Listen up!! Be Kind to Animals Week, October 1-7

Be Kind to Animals Week Launch-16

Trotting along in the footsteps of noted authors, award winning singer and songwriters and famous sportsmen, is this year’s Be Kind to Animals Week Ambassador – Leon Trotsky! That’s right, the little pig on wheels who elicited squeals of delight and touched hearts worldwide has come on board to spread his special message of kindness far and wide! And Leon kicked off this morning with his first ever radio interview on Melbourne’s number one talk radio, 3AW (Listen to the podcast here). Not content to let sleeping pigs lie, Leon rounded up his sheep pal, Timmy and trotted on down to Southbank for a photo shoot with the Herald Sun and a quick meet and greet with his many new adoring fans. Some pig indeed!

Be Kind to Animals Week Launch-13

Keep an eye out for the Be Kind To Animals Week team this week, who knows you might even get a chance to meet little Leon himself.

Where to see us next:

  • Wednesday October 1, Kyneton, outside Mechanics Institute, 11.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday Bendigo Mall, 11.30am – 1.00pm
  • Friday Shepparton Mall 11.30am – 1.00pm
  • Saturday Animals Matter to Me Rally on Saturday 4 October 2014, at Lawn 4 Treasury Gardens, 11.00am – 4.00pm
  • Sunday TBC
  • Monday-Ballarat Mall. 11.30am- 1.00pm

Find out how you can get involved a www.bekindtoanimalsweek.org.au

Be Kind to Animals Week Launch-15 Continue reading

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Meet a sheep with cheek – Cecil S Southdown

Cecil

What is it about Southdown sheep that makes you just want to smile? Whilst we are not sure of the exact answer, we are sure you will quickly agree that Southdowns are mighty cute sheep indeed.  Originating from the United Kingdom, these stout little guys and gals often look more like little fleecy wine barrels on legs.  With their wooly little faces not able to conceal their cheeky smiles, their docile and tractable nature causes you to just want to give them a cuddle.

Cecil

But sadly the fate of Southdowns like Cecil will turn that smile upside down.  You see Southdowns are renowned for being fast growing lambs with a good fat covering making them ‘ideal’ for the meat trade.   Whilst we perish the thought that this could have been Cecil’s destiny, and give thanks that one little lamb made it out alive, we encourage you to try Cecil S Southdown’s recommended Cruelty Free Lentil Shepherds Pie from our friend The Kind Cook.   Continue reading

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For the love of animals….

Farm Sanctuary Animal Care Conference

For the love of animals, Farm Sanctuary holds its annual Farm Animal Care Conference at their beautiful and harmonious Watkins Glen sanctuary in Upstate New York.  Over two days participants take an in-depth look at the ins, outs, why and wherefores of just what it takes to operate a sanctuary for rescued farmed animals.  Their honest, heartfelt and engaging interactive seminars provided a wealth of information on topics as diverse as effective fundraising, program management, visitor and volunteer programs and animal care.

Farm Sanctuary Animal Care Conference

We truly believe there is never a point in one’s life that they cannot stop learning or be open to new ways of thinking.We truly wish to create the most amazing, inspirational and life transforming sanctuary (both for the animals and humans who pass through our farm gates) here at Edgar’s Mission, so much sothat we eagerly attended this conference.  It was an absolute to delight and honour to share the weekend with so many like minded and ‘determined to change the world’ individuals who all share the compelling vision for a humane and just world for our animal friends. Whilst this ‘no holds barred’ weekend saw many review, scale down or even abandon their plans to start a sanctuary, each and every person left with a clearer vision of just how they can make the world a kinder and better place for animals.  Armed with a so many ideas and innovative plans, we boarded the plane that was to carry us half way around the world and back to Australia, eager to put all we had learned into practice and share our knowledge. All for the love of animals.

Farm Sanctuary Animal Care Conference Continue reading

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Chicken Little-is the sky is about to fall?

Chicken Little

‘Chicken Little’, a popular folk tale has several different versions, but all are centred on the mass hysteria created by an acorn falling on the head of a hapless chicken with the collective conclusion being that the sky is about to fall.  The moral to this story is not to believe everything you are told.

Chicken Little is also the name of a handsome little bantam rooster who recently arrived at Edgar’s Mission and quickly claimed our new barn as his realm.  Our Chicken Little is plucky and brave, colourful and flamboyant and is now a much loved member of our extended family.

