My time at the farm has come to an end and I left 4 days ago, it was sad to say goodbye to all the animals as I loved being around them all everyday (for anyone that doesn’t know I have been volunteering at a vegan farm for the past month, you can read about my first two weeks on the farm here)
Since being vegan I’ve wanted to help people out by educating them about what happens to these animals in the meat and dairy industry. So this is the second part of a little series on this blog about the animals I spent a month with on the farm, looking at the life they now live, compared to the life that was destined for them in the meat and dairy industry (don’t worry, no gruesome photos in this post!)
I have already written previously about the wonderful chickens that I met on the farm, you can read that here. This post is about, you’ve guessed it…goats!
There are 13 goats on the farm and they are all such funny characters. They all have such individual personalities, some are a little more timid than others and some are just like dogs that will follow you around for attention!These guys sleep in the strangest positions, they really like to chill out! We would open our door in the morning and these guys would be chilling out between the two houses, you’d have to step over them to get outside!This is the beautiful Lucy, she is the sweetest little goat. Lucy was born into a wild goat herd who had wandered onto a farmers property when Lucy was 16 hours old. The farmer saw an opportunity and started rounding up the goats to take them to slaughter. Lucy’s mother sensed danger and hid Lucy hoping to come back to her but sadly that never happened. Lucy hid for 3 days but soon starvation got the better of her and she went bleating into the house next door, she was starving and freezing cold. The kind people took Lucy to the farm, where she was hand reared and she has lived there ever since.
We use goats for many purposes in the meat/dairy industry. They are used for meat, their hair and skin and milk.
‘Goats live for 10-12 years, some as long as 30 years. Male kids, surplus to the dairy herd, are slaughtered at 12 weeks old for meat. Breeding goats are usually slaughtered after 6 years’ – source VegSoc
Like dairy cows mother goats are exploited for their milk, they are always pregnant and milked constantly. Their babies will never get their mother’s milk. The babies are usually sold at markets when they are only hours old. The majority of goat meat that is sold in Australia actually comes from wild herds that are rounded up, like Lucy’s herd, and shipped all around the world. Goats are the third largest live export out of Australia. The animals are crammed into wooden crates and put onto ships, or planes! Yep…planes!! Many animals die in transit and many pregnant mothers will give birth while in transit.
Goats in crates fly from Sydney airport to Malaysia approx 61,000 animals are exported each year.
Some of the beautiful goat residents on the farm, this is Gabriel and Simon!
Luckily, the goats on the farm have escaped that fate. They now live their lives in comfort, spending their days sunbathing and grazing – goats need to eat between 6-10 hours a day! they also enjoy playing, climbing the rocky hills and following us around for a fuss! These guys were so funny and I could have watched them all day, they have a real mischievous nature and are so comical!
As you can see Vicky, James and Carl are very happy spending their days lounging around the farm! If they’re not eaten, they’re chilling!
This is the Jackson, he is such a handsome boy! Jackson lives with Lucy, they both decided that they’d rather crash with the sheep at night so they sleep in the sheep barn. These two are so cute together, Jackson is very tall and slender and Lucy is like a little barrel, tiny little legs and a big round belly!
This is the wonderful Oliver, he came from a children petting zoo. He was kept in a 3 metre x 3 metre cage and only taken out when he was used to entertain the children. Children would pull on him and could be rough with him so understandably he doesn’t like kids now! Oliver likes a fuss but when he’s had enough he’ll give you a nudge with his head, he is like a grumpy old man. He’s 16 now and gets spoilt on the farm, getting a special helping of 6 carrots everyday, which sees him hang around the house until he gets them! He’s not very subtle!
Henry was one of 3 goats at the farm who were being transported for live export but escaped! Luckily for them, by the time they were caught they had missed the ship so made their way to the farm instead. James, another one of the goats took 6 weeks to catch!
Now this is the beautiful Joshua and he is such a character! Joshua was born on a free range organic farm, he was rescued and taken to the farm when he was only a few days old. As Joshua was bought up on the farm he is stupidly friendly and loves a fuss! You call his name and he’ll come running over, he is very tall and will lean on you while you stroke him, if you walk off and he hasn’t had enough he’ll just follow you! It can be difficult to get your jobs on the farm done when Joshua wants a cuddle! Looking at that last photo of Josh, I think it’s fair to say that he’s very pleased that he gets to live an amazing life at Farm Animal Rescue!
If you have questions about being vegan or about my time on the farm please leave a comment below. The website for the farm is here http://www.farmanimalrescue.org.au/ it’s located in Dayboro, Queensland. They offer an intern scheme where you can stay at the farm for a month and volunteer.
If you interested in knowing more about veganism there are great documentaries on Netflix including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!