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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.

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Updates here…

August-01-2012

Today was bittersweet.  I’m happy…It’s my 4th veganniversary!

It’s also a very sad day, because today I lost my best goat friend, Bubba.

Every animal has inherent worth, but Bubba was extra special to me.  He was sweet as pie, but in a regal and so very dignified way.  Often, I would stand close to him and just savor his presence.  He wouldn’t walk away for several minutes.  I cherish those memories.

I felt a unique connection with Bubba.  I loved to crouch down in front of him, hold his face in my hands and just stare into his eyes.  What can I say…I love him just like I love my kitties…past and present.

I’m happy that, from now on, I’ll associate Bubba with my veganniversaries…

It is because I went vegan 4 years ago that I sought out the opportunity to work and play with the animal residents of New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary.  I started volunteering at the farm within the first couple months of going vegan because I wanted to help “farm” animals in a direct and tangible way.

I’m sure that the animals at the sanctuary have helped me a lot more than I’ve helped them.  When I’m alone with the animals, I’m grounded.  The serenity of the barn and the pasture is immensely therapeutic.

If I hadn’t gone vegan, I wouldn’t have known Bubba or any of the other goats, sheep, dogs, cats, horses and donkeys of the farm.  I also gained a wonderful human friend there.  Veganism has blessed me in a thousand…a million…a gazillion ways.

I’m very sad that I won’t ever stand beside Bubba in the pasture again, but I’m happy that he was infinitely loved and so well cared for.  Too many animals are not so lucky.  If you really think about it, there is really no difference between the animals who are consumed and the animals who are rescued.

I’m vegan for all of the animals.  Until my last breath I will use my voice to help liberate innocent animals from unjust servitude.

A kiss from Ellen, the wonderful caregiver of New Moon Farm Goat Rescue

I miss you, Bubba.
(For more pictures of Bubba– and the lucky humans who got to love him– click 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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