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06/24/2014

A Eulogy for Frostie the Snowgoat  »

imageHi everyone. I have very sad news this morning, I just learned that Frostie, the baby goat Edgar’s Mission recently rescued, has passed away. For those of you who have been following Frostie’s story, you know it’s a story about the triumph of a bright little spirit. When Edgar’s Mission rescued Frostie, he had a terrible lice infestation, was severely dehydrated, and had a debilitating condition called joint navel ill. Frostie couldn’t walk on his own, but Edgar’s Mission was determined to save him and they outfitted him with his own wheelchair. Frostie took to the wheelchair like a champ. And, before we knew it, Frostie was walking—or more like dancing!—on his own. 

Like many people, I was taken in by Frostie’s story. I found these two gifs and sent them to everyone I know. I’ve been living off the happy vapors of these gifs for weeks now. I’m sure you can see why:

Frostie in May:
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A few weeks later:
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Sadly, Frostie would only be with us a short time. In the past 24 hours or so, Edgar’s Mission discovered Frostie was sick; not long after, the poor little guy was gone. Turns out our dear Frostie was “riddled with abscesses” along his spinal column. You can read more on Edgar’s Mission’s Facebook page. But they say it was only in his last hours that Frostie was in pain, so at least we know he probably was just as happy as he looked before then. 

I’m hesitant to say Frostie was special, because I imagine that if every little baby goat were given the chance Frostie was, they too would show us just how wonderful they are. But, as should be obvious by now, he definitely touched my heart. So I just want to thank Edgar’s Mission for saving little Frostie and introducing him to the world and I want to let Frostie know, you will be missed, little pal. My hope going forward is that you were able to open at least some hearts and teach people that all animals are worthy of love and kindness, every single last one.

I’m reminded today of one of my favorite poems (and I only have a few). It happens to be about a goat and makes me think of Frostie. I’ll leave you with that:

IT HAPPENS LIKE THIS 

I was outside St. Cecelia’s Rectory
smoking a cigarette when a goat appeared beside me.
It was mostly black and white, with a little reddish
brown here and there. When I started to walk away,
it followed. I was amused and delighted, but wondered
what the laws were on this kind of thing. There’s
a leash law for dogs, but what about goats? People
smiled at me and admired the goat. “It’s not my goat,”
I explained. “It’s the town’s goat. I’m just taking
my turn caring for it.” “I didn’t know we had a goat,”
one of them said. “I wonder when my turn is.” “Soon,”
I said. “Be patient. Your time is coming.” The goat
stayed by my side. It stopped when I stopped. It looked
up at me and I stared into its eyes. I felt he knew
everything essential about me. We walked on. A police-
man on his beat looked us over. “That’s a mighty
fine goat you got there,” he said, stopping to admire.
“It’s the town’s goat,” I said. “His family goes back
three-hundred years with us,” I said, “from the beginning.”
The officer leaned forward to touch him, then stopped
and looked up at me. “Mind if I pat him?” he asked.
“Touching this goat will change your life,” I said.
“It’s your decision.” He thought real hard for a minute,
and then stood up and said, “What’s his name?” “He’s
called the Prince of Peace,” I said. “God! This town
is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there’s mystery
and wonder. And I’m just a child playing cops and robbers
forever. Please forgive me if I cry.” “We forgive you,
Officer,” I said. “And we understand why you, more than
anybody, should never touch the Prince.” The goat and
I walked on. It was getting dark and we were beginning
to wonder where we would spend the night.

-James Tate

Donate to Edgar’s Mission here

05/21/2014

Witness a sweet reunion between rescued goat and burro BFFs  »

Welcome to heartwarming day here at Vegansaurus! Animal Place recently rescued a goat, without realizing just how very attached he was to his burro BFF. Here’s how it all started:

On a warm May day, a 10-yr old goat named Mr. G arrived to Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch adoption center. For a decade he lived with a burro on the property of a woman who could barely care for herself, let alone the dozens of dogs she hoarded and three barnyard animals.
Animal Place was one of two sanctuaries offering to help the goat and burro when they were confiscated…but we could only take in the goat, and the other sanctuary could only take the burro. The two were separated in order to save their lives. We didn’t know the depth of their bond.

