Posted on Jul 05, 2023
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
As an animal communicator, I speak to animals of all kinds around the world who share their feelings, experiences, and needs with me. I speak to many animals who are filled with gratitude for the care and love that they enjoy. I have talked to hundreds of animals who have passed and relay messages and memories to their families full of joy and fondness. Sadly, I’ve also communicated with animals who share sadness, trauma, and pain from their pasts. Many of them share being taken away from their moms way too young and spending the rest of their lives feeling empty, needy, and lacking confidence. Their stories are heartbreaking!
Like any baby, animals need their moms to feel safe and supported. With their moms (or dads) by their sides, they can be introduced to the world, learn that it is safe, and see that their needs will be met. Babies gently evolve from nursing to eating solid food and learning good potty habits. They learn routines from their parents, and with their love, they can grow healthy, strong, and, in time, become self-reliant. When animals are taken from their families too young, and most of them are, they truly suffer. They feel exposed and vulnerable, afraid of loud noises or bright lights, and they worry about the future. They have trouble bonding and fear being sent away. They may act out or have trouble settling down into homes of their own, leaving their people feeling helpless.
Our sheep, Stanley, was born a twin. The facility that had him wanted to keep the mom and his brother for breeding but had no use for Stanley. They were going to send him to auction, but the students contacted us and asked us to help. We agreed to bring baby Stanley home and asked if we could have the mom and brother as well, so we could keep the family intact. They refused. We asked if Stanley could stay with his mom and sibling longer so he could slowly wean and have an easier transition. Again, they refused.When we brought Stanley home, we knew we had saved his life, but to him we were his abductors. This was one of the most painful rescues because Stanley’s grief was palpable, and he found no comfort in any of us. We ended up bringing one of our older, male sheep, Josh, into quarantine with Stanley, and that bond and friendship saved Stanley’s life and helped him acclimate and receive The Gentle Barn as home.
One day, we will see herds, flocks, and litters as the families that they are. One day, we will not take babies from their mommies and will respect their right to be together. One day, father animals will get to remain in the picture and protect their babies alongside the moms. And, one day, we will all share this planet together, in harmony, peace, and joy, as one community, lifting each other up and standing up for one another. Going vegan helps families stay together.