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Speaker from Farm Sanctuary Visits Pascack Regional Culinary Arts Classes

Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills High Schools Culinary Arts classes recently welcomed a guest speaker, Mr. Ben Araya, from Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. Araya spoke to the students about farm animal rescue, efforts to end the practice of factory farming in the U.S., and how to make compassionate food choices.

Students viewed a slide presentation educating them on the truths about factory farming and addressed questions such as, “Are cage free and free range eggs really better?” Students also participated in an activity where they pretended to be chickens in confined spaces. Finally, students used virtual reality headsets to take a virtual farm tour (

“We're hoping that students have a new appreciation for how their animal protein gets to their plate,” said Julianne Downes, Culinary Arts teacher, Family and Consumer Sciences. “Programs like Farm Sanctuary provide students with information to be able to make more compassionate, educated food choices that are kind both to animals and the environment.”

Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary works to change how our society views and treats farm animals through rescue, education and advocacy. The organization provides lifelong care for animals rescued from abuse at four sanctuary locations in New York, California and New Jersey; promotes compassionate vegan living; and advocates legal and policy reforms. To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit

Araya_Farm Sanctuary: Mr. Ben Araya, of Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, gave a multi-media presentation to PVHS and PHHS Culinary Arts students on making compassionate, educated food choices.


Culinary1_Farm Sanctuary: PVHS Culinary Arts students watch a virtual farm tour using virtual reality headsets as part of an educational program presented by Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, NY.