After Mr. G was at the sanctuary, he wouldn’t leave his stall. He refused to eat. But nothing was physically wrong with him, he just missed his friend Jellybean the burro! 

Animal Place knew they had to bring Jellybean to live at the sanctuary. As soon as they did…

Mr. G erupted from his prone position, snorting and inhaling Jellybean’s presence. He rushed after her into their outdoor pasture. The magical moment came when Mr. G began eating from Jellybean’s bowl!

Watch the reunion above. And don’t forget to help Animal Place get their new trailer so they can transport other lucky animals like Jellybean!

02/28/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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Chipotle announced fantastic news this week, stating that its popular Sofritas option will be going nationwide. CEO Steve Ells commented, “Many of our customers, we’ve realized, are vegetarian or vegan, or generally meat-reducers or concerned about their diet and questioning about how the animals are raised and how much meat they should be eating.”

The ag-gag battles continued this week, with the Idaho legislature sending a dairy industry-backed bill to the governor that, if signed, would make it a crime to take a video of animal abuse on a factory farm.  Some Idaho newspapers are editorializing against the bill and even yogurt brand Chobani is urging a veto. The governor’s office indicates that it’s received well over 11,000 phone calls in opposition, and very few in support. You can take action here.

In Arizona, the PR battle on ag-gag continued, with op-eds and more.

Finally, wondering why vegetarians live longer? TIME offers seven reasons this week.

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: Goats just wanna have fun…

P.P.S. Photo of the week: New HSUS ads in action!

07/13/2012

Adorable baby goats in coats, eating roses!  »

COME ON! You’ve got to be kidding me. This is like Anne Geddes-multiplied-by-baby-unicorns-cute. These little goats in coats come to us from Edgar’s Mission in Australia. Are you totally in love?

OMG how much do I need a purse goat?! I’ll feed him roses all the live long day.

These five little orphans made their way to Edgar’s Mission and now they are struggling to see humans as kind and caring, instead of mommy-stealers.  

You can sponsor these five guys if you are so inclined, just head over to their page!

06/22/2012

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s that time: WE LOVE PAUL!!!

Big news: We banned gestation crates for pigs, veal crates for calves, and tail-docking for cattle in Rhode Island. The governor just signed the bills! This makes RI the ninth state to ban gestation crates, seventh on veal crates, and third on tail-docking.

Today’s Washington Post has an interesting story about a battery egg producer who started a fake new industry trade group to help the pork and beef lobbies try to kill hen protection legislation. (In fact, the beef industry’s trade group says its “number one priority” is to kill the federal bill.)

Today’s Chicago Tribune has a big story on the battle in California about force-feeding ducks for foie gras. (The ban takes effect July 1 and is being fought by agribusiness interests.)

Back to the Post, it had a good op-ed in Sunday’s paper asking why meat is being served at the Rio climate conference, and HSUS’s CEO had a nice blog about that op-ed.

Video of the week: Baby goats being cruelly exploited for their massage talents… :- )

04/02/2012

Backyard farming proves to be an epic fail for animals.  »

In news that is not surprising to anyone, people are abandoning the animals in their organic, sustainable, backyard farms. It was so exciting for people in the the beginning, right? When, last year, if you so much as had a backyard, you could have fresh milk and eggs alongside that homegrown chronic arugula! I can’t help but be reminded of when Faye told Don Draper, in the season four finale of Mad Men, “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” I fancied Faye; I am eager (a delusion, I know) to see her in Season five. If you have cable, and saw the season premiere on Sunday, don’t tell me anything! I’m waiting til someone downloads it for me it comes to DVD!


Gosh you guys! Enough about pop culture! This is about the animals!

