A get well gift from HEEFS

A get well gift from HEEFS

Sir Denver (I think)

Sir Denver (I think)

I have missed you, my cherished readers. And I have missed sitting down at the computer nearly every day to contribute in some small way to our common goal of liberation for all species caught in the sticky web of human greed and desires. Using the undeniable facts, as well as my own personal perspective and life, I seek to relay the thoughts and feelings of these exploited beings. I strive to share the beauty and the horror, both of which I witness collectively and individually on social media, in the material I read, in the  marches and  vigils I attend and at the Farmed Animal Sanctuaries  I visit.

So, it is tough for me to be away from my advocacy and activism for any reason. You see, I believe that the more we talk about the exploitation and the more we advocate, the closer we come to raising awareness, to reaching mainstream media and to creating a groundswell that will be unstoppable. And I pray to all that is reasonable in this life, that the mass exploitation of other species by humans implodes, leaving behind a kinder, more compassionate society on this earth, a society in which all living beings  are privileged and rightful members.

But, as the saying goes:

Into everyone’s life a little rain shall fall.

And, believe you me I have had more than a little rain pelting down on my physical self this past year. Allow me to explain via a  beloved and hapless  character, Joe Btfsplk from the now defunct, but not forgotten comic strip, Li’l Abner, created and penned by Al Capp.

He (Joe Btfsplk) is well-meaning, but is the world’s worst jinx, bringing disastrous misfortune to everyone around him. A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovers over his head to symbolize his bad luck. Hapless Btfsplk and his ever-present cloud became one of the most iconic images in Li’l Abner.

Esther 16

Joe Btfsplk, My Unwanted Friend

It took this latest and unfortunate  turn of events for me to suddenly realize that hapless Joe has been following me around for quite some time, wreaking havoc wherever I go, even when I am trying to do some good.

No good deed goes unpunished.

This past June we  arrived on a beautiful clear, summer Sunday morning, ten minutes ahead of schedule and as we sat in our car at the front gate, I was close to tears. Not because I am starstruck, but rather because I appreciate and seek out peace, compassion, kindness and justice in this anger riddled  world. And what better place to find my bliss than at Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary?

We Have Arrived

We Have Arrived

Rueben and Shelby

Rueben and Shelby

We were there to volunteer and I admit to being more than a little concerned about going. I was still recovering from a leg injury that had plagued me for much of the winter. I did not want to let anyone down by  being unable to participate to the fullest. And I definitely did not want to get another boo-boo that might have the potential of plaguing me for much of the summer- No siree bob-arooney!  But, after a lot of worry, I decided that I was up to the task and forged ahead.

As the gate was opened by another volunteer and we followed the signs to the designated parking area, I knew almost instantly that I had made the right decision. We gathered up work gloves and boots, sunscreen, bug repellent, water and hats and headed over to the covered meeting area, which was  delightfully appointed  with trestle tables and seats fashioned from bales of hay and planks of wood.

Richard and Andrea

Richard and Andrea

The Esther Store

The Esther Store

A warm welcome was extended to us by seasoned volunteers and by Andrea, who is a member of the HEEFS team. Complementary hot and cold beverages were offered as we milled around waiting for the daily tasks to begin. Richard, the carb loving rooster and Welcome Dog Ambassadors, Reuben and Shelby sauntered by and joined our fledgling group. We were informed that Shelby, who is the elder, rules the roost and make the rules for her animal companions who live with her in their home. I presume this includes the somewhat elusive Esther, who had not yet made her presence known.

As I sat there and listened to the convivial banter, I gradually became aware of the sweet smell of kindness and acceptance that was wafting through the air. Hard to find at a farm which provides sanctuary to the exploited, you say? After all, where there are farmed animals, there is manure. But no, that sweet smell, while not overpowering, was all encompassing in a tranquil sort of way. At that moment in time, I was blessed with a feeling that I was at the warmest and most welcoming place on earth.

And for those of you who are starstruck (and that is perfectly amazing if  you are), Steve did say a quick, heartfelt “Good Morning” while bound for an unnamed task. Some moments later, a cover-alled, beverage carrying Derek headed our way and sat down to chat. We did not talk about anything in particular (except for the pink Johnny-On-The-Spot), but generally introduced ourselves and learned about the day and how things go when one volunteers. As my mother would always say when something fun was going on:

My tummy is tickling.

