Miles arrived at Edgar’s Mission on this day in back in 2013. At such a young age he had already seen more hardship than one should endure; orphaned, weak and in desperate need of warm and helping hands.
Today Miles is a handsome and gentle fellow, who loves nothing more than the affection of his human carers. Among all the love and care sent his way, Miles is also being treated for Epilepsy – we believe he is the only sheep treated for the condition in Australia.
Miles is part of our Best Friends monthly donor program, if you’re able and would like to sponsor him, you can find him in the Sheep Shack here!
Only hours ago, I was making my way home as the rain poured down and the windscreen wipers struggled to do their job. A trailer-load of abattoir-bound pigs headed the other way, grabbing both my gaze and heartstrings, as the words, “And they’re going to get wet” rolled from my lips. The thought haunted me for the rest of the drive home—that in their final hours on this earth, those gentle pigs would not even be afforded the kindness of warmth as their lives were soon to be reduced to pork, ham and bacon. But it also reminded me of the serenity prayer: “God* grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Every day I work on that prayer; in fact, it is what weaves the threadbare fabric of my world together. While it may come as a surprise to some, there are some days when I’m holding it together better than on other days, and some days when my world threatens to fall apart. Today is one of the latter. Already struggling under the weight of last night’s decision to end the life (and pain) of my beautiful buddy Neo, I arrived home to learn that little Todman’s brain had said, “No more”.
Transcript of speech delivered at Melbourne chapter of the World Day to End Speciesism.
A wise woman once uttered the words: “Never let it be said that to dream is a waste of one’s time, for dreams are our realities in waiting. In dreams, we plant the seeds of our future”.
We have a dream. Each and every one of us here today has a dream, and we are here today because of our shared dream. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for gathering here on this remarkable day as we take that dream from the recesses of our hearts and minds and place it centre stage as we seek to make the world a kinder, more just place for all of her inhabitants. Continue reading
We all know that volunteers make the world go round, right? Without their endless and selfless hours of support, countless not-for-profit organisations, just like ours, would not exist. That is why we here at Edgar’s Mission salute you! And in honour of you all, we have named who could well be the sweetest and most gentle goat we have ever met – Vollie.
Huge shout out of thanks to the Catholic Regional College in North Keilor for allowing us to be a part of your school year. Today we hosted the last of four groups of students who have spent the day with us, sharing our vision for a kinder world for all.
If you too would like your school, community or work group come and visit Edgar’s Mission and partake in a thought provoking day filled with critical thinking, farm tour and animal cuddles. Please drop us a line [email protected] Remember we are located in Lancefield, Victoria.
And that is just what Dancing Queen and her beloved, Rudolph Nureyev, were doing, precariously close to a country road. Quickly realising that such a dancefloor was not compatible with a long life, the two homeless goats were ushered into the local pound. And, thankfully for them, they have pirouetted their way into our hearts and not the hands of a keen-eyed entrepreneur, who would have taken advantage of the rising prices for goats en-route to the live export market.
A few months ago, a personal trainer got in touch with us – he wanted to donate a portion of his profits from every new sign up to his ‘Vegainz’ 12-week training and nutrition program. Mike raised an amazing $400 for Edgar’s Mission, we can’t thank him enough for his thoughtful generosity. Continue reading
We could not think of a more fitting name for a sweet little tiny calf who recently came into our care than Tiny Calf – for she is both tiny and a calf! And she is simply beautiful, possessing the longest of eye lashes and the doe-iest of eyes. Although it was those doe-eyes that gave us such a start.
Whilst Half Pint is friendly and inquisitive, his buddy Jules is not. Yet despite their dissimilar dispositions, their circumstances were the same and both are lucky to be alive – although only just so by the time we learned of their tragic plight.
Half-Pint and Jules were actually two thirds of a trio, but sadly the state of neglect they endured from a backyard slaughter setup had taken such a terrible toll on the third member that he did not survive their rescue. Now putting on much needed weight and confidence (Half Pint more so than Jules), their fate is sealed, however it is going to take a lot of kindness and patience for these hapless two to realise that an entire new world awaits. A world of peace, tranquillity, lots of sheepy buddies and wheetbix treats – where no one will ever again consider them a meal.
