Exploring a deserted island, climbing a mountain and Koalas – what a week!

My brother Jake and his girlfriend were visiting the UK for a month which meant that me and Lucy had a car, which also meant we could explore on our own without taking the bus! (freedom!)
Monday – we kick started the week with a trip to Coochiemudlo Island . You can read my post all about the island here

Tuesday – I thought it would be a good idea to go to Surfers Paradise. I have been here a few times before on previous trips to Australia as it’s only about an hour from Jake’s house. I know people have mixed reviews about surfers, it’s very touristy and a bit tacky but as a tourist and someone who enjoys a bit of tack, I really like it! Plus the beach is gorgeous!
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Fun fact – two years ago Jake and I walked out of the top of this building, right out on the grid at the top. It’s called the Q1 Skypoint walk and it was amazing! This time me and Lucy just went up, had a drink and enjoyed the views from the top.
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We then headed to get some lunch, we stopped off at an amazing hotdog shop which sold vegan hotdogs, we each got one with all the trimmings! We then headed to the beach to catch the last bit of sun for the day.
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Wednesday – we were both up for doing something a bit different so we climbed a mountain! as you do! We climbed Mount Ngungun which is one of the Glass House Mountains, I have climbed it before and I knew Lucy would love it because the views from the top are incredible!

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After climbing the mountain we thought we better reward ourselves, you know for being healthy and all that, so we decided to go to a vegan dessert shop and stuff our faces with cake!
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Thursday – We decided to have a bit of a chilled day, we got up a little later, tidied the house, had coffee then headed to Daisy Hill Koala park which is about 20 minutes from Jakes house. This place is great, they have a few resident Koalas there but also rescue Koalas from surroundings areas that are injured or need relocating, this amazing place is also free!
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Friday – The weather was awful so we decided to have a cinema day. We both love going to the cinema and in Australia it’s so cheap, it’s amazing! We went and saw John wick 2 (which we both loved) we saw it the day of release, on a huge screen for under £4!
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As always we had a really good week, the great thing about being based in Brisbane is that there is so many different things you can do day to day which don’t break the bank or that you have to travel far to do! Week 2 post coming shortly…

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This little piggy went to market…these little piggies get fresh fruit and suncream!

This is the final 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, goatscows and sheep.

I’ve saved the last slot for my favourite animals on the farm – the pigs! Now I know you shouldn’t have favourites but these guys were amazing and I loved getting to know them. Pigs are as smart as a three year old child and much smarter than cats and dogs, they are very sociable animals with many behaviours similar to ours. In fact we share 98% of the same DNA as them!There were 7 pigs in total on the farm. Portia, Kane, Heather, Thomas, Moby, Heather and Ellen. They were all equally gorgeous but all had very different personalities. Portia had decided that she wanted to live near our house, I’m sure this was a cunning plan on her part because she was spoilt rotten by the volunteers at the farm. You couldn’t walk past her without talking to her and giving her belly rubs! Portia even had her own little house built, affectionately refered to as Portia’s Palace. She would lie there in the mud while we bought her food and water and rubbed suncream on her when it was sunny! I think it’s safe to say she had us wrapped around her little finger or shall I say trotter!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKane also decided that he didn’t want to live with the other pigs, instead taking himself off down to the cows paddocks, where he had his own mancave, dams to paddle in and woods to explore! What a life! We also took him his food three times a day. My favourite time of day was in the morning when I would go and give Kane his breakfast. It’s so peaceful down in the paddocks, the sun is shining, it’s a lovely walk down there and it was a really nice start to the day. Plus Kane would always put a smile on my face because he gets so excited to see you…well his breakfast! I would love sitting with him in the morning, just looking out onto the fields, with the sun coming up and Kane fast asleep next to me after he’d gobbled down his breakfast!The pigs at the farm have rivers to wade in, mudholes to lie in, woods to forage in, fans to keep them cool and lots of space to roam around. They are also free to choose where on the farm they would like to live. All of the pigs were factory rescues and would have led awful lives in the industry if they hadn’t been saved.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPigs are bred for meat, yep your bacon, chops, sausages etc, around 10 million pigs are slaughtered every year in the UK. 10 million just in the UK – that’s more than the population of London itself! 10 million pigs a year works out at 3 pigs a second! THREE A SECOND!

