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Tatonka 7

On May 17th– exactly 2 weeks ago– I did my first post about this little goat.  At that time, he was only 3 days old and yet nameless.  Now he has a name:  Tatonka!

Read about Tatonka’s birth story and how he ended up at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary (NMF) in that post, “Why Dairy Makes Me Sick.”

I thought it would be fun to include some progress reports about Tatonka in my blog, since I have the good fortune to volunteer at NMF every week.  (Of course, I missed volunteering last week because of the Vida Vegan Con in Portland, Oregon.)

Here was an update from NMF on Saturday, May 25th…

“Two big “firsts” for Tatonka today. He had his first spontaneous baby BOING! He barely lifted off the ground, but it was definitely an attempt at jumping. Then, he started “grazing.” Not really eating anything, but chewing and licking at the grass – figuring it out. This little guy has improved dramatically in the past two days. He’s not only walking, his balance and stamina are improving. He can turn his head to look around without falling over. He can shake without falling over. And if he does fall over, he can get right back up!”

Here’s a video from that same day.  (WARNING:  cuteness overload).

The next day, Tatonka made the local news when did a news story:  ”Disabled goat, just 6 inches tall, undergoing rehab

Here he is today, Friday, May 31st…

Tatonka’s legs are very badly deformed.  Splints are being tried to see if they will help with proper alignment of the feet.

Tatonka 1

Tatonka can now stand up on his own.
He can take little steps to turn around, too.

Tatonka 2

He crumples down easily.  Standing takes a lot of effort for this little guy.

Tatonka 3

This picture shows how little he is.  Ellen from NMF gives him some support.

Tatonka 4

This picture shows his scale.  Tatonka is only 13″ long from head to tail.
That barn cat, Viggo, is very small and slender.
(and Viggo is an old man- 19 years old!)

Tatonka 5

Too cute!

Tatonka 6

Tatonka 8

Another picture to show his size.  That’s my hand.  He’s tiny!

Tatonka 9

Can you stand the cuteness anymore?

Tatonka 10

If you’d like to donate to New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary, Ellen would sure love your support!  (She doesn’t know that I’m saying this.)  The sanctuary is located in Arlington, WA.

Stay tuned for more Tatonka progress reports!



Tatonka Post-Surgery (June 28, 2013)

Crippled Goat - photo-7

Friday May 17, 2013

I’m holding a 3 day old baby goat.  He’s absolutely precious!  His cry is adorable.  Of course, I’m stating the obvious.  All babies are cute.

This little guy should be running and jumping and acting hilarious, like normal kids do.  But, he’s not doing that because he has 4 deformed legs that won’t even hold the weight of his tiny body.  He’s going to need a LOT of help.  He still might not make it.

Sadly, babies are born deformed.  It happens all the time.  Life isn’t fair.  In his case, he had 3 other siblings.  He was just so cramped in the womb that he didn’t develop normally.

Here’s the problem, though…

This kid is the product of a goat breeder.  It just so happens that the breeder is a “first time” breeder, but that doesn’t really matter.  A breeder is a breeder.  I’m talking about the dairy industry.

As I already mentioned, the mother goat who delivered this kid had 3 other babies.  The breeder didn’t think this one would live.  She focused her energy on the other three.

A day or two later, the breeder realized that this kid was still alive.  He wasn’t going to just die.

Now what?

The breeder doesn’t have time for bottle feeding.  This kid needs bottle feeding every 2-3 hours for at least a week.

The breeder can’t be bothered with a crippled goat.  This kid is completely dependent in every way.

What to do?  Of course:  Call a goat rescue.

Yes, that’s a very good thing to do.  I give her that.  It’s very good that she sought help.  She did the right thing by calling someone who cares about animals, and who has the experience to help.

But here’s the thing…

This kind of passing the buck (no pun intended) is completely unfair to the goat sanctuary owner.  I think it really “stinks” that breeders can basically dump their little inconveniences onto the people who run sanctuaries.

I wonder if the breeder offered to pay for any of the costs that the sanctuary owner will obviously incur, to take care of this kid.

What I just described is just one of the many problems I have with small dairy farms.

But, in general, I can’t stomach the dairy industry on any level.

I can’t stomach dairy products because I can’t accept the mentality that it’s okay to bring life into this world just to turn around and take it away.

Dairy breeders for all species (i.e. goats, sheep, cows) depend on continuous pregnancies to keep all that milk flowing.

Dairy breeders on farms of all sizes are in the business of killing unwanted baby animals.  This is simply the only way a dairy can make any money.  Extra bodies that aren’t producing milk are a drain on the business.  There are too many mouths to feed!

  • Male babies are killed because they won’t ever produce milk.
  • Female babies are killed because their numbers still inevitably become too numerous on the dairy farm.  Farms only need a small number of “replacements” for their “old” and “unproductive” mothers.  (Retirement = Death).

It’s really quite rare for a baby animal to get the kind of chance that the kid I’m holding in the picture is getting.  But, that certainly doesn’t make it okay to continue breeding animals.

Dairy really does make me sick to my stomach.


Updates here…

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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