped off and tortured and murdered."

To learn more about the Save A Cow Foundation visit its Facebook page.

Topics:  vegans

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