As with all baby animals that are born in the meat and dairy industry, we humans decide to start chopping bits off of them “Around 80% of piglets in the UK have their tails docked. These piglets are held by their back leg or around the hips while a heated blade or pliers are used to remove their tails. If conducted before seven days of age, this process can be carried out without anaesthetic” – source Veganuary.com (check it out, it’s a great website!)

Sadly most of the pigs at the farm where I stayed have scars from their past, with chunks missing from their ears and chopped off tails. It’s so sad to think that we feel that chopping body parts off of animals is acceptable – it’s not.
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In Australia and many other countries when a female pig is due to give birth she is moved to a sow crate. These crates are a narrow metal prison, just a little bigger than her body with a slatted floor beneath her. Pigs are intelligent animals and a mother pigs instinct to build a nest is so strong that she becomes highly frustrated in the hours before giving birth. The expectant mother isn’t provided with any bedding so when her babies are born they are born onto the hard slatted floor, some of the babies legs fall into the slats getting broken soon after birth.
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A mothers instinct is strong, in all animals and pigs are no different. Mother pigs in sow crates are unable to nurture and interact with their young as a metal frame separates them. She simply lies there while the babies feed from here through the bars. The babies will be taken away from the mother at roughly 3 weeks old. It is common for them to cry out to one another when this happens and for some time after. Like all female animals in the food industry, this cycle of pregnancy and separation is repeated until the sow’s reproductive system is exhausted and her body can no longer endure this strain. Deemed ‘spent’ by the farmers, she will be killed to produce low quality products like pork pies and sausages. You’ll be pleased to hear that sow crates are illegal in the UK under EU regulations (don’t go getting all excited there are rumours that this could all change once Brexit takes full effect) but are still legal and commonly used in Australia. Nice one Australia!

Luckily the pigs that I was looking after on the farm all have amazing lives, a far cry from the life they would have led. These wonderful animals are amazing to be around, they get excited when they see you and after being around them for a while you can start to recognise their different grunts. When they are excited to see you they greet you by opening their mouths up wide and grunting excitedly! If you do it back they copy you, it’s the sweetest thing!

Sadly the pigs at the farm suffer with their mobility. These animals are so huge, nearly 300kg, they are bred to get big quickly and then they would be slaughtered at 3-6 months old, so the ones on the farm can suffer on their feet a little. Pigs would usually live up to 15 years old!
The pigs also get fed 4 times a day, one of their feeds is fresh fruit which they love! They hold they’re mouths open while you put the chunks of fruit in, they sure know the routine!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI loved working with and getting to know these beautiful animals, they all had such different personalities and it was great to spend time with them. These are such intelligent animals that sadly suffer at the hands of humans, just so that people can eat their bacon rolls and sausage sandwiches…it’s awful. So next time you fancy a bacon buttie or a hotdog instead of thinking of this
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THIS is the real face of bacon. The photo above is from 2015 and taken in the UK. Piglets are crammed into wire cages, stacked three high. This photo was taken at a farm in the UK, a farm which supplies meat to Morrisons and is ‘red tractor’ approved.

You can read more about the facts about farmed pigs in the UK here or watch the video below

We owe it to these beautiful animals to speak up for them and to open our eyes to the cruel lives that they suffer just so we can eat them! There is so excuse for it. If you are an animal lover you need to wake up to this because burying your head in the sand doesn’t stop the cruelty from happening, it just stops it from ruining your day or making you feel sad.
I’ll be honest I have found these segments difficult to write, I hate having to google the factory farming images because they break my heart, believe me, there are awful images on google, worse than the ones I’ve included in this post. As much as I hate seeing the images I feel it’s important to share them. I feel that people need to see this and find out the truth about what is happening to the animals in the meat and dairy industry. You can’t love animals and eat them too – sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. Being vegetarian or vegan may seem like a massive jump to some people but these days it’s so easy, there are so many alternatives out there and you will feel safe in the knowledge that you aren’t contributing to this cruelty anymore!

The average UK meateater will eat 10,252 animals in their lifetime (this statistic is of a person of 80 years old) That’s roughly…
3 cows
11 pigs
19 sheep
21 turkeys
19 ducks
1190 chickens
5668 fish
3275 shell fish
…….imagine you were in a field surrounded by those animals.  Would you harm them yourself? If the answer is NO why are you paying someone else to do it for you?

For up to date facts about the UK farming standards please visit http://www.viva.org.uk/

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.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post containing a video of my ‘Day in the Life’ at the farm! Cute animal overload!