Though this Mother Nature Network post mostly talks about the plight of animals in New York, I can’t help but feel it is probably true of most who have taken on this whole “WOOO! Livestock in my backyard!” thing. It’s so infuriating. I’m not someone who gardens, or raises livestock (I just like watching TV so much) so you have to bear with me here. It sounds like people go into backyard farms all, “Oh, I’ll get some hens, and they’ll lay eggs, and I’ll have delicious fresh eggs all the time!” But instead they get male chicks! Which grow into roosters! Roosters wake people up before their alarm clocks! So roosters end up in animal sanctuaries, along with goats and all the other farm animals that humans cannot take care of in a kind or responsible manner. To quote the MNW post,

"We get calls all the time from people who don’t want their animals or can’t afford them. We get emails about roosters found in the city or goats being neglected or pigs that are going to be killed if we don’t take them," says Elana Kirshenbaum, programs coordinator at Woodstock.

As the local food movement takes hold and urban homesteading gains popularity, more people are giving backyard farming a try. The prospect of fresh eggs and milk inspires them to bring home adorable chicks and goats — but when chicks grow into roosters or goats begin eating the landscaping, these animals are often given to animal sanctuaries or simply abandoned.
"People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal," says Kirshenbaum.

Arugula is one thing, livestock is another! Want a hobby? I hear knitting is popular! Baking too! Card games, Mad Men marathons…

03/19/2012

Paul Shapiro presents: HSUS on CNN, Bittman on humans, and a goat with dance fever!  »


It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!

Happy Meatless Monday! HSUS’s MM video is nominated for a Do Gooder Award (in the “Large Organization” category), so please vote for it!

Want more evidence of how important it is for animal advocates to be politically active? Check out the Des Moines Register’s article on the very large donations from agribusiness that Iowa’s ag-gag proponents received.

I was glad to be on CNN Headline News with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell and my similarly awesome coworker Dr. Michael Greger to discuss factory farming and antibiotic use. As well, I had a good time doing an hour-long conversation about farm animal protection on Pennsylvania Cable Network (kind of like C-Span for PA) with the head of an industry group called Penn Ag.

Mark Bittman’s been tearing it up lately with his latest great NYT piece on the “Human Cost of Animal Suffering.” Don’t miss this one!

Video of the week: A Dancing Goat. No more words needed. Bonus video: The beef industry’s new video opposing the federal hen protection bill pending in the Congress….

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pshapiro.

Goddang this baby goat is cute! And his name is Scribbles? Please. Ridiculous. I need a baby goat! Man! No one ever gives me a baby goat. 

You can read all about Scribbles on Farm Sanctuary’s site. Apparently some children were roughhousing with him! Dang kids. Poor Scribbles. Now he’s safe and sound! I love you, Scribbles. 

03/12/2012

Our raw expert, Sarah E. Brown, just sent me this cute pic of a baby goat she met at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market! OMG WTF SO CUTE. It’s not going to be eaten, don’t worry. The owner is a goat cheese farmer though so that blows. But still, what a cute baby!
He looks pretty lost in thought, right? He’s all, “why do I have to go to the stupid farmers’ market? I’m missing Saved by the Bell!”
Sarah has some thoughts to add:

This Sunday at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, I met this fantastic goat! My hero Vegan Ari wrote about some of the hypocrisies of the animal policies of the market (hardly any animals allowed inside unless they’re DEAD? Seriously?!) and told me that the goats aren’t killed or anything, though we both agree that it’s messed up that the goats have to brave the crowds. Poor little kids!

Our raw expert, Sarah E. Brown, just sent me this cute pic of a baby goat she met at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market! OMG WTF SO CUTE. It’s not going to be eaten, don’t worry. The owner is a goat cheese farmer though so that blows. But still, what a cute baby!

He looks pretty lost in thought, right? He’s all, “why do I have to go to the stupid farmers’ market? I’m missing Saved by the Bell!

Sarah has some thoughts to add:

This Sunday at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, I met this fantastic goat! My hero Vegan Ari wrote about some of the hypocrisies of the animal policies of the market (hardly any animals allowed inside unless they’re DEAD? Seriously?!) and told me that the goats aren’t killed or anything, though we both agree that it’s messed up that the goats have to brave the crowds. Poor little kids!

02/14/2012

Love at Farm Sanctuary! I thought I was hearing things when she said those geese were 25 years old. I had no idea geese lived that long! And they get to spend all their days together. So sweet. I love the pigs best though—you know how I love pigs! 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my animal friends, and you guys too!

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