The Vegan Farmer - Sarah Heiligtag

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff

Sarah Heiligtag is a Swiss vegan and farm owner who understands that animal farmers often struggle with conflicted emotions of caring for their animals while simultaneously earning a livelihood. In 2017, Sarah received a call from a distressed dairy farmer requesting help to turn his farm vegan, which sparked her idea to ‘Transfarm’ animal farms. Since then, she has helped close to 130 farms in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany to transition from animal farming. Sarah starts the ‘transfarmation’ process by understanding the farm's potential to be transfarmed and engages in open discussions with farm owners to bring their ideas for plant-based farming methods.

153127Sarah HeiligtagWe Animals Media

Case Study

In 2020, Selina and Adrian Blaser made a bold decision to challenge the status quo of animal farming. They were deeply troubled by the inhumane treatment of animals and could not accept the fate of newborn calves being butchered once they grew large enough despite their farm's better living conditions. Driven by compassion and a vision for change, they found Sarah Heiligtag online, and together, they embarked on a remarkable journey. In 2021, they transformed their farm into a sanctuary and embraced a vegan lifestyle.

Today, their farm thrives with a renewed sense of purpose. They cultivate delicious chickpeas in collaboration with a Swiss hummus production company and have created their vegetable garden. Selina and Adrian's sanctuary has become a place of love and connection, complete with an adoption program for individuals to sponsor the animals residing there. From cows and goats to chickens, rabbits, cats, and a dog, their sanctuary is a vibrant community of diverse beings.

Selina and Adrian's journey highlights the power of compassion and its ability to bring about incredible transformations when we follow our hearts. Their dedication to creating a kinder world for animals deserves applause, and we should celebrate their amazing journey together.


Sarah provides comprehensive education, workshops, and training programs to equip farmers with knowledge and tools to transition towards cruelty-free food production. She also creates networks for animal farmers who are undergoing the transition process to collaborate, share knowledge, and offer support. These networks serve as a vital source of inspiration and motivation, fostering the belief that animal farming can be transformed into a more compassionate way of farming.

153128Transfarming SwitzerlandWe Animals Media 

The Unbound Project - Sarah Heiligtag

The film The Unbound Project - Sarah Heiligtag is a finalist at the19th MY HERO International Film Festival. It is a short film from We Animals Media’s directed by Thomas Machowicz and Sabina Diethelm and edited specifically for the festival.

The film is a short from We Animals Media’s documentary “Transfarming Switzerland”. The documentary “Transfarming Switzerland” follows Sarah’s ​unconventional approach to work with, not against, animal farmers. In the film, we see how Sarah transforms ​animal farms into vegan farms and animal sanctuaries across Switzerland and neighboring countries. It is the farmers themselves who, because of growing moral concerns, come to struggle with raising and slaughtering their animals in order to earn a living. Looking to make a drastic change in their business, these conflicted animal farmers learn about Sarah, make contact with her and together they develop a plan to transform. The changes are challenging both practically and emotionally: the farmers must adapt infrastructure and finances, but also defy deep-rooted farming practices and family traditions. Despite this, we discover that Sarah has transformed more than 120 farms to date, proving to many within the farming industry that change, and progress are possible for those who seek a different relationship with animals.

The My Hero Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing films that celebrate the power of the human spirit. Hosted by Eva Haller, a prominent philanthropist and advocate for social change, the festival provides a platform for filmmakers to share inspirational stories of everyday heroes. Thanks to generous sponsors, prizes are awarded to elementary, middle school, high school, college and professionals in a variety of categories including documentary, narrative, music video, animation, experimental, and more.

The festival aims to inspire audiences to recognize the heroism in their own lives and encourage positive actions in their communities. Learn more.

Join us for the Awards Celebration on Saturday November 18th at 2pm (PST). Festival winners and their heroes will be on hand to answer questions and share their stories. Short clips from select films will be screened. Awards are given to winners at Elementary, Middle School, High School, College and Professional levels. Register HERE.

Page created on 10/30/2023 7:59:01 PM

Last edited 11/1/2023 3:13:49 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

We Animals Media - Bringing visibility to hidden animals through compelling photojournalism.