Let’s not be sheepish about this…

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!)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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…
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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!
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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!)
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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.
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*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….
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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.

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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!
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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!

Dairy is scary…don’t give a cow man!

This is the third section in this series about the animals I spent my time at the farm with, you can catch on my previous posts about chickens and goats!
Now it’s time for me to talk about the cows on the farm. At the farm there was a herd of 12 cows and I’ll admit that at first I was a little nervous around them. It can be very overwhelming to be faced with a herd of 12 cows that surround you wanting food. Being up close to these animals you can’t get over quite how huge they are, they stand so tall and you can see every muscle in their bodies, they really are magnificent!
The cows on the farm have glorious fields to roam in, dams to cool off in, trees to shelter under and grass to graze on, a far cry from the life they would have led.

Cows in the meat and dairy industry live awful lives, the ways in which we treat and exploit these beautiful animals is beyond barbaric. Firstly there are the dairy cows. Now here’s a fact that shocks a lot of people, cows only produce milk when they are pregnant, the same as a human or any other animal for that matter! A lot of people never really think about that, we are told that milk comes from cows and so we just believe that they are milk making machines! Now if we see that cows and humans only produce milk when they’re pregnant we’d naturally see that the milk is for the offspring of the pregnant mother – regardless of whether they’re human or an animal! Why do we use cows? Firstly they’re huge, producing large quantities of milk and secondly cows are pretty defenseless, try to take a lionesses cubs and you’d probably have your throat ripped out! A cow produces milk for her baby – it’s as simple as that! The baby is torn away from its mother and she will be milked, the milk which should be for her baby will go for humans (…fucked up, right?!)

How a calf will live until it is slaughtered. Source: bullshit dairy farmer website dairymom

Cows in the dairy industry are forcibly impregnated every year to keep their milk flowing. Once the babies are born they are taken away from their mothers, this is the part that really angers me. We would never question a human mothers maternal instinct, or that of a female lion protecting her cubs, yet when it’s a cow people gloss over it, thinking a cows instinct wouldn’t be as strong. Why? All mothers protect and yearn for their young, regardless of their species. Male calves born into the industry are slaughtered at 6 days old, used as leather (the softest leather is usually from calves) or cheap meat. Some of the become veal calves and are slaughtered at a few months old.

Dairy cows will be exploited in this way for years, constantly pregnant, constantly milked, baby after baby ripped away from them, until one day, her time will be up. These cows are referred to as ‘downers’ because they collapse from pure exhaustion and years of being used and abused. They will be sent to slaughtered. The natural lifespan for a cow is 20-25 years, a cow in the dairy industry is usually spent after 5 or 6 years.
Talking of the lifespan of cows, Mary, one of the cows on the farm is 20 years old! She is beautiful old soul, who is the most gentle girl on the farm. Mary lived 17 years on a farm with no other cows and struggled to adapt to living with a herd when she first came to the farm but now Mary is the herd matriarch and has the love and respect of the rest of the herd. Mary gets spoilt rotten at the farm, she is given special feed, medicine for her arthritis and a bountiful amount of carrots everyday!
Learning about the herd dynamic was really interesting, the herd will always look out for one another, they call out if they can’t find each other and keep each other close. Two babies Alfie and Cale recently joined the herd and the whole group dynamic changed Murray, one of the large males in the herd would always wander on the farm and would have to be retrieved from nearby paddocks but as soon as the calves arrived he stayed put, keeping a close eye on the newest members of the family. All the herd would take it in turns to babysit!
Now onto a very special member of the herd called Sam. When I started at the farm Sam was very sick, he’s been ill for a long time. Sam was two years old and had a condition called Lumpy Jaw, this condition causes large lumps to form in the jawbones, throat and neck. Sam was born on the farm, his mum Precious, who is a member of the herd, wasn’t given the correct care while she was pregnant so when she came to the farm and gave birth to Sam sadly his fate was already sealed.  Sam was slowly loosing his fight, we would feed him 4 special meals a day, with medicine, electrolytes, molasses, carrots, hay, anything that we thought he could manage. Some of favourite times on the farm were spent with Sam, he was such a gorgeous boy and so sweet-natured. You would walking into the filled, wave your arms to greet him and he knew to follow you for his food. There was one particular evening, the sun was setting and I greeted Sam in the field, it was so quiet and peaceful as we walked across the field back  the barn together, it was a lovely moment to share with him. 