 

Poop and Scoop Duty

Poop and Scoop Duty

Dish Duties in the Barn

Dish Duties in the Barn

I was filled with gleeful anticipation  as we helped out and chatted with the other volunteers. We began with what is euphemistically  referred to as “sweeping the property”. We chose our shovels and rakes and picked up and put into garbage pails, little, and not so little, packages of poop that had been lovingly deposited by the residents — in the yard, near the barn and in the outdoor pens where the residents spend much of their time. Following that, I washed dishes in the barn – food containers, pails and the like, while listening to classical music which I can only presume is played for the residents who abide there. We then  headed into the Enchanted Forest to cut back some brush.

And this, my friends is where the shit hit the fan and my wonderful day abruptly ended, even before tucking into our plant based picnic. Next thing I knew I had tripped on an innocuous something or other on the dirt path on which I was standing and found myself lying on my back in the woods, with what was most assuredly a broken wrist. With great sadness, disappointment and pain, I was kindly escorted to the car by my husband and Andrea and sent on my way to what is an ongoing period of recovery. As we drove slowly down the lane way and out through the gate, I said to myself, with tears silently running down my face:

Esther 15

My Sorry State

I will be back

…..happily picking up poop, washing piggy dishes, cutting brush and hopefully making friends with Esther and all of her friends at what seems to me to be the sweetest place on earth.

Annie’s Vegan View

Always believe that there is a better way for all beings exploited by humans for nothing more than greed.

Know that you can and do make a difference with every conscious act of kindness.

Volunteer, speak up and tell people that other species do have voices and that they are imploring us to set them free!!!

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

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28 thoughts on “My Sorry State And Esther The Pig And Her Family

  • July 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm
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    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. They’ll be thrilled at your return!

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 1:39 pm
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      Thanks so much for the good wishes, Keith,
      The good people at HEEFS say they want me to come back, but maybe they will make me sign a contract legally binding me to stay upright when I am there. LOL!
      Looking forward to continued vegan and AR action with you on Facebook1
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm
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    What a lovely blog. I hope to visit Esther the Wonder Pig someday, too…if I can ever be away from these pups here long enough! Thank you for your kind heart.

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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      Hi Kim,
      Welcome to my website and thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes, volunteering at HEEFS is definitely a worthy cause, but so is looking after pups.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    I’m so glad to see that you are in good spirits and on the mend, Annie. I am so looking forward to meeting you in person upon your return to Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary and hope you keep in mind coming to our Thanksliving event in October. Cheers – Susan

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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      Hey Susan,
      Good to hear from you again and I am looking forward to meeting you as well. I must admit to being bummed out about this latest mishap, but am very happy that I can at least use my computer now, even though it is very slow going. i would certainly love to be able to attend the festivities at Thanksgiving. I checked out the website and there don’t seem to be any particular details yet.
      Cheers to you and take care.
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm
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    I was at Happily Ever Esther that day and heard about your fall in the Enchanted Forest. I hope you heal quickly and can make it back soon. You captured the feel of HEEFS perfectly. It is truly the happiest, kindest place on Earth.

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      Hey Sheryl,
      Good to hear from you and yes, things are improving. Three more weeks until the cast is removed and at this time I will be fitted for a brace and start physio.
      So glad that you feel what I feel about HEEFS. Looking forward to volunteering again with you and all the good people at HEEFS.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 13, 2016 at 7:33 pm
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    Oh, how I feel for you. I have had that same “cloud” following me around lately. We finally planned a nineteen day car trip, booked a nanny for the house and animals, two of which are indoor/outdoor potbellies, large of course. We had finally dealt with all the difficult tasks of the last seven months and we were ready to get away.
    The first night out I tripped on a root on a trail and broke my foot. We continued on our trip, one of us doing all of the driving and all of the moving or stuff in and out of the car. No hikes or walks on the beach. We could still eat at great restaurants, visit wonderful friends and see some amazing sights from the car.
    I visited HEEFS a year and a half ago, before the formal opening, to help plant trees. It decided to snow that day, but I felt just like you did, what a wonderful experience, what wonderful people, and the small group of us laughed a lot as we planted trees in the soft earth with the snow flakes swirling around. Magical.
    May you heal fast and completely, and may your grand children learn from you about handling setbacks.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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    Hi Holly,

    My goodness!-poor you! How did you manage to continue on your journey with a broken foot? That must have been so painful. I could barely stand the long drive home from HEEFS after I broke my wrist.

