Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

mid-winter blues: all the good news

I wrote that post last night about fatigue, and I was heartened by the responses. Sometimes it helps just to know that you’re not alone feeling whatever-it-is. And given the time of year, I would not be surprised if this collective fatigue is enhanced by the weather.

Mary tweeted today asking for some good news. And I had some to share! It did us both good, I think, to have a good story shared. That got me thinking about the rescue stories I end up hearing through my work at the sanctuary, and how different it is from what’s in the papers. Not that it is all good (clearly!) but there certainly IS a lot of good. Mary tries periodically to post good news, and so I’m going to try also. I’m hoping that others will share their good news in the comments. Doesn’t have to be “news” as in “an article in the Times”, after all, and that should make it easier to find! I think that kind of thing will do a lot to motivate me, and hopefully the rest of you. We deserve some smiles, in any case.

So the first batch of good news: I heard today that of the 8 former fighting roosters that Gary and I transported to Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary, 6 have already been rehabilitated, and are wandering free in the flock. The remaining 2 just need more time. This is usually a process that takes much longer than this, so these roosters are proving exactly what a difference gentle hands can make. I have no doubt that the month they spent at the animal shelter before going to the sanctuary was beneficial, and it makes me smile to know that the shelter really did care about those poor abused roosters, as they seemed to at the time. The roosters have confirmed it for us.

The other good news is that a couple weeks ago 90, yes ninety, hens were rescued from a fighting rooster breeding operation. 90 hens! And they all found homes at sanctuaries in this general region.

You might wonder why 90 hens found homes, when 31 roosters could not. Partially, yes, because of the rehabilitation needed for the roosters (Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary is the only sanctuary I know for certain that does this, though I think there is one in Hawaii also), but also because most sanctuaries find themselves with more roosters than hens, and that can cause tension. And so it was easier for the sanctuaries to take in the hens, because while it will fill up the available barn space, it will also decrease tension. Happy roosters now that they have girlfriends!

Some other good news, of a more general sort, was shared by Ari in the comments:

Take heart! Every day I meet more and more people who are making the connection between sustainability and a plant-based diet – and I keep seeing people waking up, taking action, starting to engage.

You know, that was something I needed to hear! I spend most of my days at work in a place where I’m more likely to see the Flying Spaghetti Monster than people thinking about sustainability, let alone the rest! I forget sometimes that the whole world isn’t like that.

My other good news story is about Liesel, at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary.

A couple months ago, she was attacked by a hawk. One of the workers came around the side of a barn, and saw the hawk on the ground with … something. She assumed the worst and scared the hawk away, and I think it is safe to say that she had a major freak out when she saw it was Liesel on the ground. Not that anyone admits to having favorites, but I think Liesel is a favorite of hers.

Liesel had blood coming out of wounds on her head and wasn’t moving. It didn’t look good. Naturally that was a day when Terry and Dave were not at the farm, but a couple of the workers rushed Liesel to the vet…the vet essentially said there was nothing that could be done, and recommended she be put to sleep.

Terry, thankfully, decided to ignore that advice. Liesel was brought home, and into the house. It was a few days before they were sure she was improving, but improve she did. Day by day she got better and better. She became interested in food, but couldn’t stand. Then she was able to stand, but her balance was off, and she’d stumble and fall like a little drunken chicken. Now she’s back with the flock, healed and happy.

Isn’t it amazing what happens when they’re given a chance?

So, good news? Share it!

5 responses to “mid-winter blues: all the good news

  1. Tamara February 6, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Eek! That is one of my biggest fears with my birds – a hawk.

    Okay, good news… good news…

    Well, this is pretty specific to me and my life, but for years I have bemoaned the lack of other vegans in the rural community where I live. But around the first of the year, I decided to be a little more pro-active. I started a Yahoo group and put up fliers at the local natural foods stores, and put ads on Craigslist, and we now have a thriving little group of vegans who are enjoying getting to know each other. We’ve been chatting online and have our 2nd monthly potluck coming up next weekend. So, my good news is that there are more of us out there than you might think, it can just take some work to find each other! 🙂

  2. Kaiser February 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    this has nothing to do with sanctuaries or vegans per se, but ever since we got back from dc, our bunny papaya (who was being given away on craigslist because her other family is stupid) has become tons more affectionate. she never used to groom me before, but now she’s been nibbling my knees and hands after i give her a good scratching.

    she became ‘free-range’ by accident when she got out of her area one night, but we found out that she doen’t chew up anything. in dc, she and her partner elton tore up the room they were in, and once destroyed a couple of hundred dollars in power cords. but they refused to ever come out of the room (something about the linoleum floor in the kitchen that connected the room the living room, though she has no issues running around on bamboo). so either elton just loved to do that, or they were pretty bored with the space they had and just chewed up whatever.

    anyway, elton died suddenly about a month after we moved. while he was around (for most of the time we’ve had papaya), we never bonded too closely with them since they had each other; they tolerated and trusted us. but not necessarily as friends.

    maybe a month after elton died is when she started running around the apartment, and we’ve been able to spend a ton of time with her. my brother visited a week before DC, and a few times after he petted her, she’d pounce on his hands. and the person looking after the babies while we were in DC said papaya did not like her at all (she refused greens from her. she NEVER refuses greens from us).

    it’s sweet to see that she actually cares about and likes us (bunnies are hard to read). maybe she feels she has to step up her affection or else we’ll go away again?

  3. Pingback: Take a Smile Break | Animal Rights Blog

  4. Mary Martin February 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the good news!

    Tamara, it’s great to find vegan kin in real life.

    And Kaiser, I’ve had a greyhound, Violet Rays, for 5 years, and I’m STILL not sure if she likes me. It is sweet, as you say, when you feel like someone cares about you and likes you.

    Bad news: I am reminded that I said I’d write about in vitro meat.

  5. Deb February 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    @ Tamara – that’s awesome news! I love hearing stuff like that, and was talking to a friend today while at the sanctuary about how great it was to hear about your newly formed group. Very inspiring! 🙂

    @ Kaiser – sorry to hear about elton, but that is so nice to hear about papaya showing you some affection! I’ve always found the bunnies at Poplar Spring hard to read as well. I usually assume they want me to leave them alone, and then every once in a while they come up and ask for treats. Such a nice feeling! Thanks for sharing the good news about papaya!

    @ Mary – thanks for putting the idea in my head to share some good news. 🙂

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