So many of us have a special bond with one or a number of animals. There’s no denying, they have the capacity to move us in many ways— we love them, cherish our bonds with them and they make our lives so much the richer.
Last night Charity, one of our resident sheep, was featured on Bondi Vet. Many of you told us her story moved you, and one woman was so moved she told her daughter she must drive her out to Edgar’s Mission. Win is 98 years old and today she donated $250 so that we can continue helping animals like Charity.
We believe in the power of the human heart and of kindness. Thank you Win for moving for animals, your kind support is so appreciated.
Farewell 2017, what a year you’ve been. We’ll never let go of the idea that a kinder world for all animals truly is possible—heading into this new year, we have so much to feel hopeful about.
If this is what we could achieve for animals in 2017, imagine what we can do in 2018…
If you’re able, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. As ever, we’re humbled by the love and support we’re shown—we can’t thank you enough.
Whilst not quite the Christmas gift I had imagined, the early morning call to advise that our Christmas presents were at the front gate set me off with a spring in my step, excited anticipation in my heart and a whisper of sleep in my eye. With the sun still thinking about making her ascent, and through the fading moonlight, two very large boxes greeted me. As I stared quizzically at them, my attention was diverted by the sound of tyres crunching gravel as a car sped off down the road and ten glorious, chirping baby turkeys came into my world.
Soon each one of them was lifted from the box, weighed, feet soaked in disinfectant, bodies sprayed for parasites and a kiss bestowed on each of their fuzzy, sweet heads—and I was yet again reminded of just how much I love turkeys. While their warm bodies with their soft feathers warmed my heart, the sight of the crippled stumps of their feet that once held their toes made me want to weep. How could we? How could our society allow for such a painful disfigurement of baby animals, which only added to the woes, their tiny beaks having been seared off when they were just days old.
The expression “go west” takes its roots from the direction the sun sets, symbolising the end of the day. Figuratively it has come to mean the demise or disappearance of someone or something. Despite that scenario being high in the tea leaves for our new feathered friend, Westy, it is not the reason for his name.
Spied on the Western Highway, actually smack bang in the middle of the Western Highway, was Westy. The terrified young rooster tried to take in his dire circumstance as he looked from left to right, not knowing which way to run. It soon got even more dire when he was literally run over by a fast-moving truck. By some stroke of good fortune, or the smarts of this wily rooster, he was dead centre of the vehicle, which meant he was not to end up dead in the middle of the road, although he was left extremely ruffled and a lot the worse for wear.
Each festive season people spend their hard-earned dollars on Christmas trees, with literally hundreds and hundreds of them winding up in landfill. But this year we decided to make a small difference. Putting out a Facebook post to our local community and our supporters requesting trees for our goats, we (and they) were beyond delighted to find dozens of Christmas trees left inside our front gates.
Recycling never tasted so good! And our dear chickens even got in on the act, proving that one man’s Christmas tree is another goats (or chickens) treasure!
Look who came to spread some joy to the residents this Christmas—Santa and a merry band of helpers. ❤️💚❤️
Thank you to everyone who supported Edgar’s Mission in 2017, your belief in our work ensured that every day for our many residents felt like Christmas 🎄
Christmas time is meant to be a time of joy, but for so many pigs it’s anything but. On this day last year, with the festive season well and truly upon us, one story of hope touched the hearts of people all over the world. The story of Carol and her cheeky tornado of a trio: Cookie, Candy and Kris Kringle. We also wanted to share their arrival video with you again, because who doesn’t want to see the moment a mummy pig is reunited with her beautiful babies?
A Christmas Carol to dream of
Well, actually yes, indeed she does, and probably more than three bags full! Her name is Renee and she is a sweet-faced Black Suffolk ewe.
Renee, we were to learn, had been left behind after she had done a “runner” when her flock was rounded up and trucked off to slaughter some years prior. Sheep are flock animals, who take great comfort and security in their own kind. And whilst Renee had escaped imminent death, she certainly had perils of her own to contend with, not the least of which was the growing burden of her fleece.
