My day at Sugarshine Farm Sanctuary – my idea of heaven!

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a HUGE animal lover. I love ALL animals and I’m lucky to share my home in the UK with lots of them, which means I miss them all terribly while I’m travelling. As well as running over to every dog I see in the street, the beach, the city etc to get my animal fix I’m also trying to help out at animals sanctuaries along the way to meet new people and obviously get lots of cuddles with gorgeous animals!

During my family holiday in Byron I was on Facebook and saw a post from Sugarshine Farm Sanctuary who are based in New South Wales, they were asking for help with their new rescued calves. They had just taken in 5 new babies and needed help bottle feeding them….erm, I’m sorry, is this real life?! sign me up!!
After some quick googling I saw the farm was only 40 minutes away from our Byron apartment, I contacted them and said I’d be free that week to help them out. As it turned out my brother also wanted to come and help out too!
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Sugarshine is a haven for many animals – pigs, calves, goats, sheep, hens, ducks, turkeys and pet dogs all live together in harmony – this place is a paradise! These animals have been rescued from the meat and dairy industry, taken in from previous owners or from other sanctuaries that have sadly had to shut their doors. The farm is run by Kelly, who set up the sanctuary and an incredible team of people who volunteer their time to help the farm and the animals that live there.
Now brace yourselves…cuteness overload coming your way in…3,2,1
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These are the babies! They are the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. These babies are products of the dairy industry, they were taken away from their mothers at birth so that the milk for them could be used for humans…that’s right, the milk that should be bringing up these baby cows is being sold for human adults. Sounds weird right?!  Yeah, that’s because it is.
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Feeding these beautiful babies was an absolute privilege and me and Jake couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be given such a job! These babies are so gentle, they nuzzle and butt your leg to try to get milk and as cute as this is it’s also heartbreaking at the same time, they should be doing this to their mother, not me.
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Being vegan I know the lives that these babies would be facing, you can read my blogpost about the dairy industry here (no gruesome photos just facts that you should know) Many people don’t actually know that cows only produce milk when they are pregnant, the same as us, that milk is only for their baby, it breaks my heart to think that we deny mother and baby cows the chance to be together just so we can take her milk for ourselves, look at those babies, how anyone can mistreat them is beyond me.
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We also got to cuddle some little chicks who had been bought in by a family that had rescued them and taken them to the centre. Unfortunately they weren’t able to catch the mother but there was another mother hen at the farm who took in these little babies too. Animals are great!
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The farm is also home to lots of goats, who have all been rescued from various different situations. During my visit I also got to bottle feed some little babies that had recently joined the farm, they were so gorgeous! While we were raking the yard the little ones were following us around for cuddles, it was adorable!
The farm is also home to many pigs…
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The smaller pigs are still being bottle fed, they are so adorable. I fell in love with one in particular who’s named Olive, she is just the sweetest little thing. She comes up and nuzzles your leg because she wants a bottle! It was the cutest thing.

I absolutely loved my day at the farm, meeting all these beautiful animals and wonderful people was great. I felt such a sense of happiness while I was there, helping to feed the babies and hear all the amazing stories of how Kelly rescues these lovely animals. Being surrounded by such compassionate people really is infectious and makes me want to do more to spread awareness for the animals who sadly are still victims of the meat and dairy industry and need us to spread the word about the suffering they face everyday. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease, if you love animals and hate to think of them suffering please, just spend 5 minutes reading some of my previous posts on animals in the meat and dairy industry – I have written posts on cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens (just click the word and it’ll open up the post for you) It’s not enough for us to close our eyes, shy away from photos that are hard to look at, I get it, they are awful but sadly they are the truth – the truth of what’s happening to these poor animals, they have done nothing wrong, they are innocent, they do not deserve this. If the thought of someone inflicting pain and suffering onto an animal upsets you, you shouldn’t be paying for someone else to do it for you. Please, please educate yourself so you know how the food gets to your plate, it’s the least you can do for the animals.img_8489Please follow Sugarshine on Facebook www.facebook.com/sugarshinesanctuary/ – I mean who wouldn’t want to look at cute baby animals on the internet!
Visit their website www.sugarshinefarm.com.au/ where you can donate and sponsor the animals there from as little $5 or £3 – c’mon that’s the price of your morning coffee!

For more info reagrding veganism please ask me any questions, I’d be happy to help!

You can also check out these great links

https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/ – This website has lots of info and even a free starter kit that has amazing info on how to get started on a vegan diet. Tips on how to eat out, recipes, a list of suprising UK vegan foods like Oreos, Ritz Crackers, McKipling Tarts, Bourbon Biscuits, Skittles and much more! Check it out!

You can also watch documentaries on Netflix such as
*Vegucated – this is a great, funny, light hearted documentary – a great one to start with, you can also watch it on Youtube here
*Forks Over Knives – watch the trailer here
*Cowspiracy – watch the trailer here
*Blackfish – watch the trailer here
*Earthlings – not on Netflix but you can watch here

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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!