Our Facebook followers have already fallen in love with Pearl, a fluffy-faced little lamb of around six weeks of age, and we are sure you will, too.
Pearl’s arrival at our sanctuary was heralded by the pungent smell of fly-strike just moments before her severely emaciate body came into view. If you have never smelled fly-strike in a living animal, consider it a blessing. But where was this deadly menace? Once gently laid on our examination table, we could see no obvious wounds. However, as soon as we lifted her tiny right hind leg those flesh-eating maggots could hide no more – although they tried their darnedest to make a hasty retreat inside the hole they had burrowed into poor Pearl’s leg. Such a terrible oozing wound gave answer to the bloody smear little Pearl had on her nose, no doubt the result of her feeble attempts to rid herself of the wriggling menace that was eating her alive. Yes indeed, a sickening sight and smell.
Nothing could have prepared us for the cheeky little monkey of a lamb who is Rose. We first learned of her plight when a short video was sent to us by text: it revealed that Rose had been dealt a bad hand or, more appropriately, two dodgy front legs. Dear little Rose was struggling to get about, it was clear to see that without any intervention she was never going to thrive, let alone survive.
Oreo arrived into our care on the 30th of July, barely hours old. She had been found a short time earlier by a kind-hearted traveller on a stretch of road that sheep had clearly recently passed, as was evidenced by the numerous sheep droppings scattered about. So too it appeared a dear ewe had dropped her lamb, with the wee one being missed by those herding the sheep.
Luckily for Little Acorn, a kindly neighbour did. His heart-wrenching cries rang out as the wee lamb desperately sought the love, comfort and nutrition of his dear mum. But sadly, his mother would not answer his calls as she had passed away some time earlier.
Whilst exploiting the natural reproductive cycle of animals is big business to some, it is also a lucrative side-line to others. Regardless of the intent, the consequences to animals are enormous and at the heart of all of this, is a life. In this case it is that of dear little Geraldine, an animal who comes with a lifetime of care and needs unique to her species.
Sadly too, this is a story we learn of all too often as an animal is treated as property and sold without full disclosure to unsuspecting people. Sellers neglecting basic checks to ensure the welfare of the animal, and typically with pigs whether they can even legally be housed by the “purchaser”. They fail to provide information as to the need for desexing, basic animal husbandry requirements and the important “ingredients” of a life truly worth living for the animal.
With the normal birth weight of an alpaca ranging between 6 and 9kg, at two months old Leonard T Lima tips the scales at just over 9kg. But sadly, his woes do not end there. We have been told the wee chap was able to get around after his birth, however from there on in things took a turn for the worse and it was thought he had rickets. Rickets is a defect of the bones affecting young mammals, usually due to malnutrition, which can lead to deformities and breakages.
There’s a wonderful quote, I’m sure you have all heard of it, that goes: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Like most people, I have had important teachers who have inspired and guided me, offering sage advice at just the right times in my life. However, my most important teachers have not been of the human kind. They have been animals, in all of their glorious shapes, sizes and sounds. But there is one who stands out like no other – the first pig.
The first pig I was ever fortunate enough to meet, and to whom I owe an eternal debt of gratitude for guiding me to just where I needed to be, was Edgar Alan Pig. At the time of our first meeting I was what I thought to be a committed animal advocate, leading what I considered to be a pretty good life. However, Edgar changed all that and so much more, as together we trotted down a path I could never have imagined, him stopping every now and then to smell the roses – something I really have to learn to do. Giving up my full-time paying job along with hanging up the boots of my successful equestrian career and saying farewell to ever having a normal life, it was because of my meeting with this first pig I was to meet many many more pigs. And cows and sheep and goats and chickens and ducks and turkeys, as I foundered Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, currently located in the picturesque Macedon Ranges, just outside of the tiny township of Lancefield. Continue reading
Did you know August 1, is the official horses’ birthday? Celebrating it in style were the aging matriarchs of the equine herd at Edgar’s Mission, Beryl and Cheryl. With Cheryl around 28 years young and dear Beryl, none too far behind her, these grand dams did not let their age get in the way of their celebratory carrot cake and its pollard topped icing.
