The association has been created to direct The Other Farm project, developed over several years by Anne-Lorraine Vigouroux.
After having been production director for some of the great names of French theater, she was cultural attachée to Canada and Serbia until August 2019. Throughout her career, she has always taken the time to volunteer to help animals. She was born in a family that placed culture and respect for nature at the heart of education and owes the Lorraine part of her first name to the Regional National Park whose foreshadowing began under her father’s incentive the year she was born. One of her other five first names is that of the family dog, obviously adopted and much-adored.
In her family, one never left behind an animal that they came upon if he needed help. A kitten found in the snow, a dog found on the beach, mice, and dozens of goldfish rescued from school fairs… During adolescence, Anne-Lorraine became totally disinterested by her classes, and withdrew to the back of the classroom to read plays. She made up evening babysitting jobs in order to attend the theater. Cataclysmic when she was found out, but she ended up by triumphing. Lacking teachers to revive her interest in her studies, she left school at 15 for the amateur theater. At the same time, she frequented animal protection associations and spent family weekends stuffing envelopes with their flyers.
At 18, she created an art agency where she represented young artists. At 21, she became a mother, then a vegetarian after having seen a documentary produced by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation whose images still haunt her. She ate pastries for several months before realizing that she could finish her daughter’s vegetable soups and thus vary her diet. The agency adventure ended when she met the playwright Joël Pommerat, then a beginner, who led her on the paths toward production. She then worked almost exclusively with authors of her generation such as Pierre Meunier and Wajdi Mouawad and then Mélanie Laurent. These productions led her over several continents, but after more than twenty years of tours, she needed new challenges and began to dream of creating a sanctuary for farm animals. She left for Montreal as cultural attachée where she used her free time to come to the aid of numerous colonies of abandoned cats. She spent long winter weekends learning how to cook to eliminate eggs and dairy products from her diet. Abandoning traditional Saint-Nectaire cheese seemed overwhelming, but she had no problem with the rest.
She took advantage of the proximity of the United States to visit sanctuary farms, in particular the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. She began by a week of volunteering during which she was asked to feed a very sick young calf, born from a milk cow, that had barely escaped the slaughterhouse. Anne-Lorraine is cured of her Saint-Nectaire addiction. She became friends with the sanctuary’s creator, Jenny Brown. She returned often for internships staying longer and longer in order to assimilate herself and to learn, to confirm her capacity to create a sanctuary. For the decision had been made – every euro earned would serve to accomplish her project : open a sanctuary in France.
At the end of her duty in Canada, she returned to France, worked a bit more in producing, cooked a lot to convince her friends that veganism was super, and left again as cultural attachée to Serbia, a last lap to support sharing culture, and to save up to buy the farm she needed. Anne-Lorraine finished her duty in Belgrade in August 2019 to go directly to the mill. No need for transition, for her road, as always, leads her toward what she considers an accomplishment.