Chicken Little

So is the sky really falling? Well if you are born a rooster, you could be forgiven for thinking it is. Nature dictates that for every hen born, a rooster is also hatched; unable to produce eggs, unwelcomed by many neighbours, outlawed by most councils and municipalities and unwanted by countless poultry fanciers –their lot is not only rarely good but rarely considered as well.

So don’t believe everything you are told, stop and ask yourself, “Does it make sense?”  Consider this, roosters, whilst viewed as a ‘by-product’ of the egg industry are killed before the sun has even set upon their first day of life, yet they are intelligent sensitive and emotional creatures.  So when you hear the words, “That’s just the way it is,” don’t believe it.  Don’t let the sky fall on dear roosters, choose kindness instead and ditch the eggs. Continue reading

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Pony

Pony

She is gentle and she is kind and she is our new friend Pony. However, it is clear that life hasn’t always been gentle or kind to Pony. And had it not been for the kind hearted Pound worker, Pony’s lot would not be good today.  Having found herself in the local municipal pound, Pony remained unclaimed.  Perhaps it was her frightened nature that made people shy away or the fact some considered her looks not worthy of a blue show ribbon, whatever the case Pony was fast running out of options.  But we here at Edgar’s Mission consider Pony a creature of great beauty, a creature imbued with an emotional world and one in which we aim to one day be worthy of her trust.

Pony

How sad it is that creatures such a Pony are brought into this realm by human intervention then cast aside or forgotten because they do not live up to expectations or caring for them simply becomes too hard.  Each year in Australia around 30,000- 40,000 horses and ponies meet a grizzly fate at one of this nations two abattoirs or thirty three knackeries.  Horses and ponies indeed straddle a blurred fence in our ethical thought between companion animal and livestock, luckily for Pony a leap of faith has landed her in a place of kindness where never again will she have to face an uncertain future or unkind word.

Please, if you are a horse breeder consider the lot of the life you are responsible for creating, for “You will remain forever responsible for what you have tamed.” Continue reading

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Farm Sanctuary

Susie Coston and Pam Ahern

In 2004 the community hall in the sleepy rural township of Broadford, Victoria, Australia saw a very nervous Pam Ahern walk to the front of the room, take a deep breath and introduce a movie she promised would change the lives of those assembled. The movie centred around an incredible sanctuary for rescued farmed animals, aptly named Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York, USA. And granted the film certainly changed the lives and menus of many of those gathered, it would be Pam’s life that was altered the most. Giving up her full time paying job, hanging up the boots of her successful equestrian career and saying goodbye to ever having a normal life, it would be with the deep raucous piggy grunts of her beloved Edgar Alan Pig ringing in her ears and the vision of this amazing sanctuary dancing in her head that Pam’s life was to chart and change its future course. But little did she know that in just ten years time she would travel half way around the world to witness first hand the beauty, peace, tranquility and inspiration that permeates Farm Sanctuary and meet one of humanity’s most charismatic, witty, wise and noble human beings, Susie Coston.

Photos: Jo-Anne McArthur  Continue reading

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Did you hear the one about….

Tarzan and Cheesecake

So a goat and a pig walk into an animal sanctuary one day.  No joke, this is a true story and happened recently here at Edgar’s Mission.  Okay, okay so they didn’t actually walk all the way to the sanctuary together but they did alight our rescue vehicle side by side and have remained so ever since.  But this unlikely duo were not always the best of friends.  In fact had unfortunate circumstances not come to pass that saw the friendly, confident and curious young sow we have christened Cheesecake and the standoffish, timid and easily spooked young male goat we have named Tarzan end up homeless and humanless at an outer Melbourne pound, their paths would never have met.

Tarzan and Cheesecake

But proving species is no barrier for friendship, Cheesecake quickly became the grounding block for Tarzan.  So much so that whenever Cheesecake left the view of Tarzan, the young buck would become so frantic and distressed that the kindly pound workers held grave fears for his safety.  And that Cheesecake held a special place in her heart for Tarzan while not something she openly would admit, it is quite obvious that she too is smitten by her little white friend. Continue reading

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Like a rose between two thorns

Thorn between a rose

Recently gracing us with her presence is the beautiful, gentle and sweet Rose. Having found herself in an outer suburbs pound, from exactly where this Isa Brown hen hailed remained a mystery. Upon her arrival to our sanctuary, dear Rose delighted us with her inquisitive nature; her unique and individual personality immediately apparent as she never strayed too far from our side as went about our daily tasks about the farm. With her distinctive pout, it is clear that dear Rose has been ‘debeaked’ at some earlier stage in her life – a painful process that has the potential to cut through the nerve-rich ending of a hen’s beak if done haphazardly and at speed.  This procedure has made it near impossible for sweet Rose to perform one of the most natural of a chicken’s actions – scratching in the soil and picking up delicious seeds and treats, so mutilated her beak has become with its noticeably shortened upper. However, Rose is far luckier than many for we will ensure she receives adequate nutrition from here on in, delighting her with delicious mashes, sweet watermelon and greens that she gobbles up with ease and enthusiasm.

