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Coastal Sanctuary Gives Consumers A Chance To 'Meet Their Meat'

HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) -- Do you ever wonder where your food comes from and whether or not the animals were raised humanely?

A pair of farmers who work about eight miles south of Half Moon Bay are trying to provide answers those questions by allowing consumers to "meet their meat."

Along Highway 1 is a place called Sweet Farm that is short on livestock and long on commitment.

"It's something we had in the back of our mind," said proprietor Nate Salpeter.

He and his wife Anna Sweet bought the place about a year ago. Salpeter is in nuclear engineering while Sweet works for Facebook.

They're both devoted vegans, so it may seem strange to see the farm animals. But these cows, sheep and chickens aren't for eating; they're for meeting.

"Educating people who, say…someone who eats meat and doesn't have much of an idea about where it comes from," explained Salpeter.

The couple believes if people actually observe farm animals close up they may be less likely to want to eat them.

For example, there's Gizmo, a miniature Hereford who's taken a shine to a stallion named Sturgis. The two often chase each other around like a couple of puppies.

The sheep who tried to eat a camera tripod as KPIX 5 John Ramos made his story is named Ragnar.

And then there are the chickens: 47 of them get to live in a 10,000-square-foot pasture with custom rolling coops and even a play area of sorts.

The idea is to show what life can be like for animals when they're not treated like animals.

"The main message is there's no reason that people need to be…lets say, jerks to animals, even if you are consuming them," said Salpeter.

None of these farm animals will end up on a dinner plate. They're all rescue animals set to live out their lives at this sanctuary.

But the couple wants to teach classes here and they hope by presenting animals in a different light, they can change some minds about making a meal out of them.

"It is a tall order," said Salpeter. "And without doing anything, we'll never get anywhere. So we have to start somewhere."

Sweet Farm wants to begin hosting open houses sometime in April. For more information, visit the farm's website.

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