The story of ten lucky turkeys will warm your heart and show you that they are so much more than a meal. Oh, and they love watermelon!
To find out more about how turkeys are farmed in Australia click here and here.
“When it is all finished you will discover it was never random.”
There I was in Bendigo presenting at, of all things, the Food & Fibre Future Directions Conference. The location of this event was the TAFE College whose hallowed halls I had trod as a student almost 40 years before. The irony of change, on both fronts, was not lost on me as I nervously delivered my presentation, hitting the final note to a rousing round of applause. And I breathed.
But before heading home, I lingered just that little bit longer in one of my favourite cities, only to take a call from the folk back at Edgar’s Mission. I was soon to learn about a kind-hearted truck driver who had come across two wee lambs in Western Victoria (hours away from my location) aimlessly hiking down a busy country highway, no sheep or farm house in sight. “I couldn’t just leave them there or even tip them over the nearest fence, for they surely would have died,” he was later to tell me.
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
And never were these words truer than when little Carmichael, a lamb who at the time did not have a name or a promising future, was spied by a kind heart. Seeing the feeble young one limping along, struggling to keep up with his flock, this kind heart made attempt after determined attempt over a period of weeks to secure some assistance for the ailing animal. But sadly, her kindness was not mirrored in others, from the human responsible for his care to the various authorities charged with overseeing the welfare of farmed animals. And so, in a world where one can be just about anything, our kind heart chose to be just that—kind. Despite being several hours from Edgar’s Mission and with a young family of her own to tend to, this caller listened intently to our instructions, and, following them to a “T”, was able to negotiate the safe release of Carmichael, delivering the wee one to our care that evening.
What is it that makes a person great? Is it that they’re up from dusk to dawn caring for those close to their heart? Is it that they help those who find themselves alone and without a friend in this world? Is it that they see a stark unfairness in this world and dedicate their life to correcting wrongs?
It’s easier to walk the road most travelled; you can lead a life, for the most part, unchallenged. Caught up in the ebb and flow of society, it’s comfortable to ride the wave of familiarity. You fit in the world and the world fits your picture of what’s normal. But what if you saw something, thought something or felt something that tipped normality on its head—what would you do? If you were Pam Ahern, you’d turn your own life upside down to challenge the newly-seen injustice head on.
“Sixty-Four, is a name, not a number,” were the words I would offer to the many quizzical glances I was to receive when introducing folk to a gentle and handsome blind merino wether. Sixty-Four took his name from the Beatles classic, When I’m 64, a song written by a very young Paul McCartney, questioning whether he would still be loved when he reached the ripe old age of 64.
“Yes, I will,” were the very words I uttered when I learned of Sixty-Four’s plight and in response to the question of whether we would be prepared to take him (and the challenges of caring for a blind wether) on. You see, Sixty-Four had been found wandering aimlessly about the side of a rural country road when he was reported to animal control officers and taken to the local pound. Generally, sheep found in such circumstance would have been sent to the saleyards. Seeing Sixty-Four’s blindness matched by his ability to survive in a world of such obstacles, the officer determined the stoic old gent deserved a change of fortune.
We ate, we listened, we laughed and we walked away feeling inspired. Thanks for coming along to our Third Evening of Kindness last Thursday, we loved meeting so many of you and the night went without a hitch.
The evening was marked by rousing recollections, starting with Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director Pam Ahern, followed by Striking at the Roots author Mark Hawthorne and concluded with Founder of the Food Empowerment Project, Lauren Ornelas.
Huge, in fact. This festive season we’ve been able to take Animal Ambassadors Marty, Penelope Sue, Betany and Wendy all over Australia in our biggest ever billboard campaign, and it’s all thanks to you.
