All the Animals (the peaceful farm sanctuary)

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She was three days old.  Bouncy, adorable, and everything one would imagine a baby goat to be.  She nibbled on the geraniums, went to inner city schools with me when I went to speak, played the piano, and loved her bottles.  She stayed next to me as I read and thought herself a cat.  She rather enjoyed rides in the truck and loved everyone.

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We often have to learn things the hard way to realize what our true beliefs are.  I had been vegetarian for twenty-five years and then vegan for an additional two years when we entered the farming scene head on and fell into line with all the other small farms around us.  We started a small dairy.  We increased our chicken family.  We had many animals who all had to “earn their keep.”

Elsa got pregnant too early.  When she gave birth, we took the baby away. (That is how people get the milk and not the infant) (and we were so thankful it was a girl because boys get killed in the dairy industry.  Period.)  She got mastitis and scabs on her udders.  Instead of letting her heal and giving her another year, I quickly sold her to a family who ushered her into their minivan and were gone.  For $250.  It was only then that I realized in my farming fervor that I just sold our baby girl.  Roosters I couldn’t get myself to eat came home plucked and beheaded for little reason.  I have too many recipes out there that need to come down.

Many folks deter squirrels with cruel spinning feeders and squirrel proof this or that.  We had a squirrel years ago that would throw his food bowl if it was empty after getting our attention!  They are quite fascinating and sweet animals.  Our life is certainly richer watching them play.  They come quite near to receive their goodies.

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Birds of all sorts gather around our third of an acre in the middle of the city.  Scores of blackbirds, owls, hawks, eagles, sparrows, finches, and silly blue jays.  Hummingbirds drink the nectar from the geraniums on the porch.

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The chickens are named and are actually included in our holiday cards.  They all have very different personalities, just like cats and dogs.  My friend’s young turkey was killed.  A few weeks later, the mother of the turkey died.  She was depressed and had stopped eating.  There is no difference (and it is only humans that have determined who is more worthy, who is food, who is equal) between the dog, the cats, the chickens, the squirrels, the blue jays, even the mice that steal a nibble here and there from the birds’ food bowl. They all have a right to live and be and I have no more right to be here than they.  We are all walking upon mother earth.

At this time that we wish for peace on earth, let us remember these things.  Not only will your health drastically improve, but your emotional state will be happier,  anxiety disappears, your impact on the earth’s resources will lessen, and the very number of lives you will save and improve by not eating animals and by putting out some bird seed will be significant.  That is how we get peace on earth.  One life at a time.  This mini-farm is a sanctuary, for me as much as them.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery

Happily Ever Esther by Steve Jenkins

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur

 

 

 

Anthropomorphizing Goats and Breech Babies

Throughout writing this blog, I have been adamant about having upbeat writing.  I delete negative comments.  I try to only write positive and humorous articles and keep you laughing as we dictate the pages of our history.  It seems as if many of you have become family.  Friends.  You have entered our lives through the portals of social media and writings and live each day as it unfolds for us.  You have watched our children grow, our granddaughter be born, this farm come into being, and have cheered us on and rejoiced as corn grew and animal babies were born and adopted.  There have been a few articles as the ebb and flow of life come upon us.  The death of our daughter’s dear friend, chickens killed, dog died.  It is a part of the life of a farm and one I didn’t fully understand when I decided upon the most upbeat, fun, and humorous blog I could muster.  Overall, I hope that I have given you a fun blog to read each day.  Something to brighten your day, to live on a farm even if you don’t, or to nod your head in knowing if you do live on a farm through my stories and antidotes.

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I often anthropomorphize my animals.  Anthropomorphize is a literary term used to demonstrate giving animals human feelings and characteristics.  It is often used as folly as opposed to reality.  A term that hints that animals don’t actually have feelings.  I can tell you right now, folks, that every single one of my chickens has a different personality just as my cats do.  It is wonderful to live among so many sentient beings.  To share my life and days and time and memories with so many animals.

Loretta

We have all been waiting with baited breath as I have cried wolf so many times for Loretta to give birth.  Loretta is a small, black goat, the size and stature of a basset hound with the personality of a young child and the firm belief that she is a dog.  She follows us everywhere.  She helps Doug with the morning chores.  (Helps is relative.)  She cuddles and gets excited to see us.  She greets people that visit the farm.  She was to be our mascot as I would like to do more children’s programs here at the farm.  She is a perfect farm animal.  Loving and sweet.

We found out she was pregnant when I posted a picture of how big she was on the blog and my friend that gave her to me rushed over.  Sure enough she had accidentally been bred when my friend left her at a boarder’s.  She was not quite one year’s old so we prepared for possible problems but stayed optimistic.  Twins.  We just couldn’t wait to see those tiny black goats running about.

She went into labor yesterday morning and the two babies ended up being one large boy.  Jill came over again to see what the hold up was and realized the large boy was breach.  We tried everything yesterday.  The vet, her experienced friend, back to the vet.  A foot stuck out of her backside for hours until she was able to get in for a C-section.  The baby had ruptured her uterus.  She wouldn’t be able to have any more babies and the baby within her died.  We cheerfully said that would be fine, she can be our mascot for the farm!

She was in dreadful pain last night as we checked on her.  She was dead this morning.

I hope that this news will be one of just a few snippets throughout the years of bad news.  That it will be highly unbalanced with great news.  Babies being born, adopted, corn growing, family growing, farm growing, beautiful prose, memories, and funny recollections of farm life.  But in real life, I suppose, there are the sad moments as well.  Today is a sad moment.

Rest in Peace Loretta.