Sadly Sam grew weaker and weaker and we all knew that the time had come for him. This beautiful boy was fading away in front of us and it was upsetting to see. Sam was put to sleep, the other cows were nearby and he was surrounded by staff and volunteers that loved him. After he passed away his mother Precious came over and licked and nuzzled him for a while before walking off. She spent the next two days on her own away from the herd. Sam was such a beautiful Boy and I’m honoured that I got to help care for him in his last few weeks. This is the last photograph that I took of Sam before he passed away, grazing in the flowers enjoying the sunshine.
 The way we treat these beautiful creatures is awful, as a cow you can’t win in the meat and dairy industry, if you’re bred for meat you’re led to slaughter, if you’re used for milk you are used your whole life THEN led to slaughter, or shall I say dragged. It saddens me to think that the cows on the farm are considered the ‘lucky ones’ because they are leading a ‘normal life’!

This video is amazing – WATCH IT!

If you have questions about this subject 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!

You’ve goats to be kidding me?!

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!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese 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!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike 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.
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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!

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken lay a little egg for me…oh, actually..don’t!

I have been lucky enough to spend the last month living and working on a vegan farm in Dayboro, Australia. What’s a vegan farm I hear you ask, well let me tell you. Farm Animal Rescue is a farm that is run by vegans (vegans running a farm = vegan farm…easy!) and has saved the lives of over 60+ animals who had once been victims of the meat and dairy industry. These animals had been destined for awful lives and even worse deaths but now they get to live in harmony at the farm. Sounds great doesn’t it!

As my time on the farm is coming to an end I thought it would be nice to pay homage to the amazing animals that I’ve spent my time with over the last month and tell you how their lives were destined for a very different path.
I’ve been vegetarian for 20+ years but since becoming vegan 3 years ago I’ve become more passionate about educating people about the lives that animals in the meat and dairy industry live. I also would like to say that I don’t believe that the average person intentionally contributes towards animal cruelty, the majority of us love animals and are appalled by animal abuse, the average person is just not informed as to what is actually happening and the process that takes place to get their food onto their plate. I was vegetarian for over 20 years and it wasn’t until I started researching into these subjects that I found out the truth, the truth which I’m sure more people would be keen to hear, so that they can make informed choices regarding the meat, dairy and eggs that they buy.
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First off lets start with the chickens. There are currently 18 hens, 4 roosters, 3 baby chicks, (1 duck and 1 guinea-fowl) that live on the farm at the moment. The hens that live on the farm have come from either battery cage facilities or cage free sites.
Battery Cage facilities are huge factories full to the brim with rows and rows of cages, 6 to 10 birds in each cage, the space for each hen is approx the size of an A4 sheet of paper, a chicken will live her entire live in this cage, unable to turn around, unable to see daylight, unable to stretch her wings or legs, unable to dust bath or scratch in the dirt – instead she will spend her whole life, sitting down, producing eggs, day in, day out, until the day that her egg production slows down and she is sent to slaughter. By this point her body will have been pushed to the limits but still she will be seen as worthless and will usually end up as chicken nuggets or go into pet food. She will be 18 months old, a baby.

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battery cage chickens

Next we have the ‘cage free’ sites. Now as a conscious consumer of eggs you would be lead to believe that battery hens suffer a horrible life, where as cage free hens are free to roam, probably live in fields, have a nice life? Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that isn’t true (sorry). I would also like to say at this point that I feel sorry for people who try to do the best for animals when they are considering which eggs to buy etc, the photos on the boxes of hens living in huge fields and having amazing lives leads you to believe that is the life these chickens lead! I mean why wouldn’t you think that?! But as I said, this sadly isn’t the truth. ‘Cage Free’ means just that, the chickens don’t live in cages BUT, and here’s what they don’t tell you, the chickens instead live in huge barns, about 10,000 chickens in one barn! No sunlight, no grass, no field, no lovely farmer who gives them cuddles and tucks them into bed every night. Nope, just a huge barn where chickens trample each other, peck each others eyes out and rip each others feathers out. Some birds will get ill and die, the bodies will stay in the barns for other chickens to peck at and sleep on. It’s appalling. Brad King, who runs Farm Animal Rescue describes the differences between battery caged chickens and cage free chickens as ‘with cage free hens it’s like living your whole life in a prison cell, small, cramped, isolated, with no stimulation from others but cage free hens live a life in the prison yard, fighting to survive everyday, survival of the fittest’

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cage free chickens

When the chickens are rescued and arrive at the sanctuary they are very confused, they have never seen daylight before, they have never been able to interact with other chickens before, they have never been able to roam free, dust bath and scratch the ground so it all takes a bit of time for them to get used to the routine and fit in. Saying that, after a few weeks they soon learn the routine and they start to have a ‘normal’ life! During my time of the farm we have had 3 new residents arrive and watching them grown in confidence and start to explore their surroundings and interact has been great!

