At Long Shadow Farm in Berthoud, a cacophony of animal sounds from chickens to cows greet you.
On Sunday, the Ramey family listened to an unfamiliar sound.
“20 or 30 people showed up and they started singing,” Larry Ramey recalled.
But Ramey and Aidan Cook heard two very different things.
“I asked them to release those animals to a sanctuary,” said Cook, a member of the animal rights group, Denver Baby Animal Save. “They were quite amused by this question and then they simply walked away so I took one animal and walked off the farm.”
“While I was on the phone with the sheriff, somebody said they stole some chickens? And we’re like for real?” Ramey said.
The Denver Baby Animal Save has a mission of making animals seen as persons and not property.
About 30 members went to a processing day at Long Shadow Farm, an event where people can bring chickens and turkeys to be slaughtered.
Cook, a student at University of Colorado Boulder, was one of four members who say they went on the property, asked to hold chickens, and walked away with three of them.
They say they brought them to a sanctuary, but are not disclosing the location.
“What we did was a political action to force attention to the issue of why we think animals are ours to use, exploit, and kill,” Cook said.
Ramey doesn’t see it that way.
“No, it’s terrible,” he said. “If you want to change things, you’ve got to change people’s minds, and a stunt like that isn’t gonna convince anyone.”
Ramey said the Larimer County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and Cook says he and the rest of the people involved in taking the chickens are prepared to face legal consequences.
They posted a video of themselves stating their names and why they took the chickens on Facebook. The last three people in the video are holding the Ramey’s chickens.
The group called this an open rescue, and believes it is effective because those three chickens would have died otherwise.
“There is no humane way to kill an animal who does not want to die,” Cook said.
Farming is not the Ramey’s full time job, but they started Long Shadow as an alternative to factory farming. They believe killing animals is ethical if they are raised properly.
“If he wants me to reconsider, this isn’t the method to go about it,” Ramey said. “You only harden people’s opinions by stunts like this”