Into everyone’s life a little rain (sometimes a lot) shall fall. Now, I know that this story is not about me. It is about the people and the little goat who lived it. So, the joy I felt when I first came across it and the sadness I feel today are not really the issue here.
But, I will tell you that the courage of this little goat and the love shown to him by those who loved him have affected me in a very deep and profound way.
This is Frostie’s story.
Frostie is a little baby goat who recently came to Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in quite a desperate state. He had a severe lice infestation and could not properly use his hind legs as the result of a bacterial infection called Joint Navel Ill. He struggled in his determined little way to stand, but to no avail. That is, until he was given the gift of mobility in the form of a little cart that looks somewhat like a sulky. Once strapped in, he was upright, with his little back legs working at gaining purchase with terra firma.
His new found freedom allowed him to strengthen his legs and, in time, to walk and cavort unassisted. And boy, did he cavort. There is a sweet video of him frolicking down Kindness Trail with his best friend Pam Ahern (founder of Edgar’s Mission), who loved, supported and helped to care for him during his recovery.
Then tragedy struck just the other day. Frostie became very ill with what turned out to be multiple abscesses along his spine. A valiant attempt was made by his caregivers to save the life of this little goat. But it was not to be. He died in the arms of Pam, his mother in every sense of the word.
Many questions may arise when something like this happens. Certainly the first question asked by all those who loved Frostie would be, “Why couldn’t he stay in our loving family?”. Naysayers may ask what the big deal is. After all, he was just a goat, a very sick little goat. People with compassion for all sentient beings may wonder about the unfairness of it all.
And what about how it happened? What exactly is Joint Navel Ill? Well, it is a life threatening condition caused by bacteria entering through the navel or through a cut in the skin shortly after birth. “Predisposing factors include lack of routine dipping of the umbilical cord; poor sanitation in the kidding pens; or does kidding in overcrowded, dirty conditions.” In other words, the conditions in which these beings are forced to live are the root cause of this life threatening illness.
And so, poor little Frostie passed from this life, leaving behind a hole in the hearts of all those at the Sanctuary who loved and valued him. Pam chronicles this loss in a heartfelt post entitled Why?
In her own words, she says,
One journalist asked me what I wanted from the telling of Frostie’s story and I remember thinking about that for a second and then I said ‘I want for people to be kind to animals and I am sure Frostie would want that too.
Annie’s Vegan View
What is the solution for this needless pain and loss of life? I believe that, in our hearts, we all know that the solution is to end the exploitation of nonhuman animals for our own wants.
It is not, as some would say, about improving conditions in these facilities, whether they be small or large.
Frostie the Snowgoat was a living being full of hope, full of spunk, full of joy. His life matters. He and all of his caregivers will remain a source of inspiration to me as I move forward living as a vegan, encouraging others to do the same.
May all beings be happy and free.