    I am hearing from people that they feel the same way I do about HEEFS and it warms my heart.
    I am healing one day at a time and I appreciate the good wishes of everyone. My granddaughter, who is eight now, used her birthday cake and candle blowing out wish for me, wishing for my arm to be better soon.

    Take care.
    Anne

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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      Thank you, the first night was not pleasant because I did not know I had broken my foot when I went to bed, but it became very apparent during the night. Getting three stories down to the car was interesting. Anyway, once I got to the emergency room and they put a cast on it it never hurt again. And they gave me a pain killing shot.
      But even when it wore off I was fine.
      So happy your grand daughter is using her wishes on you. Is she a vegan yet. I’m a fairy grandmother to a little girl who is now four. She knows I am a vegan and that I won’t eat an animal because I don’t want to kill an animal, but that is about as far as I have gone. She is always making me pretend vegan food.
      How have you approached the subject ?
      Glad to have found you, I will now start reading your blog. Keep up the good work, hope you can type😬
      Holly

      Reply
      • July 14, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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        Hi Holly,

        So glad that you did not have pain after you got your cast. I still have pain, but it is diminishing. I am on my third cast. The second one, which was plaster was so heavy and poorly applied according to the two orthos I saw. The fiberglass cast that I now have is much lighter and more manageable. I am typing on order to keep my fingers and arm from seizing up. It is slow going, but doable.

        My grandchildren have been vegan since birth. Their mother, my daughter, is vegan and I became vegan because of her example and the info she gave me. My husband is now vegan. I don’t have any advice about approaching your granddaughter. Maybe clear it with your son or daughter first and definitely continue to lead by example.. Not everyone in my family, is vegan but I make a fast rule about only plant based food and beverages coming into and being consumed in our home.

        I am so glad that you are enjoying my website and I look forward to interacting with you and to having your input. Please share my website and article wherever you think they may have a positive impact.

        Take care.
        Anne

        Reply
  • July 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm
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    Hello, Anne,

    So glad you’re on the mend. I broke my elbow a year ago May while out walking my pups.

    Be well!

    Salette

    Reply
    • July 14, 2016 at 3:26 pm
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      Hi Salette,

      Welcome to my website and thank you for the encouragement. Oh my, I have heard that breaking an elbow is not fun. I still have a few months of recovery and therapy ahead but, so far, no surgery, for which i am very thankful.

      Lucky lady-you have pups.

      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 15, 2016 at 7:11 am
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    So sorry to hear of your mishap Anne. I’d love to visit and help out at the HEEFS some time. Nice to have you back at the keyboard again though. Hope you heal quickly and well.

    Reply
    • July 16, 2016 at 9:55 am
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      Thanks Murray,
      I am sure that you would love your experience at HEEFS and all other species sanctuaries, really. They are a little bit of heaven in a world full of human ignorance and disconnect.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 15, 2016 at 8:35 am
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    Hi Anne, great to see you back on your website, doing what you love again!. I always enjoy reading your stories. They are so beautifully written. When I was growing up in Uk there was a cartoon on TV called “The Flumps”. On one episode pootle; one of the flumps had a black cloud following him around all day. Reminded me of you in this story. Don’t know if it was on in Canada, but I can remember relating to it when I was little. The sanctuary sounds amazing! A little bit of heaven on earth, by the sounds of it. So pleased your wrist is getting better with each passing day

    Take care of yourself, won’t you!!

    Rachel Weightman

    Reply
    • July 16, 2016 at 9:59 am
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      Hey Rachel,
      Thanks for the support and good wishes. I am very glad that my articles touch you in some way and I am always glad to have your comments. Please share widely any of my articles which you think may reach people in some way. Funny about “The Flumps”. We did not see this show in Canada when i was growing up. I hope that Hapless Joe B. stops following me around though. I have pretty much had enough.LOL!
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 16, 2016 at 11:29 am
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    Oh Anne…gee whiz, I’m sorry that happened to you! You have such a great attitude, though. I hadn’t heard of Joe Btflspk, but I think the same cloud hovers over me, too. But wow! I am so super excited that you got to go to Happily Ever Esther! What a dream come true! And I hope very hard for you that you can get back there soon. And say hi for me when you go. 🙂 Wishes for a full and quick recovery! Hugs to you and thanks for everything you do for the Esther Approved community and those we love and work for.

