On the heels of National Siamese Cat Day, today also celebrates our furry and feathered friends. April 10 is National Farm Animals Day, an annual event created by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and animal lover, Colleen Paige. The event not only shines the spotlight on the plight of slaughter animals but also helps find homes for abused, neglected and/or abandoned farm animals.
While a juicy burger or an order of wings may sound pretty good right about now, it is important to remember some farm animals live a short life often in inhumane conditions only to end up on someone’s dinner plate. Pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and goats are not just products – they feel pain, fear and happiness just like we do. National Farm Animals Day brings attention to the unnecessary suffering many of these amazing animals endure.
Years ago, a very special animal lover came up with a very special idea. In 1999, Ellie Laks founded The Gentle Barn on a half-acre of land in California. Her mission was to teach people of all ages the importance of kindness and compassion to all animals. To date, over 170 abused cows, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens and other farm animals have been rescued and will live out their lives at the glorious Gentle Barn. They are the lucky ones.
One of the most “famous” residents at The Gentle Barn is Dudley. After being taken away from his mama at just one month old, he was auctioned off and shipped to a cattle ranch to be fattened up for slaughter. At some point, one of his feet got tangled in bailing twine, cutting off circulation to his foot and severing it. While the rancher tried to help the young bull as best as he could, hobbling on three feet for ten months took its toll. Dudley’s health was rapidly deteriorating. The Gentle Barn was notified and Dudley was shipped to the University Tennessee Animal Hospital. Like Winter the Dolphin, Dudley received a prosthetic device and intensive rehabilitation. Despite the pain he suffered, his spirit of kindness and courage should serve as an inspiration to all. (Watch Dudley’s journey at the top of this article.) While Dudley’s amazing tail will bring tears to your eyes, there are many other animals like Dudley who will never get a happy ending.
If you have been thinking about going meat free, switching to a vegetarian diet is not only good for your health, it’s pretty darn good for the millions of farm animals that are slaughtered every single day. Besides adding about seven years to your life, a compassionate, meat-free diet will also save you money at the grocery store and benefits the environment, too.