Vegan Race Car Driver Spencer Pumpelly Visits Farm Sanctuary

Watkins Glen’s Two Star Attractions Collide as Vegan Race Car Driver Takes Break from “The Glen” to Spend Time with Rescued Animals at “The Farm”

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.June 3, 2011 – Motorsports and farm animal protection do not generally go hand in hand, but on Thursday, June 2, Watkins Glen’s two star attractions came together when vegan race car driver Spencer Pumpelly, a two-time winner of the Glen’s six hour race, paid a visit to the rescued animals of Farm Sanctuary (, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.
“I am very passionate about both animals and health, and I want to do more to promote both,” says Pumpelly, who is returning to the Glen this Saturday as the defending GT champ. If he takes the top prize again, he plans to donate his share of the winnings to the organization to support their work on behalf of abused and neglected farm animals. “I am honored to support Farm Sanctuary and the people who are devoted to defending others.” 

Pumpelly, who races sports cars professionally in several different series, has been a vegetarian for over eight years and a vegan for just under a year. He contacted Farm Sanctuary after seeing the Watkins Glen-based shelter and the organization’s President and Co-Founder Gene Baur featured in Forks Over Knives, a groundbreaking documentary examining the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” (heart disease, stroke and diabetes) can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting the predominate  menu of animal-based and processed foods. Pumpelly immediately made the connection between Farm Sanctuary’s shelter for abused and neglected farm animals and the nearby Watkins Glen Speedway, to which he travels every year to compete in races.

“I knew vegan was the right thing to do, but I always figured it would be too hard with all the traveling I do,” says Pumpelly. “I decided to give it a try last summer when several things, including my favorite local pizza joint starting to carry Daiya non-dairy cheese, seemed to point me in that direction. After a few weeks of adjusting, I now find it quite easy no matter where I go.”

“We are excited to have Spencer Pumpelly’s support,” says Baur. “We hope his dedication to protecting farm animals and compassionate living will inspire other race car drivers and racing enthusiasts to pay us a visit the next time they are in Watkins Glen.”

For updates on Saturday’s race, follow Spencer Pumpelly on Twitter @SpencerPumpelly.

Farm Sanctuary is open to visitors from May through October. Guided tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday on the hour. The first tour is at 11 a.m. and the last tour is at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and children 3 and under are admitted free. Directions to the New York Shelter in Watkins Glen are available here.

Note to media: If you would like to receive images from Spencer Pumpelly’s visit to Farm Sanctuary, please contact Meredith Turner at [email protected] or 646-369-6212.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.

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