Many people are now aware of the plight of the bobby calf: sweet doe-eyed babies taken from their mothers only hours after their birth so the milk nature intended for the calf can be harvested for human consumption. Sadly, many, in a bid to escape complicity with this cruelty, choose goat’s milk as a “humane” alternative, in the misguided belief that goats are “natural” producers of milk who do not have to be pregnant in order to commence the lactation process. Yet mammals are mammals, and in the goat’s milk industry as in the cow’s milk industry, the babies are usually unwanted by-products fated to have short and motherless lives. And so dear little Snowy (a sweet Saanen buck) and the dapper Bluey (a refined British Alpine buck) came into the world, off-shoots of the caprine dairy industry, getting lucky of sorts, finding a home in regional Victoria. But their fortunes turned once again as their cutes became more of an annoyance than a delight, and for their innocent crimes they came within days of having their lives ended.
One of the things that makes the plight of Snowy Kid and Bluey Kid so hard to bear is that they are such friendly little souls, animals for whom kindness, love and affection had clearly been a part of their daily realm – all of which was to be withdrawn on that very last day. Thankfully, history bears another tale: the plucky duo have found sanctuary through Edgar’s Mission, and we proudly announced, “We’ve got new kids on the block”.
Their story is a tragic reminder of how much power we humans have over animals, and how every day they are at our mercy. Snowy and Bluey are clearly not books one can return to the shelf, nor are they toys to be left in the yard to gather dust and dander; they are indeed sentient beings, blessed with similar capacities to experience this world and all of her magic as do we humans (although no one really knows how to experience the magic of the world quite like goats J). If only all could see this, all lives indeed would be the better for it.