Now let me introduce you to some of the residents on the farm…
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These girls are all so inquisitive. If you’re cleaning out the barns, or sweeping up, they come running over to see what you’re doing. They peck little patterns on your trousers or shoes and love to get involved with everything! They have such sweet, funny personalities and are real characters!
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As you can see some of these girls still show the signs of their cage free/battery cage days. They are slowly growing back their feathers and getting more and more colour in their cheeks everyday. They also grow in confidence with us and the other hens too.
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This is the wonderful Arthur, just look at him! Arthur is one of the four roosters that live on the farm. You’d probably think that male chickens have an easier life as they don’t produce eggs but that’s also not true. To be honest male chickens don’t even get to have a life. Male chicks are destroyed when they are 1 day old, generally by being gassed, shredded in a blender (yes, you read that right, a frikkin blender) or just being thrown into a rubbish bin.
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Luckily the roosters at the farm were saved from such a fate and now live happily on the farm with their hen girlfriends, they all have various hens that follow them around, cleaning them and keeping them company. These guys are true gentlemen who call their ladies over when they find food for them, letting their hens eat first (how sweet!) and generally looking out for them. There is of course Colin who is a bit frisky and loves the ladies!
P2030652_thumb.jpgAnother rooster, Bubble has a small love affair with the only resident duck Squeak! These two are inseparable and spend most of their time together. They also have their own little house together which is adorable! Bubble and Squeak were actually the first residents at Farm Animal Rescue!
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I was very lucky that while I was here we have had babies born! One very broody chicken had been secretly sitting on some eggs and would not give up the hope of becoming a mum. We forget that these animals lay all of these eggs and have them taken away from them, they never get to hatch any of them out but this hen was adamant! Chickens are very dedicated mothers, even before the eggs hatch, they will sit on the eggs all day, sometimes they don’t even leave them to eat or drink! This hen was like this and we would have to make sure her food and water were topped up, we would also give her dishes of watermelon multiple times a day, each time taking your life in your hands as she was very protective of her eggs and would peck you! After a few weeks the eggs hatched and the adorable chicks are just over a week old!
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It’s so sweet to watch the change in this hen, she was very grumpy and was making her self ill while sitting on her eggs, she was so dedicated to making sure they hatched but as soon as the babies were born she was happy! She had got what she had wanted, to finally bring up her babies! These little chicks are obviously ridiculously adorable, they follow Mum around and even at 2 days old are eating and scratching in the dirt (…what can human babies do at 2 days old!) Hens are also brilliant mothers, she is so protective of them, always calling them back if they stray and shielding them from any harm with her wings, it’s incredible to witness and it’s amazing to see them grown and change everyday. It’s awful to think that if they were born into the industry and turned out to be males, they would be blended alive! Even as I’m writing this I still can’t believe that is someone’s job! Like seriously WTF?!
P2030635.jpgP2030637.jpgP2030639.jpgP2030636.jpgWatching this mother and her chicks, the bond they have and the instinct that she has to be a mother is incredible. These animals are not stupid or worthless and they deserve to live a happy life just as much as the dogs and cats that we share our homes with.

If you would like to learn a bit more about the egg industry this is a great article that was recently published in The Guardian you can read it here https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/30/free-range-eggs-con-ethical or a quick google search will tell you all you need to know.

There are also great documentaries on Netflix which handle this subject including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

If you would also like to ask any questions or find out more please comment in the comment box below.

 

Farm life – my first two weeks

I have just finished my first two weeks working on a farm in Dayboro. The farm is about an hour away from Brisbane and is a sanctuary for animals that have been rescued from the meat and dairy industry, the farm is also fully vegan so for me it’s heaven!

