The defenceless gets you thinking
Here at Furever Farm we are accustomed to welcoming all types of animals. Older animals, "teenage" animals, wooly ones, furry ones, feathered ones. We don't discriminate and we do what we can to the best of our abilities and resources. Likewise we go through a myriad of emotions in running a rescue. There are highs, incredible highs and there are lows, incredible lows! But most of all there is determination, and hope!
Animals don't always join us in perfect health. Some come from abusive situations whilst others simply come in not having been cared for properly. This may not be born of malice but simply from people not knowing what to do and waiting too long to ask for help. We have had babies come to us in this situation and, as much as we have tried, as much as we have fought and willed the animal to pull through the delay has just been too much. This is the low… the heartbreak.
On the other side of the coin we have the rescues that turn out amazingly. Abused that turn cuddly, scared that turn social, sad that turn happy and young that make it to maturity.
Recently we have had two lambs join us at the farm. Nothing unusual we hear you say and you're correct, we have taken in lots of lambs. But, sometimes when lambs come in in pairs, it has you thinking, pondering, hoping that bit more than usual. Inevitably at least one of the lambs will be suffering from illness. It is rare that perfection comes in pairs especially when dealing with those with a less than perfect start to life. The two in question are Fawn and Captain. Fawn, rescued from the side of the road with nothing around to help or nurture her and Captain alone in a far paddock without mum or fellow sheep. Since arriving Fawn, so tiny and frail initially, has gone from strength to strength. Little to no concern has followed this girl and she remains so strong and independent. Captain, on the other hand, has been through the wars that so many have been through before him. Many have lost his fight whilst others have gone on to prosper. Pneumonia and infection have plagued Captain, not through any fault of carers but simply because he possibly missed out on mums nutrients and has struggled at this time of year with cold and a weak immunity. Happily it seems that the battle will be won with Captain and he is now looking strong, stable and very very happy. Seeing all sorts and having lambs come in anywhere from birth onwards does have you thinking and reinforcing inner beliefs and morals. It has us angry at times and frustrated most other. These feelings are nothing new though, they have been with us for at least a decade or longer.
Lambs, baby goats, calves, foals, chickens… the list goes on and is certain to increase due to humans fetish with exploiting everything that we touch. We see these animals come in from both private and industry backgrounds. The abuse, disregard, disrespect and nonchalant attitudes from humans and business leaves us staggered even though we are so familiar with it. Way back before either of us decided that we MUST rescue we were fierce and determined in animal welfare and activism. Recent events in the media have moved to discredit activism but let us say that without activism the types of atrocities we see on a regular basis remain hidden. A decade ago we were stunned into action by activism and we made an inner pledge at that time that we would make it part of our being, however that be, to be a voice for the animals.
We have revisited those feeling with the arrival of Fawn and Captain. They have sparked that deep thinking about what, how, why, when as sometimes happens. A decade ago we were living in the UK, two people looking for a sea change after personal issues in Australia. Our initial plan was to relocate permanently but the history of the GFC would see those planned thwarted. Probably a good thing in hindsight (despite what some may say!) We were of average background - worked common jobs our whole lives, Hayley with the more level head of the two of us, Darren with the tattoos, shaved head and a penchant for hardcore and heavy metal music.
For Darren the anger at the treatment of not only animals but bullied humans was high. It was a common theme in the music he listened to. Hayley, the cleaner cut, patient and also animal conscious was very people friendly and she too disliked animal and human abuse. All the while though we went on "loving animals" while eating them, never stopping to put the story, or evidence, in place. That was until we both viewed a very confronting animal liberation documentary whilst getting ready to leave the UK to return home. The jaws hit the floor, the mind seemed to click into gear and the attitudes changed from that day.
From brief vegetarianism to veganism we have never looked back and our compassion for animals and their rights has remained at a peak ever since. Our morals totally changed, our attitudes to ALL animal abuse heightened as we became more determined to end this barbaric practice that Government officials, industry and the law deemed totally acceptable. Our education and investigation of this holocaust found it's way to importance in our lives. We got involved in everything from volunteering at animal shelters to working with liberation groups and even undercover work for animal advocacy establishments. And, in the end it has seen us here, setting up and running our own farm animal rescue to the best of our abilities whilst also keeping in touch with activism and advocacy.
So what does a couple of lambs have to do with revisiting this and reinforcing our "rage"? In every new animal we see another that has been used, abused, disregarded and thrown away like a piece of rubbish by a world and industry that prides itself of bastardry and unnecessary wanton disposal. This needs to change. This needs to change for our health, for our environment and, most importantly, this needs to change for the animals. The cruelty and torture and killing is NOT necessary and we must all carry this burden, this burden of rage to march forward and make a difference. To quote a lyric - "Fighting to save the animals. Their freedom is our peace. For their habitats preservation, for the violence against them to cease." Veganism, and that term has so many meanings to so many people, is at a marching, chanting, open book educating high. No matter what the word veganism holds for us as individuals there is one thing all have in common - it is the total removal of animal harm and killing. Social media is so much more available for the use of letting people see THE truth. The industry for what it is and what it does and to what volume it prides itself on. Nobody has an "escape clause" of ignorance anymore. It is up to us, via many different means and avenues, to continue to fight for the animals, to continue to see people in denial challenge their conscience. Modern day speciesism and barbarism is NOT ok.
It is this attitude that both of us pledged to live all these years ago while waiting to board a return flight home.
We never forget who we are, where we have come from and what we believe but in the animals we take in it is reinforced each and every day. How dare a world exist where Furever Farm is necessary? It may not be in our generation but we will continue to fight until we can fight no more. One thing is for certain - the machine is weakening, it is crumbling and they are worried. Revolutions sometimes take longer than anticipated but they always occur with enough determination, persistence and fight. We think this is a worthy battle.
So we remain determined but compassionate and level as we go. We are but two people amongst an army of billions. BILLIONS… let’s have that sink in for a minute. That is a huge army and it keeps on growing as the next generation wises up to the industrial spin. We so hope that one day in future time there will be a world where animals are given their true value and rights. Sentient beings as classified by science. Just because they don't walk or talk like us doesn't make them any less important. Hell, who's to say it is us that don't walk and talk like them??
So we continue to do what we can when we can and no doubt will continue to have those highs and lows. Fawn and Captain are simply our latest baby lives that we will nurture and grow from infancy to adulthood. They deserve nothing less that that and a life free from pain, suffering and the abuse of wealthy man. Furever Farm came around due to a combination of factors really ranging from morals and beliefs to sadness and a desire to perform "hands on help". Like all before them Fawn and Captain have found where the voiceless come to speak.
Darren, Hayley & all the Furever Farm team.