Thorn between a rose

And what of the two thorns you ask? Well, that title belongs to the two companions who arrived alongside Rose – Captain Cactus and Prickly Paul. Although arriving alongside one another, upon their arrival these two handsome boys soon decided that a friendship was not in their collective future. And while they are both the utmost gentlemen in our presence, it is from their obvious distaste for one another that their names emerged. Roosters, you see, are notoriously difficult to house and this, combined with their inability to integrate into suburban life due to the laws against it, is one of the main reasons that so many ‘thorny’ roosters find themselves dumped or surrendered (or, indeed, far worse). However, given the chance, time and patience, roosters can live happily alongside one another, make wonderful companions and lead lives that are truly worth living.

Thorn between a rose

And while there may be no friendship blossoming in the near future for our rooster pals, between them a precious Rose is becoming more beautiful with each passing day. Continue reading

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They shoot goats don’t they?

Bill

This is Bill, he is a goat and here is his tale, it is a tragic as it is noble and heroic.

The first goats first to arrive in Australia, some 19 of them did so on the First Fleet in 1788.  Of the original herd, several escaped into the bush, and in true Darwinian style the most hardy and adaptable survived to form viable herds in Australia’s harsh and unforgiving landscape – a testament to their resilience and smarts.  These goats became known as rangeland goats, today some 2.6- 4 million of them stamp their cloven hooves on our soil, together with another 400,000 farmed goats and countless others who have made their way into hearts and homes around the country.

Bill

That goats are indeed sharp witted, adept, very fleet of foot, great escape artists (should they wish) and difficult to catch (again should they wish) is nothing new to those familiar with these caprine creations. But sadly for Bill and his buddy Ben, both one-time companion goats, things had turned somewhat sour causing them to roam a small Victorian community. Relying on all of their ancestral instincts just to survive, the two became most fearful of, and elusive to man.  Not only do goats on the run play havoc for road users but they too pose problems for their surrounding environment as they have the potential to threaten plant species, spread weeds and damage native soils and vegetation with their hard hooves and daring exploits.  And while Bill and Ben were quite happy with their lot, not so were some of the local landholders. With calls to council predicting a fatal outcome, it was determined that through a small window of opportunity the only thing that could save Bill and Ben was a good shot of kindness. Continue reading

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Daily Dose of Kindness Drive

KindnessDrive

Life has its challenges and dark moments and with the news of tragedies and unrest across the globe, it can sometimes be difficult to keep on keeping on believing that a kinder future is just around the corner. But here at Edgar’s Mission, we not only believe this kinder future is indeed possible, we believe that it is up to each and every one of us to make it happen. And this is where our Campaign Action for this month stems from. Our mission of kindness not only relates to the many animals who call Edgar’s Mission home and to those around the globe, it is extended toward all living creatures everywhere. Yes, that includes kindness toward our fellow humans too! So this month, we are challenging each and every one of you to join us as we undertake our Daily Dose of Kindness Drive. This campaign asks us all to create our kinder world by carrying out a daily act of kindness each day for one week. Your kind actions can help a friend, family member, stranger, a pet or animal you know or one you do not, or even yourself (because we all need, want and respond to kindness too!). You can choose to keep your good deed anonymous or tell your beneficiary, the choice is yours. And the kind deed can be anything from complimenting someone on their smile, paying for the coffee of the person in line behind you, spending some extra quality time with your dog, cat or chicken or making kind choices at the supermarket. Or anything else you can imagine! Each and every one of our kind actions will add up and make a difference.

Remember, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

To a kinder future!

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Saturday Smiles

If this video makes you smile please share it with everyone you know because happiness is meant to be shared :) Happy #SaturdaySmiles love Marshmallow and her mum Marcia!

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Do we stop loving?

Rory

Do we stop loving because the grief is almost too much to bear when the time comes to say goodbye? Do we stop loving when we know our collective hearts will be torn in two, our eyes will fill with tears, our noses will run and our throats will bear a huge lump?