    Reply
    • July 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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      Hi Krissa,
      Thanks very much for the words of encouragement. I will definitely go back to HEEFS when my wrist is healed. I was there only three hours and it definitely was not enough.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
      • August 13, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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        I wanted to leave this comment here instead of on the other post…I hope you’ve had a complete recovery by now! Or at least are getting better all the time. I’ve heard that you all are having a very bad summer weather-wise so I hope that’s not making things worse! I’m so happy for you that you got to go to Esther’s and I’m glad you will go back again! Her family sure make me feel better about things a lot of times. They seem to do that for a lot of us, eh? 🙂 Hugs to you.

        Reply
        • August 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm
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          Hi Krissa,

          Thanks for the good wishes. The good news is that I got my cast off just over a week ago, but there is a bit of physio to do to get better. Oh so tired of the pain, but I was warned that complete recovery can take up to a year. Things are improving though, so I have decided to be hopeful about all of it.
          The weather where we live has been pretty good. Hot,yes, but we do get rain to cool things off. Things are very dry west of here, heading toward Toronto and the heat has been something else, I have heard.

          Yes HEEFS is a very special place as are most farmed animal sanctuaries where the residents are loved and respected.

          Take care,
          Anne

          Reply
  • July 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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    Hi Anne, I was one of the seasoned volunteers that day. I was the one having trouble seeing and opening the doors in the dark barn, which figures since I had sunglasses on, right? And I was with you in the Enchanted Forest when your unfortunate accident happened. I am so sorry to hear that it did turn out to be broken and you’ve had pain and multiple casts. Was wondering how you were. Am glad to see though, that you are better and still willing to come back and volunteer after all that. LOL! I hope to see you again to scoop poop together. Take care. 🙂
    Rose

    Reply
    • July 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm
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      Hi Rose,
      How delightful to touch base with you and yes, I had to laugh at the mention of the barn incident. What did we expect-both of us in there with sunglasses on.HA! HA!. Thanks for your concern. I am still in the recovery stage and it will be a few more months, but I am regaining functioning and the pain is lessening. Cast coming off in just over two weeks.
      I am looking forward to coming back and this time I will not bring my friend, Joe Btfsplk. Looking forward to chatting on the poop and scoop detail.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 24, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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    Oh no! I’m so sorry that happened. What a bummer indeed. I’m glad though that you at least got a glimpse of heaven on earth, and am sure you’ll get to go back before long. And maybe when you do, you could pick me up along the way? Ha ha. I don’t comment on their Facebook page, but I swear there are days when visiting HEEFS online saves me from becoming completely pessimistic. The world has become a better place because of those two fine young men, in my opinion. 🙂

    Reply
    • July 27, 2016 at 6:55 am
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      Hi Friend,
      Thanks for the support. I can definitely pick you up the next time I am heading down the road to HEEFS. Wouldn’t that be an adventure? Yes, Steve and Derek are showing that love, acceptance, compassion and education can and do change hearts and minds. If you haven’t read their book, let me tell you that it is well worth it. They share the tears, the love, the laughter and the heartache on the bumpy ride to veganism and HEEFS.
      Take care!
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 25, 2016 at 4:48 am
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    I am sure you will be back with Esther as soon as you are able. I didn’t realise you broke your wrist while volunteering at her place! What a privilege to be there. I guess it will ensure you always remember your first visit, and they will always remember you! I can only visit Esther via Facebook, and I was given the book which tells the incredible story – a book every non vegan should read, and which is going into the Christmas sacks for all my grown up nieces and their children this year.

    I wish you a full recovery and hope it won’t stop you from rushing headlong into helping again. x

    Reply
    • July 27, 2016 at 7:01 am
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      Hey Carol,
      Yes, my goal is to return as soon as I am able. I am sure they will remember me – the gal who trips and falls for no apparent reason. LOL! All kidding aside, they have been very kind,sent me a get well gift and have invited me back.
      I purchased their book and do recommend it to all. I especially like that they admit that the road to veganism and to loving and raising Esther was not always easy. I believe in their authenticity and can say, from personal experience, that their dedication and commitment is infectious.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply

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