I was very overwhelmed when I first went to the farm, the days are long, 14 hours to be exact. We work from 5am – 7.30pm and the first couple of days I felt exhausted. The general day to day jobs that I have to do include feeding everyone, cleaning out their barns, making sure no one has wandered off from the farm, doing heat stress checks, administering any medication that anyone needs and putting them all to bed at the end of the day.

The farm is incredible, it’s set on a 55acre plot high up in the hills, it’s a beautiful place to live and the views are breathtaking.

My 5am view, not too shabby!


The farm is home to 15 cows, 7 pigs, 8 sheep, 13 goats, 18 hens, 4 roosters, 1 duck and a Guineafowl. All these animals have been rescued from terrible situations and now live the rest of their lives in safety on the farm. Considering these animals have had awful things done to them by humans they are so loving and I love being around them. It’s great to open your front door in the morning and be greeted by all the goats or by Portia the pig (who is an absolute sweetheart) 
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The view from my front door

The pigs that live on the farm are Heather, Ellen, Portia, Moby, Thomas, Howard and Kane. These guys are so sweet, they get so excited when they see you and do their little happy grunts, it’s usually because we have food! These guys never fail to make us laugh, they have such funny personalities and are so gentle.
img_1923img_1941img_1919img_1918The farm is also home to a herd of cows. The cows that live on the farm have some of the most heart breaking stories, especially the dairy cows who have been bred from their entire lives, having their babies taken from them at birth so we can have their milk. It’s awful to think what these animals have been through but once again they are so loving and gentle.

Sam, one of the cows, has been very sick recently. He has a tumour growing in his mouth which has spread to his bones. Sam’s mum, Precious also lives on the farm and gave birth to Sam when she was rescued but unfortunately the neglect she had already experienced meant that Sam was born with a low immune system which meant he couldn’t fight off the infection when he was young which lead to his tumour growing rapidly. Despite all that Sam is going through he is such an angel, he is huge but is so gentle around us, he is such a beautiful special boy.

Me and Sam


This is the wonderful Mary, she is 20 years old! In the meat and dairy industry cows wouldn’t live past 5 or 6 years old, we decide they are worthless to us after that age. Mary is so loving, she loves a fuss and gets spoilt rotten by everyone here. 

This is just a quick summary of my first few weeks here on the farm, I have another two weeks left here. It’s hard work, especially as Queensland is currently having a heatwave which means temperatures have been as high as 37 but being around these beautiful animals everyday makes it worth it.
For more information on the farm please visit www.farmanimalrescue.org.au 

The farm has lots of open days where you can meet the animals and hear their stories. It’s a great day out for all the family. I mean who wouldn’t want to cuddle sweet animals all day?!

Farm Animal Rescue – my home for the next month. 

One of my main aims while I’m in Australia is to volunteer at animal sanctuaries and tomorrow I’m off to my first one. It’s in Dayboro which is about an hour from Brisbane. 

When I was in Australia on a holiday in 2014 I visited the farm for the day and thought it was amazing. The farm is a vegan farm which takes in animals from the meat and dairy industry. Many of these animals have suffered years of abuse and so when they come to the farm they are very ill. The farm then nurses them back to health and the animals live the rest of their lives in peace and safety.

When I visited the farm in 2014 I was shown around but two volunteers, they were passing through Australia on their travels had been staying at the farm for a month. They both spoke so highly of their time there and it made me think that that’s something I’d like to do in the future. Fast forward to now and I leave tomorrow to stay there for a month! I remember thinking that I’d love to do something like this but I was worried about doing it on my own and meeting people etc but after living with 11 other strangers in Borneo and making some amazing friends I know it’ll be a great experience. Plus I get to live on a beautiful farm and look after animals everyday!

Here are some photos and a video from my recent visit there on one of their open days… they’ll be plenty of blog posts to come about my time on the farm!

Leaving Sepilok, leaving the orangutans, looking back at the best time of my life!

It’s been just over a week since I left Borneo and I know it’s going to sound terribly cliché but there are honestly not enough words to describe what an amazing time I had whilst I was there. When I booked the trip I had 19 months to wait and I can’t believe that it’s over!

Borneo is an amazing place, the local people are the friendliest and so kind and generous. They made us feel welcome from the minute we were picked up from the airport, to the minute we left. All the staff that we met at the centre are such wonderful people, so kind, happy and so funny! We would have a laugh with them all everyday and it was honestly a pleasure to get to know them and work with them. You can see the passion in every person that works at the centre, they do everything for the well-being of the orangutans that they care for and the bond between the staff and the orangutans at the centre is so touching to see. They have bought these animals up since they were babies and you can see the love they have for them. There is such a fun, positive, happy atmosphere when you’re working at the centre, everyday there is laughing, joking and singing, it’s really a great place to work!