“Aerodynamically the bumble bee should not be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know that, so she goes on flying anyway”. Two years ago today, Fanta came into our world and while few would have given her any chance of surviving, no one told Fanta that, so she went on trying anyway. And look at her today. ‘Tis true, all things grow with love, even a wee lamb named Fanta.
Dreaming of a kinder world? Our Kind Critter Care Conference may be for you.
If you are reading this you no doubt care deeply about animals. And more than likely are looking to see how best you can advocate on their behalf. The next most frequently asked question we receive after, “Can you take my rooster?” is, “How can I start a sanctuary for farmed animals?” The answer to this latter question is as complex as it is challenging and is most certainly something that cannot be answered in a 5-minute telephone conversation or a quick FAQ response. It is for this reason we here at Edgar’s Mission will be hosting our popular Kind Critter Care Conference on Sunday 3rd of September 2017. Read more and see photos from our 2016 conference here and our 2015 conference here. Continue reading
Many people may not realise that grazing the kind pastures here at Edgar’s Mission is our horse herd, comprising of 16 magnificent equines. There’s quite a variety of shapes, sizes and temperaments ranging from a dwarf miniature pony named Snoopy to a very large and handsome warmblood gelding named Gilbert.
What many people may also not realise is that unlike humans, horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout most of their lives. Their teeth and digestive systems are designed for breaking down the tough cellulose fibres in grasses and grains with a sideways grinding action, constantly wearing down their teeth. However, as their upper jaw is wider than their lower, sharp hooks and ridges can develop, cutting into the sensitive tissue inside their mouths and tongues. This is why regular dental check-ups are a must for our equine friends, and that is just what happened here last week. Continue reading
And saying goodbye never gets any easier. Although we know the lives of our animal friends will not match the length of our own, their passing is always something we struggle to come to terms with; to know their presence will never grace our lives again. In our grief we think back in regret, if only we could have spent more time with them, they endured so much in their lives, they never had a chance to know kindness, they will not get to see their babies grow up, their time with us was too short, humans should never have done this to them. Thoughts rage through our hearts and minds each time we bid farewell to a much loved fleeced, feathered or furred friend.
Every month we shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals. Read on to see how Dominic, Benjamin and Princess Leia are going in their new forever home.
Margery, a saintly and elderly ewe, recently gave birth to her lamb in a country pound. Sadly, overnight a fox claimed the life of this precious baby. She was distraught when she arrived at our sanctuary not long thereafter. She desperately wanted to be a mother. Meanwhile, Malcolm, a two-day-old lamb, had watched on as his mother slipped from this world. Although losing the one he cherished most, he did not lose his will to live. He desperately needed a mother.
It’s a story we hear all too often here at Edgar’s Mission—a kind-hearted neighbour witnessing the tragedy of ewe in trouble on a neighbouring property. A closer inspection reveals she has recently given birth. Contacting the landholder concerned, who unfortunately in this instance (as in many others) is an absentee farmer, the kind heart is informed, “I’ll deal with it in a couple of days, you can have the lamb, otherwise I will hit it on the head when I get there”. Sadly, the ewe passed away shortly thereafter, but the lamb did not. Taken in and offered warmth, sweet formula and kindness, the little one had just been thrown the lifeline she needed to thrive. But how many are not so fortunate? The Australian newspaper reported in 2012 this figure was 15 million lambs dying within the first 48 hours of life, with most newborns succumbing to exposure to the cold weather.