Christmas is heralded by family and joy, but for so many farmed animals it’s a time of anything but. We want Australians to come face-to-face with the animals they perhaps never give a second thought to, but whose kind they directly affect—pigs like Penelope Sue who only smell fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun on their last days. Continue reading
The call came in late one night, as a member of the public relayed having only moments earlier come across a sheep in the middle of the road. Believing the hopelessly crippled animal had been hit by a car, they desperately sought our assist. Heading off into the dark of night, armed only with a flashlight and kindness, we nervously drove, turning down country road after country road. Just when we were starting to question our sanity, we spied the hapless animal, head peeping up amongst the long grass on the verge of the road. Indeed, her leg was a mess and in no way would it assist the freshly shorn ewe to flee. With little light to assist, it was into the van with Georgie Girl and back to the sanctuary for a more thorough assessment. Continue reading
Today, December 5th is International Volunteer Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with one of our amazing volunteers, Ruth. To all of our amazing volunteers who selflessly help out at Edgar’s Mission and to volunteers everywhere we celebrate your kind and diligent contributions to make the world a better place. We dedicate today’s update on Hamlet to you. Continue reading
Meet Hamlet, a pig who will truly steal your heart. He was under attack from dogs trained to hunt pigs when a kind and caring neighbour stepped in to rescue the gentle boy. Hamlet is now safe and will be off to the vet shortly to have his ear assessed, you can follow his updates here.
Please note this video does contain footage that may upset sensitive viewers.
Answer: When they happen to be a “hen” who is actually a rooster. Confused? So too were we when we recently received a call from a concerned and kind-hearted member of the public who noticed a little black “hen” pecking about on their lawn recently. The plucky chicken, whilst appearing most at home, wasn’t. Because this green patch or earth was not “her” home, and many calls and door-knocking in the area revealed there was no home anywhere nearby missing one of their feathered friends. But what was nearby was a parkland area inhabited by urban foxes—not a good mix for a lone chicken. With the call for assistance coming in right on our own poultry lock-up time here at Edgar’s Mission, we simply could not abandon the animals in our care to rescue another, but we knew someone who could. With one final call to ensure the “hen” was still at the address, we heard these words, “Oh yes she is; she is happily perched on the window sill as she has been for the last couple of nights”. “Ah, ha,” we thought, “She’s a rooster”– which sadly explains why there was no home for her/him.
Have you ever wondered why some animals get lucky and others do not? It’s something we regularly toss about in our hearts and minds each day here at Edgar’s Mission. And the story of Kanga speaks poignantly of this.
There are few things in life that so remind us of the vulnerability of animals than those who arrive in our care in severe states of neglect. And few have arrived in a worse state than Muffy and her lamb, Duffy. That Muffy adored her baby was so evident—she had put every ounce of her being into her baby, even at the expense of her own health. Blood tests soon revealed that this courageous and loyal mother was not long for this world, as she was in the final stages of liver failure. And little Duffy … in all our years of rescue we have not seen a live lamb more emaciated than he.
“Where ever you go, whatever you do, make your kindness count”
And that is just what happened today as we headed to Melbourne in the company of one forthright and “don’t mess with me” chicken, Kung Fu Panda. Whilst the details of our important mission cannot be revealed until next week, we can tell you that our day was brightened by fellow commuters who showed their love and support of our work. From the tradesman who inched up to our vehicle as we were stuck in traffic, wound down his window and shouted, “I love your quote, I don’t eat animals”, to the lovely young lady who waved excitedly at us at the traffic lights and all salutations in between, we truly appreciate your support and take great comfort that you too are driving the world to a kinder place for all.
Actually, there are two tales about Tilly; the first is the human Tilly. We recently met the young Tilly when she toured Edgar’s Mission in the company of her proud mum and sister. The tour came not long after Tilly’s birthday, where, rather than receiving presents as most young girls do on their birthdays, the kind-hearted Tilly requested, instead, donations to her favourite animal charity: Edgar’s Mission. She brought the donations to our team on the day of her tour.
And so to the tale of the second Tilly. As the universe would have it, on this very day, a little lamb in desperate need of a hand and kindness came into our care. We could think of no better name for such a sweet being than “Tilly”—they are both linked by kindness, one as the deliverer of kindness and one the recipient.