Rory

There can be no doubt that our relationship with Rory Dog bore more love, happiness and joyous moments and far outstripped that of her former human carer and her then boyfriend.  A boyfriend who posed the ultimatum, “It’s me or the dog,” which saw dear sweet Rory surrendered to the vet. With a loving lick, Rory caressed the hand of the vet nurse, snuggled into her leg and caste her beautiful brown eyes into that of the teary human, a gesture Rory would repeat over and over in the years that followed to volunteers here at Edgar’s Mission – a simple act of kindness and loyalty that would see Rory become “Volunteers’ Best Friend.” Continue reading

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Mindful minds at Mentone Girls Grammar School

Kilbreda College Mentone

Critical thinking, social justice, empowerment, animal sentience and kindness were all hallmarks of the thought provoking presentation delivered by Edgar’s Mission Humane Educators to the year 5 students at Mentone Girls Grammar last week.  And proving just how incredibly individual and personable farmed animals really were Little Miss Sunshine and Polly Pig, weaving their inimitable magic many hearts and minds were indeed endeared to this quirky duo.

 Kilbreda College Mentone Kilbreda College Mentone Continue reading

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Percy Pig – A pig with a purpose!!

Percy Pig

Now dear Percy Pig is a fine pig indeed, friendly, intelligent, fit, young and healthy.  So why did his one time human carers abandon him when they moved residence?  We will never know, but perhaps this was really Percy’s luckiest break for do you think that people who would so thoughtlessly do that to an animal really are worthy of dear Percy.

Percy Pig

So now dear Percy does have a purpose and that is to show everyone what endearing animals pigs really are. And he most certainly has that down pat already!!!  Continue reading

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No exaggerating, can you take my rooster….

 Take you take my rooster

People often enquire what is the most frequently asked question we receive.  I do not even have to think for a second for the answer, as the lay down misère is this ‘can you take my rooster?’ At the time of writing this story, not even midday I have received three separate requests to take in roosters, last week via email the number of requests were twelve and by phone another half dozen or so. Whilst on the surface the taking in of so many testosterone charged and often wayward roosters is daunting enough, a terrible indictment on our society festers underneath.  Providing sanctuary (if at all possible) is simply a band-aide solution at best if nothing is done to address the cause of what I consider to be one of the most pressing (in terms of sheer numbers and lack of social awareness) animal welfare issues in our community.

The problem is this, however clever our society likes to think it is we cannot trump Mother Nature, and it is her dictate that when eggs are hatched roughly 50% will be male and 50% will be female; that is a given.  Ask any veterinarian; poultry farmer or animal advocate and they will concur with this biological fact.  So herein lies a terrible terrible fate for roosters who are; not able to produce eggs, unwelcomed by many neighbours, outlawed by most councils and municipalities and unwanted by countless poultry fanciers.  With the ethical spotlight now shining on the terrible lot of caged hens in Australia, rightly appalling all decent thinking citizens, there is a far greater number of feathered creatures that needs our consideration as well – roosters.  For every laying hen in Australia right now, and that figure is around 16 million, by the laws of nature, around 16 million roosters were brought into this world.  Yet sadly they didn’t even see out their first day, their gender, once determined sealed their fate.  Tiny fluffy innocently chirping chicks were ‘disposed of’ by the most expedient methods possible.  That’s right 16 million; it is hard to even comprehend that number. Continue reading

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Finding Sanctuary

Finding sanctuary

In a modern day version of Sheila Burnford’s classic novel, “The incredible journey” here is a tale of how a flock of mixed bred ‘meat’ sheep who survived bushfire, busy roads, no reliable water source, predators and no place to call home to somehow finally find sanctuary.

Finding sanctuary

For over six months now the fate of nineteen sheep has hung in the balance.  Having survived the devastating bushfires that razed their once home and claimed the lives of thousands of sheep, cattle and wildlife in February this year, the hapless crew roamed.  Fleeing for their lives into local bushland known to be the home of foxes and wild dogs, the dazed, confused and smoke affected sheep somehow survived.  We were to later learn that on the day they were finally intercepted and taken to the local pound, they were only a short gambol away from Edgar’s Mission. We will forever wonder if they knew that sanctuary lay at the end of the road on which they were travelling.

Finding sanctuary

With a council process unable to accept our offer of sanctuary, it seemed the sheep, despite their incredible efforts to survive thus far, were certain to fulfiltheir destiny and one day soon they would be abattoir bound.  But someone was watching over this fortunate flock on that fateful day and that someone was a kind hearted Samaritan.  How our collective hearts sang when we heard the words,Come quick, the sheep are yours.”