Such a daunting statistic casts a question mark on the oft-touted remark that sheep are “supremely designed for the Australian environment”—clearly this is not true of our harsh climate. Continue reading
As the scissors began to surrender to the dense felt that was now the fleece of the gentle Angora doe we had hastily named Julie, we doggedly battled on. Why hastily? Let me explain. Julie was one of 27 of the large herd of Angora goats recently surrendered into our care reaching a crisis point in their welfare. These gentle goats were burdened by more than four years’ worth of fleece (that’s missing over 8 shearings, as Angoras need to be shorn twice a year) and countless parasites (both internal and external), and crippled by overgrown hooves.
Some days don’t go as planned. The 27th of June was one of them, as that day we had hoped beyond hope that little ‘Ello would turn the corner we all had been willing this sweet little lamb to turn, but her little body said no more. Up against it from the start, she tried, oh boy did she try, and so too did we. And as we struggled to make some sense of it all, we were left with the reminder that all life is precious, all want to live a life free from harm, enjoy the sunshine and the company of their buddies, and to gambol across the hills till their heart is content. ‘Ello can now do all of those things, although on another plane, in a body more robust to accommodate the gaiety and glee of a sweet little lamb. Honouring her wish, her passing was aided, surrounded by love, teddy bears, and tears. Her life mattered; she was loved, and she will be cherished in our hearts forever. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned…
Now we all know that good things come in small packages, right? But did you know that lifesaving things come in small packages covered with fur? Proof positive is a petite little Guinea Pig named Ms Truffles. Ms Truffles came into our care recently after the passing of one of our guinea pigs, Montezuma, whose passing left her partner broken-hearted and lonely. Seeing the forlorn look on little Hernando Cortez’s face each day and hearing his high-pitched little “wees” saw us seeking to find a guinea pig in need of a home. Answering our prayers were the good folk at Coldstream Animal Aid, who had recently taken in a very pretty little Abyssinian guinea pig they had named Ms Truffles. In navigating her way through our guinea pig enclosure, Ms Truffles also managed to navigate her way into Hernando Cortez’s heart.
While guinea pigs are truly special little guys and gals, please do your research before taking them into your world, as sadly all too often, the novelty of their cuteness wears off long before the responsibility of their care and welfare does. Continue reading
In the middle of winter, the warmth of kindness continues to shine brightly. Yesterday, Liam and his mother Camille paid us a visit, well actually, they paid Saturday a visit. Watch the heart-warming video of their meeting below.
Thinking of Elysia and Miranda, who both recently turned 12, the words of the Dalai Lama come to mind: “[i]t is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts.” For their combined birthday party, rather than gifts they asked if guests could bring a donation to Edgar’s Mission – raising an amazing $510!
Whether they learnt such thoughtful generosity from their parents, teachers or from their own kind hearts, Elysia and Miranda have proven beyond any doubt that teaching kindness and compassion is priceless. Thank you to Elysia, Miranda and your guests, your donations will go a long to helping so many animals now and into the future.
While many may recognize July 4th as America’s famous Independence Day from now on in we will recognize it as Independence Day for Chickens, as history will record it as the first day of Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue. Almost 1,500 laying hens destined for slaughter received a last minute reprieve when a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. Pledging the cages would never again hold a chicken the farmer nervously sought assistance to rehome the hens to safe and loving homes. At first we thought it was some kind of a joke, but meeting with the farmer at a secret location we believed him to be genuine and so on July 4th 2012 Australia’s largest farmed animal rescue began.
Five years on, and while we still celebrate Chicken Independence Day here at Edgar’s Mission, we also strive and wish for the day that no chicken will need rescuing; a day when all hens will be free. To scratch in the soil, to stretch your wings, to bathe in the dust and to feel the sun’s warm rays upon your back – these are some of the most important moments in the life of a chicken, yet they are denied to over 11 million battery hens in our country alone. Take a moment this Chicken Independence Day to join millions of people worldwide in enjoying our beautiful, heartwarming video, Normal and Natural and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t it be Normal and Natural for humans to be kind?”
Happy Chicken Independence Day from all of us here at Edgar’s Mission!