The word “understand” is a verb, and according to my grade five English teacher that means it is a “doing” word. It is best described as “to perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker)”, to “interpret or view (something) in a particular way”.
To have, at the very least, some understanding of the world around us is fundamental to our being. Understanding gives us something solid on which we can lean; a means of acceptance and guidance in a life; and a way to navigate through the river full of possibilities, turbulence, beauty, serenity, indifference, birth and death the world has to offer.
The first time I saw Muffy and her baby lamb Duffy, I understood three things. The first was that the pitiful state into which both of them had been cast did not bode well for them; the second was the incredible bond between the two; and the third was that what I chose to do next would determine their future. With my second understanding firmly in my heart, I chose to do my darnedest to save them, although I knew my ability to do so would be significantly impacted by my understanding of the first. Continue reading
Among all the excitement of the Cooking with Kindness launch today, Elmo, Eddie, Rose and Red Baron had time to schmooze with their adoring fans. There was much anticipation over the arrival of the animal ambassadors, who stole the hearts of our wonderful guests, but oh the food—it tasted as good as it looked.
The morning went off without a hitch and we had a blast among friends, food and festivities. A selection of tasty treats taken directly from the pages of Cooking with Kindness were so kindly brought along by a host of brilliant chefs and we were lucky enough to devour every single one. Also joining us on the day were musician and host Lindsay McDougall and Dan Maio from the Getaway Plan.
On this day back in 2015, nine lucky chicks found themselves on the road to kindness. Shrouded in mystery, inspired by compassion and heralded by the words “Friends not food, please save us”—we just had to share their arrival story again with you. Coming tonight…
The phone rang, Pam answered, “hello, Edgar’s Mission.” Then something out of the ordinary happened.
Watch Betany, Babette, Bree, Brady, Beth, Bronwyn, Bryonie, Bess and Bobby Sue’s arrival video to see how the mystery unfolded.
Today, October 18, we celebrate the birthday of Saturday Lamb. She rolled into our world almost three years ago and crash landed into our hearts. Although her congenital spasticity has robbed her of the proper functioning of her back legs it has not robbed her of her zest for life. Daily, aided by her custom-built wheel chair, Saturday wheels about the sanctuary and rolls into the hearts of all she meets. Her plucky resolve to take each day as it comes it truly inspirational for all she meets. Celebrating her third birthday in style, she did so with her best friends Steddie Eddie and her human folk who wait on her hand and hoof. Tucking into her wheetbix cake, garnished with lucerne and topped with three carrots, Saturday’s verdict was “the day was not baaaad, not baaaad at all”.
All alone, Spice had taken refuge in a nature reserve bordered by a housing estate, walking track and its adjacent busy major arterial highway, and a noisy train line. Whilst life may have seemed okay for the handsome young buck, sadly it was only a matter of time before it would not. And yet again we give thanks to Manfred Zabinskas of Five Free Freedoms Animal Rescue for ensuring this dear, albeit terrified of humans, goat received just the right shot of kindness to rein him in. By just what circumstance Spice was where he was, we will never be entirely sure, but with some of Melbourne’s major abattoirs none too far away, we feel a likely suspect is found.
Every day here at Edgar’s Mission we see the power of kindness, simple acts of human benevolence to make the world a better place for all. And today that kindness kicked in to gear yet again as we flicked the switch and the farm will now be run on solar power during our daylight hours.
Whilst every day little Elmo tickles our chins, seeking the delicious taste and scents of his formula, it wasn’t always so. In fact, upon his arrival, this very young kid goat, who was found abandoned in a forest, refused point blank to feed. We have never in all of our collective lives met a tiny orphan so determined not to feed. We knew the little guy was hungry, as he would cry out, even nibbling on our trouser legs, fingers and chins, but there was absolutely no way on this earth he was going to suckle from that bottle. Absolutely NO WAY! We tried different teats, different methods and different prayers and incantations, but nothing would work. So tube feeding it was, until the day little Elmo said, “Okay, I’ll have my bottle please,” and he has never looked back!!