Maddie, like all animals in the farm industry, was born with a death sentence hanging over her head. However, fate intervened and this beautiful goat’s life took an unexpected twist.
Now living a dream life at Indraloka Sanctuary, what came before was far from the pretty picture that the so called ‘humane’ farming industry would have us believe.
We can never truly understand the emotional heartache that animals like Maddie have to endure throughout their lifetimes, but thanks to this powerful firsthand account of her story and experiences written by Indraloka Sanctuary, if Maddie could talk this is what she would most likely say.
The First Betrayal
Maddie was born into the 4-H project, where she was to be raised by a little girl to help teach her about the goat farming industry and learn valuable life lessons. As expected the little girl fell in love with Maddie (what little girl wouldn’t?), and the two formed a close bond. Soon after, things took a turn for the worst. This is how Maddie ‘recalls’ the experience:
I loved her so much! I loved listening to her problems. I loved to comfort her and make her smile. I thought we’d be together forever, best friends. But then one day there was a big contest. I didn’t win, but she sold me. She was crying the whole time, her mother admonishing her to grow up. Her father told her, “That’s just the way things are.”
She had been sold to a ‘humane’ farm, where life would be a lot harder for this young goat, who had never experienced what it was like to live in a big herd before.
Life in the Humane Farming Industry
I got pregnant. Oh! Finally I would have someone of my own, someone to love and care for! Someone who would never leave me!
Things got really good for a while. The farmer separated me from the bullies and fed me special food. Then my baby was born and he was a beauty! Long lashes, chocolate brown eyes, ears way too big for his little head! We frolicked and played and I thought I’d never be happier.
I was right.
One day the farmer came and took him away, and then put me back in the pasture with the bullies. I cried for my baby and did everything I could to get the farmer to give him back, but he was gone. I never heard from him again.
The heartwrenching loss of her baby broke Maddie’s spirit, and this unimaginable pain was compounded as year after year the same thing was to happen to her, a seemingly never ending cycle of pregnancy, birth and separation.
I tried not to love them, I knew they’d just be taken away and killed. But I failed. I loved every one of them. And every time they were taken from me, a piece of my soul went with them.
Finally Free, But Unable to Forget
As the years went on, Maddie became extremely thin, weak and malnourished. Pregnancy and childbirth take their toll on the body, and without any time to fully rest and recuperate in between, her body became extremely fragile.
It’s at this time in any farm animal’s life that they are scheduled for slaughter. When production levels go down and the risk of illness and injury go up, it’s more efficient to send animals to the slaughter and replace them with a fresh batch.
Maddie was lucky enough to be saved from the slaughterhouse just in time, and was rescued by Indraloka Sanctuary. After the life she had led, you might expect this to be the happily ever after part of the story, but things are not so simple when you’re dealing with emotionally complex animals who have been exploited and abused.
Slowly learning to trust her carers, Maddie is experiencing what it is like to live a life of freedom, where her body is now her own, and she will not be abandoned, sold or sent to the slaughterhouse. She is still nervous and afraid, but little by little, she is beginning to relax and let down her guard.
Surah Al Nahl which describes the importance of animals specially equines.
And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat. And for you in them is [the enjoyment of] beauty when you bring them in [for the evening] and when you send them out [to pasture]. And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful. And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.