Just a little too keen to enter the world was sweet Harmony, arriving several weeks premature. As a result, she had angular limb deformities in both of her wee front legs and a slight curvature of her spine.
Harmony cried a lot after her arrival at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, as did the kindly human who surrendered her into our care. Wanting only the very best for the health-challenged little lamb, they put their own feelings aside as they sought only the best for Harmony.
And therein Harmony became a teacher, reminding us what truly matters most – the importance of kindness. Tenderly cradling the lamb in our arms, as one would a human baby – after all, their cries are just the same – she cried no more, as comfort, safety and trust were brought to both Harmony and us.
With Harmony’s little legs set in splints and she set in our hearts, her determined spirit and will to live was unmistakable. From physiotherapy and laser treatments to splint changes and walking exercises, we continue to ensure that this sweet little Merino, with her signature adorable monkey-like face, will walk right into hearts and minds around the globe – informing everyone that the most important things in life are not things.
Harmony too teaches us that the powerless are precious, and whilst we can overpower her kind in so many ways, and we can profit from and exploit them, we too can also choose not to. We can shower them with love, opportunities and choices (theirs, not ours) and allow them to be everything they can possibly ever be, diving deep into rich emotional and curiosity-fuelled experiences – and when we do, we reach the pinnacle of our humanity and fulfil everything we were meant to be.
And one last thing about dear Harmony is this: her name will forever serve as the greatest hint of how we should live with the animal kingdom.
You can help to create a kinder world for lambs by pledging to have a Kind Christmas today!
The story of this perfect pink piglet starts first with her mother.
Piggy Sue, a kindly sow with the saddest of eyes, was rescued by Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary with a rough past hidden behind her battered body. And we soon learned that there was something else that was well hidden beneath frail frame, with the birth of nine piglets!
Amongst the tiny babies was an even tinier one, Penelope Sue. Being a ‘runty’ little girl she needed a bit of a hand, and that is just what we gave her.
Penelope Sue soon found ‘Piggy Paradise’ in a special space named just that - complete with a wallow for her to bathe in on sunny days, ample space to forage to her heart’s content, and a soft bed of golden straw to nestle in for a snooze.
There, Penelope Sue found a life truly worth living alongside her best buddy Ballet Bob, and they could often be found spooning or sleeping snout to snout. She relished delicious food and belly rubs from kind humans in equal measure.
Reminding us of just how clean pigs are, Penelope Sue would go to the toilet as far away from her sleeping quarters as possible, and she daily demonstrated her smarts and problem solving abilities.
Luckily for Penelope Sue, her dreams were fulfilled, but sadly for most other pigs theirs will not. Kept in cramped conditions and denied their natural behaviours before having their lives reduced to pork, ham and bacon, no one will ever get to know what incredible and unique animals they really were. Animals who can feel fear and pain, and respond to love and kindness.
But you can change this. Please pledge to have a Kind Christmas today!
When dear Ingrid the hen tore a muscle at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, our team of carers sprang into action to arrange a custom-built wheelchair to help with her recovery. Little did we know that her story would capture the hearts of the nation! Whilst a chicken in a wheelchair is a unique sight, it was never in question that this was the best course of action for the beloved bird.
Over and over, the ability of animals to cope in the face of adversity inspires us to become more creative and innovative to ensure they can have lives truly worth living. In Ingrid’s case that meant a wheelchair, laser therapy, and of course kindness in abundance.
Ingrid was a ‘broiler’ chicken, a bird selectively bred for consumption, which means her genetics were geared towards rapid growth. This presents a unique set of challenges when caring for these curious and endearing birds, who were only ever meant to live around five short weeks.
Despite their large size, they still have the same zest for life as their smaller counterpart chickens. Through special diets, exercise and lots of enrichment, many of these feathered wonders have gone on to live several happy and fulfilled years.
Footage of Ingrid enjoying a meal from the comfort of her wheelchair attracted national media attention, with the plucky hen appearing in the national news.
Ingrid’s story touched the hearts and minds of kind hearts everywhere, and brought the plight of ‘broiler’ chickens into the public sphere. Despite being whitewashed into uniformity, it was clear to all who spent time with her that chickens are worth so much more than a moment of taste gratification.
You can help to create a kinder world for chickens by pledging to have a Kind Christmas today!
The early morning call to advise that our Christmas presents were at the front gate got our attention, but we never could have imagined what awaited us there - two large boxes containing ten glorious, chirping baby turkeys.
Finding safety at Edgar’s Mission, they soon entered a home where they would never be surrounded by cranberry sauce or filled with stuffing, but rather one in which kind hearts will spare them from ever being the centrepiece of a dinner table.
Handsome Ballerina was one of the lucky few.
Sadly, Ballerina and his domestically raised kin have been selectively bred to grow big and fast with as little feed as possible, leaving them with developing bones burdened under the weight of oversized muscles. Breeding now requires the artificial insemination of females, as natural mating is impossible due to their unnatural size.
Given the chance, turkeys are incredibly kind and indeed forgiving, as Ballerina so admirably demonstrates on a daily basis. But in factory farms, they endure the amputation of their toes and beaks to combat the resulting aggression that develops in the severely cramped conditions under which these birds are forced to exist.
Today, Ballerina spends his days caring for his ladies Preena and Tiny Tina, and wandering the sanctuary in search of the next person he can serenade and be bestowed with a pat on his sweet head, purring all the while.
And, yes, turkeys can purr; this happy and contented sound serves to remind people that although he may look different from their beloved pets, Ballerina has all the hallmarks of experiencing the world in much the same way as they do.
You can help to create a kinder world for turkeys by pledging to have a Kind Christmas today!