An Image to Hold
It was an image that will never leave our hearts. The one of the mother standing over her newborn child.
The one of the mother so emaciated, dishevelled and downtrodden she could not feed them. The one of the mother who so genuinely loved her baby, but who shook with fear at our presence; and although she desperately wanted to flee, she did not, for she knew her almost-lifeless baby could not make that pace.
But worst of all, this was an image of our society’s making. One that all should, in the fullest disclosure of our choices, see.
You see Immy, as we have named this young mother, is a sheep. One who was slated for slaughter along with the rest of her clan. But it was the unexpected birth of the teeny tiny Imogen in the early hours of that fateful day that was to spare both this grisly fate.
But alas, not the others.
Arriving into our care, only hours old, Imogen’s body held little life, and whilst our actions raced to save her, our thoughts were with Immy and her empty breasts. With her spine causing her wool to form a razor-like mountain peak that ran the course from the base of her neck to the top of her tail – life, or rather humans, had clearly not been kind to her.
Until the day they were. Throwing the greatest of lifelines to the mother and her baby.
Despite Immy’s great reservations she holds about our kind, she is slowly coming to terms with the world she has now found herself in. A foreign one. One where people speak in kind tones and move with gentle actions. Where neither food nor veterinary care is a scarce resource. One where she watches with diminishing wide-eyed terror as we, in full view, momentarily commandeer her baby several times a day and nourish her with life-sustaining milk; the closest we can find to what would have been hers. And although it will never be the same, it is the best we can do in this crazy world we humans have made.
And whilst images such as this are common to us now, we imagine that one day they will not be.
Perhaps too, it just may be that the image of this proud and loving mother, standing over her beloved child, is what helps shape our understanding of this world. An image that causes us to recognise that the birthplace of our humanity sits with the recognition that in the ways that matter most, all that separates us from the non-human animal world is form.
And form alone.
Then who shall we harm?
“Can someone please help me out I have a full grown female goat wanting to give away but marketplace won’t allow me to post…free of charge”.
Dust bathing for the first time in her 73-week life is Katie. Her “sister”, Kayla, eagerly watching on as her blind friend kicks dirt every which way.
When the cheeky young goat we have named Purr broke his leg in a remote community, things were looking grim.
If you are considering bringing a companion animal of any species into your world, please read and pay attention to the following.
Amazing us all just recently was the arrival of four teeny tiny turkeys: Cornelius, Tofurkey, Curious George and Cheerio.
Planting the seeds of kindness were the sweet natures of Hawthorn, Poppy and Tulip, young sheep who touched the heart of a kindly pound worker.
From this moment to the next, we grow and change. Yet we stay who we are. We are shaped by our experiences but not defined by them.
In the early hours of today, dear Henry pig nestled into his straw bed and drew in a breath
Meet Marmalade and Marmaduke, two adorable wee kittens dumped just days before Christmas.