In the fall of 2016 I got an email from a lady about a steer named Charger. Charger is a beautiful Charlois and was abandoned by an FFA student before time to show him in his local FFA chapter school event. The email really pulled at my heartstrings. The students mom painted Charger as a “teddy bear” that loved attention. I got the impression that out of all the steer in his class, he was a favorite.
The Sanctuary is a busy office
We are home to 80+ farm animals and the work load in and out of the office is immense. Most days we get emails or messages about a farm animal in need. There is no way we can take them all, but if we can’t we always do our best to utilize our resources to help animals in distress. Charger’s silent voice was being carried through Nichole, the Mother of the senior that packed up and moved to Idaho a few weeks ago.
The email regarding Charger was not urgent. I base all animal rescue leads on urgency so that those in the most distress get into the pipeline first. After 48 hours, I contacted Nichole and she had changed her mind and had decided to let Charger go through the process of being loaded up and sold at auction. I went into a full on mission to talk her down from her decision.
Something happens inside of me when I’m faced with a situation where I know that more meets the eye. There was no way that the story she had just told me 48 hours ago and the one I was hearing were jiving. I asked her pointblank–what changed? And “was this the same toddy bear that everyone loved that she spoke of in her email”? She said she didn’t know what else to do–the school was forcing her to make a move. She owed the school $1700 because Charger was acquired in a calf scramble and she was having to play by their rules. Their rules frame families into situations where the animals life is a commodity–it’s only use is regarded as how much money, restige and career advancement the animal can provide. Once the animal has served its purpose, it goes through the food chain, teaching children the valuable lesson of “letting go” and feeling proud to be contributing to the world’s food basket.
On the other end of the phone I could hear a woman that thought she had no choice. I felt the corner she was backed into and I intuitively knew what I had to do. I began offering up scenarios to rescue Charger. Together, we engaged a very difficult conversation that led to the brink of possibility. Nichole digested some hard truths about the impending consequences she was faced with as a result of being a part of a program designed to squelch human emotion at the expense of a sentient beings life. She went through the looking glass with me and together we forged a path that led Charger to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary and Nichole to Veganism!
There are no words to express my feelings when I know another soul is about to plunge into the compassionate world of Vegan. Charger is not the only life being saved. Nichole will go on to be a beaming example, and one person at a time, we can achieve the impossible.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the effort to get Charger to the sanctuary. Because of the extra 11 acre pasture we acquired after the flood we were able to accomodate. We have more pasture land now, and it’s just a few minutes away. We have been busy building fencing on that land so that the entire 11 acres can be utilized to help us care for our bovine family. We are almost finished. The more land we have the more farm animals we can rescue. One step at a time we will get there – THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!