‘Tis the Season..

Hearing the words, ‘Can you please save my hens? I don’t want them to go to slaughter,’ coming from a one-time battery hen farmer is something I would never have thought possible.  But that is just what happened six months ago and so began Australia’s largest rescue of farmed animals.  And in the dying days of 2012 I again heard those words.  With assurances the cages would never again see another hen, we swung into action.  While the number of hens involved in this instance paled against the dizzy number of our first rescue, it was going to take some effort to pull this one off.  With the festive season claiming many would be helpers and battling against the rising temperatures that would make transporting the fragile hens prohibitive we somehow made it happen.

Each of us involved in this rescue has a story to tell and this is mine.  For me it was certainly not the first time I had walked into a shed of despair and no doubt it won’t be my last.  Taking a deep breath, not only to savour my last gasp of fresh air for some time, but to prepare myself for the heart wrenching sight and smell of pitiful creatures eking out an existence in tiny wire prisons amidst the dust and build-up of 18 months’ worth of excrement, I entered the shed.  At this point in time I was struck with great empathy as heads bobbed up and down, squawks rang out and curious gazes descended upon me. But any thoughts racing through my head were brought to an abrupt halt as I had to deal with the issue at hand of removing hens from cages as expediently and gently as I could. Continue reading

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All I Want for Christmas is YOU

As the calendar inches closer to 2013 and New Year’s resolutions are planned, I wish to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you most sincerely for your support. Whether you assisted us through donations, volunteering or sharing kind words, it has truly touched our hearts and made a difference.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me to know that the legacy of one pig, one incredible and amazing pig, not only touches the lives of so many but inspires them to do so much for animals.  Edgar, my Edgar.

Without you we would not have been able to achieve so much in 2012 and moreover it gives me great confidence to surge ahead with the planned expansion of Edgar’s Mission in the years to come.  Not only will we be able to cater for more animals but our outreach work will be able to touch even more hearts and change even more minds about farmed animals.

Animals like Molly Brown, Blossom, Spider Pig, Othello and almost 2,000 others were offered a second chance at life in 2012 because of Edgar’s Mission.  Students throughout Victoria were given an opportunity to turn a new page on the way they think about farmed animals through our humane education program. The elderly and people with disabilities have had their lives enriched simply by touching a friendly sheep, watching a clever pig or holding a gentle chicken and literally thousands of other visitors passed through our farm gates, each and every one touched by the stories of our wonderful rescued residents.

I would like to wish you all the happiest of festive seasons. May it be joyful and merry and, above all else, may it be kind. I very much look forward to you being a part of Edgar’s Mission as our journey continues in 2013.

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So this is Christmas…

While this may not be the first Christmas for the sweet little black faced ewe we have aptly named Christmas, she may well think all of hers have come at once.  Previously known by a number only to be abandoned then unclaimed at a pound and with a tumour like growth on her abdomen things were looking pretty bleak for Christmas.  But touching the heart of a caring pound volunteer a convoy of kindness swung into action and spirited Christmas to our care.

Already acquainted with the interesting treat called Wheetbix, for now Christmas will spend her time getting to know her new human friends and vice versa.   Once her tumour has been assessed by our dedicated veterinary team a course of action will be planned.  But whatever the outcome Christmas will never have to worry about being abandoned unloved or made a meal of ever again and one thing is for sure Christmas will think every day here at Edgar’s Mission is Christmas!

While Christmas for many animal lovers is a time of great sadness it is also a time of great hope and a firm reminder that things will only get better when caring people act. We give thanks to pound volunteer Melanie, Tracey from Peanuts Funny Farm and our very own Paula and her oh so special partner Darrin for agreeing with us that Christmas is indeed worth every effort to save.

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Joy to the world!

To be born a farm animal more often than not seals one’s fate to be treated as a production unit until your productive life is over, and having fulfilled your purpose a life is cut short way before nature intended.  For a female it typically means your baby/s will be taken away from you after each pregnancy, never to see them again despite the strong bonds between mother and offspring. But every now and then a story of hope emerges, and tonight another happy chapter is added.

Doris was recently surrendered to Edgar’s Mission along with her buddy Humphrey and just moments ago at our sanctuary Doris lay down in a manger and gave birth to three of the luckiest kid goats in the world and best of all Doris will never have to fear her babies will be taken away from her.  Joy to the world…

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You remain forever responsible for what you have tamed

“Many have forgotten this truth, but you must never forget it.  You remain forever responsible for what you have tamed”

Misty Morn came into our life by way of a phone call from a distressed lady who had just learned of the tragic plight of the petite little pony mare.  Misty, despite having given the best years of her life to her ‘owners’ had sustained a horrific yet non-life threatening injury to her left eye.  The trauma having caused the fluid to leak out, leaving behind a sad and shrivelled eyeball in its wake. As a result, Misty was left totally blind in the eye. Misty’s reward for her years of service saw her struggling to hold her own at a knackery in a small pen full of horses just as luckless as she.

