Cindy Holm: On the Front Line of Defense Against the Meat and Dairy Industries

Bringing issues to light, one farm animal at a time.

Facing a growing problem

It may seem as though confronting the meat and dairy industry is an impossible task, yet no act of kindness is too small in Cindy Holm’s world. For Cindy, even one animal saved from the cruel cycle of the food industry is reason to continue working. That’s why Cindy and her husband Gregg started Flip Side Sanctuary in California three years ago, with the aim of taking in animals most often overlooked in today’s society.

“The bottom line is farm animals have no protections at all. If we do to dogs and cats what we do to farm animals, people would be arrested. So our mission is to help as many as we can by giving them a voice. That’s what drives us.”

Her story is the story of animals

What started this adventure was a goat named Milton who Cindy took in after he was discarded by a dairy farm, along with his sister. The uncaring nature of this industry completely transformed Cindy’s perspective. Next came three chickens, and soon Cindy realized she couldn’t turn a blind eye to the sheer size of this problem in America. But how do you reach enlighten individuals' minds the way Cindy's had been? With such reliance on these food industries, what incentive is there to change?

“Many are pretty defensive about their right to eat animal products, but we let the animals speak for themselves. The animals on the sanctuary have a story and we want to share those stories with people. If they even just cut down their consumption because of what they’ve seen, that’s great. It’s like a lightswitch. Some people need it flipped on.”

Two steps forward...

Cindy has big plans, including community visits and events, just on the horizon. She and her husband are moving their business to North Carolina, where there is more of a need for animal sanctuaries, from California, where cost, competition, water, and fire are concerns. There, the real work can begin. She’s looking to bring more volunteers on board, as well as increase outreach through community awareness. That means speakers, advocacy, social media campaigns, and getting in touch with the public. Anything to bring farm animals and their plight into the spotlight.

One step back

Cindy admits the situation isn’t pristine. Systemic animal cruelty is rampant, and even after photographs and reports are released to the public, not many seem to care enough to usher in reforms. These facts haven’t changed Cindy’s call to action. Looking back, she says she wouldn’t do anything differently before she started the NGO.

Humbly enough, the hardest thing for Cindy is asking for donations for her cause. Countering a hulking giant like the meat and dairy industry requires a strong financial backing, and that’s a grim reality we all have to face.

Cindy says she’d share the modifying a sentence deck, because writing skills and grammar are crucial to running a non-profit! Check out one of those decks below.

Overall, Cindy is excited about the move to North Carolina and embracing the community there. As for the animals, each one rescued is a step in the right direction.