Yesterday was meant to be my last day at Edgars Mission. It was the end of my 3 month contract. I have been asked to stay an extra month, which I will do.
Yesterday cleaning the barn I realised how much I have learnt over the last 3 months. I didn’t even know the difference between straw and hay!! Now I can tell the difference between different hays and I know when and how to use eco chips and wood shavings. I know how to muck out a stall and lay new bedding!! It’s been a massive learning curve, stepping into a different industry and learning new skills. Many times I have felt like a teenager – not knowing the basic stuff that comes so effortlessly to the team around me.
The biggest lesson has been in my interaction with the animals. I have read about how they are sentient beings. That they feel emotions and share many of our needs and desires. In many ways that has shaped my life and the decisions I make about food. To see these sentient souls everyday still astounds me.
I take the sheep and rabbits breakfast and on their faces I see anticipation and happiness.
I see the pigs desperate to get outside and play.
I have seen the bunnies snuggle up to each other, offering support and love.
I see the donkeys getting into mischief, playing chasey and having fun.
I constantly see curiosity in our animals – especially the goats and our darling calf Smudge. They want to know what you are up to, what’s going on.
I see the goats seek a sunny spot where they are comfortable. They turn their heads to help you find their favourite place to scratch.
I see the young sheep seek out their mumma and the mum always making sure her baby is ok.
As I am in the barn I see the new animals come in. I see fear on their faces and their bodies react to protect themselves. I see the look of sadness and heartbreak on a sheeps face when they fall over – so many of our animals have been so abused and broken. It breaks my heart but also gives me a heart warming opportunity. I tell them that life will be easier for them now they are at Edgars Mission.
At Edgars Mission they are safe.
It’s a small part to play in a massive big ugly industry – but it’s something.
In amongst the poop pick ups, scrubbing food bowls, sweeping the barn, carrying bins and hay bales, filling water bowls and making beds more comfortable I have been a part of something bigger.
I have always believed that if everyone did a little bit, it would make a massive difference. I have applied that to raising money for charity, reducing plastic use, recycling.
I can’t help but wonder, if we could all be a little kinder what kind of world could we create?