This is the fourth segment of my series about farm animals, I recently spent a month living and working on a vegan farm in Daybroro called Farm Animal Rescue. The farm rescues animals from the meat and dairy industry and the animals live the rest of their lives at the farm, surrounded by other animals and loved by the owners and volunteers that work there. You can check out my previous posts about chickens, goats and cows – the video at the end of the cow post is amazing and well worth a watch!
Now it’s time for me to introduce the sheep, there are 8 sheep on the farm and they have come from the meat and wool industry. The sheep are always together, grazing or finding shelter under the trees. Many of the sheep were quite timid, the only contact they’d had with people had been negative so they were naturally quite cautious of us. Some of the other sheep loved a cuddle (if you had hay they were your best friend!)
This is Isabella, she was being loaded onto a slaughterhouse truck when she was 6 days old, luckily for her a supporter of the farm shouted at the farmer until he handed her over and she was then taken to the farm! The sheep at the farm are free to roam, graze in their herd, find shade on the hot days and have a bigl barn to sleep in at night with fresh straw and plenty of space for them all. The sheep also have fans to sit under, these are kept on all day to help them regulate their body heat, sheep suffer very badly with the heat, imagine being out in 37 degrees with a woolly jumper on! Fans, a lovely barn, lots of cuddles, sounds like a great life, and it is for the sheep at Farm Animal Rescue but sadly sheep in the meat and wool industry don’t have the same luck.
Now, just a quick heads up. There are some not so nice photos in this post BUT they are important. Now before you chime in with ‘but it upsets me, I hate to see animals in pain, It makes me wanna cry, how can people do this?…’I hear ya people, they do suck to look at, I get it! I’ve had to google all this shit and believe me I chose the less gruesome ones but if they upset you that’s a good thing. It should upset you, that means you’re a nice, decent human being, no normal person likes to see animals getting abused and that is why we need to start doing something about it. We can’t keep covering our eyes and letting over people do the dirty work but being first in line to buy the products. I’ll let Johnny Depp summarise it for you…
Sheep bred for meat obviously suffer the same awful neglect as any other animal in the meat industry, living in cramped conditions, suffering from illness and neglect and then making the horrible journey to the slaughterhouse on a truck, piled in with hundreds of other poor souls awaiting a barbaric death….just so someone can have a lamb chop on a Sunday!
Sheep that aren’t bred for meat are used for milk or wool. The sheep that are being bred for wool have been specifically designed to produce more wool than would be normal for a sheep, they even have wrinkled skin so that more wool can grown on the skin, causing the sheep to produce and carry more wool than they need. Wrinkled skin, causes more wool but also causes more bacteria, in humid countries such as Australia, the flies are attracted to the wrinkled skin and lay their eggs in the fold of skin, this is called Flystrike, but don’t worry because we humans have come up with an ingenious idea to stop this happening and it’s called Mulesing. Mulesing involves tying the sheep up on their back and using a knife to slice off the skin of the sheep’s rump to leave only smooth and unwrinkled skin behind, this is done without any pain relief and the sheep are left this way until the wound heals. (see we humans think of everything!)
This procedure happened to one of the sheep on the farm Ethel, luckily she is now an old lady who is happy with her herd but sadly she is still scarred from having this done to her.
Now you’ll be pleased to hear that Mulesing is illegal in the UK but sadly it still happens in Australia.
*had to insert photo of a cute lamb because googling all these horrible things we do to these animals is making me crazy!*
Lambs, like the one smiling in that photo also have their tails cut off, when they are 24-48 hours old, this is done without pain relief. It is done by either burning the tail off with a hot rod or by attaching a tight rubber ring around the tail and waiting 7-10 days for it to drop off. Male lambs are also castrated in a similar way, by using a band tied around or even more gruesome is where the scrotum is cut open and the testes are pulled out. yep. pulled out!
Now onto these bad boys….
these are big in Australia, they are everywhere! In all the tourist shops and when I first came to Australia in 2013 (before I was vegan, but still vegetarian) I was going to buy a pair of these, I repeat, I was going to buy a pair of shoes made from the skin of an animal. Why?…’because they’re loads cheaper in Australia than in the UK and they’ll keep my feet really warm in the winter…DUH!’
I just didn’t think about it. I didn’t think that these shoes were made from animal skin. Would I buy a fur coat? Absolutely not? Would I ever wear fur? No way! but I was going to buy a pair of these…(I didn’t in the end because I’m a tight arse and even though they were cheaper than the UK they were still too expensive for me! thank.god)
This video will tell you all you need to know about Uggs, if you own a pair you should give it a watch before you put your feet in them again.
Luckily for the sheep that live on the farm like Ethel, Lily, Isabella and the others the horrors of the industry are far behind them and they have the rest of their lives to live at the farm. They graze in fields, wander around the 55 acres together and have lots of cuddles from the staff and volunteers. It’s the least they deserve considering what some of them have been through. The newest addition to the farm is called Marigold (Maggie). Maggie had her ear tags ripped out by some bastard so understandably she was cautious of people when she first arrived at the farm but we all gave her space and made sure to move slowly around her and she was getting better and better everyday. All of the animals on the farm have sponsors and because Maggie is new she needs one! You can sponsor Maggie here http://www.farmanimalrescue.org.au/alerts/marigold Look at how beautiful she is!
Sorry this post was a bit gruesome and if you’re reading this well done because it’s never nice to read these kind of things, if you’ve also watched the videos a big well done, that takes some balls. As I mentioned previously we can’t bury our heads in the sand, that doesn’t help these animals. They are voiceless unless we speak up for them.If you have questions about this subject, veganism 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!
Please like and share this post to raise more awareness for the poor animals that are suffering in the meat and dairy industry!