Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Fall at the sanctuary

lily checking out the barn

I go to the sanctuary partially because they can use the help, but mostly because I love it. It is peaceful and it soothes something in me. Today was a lot of fun – the baby goat was playing at play with the big goats, and they were so patient with him. The pigs were all out in the yard, grunting and snuffling and enjoying the fall weather. The cows were all anxious to get in the horse barn to munch on the hay, and there were the most adorable baby chicks, saved from a crazy mysterious situation.

And in the background there were shots, often so many in a row that it sounded like fireworks.

Which makes sense, because fireworks were meant to sound like guns and cannons.

It was the hunters in the woods, searching out living creatures to kill. I hope they missed. I hope everyone lived. We won’t mention the t-shirts that come to mind.

charlotte looking in barn

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6 responses to “Fall at the sanctuary

  1. Gary October 14, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Great photos!

    I agree about the hunting. It is jarringly, almost obscenely incongruous with the peacefulness of the sanctuary.

    Might have had a chance to run into you today had I not overslept and missed the road cleanup!

  2. Deb October 15, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Too bad you overslept! The little chicks, about a week old, are so cute. And they grow so quickly!

  3. Ron October 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Deb,

    I enjoyed the Poplar Springs video you linked to with the 5-year-old narrator. The peacefulness you noted while you were at the sanctuary is the same many of us who have worked and/or lived on a farm or ranch experienced every day we were caring for livestock. We all have a kinship with farm/ranch animals and none of those animals in the video that we all admired could have evolved domestically without sound animal husbandry practices and a monetary reward for their development. I understand and appreciate the ethics of animal rightists, but these breeds of animals will never be available for future generations to enjoy if there is no value for them other than a zoo-like existence. I would rather see consumptive and non-consumptive users alike have the opportunity to view these animals in a sanctuary or in a farm/ranch setting, even at the cost of slaughter for food and fiber, than to imagine a world without any of them. A philosophical position of complete nonuse/protection of these animals, while admirable, will eventually result in a complete loss of these domesticated treasures. I prefer a compromise that ensures the economic viability of the farmers and ranchers who breed these animals and the realization that there will always be enough animals available for sanctuaries like Poplar Springs and visits from youngsters like Ari.

    http://poplarspringanimalsanctuary.ning.com/video/video/show?id=1324256:Video:5

  4. Deb October 22, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Well, I don’t see them as here for my pleasure. Goats, chickens, bunnies, turkeys, they all live without humans when they’re given the chance. In fact, even domesticated chickens will go feral within a generation. You can see this at eastern shore (linked in my sidebar).

    What wasn’t portrayed on the video are the cows who, though young, walk very slowly because of congenital birth defects, the broiler chickens whose body weight are collapsing their skeletal systems, the turkeys who hobble slowly for the same reason, the pigs who are suffering from arthritis.

    No, I don’t think these genetic defects that we have purposely caused in farm animals is at all in their best interests. It is in the interest only of people who want them to grow as big as fast as possible. They find as much peace as will every be found at the sanctuary, but they are far from the best they could be. And these genetic deformities were done on purpose through animal husbandry. You can confirm this with people in the industry!

    There will always be animals for us to connect with. We certainly don’t have to raise them for our own monetary benefit to have and feel those connections.

    I don’t expect you’ll agree with me, but you might nevertheless be interested in reading Howard Lyman’s books – he was a cattle rancher and is now an animal rights activist. http://www.madcowboy.com/

    In fact, peaceable kingdom will deal with some of these issues, and there is a preview available now.

    http://www.tribeofheart.org/tohhtml/pk3previewhome.htm

  5. pattricejones November 11, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    The guns are going off in a distance (or, actually, in the neighboring woods) here at the Eastern Shore Sanctuary too. It’s disconcerting to realize I’ve gotten used to it. Sorry to have been out of touch. Glad you’re helping out at Poplar and hope to have you here again soon.

  6. Deb November 11, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I think there’s a lot we get used to, unfortunately. I know you’ve been busy, but we’ll definitely have to figure out a weekend to get back out to your place. (I have to get my truck to the doctor first!)

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