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October Trottings

Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary's Monthly E-Newsletter
Wednesday November 2nd 2011
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Prairie dogs, pigs and doing the right thing

"The only person who should own a prairie dog is someone who owns a prairie". It was some time ago when I read this quirky line and it has stayed with me ever since. It pretty much encapsulates our relationship with the animal kingdom, save treading the murky line of animal ownership. It came from a story in the US relaying the tragic tale of hapless prairie dogs that had become the latest must have new fad pet. While a prairie dog looks more like a ground squirrel than a dog, it indeed looks cute, and no doubt this would be one of the main drivers for the fad. Prairie dogs are not dogs and in fact are rodents that like to live in small colonies, dig burrows, are very territorial and will bite!! All qualities that indeed make them very suited to prairies and not people. The inappropriateness of prairie dogs as pets says more about our selfish, thoughtless and instant gratification nature than it does about the tiny creatures themselves.

"I wanna pig!" it's something I oft times hear, and is one of the many challenges I face. While pigs make great companions for humans, unfortunately for pigs us humans do not always reciprocate. In endeavouring to present pigs as the wonderful, intelligent and emotional creatures they are, it is hard to get people to pull back from their natural impulse of wanting to have a pig in their life. My immediate response is, 'don't', to which I quickly add, if you truly love pigs and want to help them don't get a pig unless you are prepared to go to the great lengths that are needed to ensure, not just that they have a life but a life worth living. And for most people this works just fine. Meeting Polly, Hip Hop Bob, Hamish or any of the other wonderful porcines we are fortunate to share our lives with here at Edgar's Mission, indeed proves life changing, or rather diet changing for many people. Seeing a pig happily perform many activities we traditionally thought the preserve of dogs certainly provides food for thought about the labels we have so arbitrarily placed upon animals and thereby consigned their fate and appeased our conscience of any sentimentality we may have for the lives we impose upon them.

Similar but different...
Dogs and pigs, while their emotional and intellectual worlds are similar their natural behavioural needs are not. Not all councils allow people to keep pigs as companion animals and so often we get distraught and angry calls from people who have just been informed by their local council that they must get rid of their pig. Other reasons people find they are no longer wanting a pig in their life are because, and I would love a dollar for every time I hear this one, "my miniature pig has grown", or "my pig digs up the garden" (a behaviour so natural to a pig it sits right up there with breathing), "my pig keeps escaping "(pigs are undeniably Houdini incarnate, but this has more to do with their acumen than their desire to be a right pain in the butt), "the kids have tired of it" and "I don't have time". The tragedy of all this is pigs are indeed worldly animals, they are not library books to be put back on the shelf only to acquire dust until someone comes along who may find them interesting. Pigs form strong bonds with their human carers, even more so than dogs and suffer when they are shunned which makes rehoming an older pig most problematic and distressing.

Pigs are indeed social animals. They love to hang out with their buddies, wander about, playing with branches and anything you happen to have left in snouts' reach. As they cannot sweat a wallow to cool down in is essential along with a welcoming warm bed at night. Clean fresh water which they will dutifully muddy at earliest opportunity and lovely soil for exercising that magnificent disc snout they are famous for. Dexterous fingers for giving plentiful tummy rubs, humans with clothes they delight in being painted with snout marks - who knows one day there may be a market for mud encrusted, snouted trousers!

And pigs remind me every day of the wonderful words of Winston Churchill, "Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, but a pig will look you straight in the eye and see his equal".

Oh and the other essential ingredient to having a pig in one's life, a sense of humour....

Pam Ahern
Pam Ahern
Founder & Director



Christmas time is coming!

With Christmas just around the corner Edgar's Mission has some great Christmas deals at our online shop! Pick up a 2012 calendar and a pack of 10 x-mas cards for $27 with free shipping (both printed on recycled paper, using veg ink and solar power)! Plus any order over $100 gets a free 2012 Calendar! What are you waiting for... click here to grab yourself a deal :)

Edgar's Mission would like to cordially invite you to join us for Carols by Barnlight on December 10th. Enjoy cruelty free fare, meet and greet over 250 rescued animal residents, take a farm tour before settling into the barn for carol singing!

Help us celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: kindness and compassion to all beings!

Join our event on Facebook and invite your friends here

Video of the month!

New Edgar's Mission Video!

Edgar's Mission has a new video! We guarantee it will add a smile to your day :) Sit back, relax and enjoy 6 minutes of Edga'r Mission right now! Once your done please share it with your friends and help Edgar's Mission spread our message of kindness!

To watch the video simply click here

Women of Letters

A very special thank you!