Next are the group of people who I was lucky enough to share this wonderful experience with…
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I honestly couldn’t have been put with a better bunch of people! We all seemed to just click straight away, there was never any awkwardness amongst us and it honestly felt like we were old friends! Living and working together had the potential to be a bit ‘much’ but it just felt like a little family. It was so nice to be surrounded by people who were genuinely happy for one another, there was no competition or separate groups, everyone was just so happy to be there and to make the most of every opportunity that we were given. It was lovely finishing work for the day, coming home and the first thing you’d be asked was “how was your day?” and knowing that the person asking you genuinely wanted to hear how you’d got on!
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We had some of the best times together and I didn’t feel homesick once while I was there and I think it’s because we all got on so well and it felt like a family dynamic (a big family!) We all had dinner together in the evenings, watched films together, would do each others hair, looked out for each other when we were ill, laughed our heads off and just shared in the excitement of being there and getting stuck in at every opportunity! I’m so happy that I met such an amazing group of people and I know we’ll all keep in touch, we’ve already talked about reunions and I can’t wait to see them all again and to pick up where we left off!

Lastly, I will miss the orangutans, more than I could have ever imagined. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a HUGE animal lover and love every animal I meet but being around the orangutans really has made a huge impact on me. I have never been around such an incredible animal before and I feel privileged to have had such close contact with them and to have shared some very special moments with them.
These beautiful, loving, sweet, friendly animals have been amazing to get to know. Learning all about their different stories, how they came to the centre, their different personalities etc has been wonderful. Orangutans share 96.4% of the same DNA as us and it’s incredible how similar they are to us, having that close contact and being able to watch them on a day to day basis was remarkable and I loved every day I spent with them.
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These beautiful animals live solitary lives in the wild so it was so special to watch them interacting with one another, on my last day there I saw Poogle, one of the biggest males at the centre, playing with Koko who is one of the smallest babies at the centre. It was such a special moment to watch, watching how gentle he was playing with her was so beautiful to see. Orangutans are about 6 times stronger than a man and they have a grip strength that is 4 times that of a human so it’s amazing to be around these animals and realise how gentle they are being with you! I will never forget when I first held one of the babies hands, how big and heavy it was, it was incredible!
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It breaks my heart that these beautiful animals are now on the endangered list and are on the verge of becoming extinct. Their homes have been destroyed for palm oil plantations, mothers are being killed and in some cases the babies being kept as pets. This really upsets me, I hate the fact that these wonderful animals are suffering because of man’s greed – it was also heartbreaking to see how the jungle thrives, it has it’s own eco system where everything runs smoothly and then one day we go through and bulldoze it all…for money. Palm oil is a huge industry in Malaysia and brings alot of money into the country, it also brings alot of destruction. Palm oil is in 40-50% of our household products and around 90% of the orangutans habitat has been destroyed through deforestation in the last 20 years causing them to now be on the endangered list. Saying that, I know that the future for the orangutans at Sepilok looks bright. They have the love and care of the staff and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the little babies that I helped to look after.
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The two months that I spent at Sepilok truly have been the best two months of my life, words cannot describe how much I loved this place and the people who I met along the way. Our last few days there were filled with laughter and tears, no one wanted to leave and I think this was a testament to how special everyone had found their time there.
The orangutans, the Sepilok centre and Borneo has well and truly stolen a piece of my heart and I’ve already promised myself that one day I will go back. Visiting such an amazing country, spending time with wonderful people, living in the jungle and learning about such amazing creatures has been the best thing I’ve ever done. It really has taught me that it’s good to be scared of the unknown, to put yourself in new situations, to shake things up a bit because you never know, it could end up being the best thing you ever did!

My second rotation in the outdoor nursery and saying goodbye to the gang!

Saturday the 15th October was the beginning of my second week in the outdoor nursery with Bidu, Beryl, Kolapis, Gellison and Chiquita. These babies are all aged between 4-6 and would still be with their mothers in the wild. Orangutans learn a huge amount from their mothers as they live solitary lives and only have their mother to teach them things. By the time orangutan babies are the same as Beryl and Bidu they would be venturing further away from their Mother to explore on their own but they would always be keeping a close eye on Mum incase of danger.

