A Lamb Called Vienna…
Have you ever wondered why it is we name some animals and not others?
With research, we learn the reason for this is that there is a certain “otherness” that remains with un-named animals in our lives. A tyranny of distance from our hearts, minds and empathy that enables any number of atrocities to befall the unnamed and unknown.
There is a certain line in our ethical thought we cross when we name animals.
A scary destination to land if one wants/needs to strip animals of their uniqueness and rich emotional worlds, keeping them outside of one’s circle of compassion and animal protection laws. All of which is required to facilitate harsh treatment and justify “unenlightened” perceptions of the unnamed. “Dumb” sheep, “stupid” cows and “dirty” pigs.
A view that we would never tolerate for the animals who daily share our homes, our hearts and their named bowls and blankets – i.e., our named “pets”.
In choosing to name or not name animals, we say far more about us humans than we do about the animals themselves.
In naming animals, we can discuss them with specificity rather than generality. We move them from objects in our lives to subjects of their world. We acknowledge they are intelligent beyond what those who choose to not name them consider. We appreciate their unique personalities. We speak of their individual looks. Delve into their rich histories. Recognise them for who they are, not the commodities they can tragically become or products they can produce.
And whilst the name we bestow upon an animal will not change who they are, it most certainly impacts our relationship with them.
They move from faces in the mob to friends in the field.
But we must, too, use caution here, for in naming animals we should not reduce them to a property status that can be bought and sold, for although sadly the law still recognises animals as such, we should not.
Whether named or un-named, animals should not be objects of our domination, destinations of our power, but subjects in their own right and recipients of our kindness.
The names we give animals often reflect the worldview of the namer, and sadly whilst on the surface, many names may appear somewhat humorous or even ironic, scratch a little more, and this reflects a great inequality and a veiled attempt to justify a dire circumstance and ill-fated destiny.
Cue names such as Bacon, Hamburger and Lambchops or the brightly painted name on a dairy cow, “Bitch”.
And so, just what to name our sweet new lamb friend?
The one with the whiter-than-white coat, the one whose sweet little baa evokes music in our hearts and the one whose dream of a happy life we shall fulfill.
With all of these hints pointing us in one direction, we land at the beautiful name: Vienna.
Blending tragedy with hope comes Nepal, a sweet little Merino lamb, born one of triplets, who sadly became separated from his family.
While logic tells us he did not fall from the sky, he might as well have, for from where he has come, we cannot ascertain. It is as if he is nobody’s cat. And here now, he most certainly is.
Few things in life tug more at the heartstrings than when you see the life draining out of the eyes of an animal. And when that animal is but a youngster, the tug becomes an all-consuming wrench.
Found wandering on a highway that homed no sheep, it is believed that dear Jump did just that.
They have been declared the comedians of the barnyard (goats, that is) and proving this statement is not a work of fiction come Frick, Frack and Applejack.
It was the message we prayed we would never have to send – well, not for many a year anyway – to our team.
As a young first-time mum, having barely hit puberty, Margaret found herself in the direst of situations. Recently having given birth, and suffering a life-threatening prolapse, she did not know what to do.
Meet Annie Yokely and Mary Poopins! A community Facebook post was to prove the lifeline for two plucky and adventurous hens. It, too, was to prove just how maligned, disregarded and poorly protected their kind is.