Project Description

Cover of the book, Sanctuary Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals. Features a black and white picture of a cow in a field.

Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals

Author: Sharon Lee Hart · Subject: Rescues & Sanctuaries


This first monograph by Lexington-based photographer Sharon Lee Hart is a book of black-and-white portraits of rescued farm animals, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers. 

A lifelong vegetarian, Hart considers farm animals “some of the most abused, overlooked animals on the planet.” 

For this project, she traveled to sanctuaries in Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, and New York State to document “the lucky few who are free to live out their lives in peace.” 

Not surprisingly, after spending time with the animals, she discovered that each had their unique personality. “Some are quirky or funny, while others sensitive, shy, playful, intelligent, mischievous, or curious. And all seemed to have complex emotional lives.” 

These characteristics come through in Hart’s poignant photographs. Essays are by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns; Kathy Stevens, founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary; and Gene Bauer, founder of Farm Sanctuary.

About the Author

Sharon Lee Hart is the photographer for this book. The collection of essays has multiple authors, see above.


“…Sharon Hart’s photography portrays each animal with respect for who they are, and consideration for what each has endured before being courageously rescued. The beautiful black and white photographs of each one of these animals introduces us to an individual, and their handwritten story which accompanies each photo helps us to relate to “Mary Jane,” the pig, or “Norman,” the cow, at least as easily as we do our own pets.

Surely, through such a lovely, heart-warming book such as this, people will become more mindful about participating in the cruelty and suffering inflicted upon some of the most innocent, gentlest, but most abused animals in the world.” – Vegan Mama, Amazon

“How can your heart not sing after reading this book? How could anyone who still eats animals ever look at their plate the same way?” – Cameron Weems, Amazon

“Excellent book. Full of wonderful, handwritten tales of beautiful animals, by their wonderful caretakers. Get the tissues out–this is an emotional yet important book.” – Amanda Palmer

Your Daily Vegan Review

“[among the photographs] are loving tributes and stories about animals who have touched the lives of those around them, as told from the sanctuary owners and workers themselves. It’s a beautiful compilation, guaranteed to make you smile and tear up all at the same time.

Each day millions of animals are treated as mere things, to be used and discarded at the whim of humans.  It can be an overwhelming thing once you open your eyes to it.  This book is a reminder, a touching and beautiful reminder, of what we are all working so hard to achieve; the freedom and autonomy for all animals.  I can’t recommend this book enough.”

Continue to the full article >> Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals


Cover of the book, Sanctuary Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals. Features a black and white picture of a cow in a field.

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