The outdoor nursery is a big space with a jungle gym for the orangutans to play on, it has ropes and tyres that they can swing and play with. There are also three platforms that we use for feeding. There are also lots of ropes that go from the outdoor nursery into the jungle and we want them to start venturing off in the jungle and socialising with the semi wild orangtans that are also at the centre.

During my second week in the outdoor nursery I made sure I took time every day to be aware of how amazing my surroundings were, it’s so easy just to focus on the task in hand like – making sure Chiquita doesn’t go on the roof, stopping Bidu playing in the puddles, making sure they’re not on the floor eating mud etc, that it’s easy to take the surroundings for granted. The outdoor nursery is a beautiful space that’s surrounded by huge trees and it’s great watching the semi wild orangutans come into the nursery from the jungle to have a play with the babies and eat.

img_6826img_6827img_6830It’s great to spend time with the babies in the outdoor nursery, they are at such a great age and find fun in everything! Their mood changes just like ours, some days they are extremely cheeky and give you the run around, other days they are a little quieter and are quite happy to sit and quietly wrestle with one another, other days its a mixture of both!
We have to make sure that the babies don’t go onto the ground and instead choose to spend their time in the trees or on the ropes – this is because wild orangutans never spend anytime on the forest floor, they are in danger of being hurt by predators such as dogs or snakes, I would never have thought that dogs would attack an orangutan but it’s something that does happen so we need to teach them that the floor is a dangerous place to be!
In our second week we started using a plastic snake on a stick when the babies were on the floor, we used it sparingly as we didn’t want them to get used to it but it was very effective as they were very cautious of it and would go up onto the platforms when we got closer with it, this is a great way to teach them that they need to stay up high if they see something that are scared of!
img_6841img_6842img_6857Working with the babies was such a special and amazing experience, when I walked with Beryl for the first time and she was walking and holding my hand I was shocked at how heavy her hand was! When you see the babies swinging and climbing you see just how strong they are so when they hold your hand so gently it’s amazing because you realise how gentle they are being with you. Another thing that shocked me is how heavy they are! Bidu, who is 4 and likes to be dragged around rather than walking weighs 23kg! It’s alot of weight to be dragging around with one arm and lifting up onto the feeding platforms that are eye level, I swear I have built up muscles in my arms quicker than when I had a gym membership!
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These little bundles of fun really are a pleasure to work with, it’s weird to even call it work because I loved every second I spent with them and I had so many special moments with them. They have the biggest personalities and would make me laugh on a daily basis, I would love watching them learn from one another and progress over the weeks. When I first worked with them, on the first day I was a bit intimidated by them, just by their sheer strength alone but you soon feel comfortable being so close to them and start to learn about each individual and their behavior.
I will cherish the little moments I shared with them like cleaning their hands and feet, this was my favourite part of the day! You would say ‘Bagis’ which means ‘Give’ and they would give you their hand and you would place it under the sink and wipe any mud off it (they can pick up nasty parasites from the mud and it can make them very sick), when you’d done both hands it was time for their feet to have a wash too, when you are washing their feet they place their hands on your shoulders and I swear the first time it happened I nearly died, it was the cutest thing ever!
img_6856img_6854img_6855The way that these guys look up as you as you walk along together is just breath taking. At the end of the day when we give them their milk they would look into your eyes with such intensity, it was amazing and I cherished those moments everyday.
It was heart breaking to say goodbye to these guys but I know they are in the best place with a team of people who care so deeply about every single one of them. The rangers have looked after these babies from such a young age, Chiquita for instance was bought to the centre at 3 weeks old! The orangutans at the centre are never released into the jungle, instead they are free to come and go as they please and when the time is right they will choose to spend the majority of their time in the jungle rather than at the centre. You can see the strong bond between the rangers and the orangutans at the centre and the love they all share. I know these guys will go on to have great lives, I’m so happy I was able to meet them and I can’t wait to see what their futures hold!

You can actually adopt some of the orangutans that are at the centre, including Bidu, Beryl, Chiquita and Gellison that I looked after in the outdoor nursery, it’s really worthwhile as your money from the adoption helps the centre and you get a lovely gift and updates about your chosen orangutan. It’s a great idea for a gift! Please click here or visit www.orangutan-appeal.org.uk/adopt and please share with anyone that you think would be interested!