It is our wish that anyone and everyone who breeds or who is contemplating breeding horses or ponies, as a prerequisite, attends one day at a knackery and then revisits their decision.  To say our visits to these cauldrons of despair are amongst our worst experiences ever is an enormous understatement.  Horses are one of the most noble and majestic creatures to grace this earth and to see them reduced to petrified cocoons of being is to witness tragedy in its most extreme form. The sights, sounds and smell of the place that will haunt us forever are forced upon all of the hapless equines who end up there for the most trivial of reasons, all with one underlying theme – they failed to live up to the expectations of their humans. The price they pay for this ‘failure’ is to be killed in view of their comrades, nostrils filled with fear and ears ringing with the pained whinnies of their buddies. Continue Reading…

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‘Tis the Season to be Kind

With Christmas just a week away, its time to get prepping for your delicious Cruelty-Free Festive Meal! Edgar’s Mission has you covered with a couple of our favourite recipes complements of Chef Nutmeg Goat who has created Nutmeg’s Nutty Roast with Sage and Onion Stuffing and Chef Shirley Cow has whipped up Shirley’s Sure to Please Trifle!

Download our Christmas Flier with the full recipes plus other tips for ways to make your Kindness count this Christmas!

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I Called her Mercy

At 7pm on a Saturday evening, a motorist travelling a busy highway just shy of a major regional town spies a dog lying motionless by a fence not far from the road.  A long time animal lover, the driver anxiously pulls into the stopping lane.  Tugging on the handbrake, emotions racing through her, the Good Samaritan’s heart skips a beat as she fears the worst. Is she too late?  A slight movement from the moribund dog’s limbs says not.  Given the state of the hapless hound, it appears she has been in this precarious state for some time. Cooing kind words of reassurance, our Good Samaritan reaches out to the hideously thin canine and shakes her head in disbelief that neither other motorists nor the many passers-by using the adjacent walking track have sought to assist the highly visible but ailing dog.

Fetching a bottle of water from her car and keying the number of an animal rescue team into her mobile phone, the Good Samaritan returns once more to the still breathing but motionless dog. The dog’s will to live seems ignited by the cool water placed in her saviour’s hand and the she slurps desperately.  With a rescue crew quickly despatched the Good Samaritan comforts the precocious creature and waits.   Continue reading

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In 2003, a creature came into my life and he tugged both on my heart strings and on his lead like no other.  I would take him for walks in the park, I would spend endless hours tickling his tummy and we would watch TV together.  He had personality to boot; he was clever, clean, friendly and fun loving. All who came to know him were touched. I named him Edgar Alan Pig.  Whilst the collision of our lives proved most fortuitous for Edgar (he would have been made into bacon), it was to prove life changing for me.  I gave up my fulltime paying job, shelved my successful equestrian career and dedicated my life to the protection of animals like Edgar.  You see for ‘farmed’ animals like Edgar, there was nowhere to provide a forever home when they became unwanted, neglected, abused or lost.  Numerous organisations exist to offer sanctuary for domestic pets and even for wildlife, but sadly ‘farmed’ animals are the forgotten ones; forgotten from our thoughts and from our animal protection legislation.  But I will never forget them. I have created their somewhere.

A Different Life

Now almost ten years down the track the sanctuary has grown and grown way beyond the property’s perimeter as our special message of kindness resonates far and wide through our outreach work.  Originally occupying 30 acres with only a handful of animals, it was quickly determined that more land was needed. A deal was struck with the bank and the adjoining 30 acres too became a sanctuary for rescued ‘farmed’ animals.  In providing well over 2,000 (and counting) forgotten souls with a different life; one truly worth living, one where they would be valued and celebrated for the individuals they are, not for the products they can produce nor where their lives will be cut short because their productivity has declined or because someone wants to eat their flesh, hope is given that things can get better.  And in so doing we humans can fulfil our greatest destiny to be merciful, kind and good.

My memories of people’s reactions to meeting Edgar on our parkland sojourns will always remain vivid and poignant. His raucously enthusiastic and open mouthed belly grunts elicited titanic smiles as people opened their hearts and minds to his piggy charms.  It became abundantly clear to me from these interactions, where people came to see Edgar as so much more than the before of a piece of pork,  that the best ambassadors for changing the way people view ‘farmed’ animals are the animals themselves. Continue reading

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Women of Lettuce; I mean Letters

Fiona Duck quacked her way into the hearts of many at the final Women of Letters for 2012. Linda Bull, Nelly Thomas, Alex Schepisi, Dani Valent and Ella Hooper were this months Women of Letter special guests. Check out all the pictures below.

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December Competition

Its Competition Time again!! For your chance to win a 2013 Edgar’s Mission Calendar simply leave a comment with a funny caption or email us. What has Hamish found in the bag? Winner announced in December Trottings! Good luck!

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