'To Alan and Galia Hardy, Lisa McGuire, and a pig named Edgar', reads the dedication page of 'Women of Letters' a book curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire. On November 15, 2009 Marieke Hardy first came to Edgar's Mission and met a pig named Mrs Peaches. So taken was Marieke by the experience that she vowed to do all she could to help our sanctuary. Little did we know the incredible tenacity of Marieke and her friend Michaela McGuire would result in the amazing concept of Women of Letters, whereby noted celebrities, guests and dignitaries would pen letters to a theme and read them aloud. The contributors all giving freely of their time and letters. The result over $60,000 raised and mounting, a book launched and more events still in the pipeline. Our unending thanks go to Marieke and Michaela not only for all they have done but for yet again reaffirming our staunch belief in the power of kindness....

The next and last Women of Letters for 2011 is on Sunday November 27th at 3pm - Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury. Bookings are essential. To book click here

Pick up the book at your local book shop or buy it online here


Campaign Action of the Month

Hatching a good idea

Our campaign action of the month is one well overdue - "Hatching a good idea", which aims to see an end to chicken hatching projects in schools. Far from being a benign learning experience for children, these projects enforce the idea that animals are teaching aids with countless chicks brought into the world with uncertain fates. 50% of the hatchlings being roosters who rarely find a loving long term home.

Something to crow about
If you have been involved with a hatching project and would like to share your thoughts, please contact us ASAP as we are preparing a promotional video for our campaign.

We are also putting the finishing touches on a postcard to be sent to schools and decision makers seeking an end to chicken hatching projects. Here's a sneak of our punchy postcard front, email us if you would like to be sent some postcards for distribution.

The write stuff
Please write a polite letter to your minister for education pointing out the problems of hatching projects, you can simply copy this one or draft your own. Whatever you do please speak up for the voiceless and let us know how you get on.

October at a Glance

1-7: Be Kind to Animals Week
2nd: World Animal Day @EM
8th: Caroline Springs Cruelty Free Fare
Pets Day Out Frankston
9th: Ringwood Spring Festival
11th: Oxley College @EM
15th: Taste of Goulbourn
17th: Bachus Marsh Grammar
19th: Dharma School Daylesford
22nd: Briar Hill Spring Fair
23rd: Paws in the Park Gisborne
24th: Women of Letters Book Launch
25th: Box Hill Tafe
26th: Hobsons Bay Children's Week Picnic
27th: Melton School visit
27th: Rally to end non-stun slaughter
30th: Ballarat Spring Festival

New Residents

4 1 2

Lamb: Trinity
Geese: The Obama's & The Clinton's
Roosters: Daisy (Chicken hatching project)
Hens: Diesel

For more pictures please click here

Picture of the Month!

Email Kyle a funny caption for the image above for your chance to win a 2012 Edgar's Mission Calendar! Percy Peacock quite likes the view from up top Rosie's house.

Winner announced in November Trottings

Competition Winners

Congratulations to Candy who wins a 2012 Edgar's Mission Calendar!

Candy entered the caption `Do i look like the snap, crackle n pop type of pig?`

Can you help

Edgar's Mission is seeking help to spread 365 days of kindness :) Are you a business that would like to help by selling Edgar's Mission calendars on our behalf ? If so please email Kyle

Out and about in November

Saturday 5th
Djerriwarrh Festival
Melton Recreation Reserve,
Reserve Road, Melton
11am til 5pm

Sunday 6th
Maroondah Festival
Town Park,
Norton Road
10am - 5pm

Sunday 6th
World Vegan Day
Abbotsford Convent,

Sunday 13th
Sawpit Gully Festival,
10am - 3pm

Saturday 19th
Mitchell Shire Pet Expo
Hadfield Park, Wallan
10am - 3pm

Tuesday 22nd
Free the Bears
Cocktail Function

Saturday 26th
Yarraville Farmers Market
Yarraville Gardens
Cnr Hyde & Somerville Road, Yarraville
9am - 1pm

Sunday 27th
Peninsula Pet Expo,
The Village Green, Rosebud
9am -3pm

Volunteering at EM

Volunteer Days for November - mark in your diary!

Sunday 13th November
Saturday 26th November

Please contact Kyle for more information.

Everyday Hero

A special thanks goes to Jayme Bailey, Matt Bennett, Dave Burnham, Ric Earnshaw, Jeffery Ettridge, Duncan Riordan, and Dave Stone who are raising money for Edgar's Mission by growing a Mo for Movember! for more information or to support them please click here

A special thanks to Preeti Prasad who is running the City2Sea and raising money for Edgar's Mission! If you would like more info or to support her please click here

Donating to Edgar's Mission

We are tax-deductible!
As of recently, Edgar's Mission became a registered DGR (Charity). This means that any donation over $2 is now tax deductible.

You can donate as a once-off or a regular donation via secure payment site, Our Community (just click the big red button above). If you are not comfortable donating via the web, or do not have a credit card, you can also download the donation form & send by post.

Workplace Giving
Our DGR status also now means that supporters can now make donations as a salary sacrifice to Edgar's Mission. Please see the ATO's web page for more information about how this works.

As always, our sincerest thanks to all of our wonderful supporters. We simply could not do any of what we do without your ongoing help and generosity.