Finding sanctuary

And if this was not enough to restore our faith in humanity and remind us that some things are just meant to be, the sight of several familiar faces within the herd certainly was.  Faces that we had seen in the wake of the fires during our patrols of our blackened landscape that once was our community. Faces that we were certain we would never see again.  We remember well when after the bushfires had passed, we were alerted to a motley group of mixed bred sheep perilously wandering the roads and across paddocks.  But with no suitable vehicle on hand to ferry the sheep to safety and locate their owner, a makeshift corral was made. However, upon our return the sheep were nowhere to be seen.  For several days and even weeks we would return to the area to hunt for the lost sheep to no avail.  But today we saw those familiar faces once more. Not only did this make our hearts soar but into the mix of those familiar faces we now saw some unfamiliar ones as well, as several little lambs had since been born.  One little chap only hours before our rescue vehicle arrived to end their scenic adventure as we were finally able to offer the words,You’re safe now, you are at Edgar’s Mission.

Finding sanctuary

Edgar’s Mission operates to rescue farmed animals in urgent need, large scale rescues such as this one would not be possible without compassionate people being ever ready to open their heart and home to an animal in need. If you can please sign up to our “will you be there” initiative to offer a forever home to a rescued farmed animal/s such these adorable sheep.  Kindly note animals are only adopted as companion animals not to be used for commercial, breeding or consumption purposes.  We thank you in advance for your kindness and understanding. Continue reading

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Brady Bunch, the Sequel

Brady Bunch Sequel

Well, not quite but we at Edgar’s Mission have recently welcomed the next generation of the Bradys into our sanctuary. Suspecting that the female contingent of this recently rescued bunch may have been expecting, a close eye has been kept upon them and as their due date approached, they were moved into warmer, more sheltered quarters for the safety of their precious babies. And so, over the weekend, we were delighted when dear little Cindy welcomed a perfect, adorable little boy into the world. She was soon followed by Marcia whose baby girl, a patchwork of brown and white, caused us all to squeal with delight. And dear Alice yesterday, not to be left behind, too welcomed her precious baby boy into a place where he will only ever know love and tender kindness for all of his days.

Brady Bunch Sequel

When we think of just how close these precious babies came to their end, it causes us to shudder. You see, with the Bradys winding up at an outer suburbs pound and with no one forthcoming to claim them, their lot in life looked grim. But a good dose of human kindness came to the fore and these dear creatures have been not only given a chance to live out their days as goats should, these dear ladies will raise and care for their young, safe in the knowledge that no harm will ever be forthcoming.

So that’s the story of three very lovely girls and well, that’s the way they all became the Brady Bunch!  Continue reading

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It’s World Water Week!!

Water is one of our most precious natural resources but we are fast running out of this essential life-sustaining commodity.  With over 50% of our water footprint expressed by our diet, our food choices have an enormous impact.  And a diet that includes meat, poultry and dairy stands out as one of the most intensive water use fares around.

How much water do you consume in your everyday life?  Take this fun quiz to see.  Please note it is American based but it will give you some idea of your impact and how you can live a more environmentally sustainable (and kinder) life.

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Yesterday was the happiest day of his life…

Beatle

But sadly in the early hours of this morning we were to learn that it was to be the last for dear Beatle. It is only now that we can see through the tears enough to type these sorrowful words. Yesterday the little man rallied like never before, drinking in the warm sun’s rays and spending most of the day in the company of the human he loved the most and whose heart he had touched like no other, the Lady in the Hat. Nibbling on grass, resting a while, sipping water, simply enjoying that glorious feeling of just being, even Beatle’s droppings had returned to what all healthy little lambs’ should. We truly did have every reason for hope. Kissing his sweet lamby head, and smelling his little lamb smell, we bid our little friend goodnight.

But as the sun rose this morning, little Beatle did not. Was it because he was content in knowing that he had had the happiest, most loved and cherished day of his life? Did this kind soul selflessly wish to release us from the many hours we devoted to his care each day? Or was it simply because his little body was just so ravaged by the neglect a human had previously shown him? We will never know. But what we do know is that with our breaking heart, we take comfort knowing that this vital organ still beats strong within us despite all the sadness we bestow upon it.

To Beatle, your legacy will be this. We will be forever more determined to put every single ounce of energy we have into caring for dear creatures like you. And although it might take us a while and we know it won’t be easy, we truly believe that we can create that kinder world one day. And when we do, it will be for all the Beatle’s of this world. We simply cannot give up, we know you would want it to be no other way.

Our sincere thanks go to each and every one of you who is now reading this post through tear-filled eyes. Please never ever stop caring.

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