It’s not a question many of us ask ourselves daily but with a growing body of evidence supporting the value of a gratitude practice, perhaps we would each benefit from doing so. Gratitude is not only an immediate mood booster but has also been shown to be good for our health, as well as increasing our feeling of connection to those with whom we share our lives. The Harvard Medical School tells us gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
Certainly, with our busy modern lives, it can be easy to slip into the habit of focusing only on the to-do’s, the should-do’s and the “I can’t believe he/she didn’t do’s.” And whilst some studies tell us the human brain is hard-wired for hope, others state our ancestors only survived due to their tendency the anticipate and respond to negative events. Continue reading
It’s been four weeks since How Now arrived at Edgar’s Mission, dangerously thin, too weak to stand, eat or drink, yet somehow still miraculously clinging to life. During her initial veterinary exam, it soon became clear what had led to this dear girl’s shocking condition when x-rays revealed two metal nails inside How Now’s gizzard. The gizzard is an essential component of a chicken’s digestive tract, where hard stones and grit reside to grind down seeds. The presence of the nails in How Now’s gizzard had hindered this crucial digestive process and, even worse, one of the nails had begun to work its way through the thick muscular lining of the gizzard. The diagnosis was in- the foreign material needed to be removed and there was little time to spare. Continue reading
It was in March of 2010 when around 150 people trod up the well-worn bluestone steps to the Bella Union Bar of Melbourne’s historic Trades Hall building. Enthusiastically they listened while heartfelt, funny, poignant and profound letters were read out loud as the brainchild of literary wits, Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire etched into being. Not long thereafter the first episode of Women of Letters was complete. Now some 8 years and hundreds of letters later, Women of Letters has reached a global audience as the lost art of letter writing has well and truly been revived. At the heart of Women of Letters was the drive by Marieke and Michaela to raise much-needed funds for the sanctuary they loved. To this end they have achieved admirably and we here at Edgar’s Mission remain forever grateful.
Today, across Australia, we celebrate Harmony Day. The word harmony is often used to describe music, the orchestrated hum of instruments as their melodies rise and blend in pleasing arrangement. Harmonies come together, each chord welcomed and complimenting the others.
As you may well already know, Edgar’s Mission is home to over 450 farmed animals of different species. Tour along our paths and walk through our paddocks and you’ll understand why we say this is a place of magic, a place where dreams come true. There’s a peace among the animals who live here and harmony in the way they interact, aside from the occasional dispute over a delicious piece of food or territory. Continue reading
There is no doubt that Cheech and Chong, complete with their cute and cheeky goaty antics, will bring you great belly laughs. However, their beginnings most certainly will not. Found abandoned at a tip (it’s likely their homeless mother was spooked) the vulnerable little orphans, just barely days old, were lucky to have been spotted by a kind heart. But had they not, alone they would have slowly succumbed to the elements. Or perhaps even violently died between the teeth of a predator. Seeing their will to live amongst the rubbish and despair that surrounded them, their Good Samaritan sped into action.
Setting the wheels in motion on Operation Double the Kindness
You may recall we recently hatched a plan to get 1000 copies of our cookbook “Cooking With Kindness” onto the shelves of schools and public libraries Australia-wide. And thanks to an army of kindness and generosity, the first 500 are on their way to their forever homes, where we hope they will win many hearts and help fill many hungry bellies with delicious and nutritious fare.
Well, a book club of sorts. Perhaps it’s more of a reading club, a kindness club and a way to remind vulnerable animals there is indeed good in the world.
The idea stemmed from the dynamic literary event Women of Letters, brainchild of Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire, which set about to revive the lost art of letter writing. And so, our book club will set out to revive the lost art of storytelling. Our first chapter, aptly titled Goats of Letters will focus on two recently-arrived terrified young does we have named Marieke and Michaela. Continue reading
Under an 18 kg fleece Koky (pronounced Co-key) sweltered, as he had done for the past summer, and several before that. It was not only his heavy wool that caused a burden to the young ram, as a piece of carelessly discarded fencing wire was mercilessly biting its way through his throat. With each painful gulp poor Koky took, he could be forgiven for thinking the world was not a kind place. But little did he know it was about to be.
“Can you please help my chickens. They’re dying, and I don’t know what to do?” Ironically enough this heartfelt and pleading call came through just as we were preparing to shut our feathered friends away for the evening. True to their word in wanting to save their chickens, the birds were soon Edgar’s Mission bound. Although upon their arrival they were a pitiful sight. Despite their best intentions, and sadly this is something we often see, the birds were not in a state of good health. One of the sweet little ladies passed away only hours after her arrival, although forever with us she will remain as she has been interred in our Enchanted Forest.
If CC is friendly and confident, then PP is not. If CC likes grapes and carrots, then PP does not. But that hasn’t stopped these two hapless goats becoming the best of friends. Arriving at separate times during the month of February from different circumstances, they have found firm friends in one another. And while still only very young, they have an entire world of kindness awaiting, and in the case of little PP, the sweet taste of grapes and carrots!
In 2016 Dr Jonathan Levy, a postdoctoral researcher, conducted a study using MEG (magnetoencephalography). Here he took a group of 80 male and female Arabs and Jews in Israel, aged 16- 18 years, and exposed them one by one to images of people who had suffered some trauma (a stabbing for example). By studying these young people’s brain scans at the time they looked at the images , he was able to gain insight into the brain activity of the participants, importantly how individuals reacted to witnessing the trauma of another. Not surprisingly, there was heightened empathy towards someone who was identified as belonging to one’s “own” group. But what is really interesting, and my reason for hope, is that before this, in the first few hundred milliseconds of exposure there was a short burst of automatic brain activity of empathy for the “other” regardless of which group they belonged to; it was after that a more advanced “selective” empathy system kicked in. Continue reading
Finding her feet this Five Dollar Friday is Jewell, one of our gentle special needs sheep here at Edgar’s Mission.
Jewell arrived at the sanctuary suffering a congenital hoof disorder that severely limited her mobility and saw her plagued with chronic pain. As a life worth living is what we promise to each and every animal who walks, flies or limps through our farm gates, this is precisely what we set about making happen for Jewell, who recently underwent surgery to amputate a portion of her hoof that could not be treated otherwise. And thanks to our fab Five Dollar Fridayers, this week Jewell was fitted with her very own brand new prosthetic hoof that will have her running alongside her pals and leaping with joy for years to come.
If you too would like to help animals like Jewell find their feet, please join our Five Dollar Friday community. Find out how here – www.fivedollarfriday.com.au
Now you might think her name is short on letters, but that is the least of her worries. For when we learned of her plight, she was short on time and about to become, of all things, lunch! It is no doubt for this reason she still harbours a great fear of we humans. So as we work to gain her trust, she spends her days with a lamby clan of Carmichael, Rose and Tilly.
A duck with attitude best describes this chap. Unappreciative of kindness and with his own view of the world, which has him firmly placed as its ruler—and who are we to argue? This suits us just dandy, we understand we are to be his loyal servants and we couldn’t love him more if we tried.
With heavy thighs atop dainty trotters, satisfyingly curly tails and love heart snouts, pigs are trotting their merry way into the affections of people the world over. Here at Edgar’s Mission, we’ll take any excuse to celebrate pigs, so we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on our resident porcine princes and princesses on (America’s) National Pig Day.
Pigs are considered one of the smartest species to roam the earth, but we’re just scratching the surface on understanding their worlds and capabilities. If you’ve never had the pleasure of spending time with one or more of these affable creatures, you won’t be privy to their remarkable intelligence, persistence and playfulness. Continue reading