This little piggy went to market…these little piggies get fresh fruit and suncream!

This is the final segment of my series about farm animals, I recently spent a month living and working on a vegan farm in Daybroro called Farm Animal Rescue. The farm rescues animals from the meat and dairy industry and the animals live the rest of their lives at the farm, surrounded by other animals and loved by the owners and volunteers that work there. You can check out my previous posts about chickens, goatscows and sheep.

I’ve saved the last slot for my favourite animals on the farm – the pigs! Now I know you shouldn’t have favourites but these guys were amazing and I loved getting to know them. Pigs are as smart as a three year old child and much smarter than cats and dogs, they are very sociable animals with many behaviours similar to ours. In fact we share 98% of the same DNA as them!There were 7 pigs in total on the farm. Portia, Kane, Heather, Thomas, Moby, Heather and Ellen. They were all equally gorgeous but all had very different personalities. Portia had decided that she wanted to live near our house, I’m sure this was a cunning plan on her part because she was spoilt rotten by the volunteers at the farm. You couldn’t walk past her without talking to her and giving her belly rubs! Portia even had her own little house built, affectionately refered to as Portia’s Palace. She would lie there in the mud while we bought her food and water and rubbed suncream on her when it was sunny! I think it’s safe to say she had us wrapped around her little finger or shall I say trotter!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKane also decided that he didn’t want to live with the other pigs, instead taking himself off down to the cows paddocks, where he had his own mancave, dams to paddle in and woods to explore! What a life! We also took him his food three times a day. My favourite time of day was in the morning when I would go and give Kane his breakfast. It’s so peaceful down in the paddocks, the sun is shining, it’s a lovely walk down there and it was a really nice start to the day. Plus Kane would always put a smile on my face because he gets so excited to see you…well his breakfast! I would love sitting with him in the morning, just looking out onto the fields, with the sun coming up and Kane fast asleep next to me after he’d gobbled down his breakfast!The pigs at the farm have rivers to wade in, mudholes to lie in, woods to forage in, fans to keep them cool and lots of space to roam around. They are also free to choose where on the farm they would like to live. All of the pigs were factory rescues and would have led awful lives in the industry if they hadn’t been saved.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPigs are bred for meat, yep your bacon, chops, sausages etc, around 10 million pigs are slaughtered every year in the UK. 10 million just in the UK – that’s more than the population of London itself! 10 million pigs a year works out at 3 pigs a second! THREE A SECOND!

As with all baby animals that are born in the meat and dairy industry, we humans decide to start chopping bits off of them “Around 80% of piglets in the UK have their tails docked. These piglets are held by their back leg or around the hips while a heated blade or pliers are used to remove their tails. If conducted before seven days of age, this process can be carried out without anaesthetic” – source (check it out, it’s a great website!)

Sadly most of the pigs at the farm where I stayed have scars from their past, with chunks missing from their ears and chopped off tails. It’s so sad to think that we feel that chopping body parts off of animals is acceptable – it’s not.
In Australia and many other countries when a female pig is due to give birth she is moved to a sow crate. These crates are a narrow metal prison, just a little bigger than her body with a slatted floor beneath her. Pigs are intelligent animals and a mother pigs instinct to build a nest is so strong that she becomes highly frustrated in the hours before giving birth. The expectant mother isn’t provided with any bedding so when her babies are born they are born onto the hard slatted floor, some of the babies legs fall into the slats getting broken soon after birth.
A mothers instinct is strong, in all animals and pigs are no different. Mother pigs in sow crates are unable to nurture and interact with their young as a metal frame separates them. She simply lies there while the babies feed from here through the bars. The babies will be taken away from the mother at roughly 3 weeks old. It is common for them to cry out to one another when this happens and for some time after. Like all female animals in the food industry, this cycle of pregnancy and separation is repeated until the sow’s reproductive system is exhausted and her body can no longer endure this strain. Deemed ‘spent’ by the farmers, she will be killed to produce low quality products like pork pies and sausages. You’ll be pleased to hear that sow crates are illegal in the UK under EU regulations (don’t go getting all excited there are rumours that this could all change once Brexit takes full effect) but are still legal and commonly used in Australia. Nice one Australia!

Luckily the pigs that I was looking after on the farm all have amazing lives, a far cry from the life they would have led. These wonderful animals are amazing to be around, they get excited when they see you and after being around them for a while you can start to recognise their different grunts. When they are excited to see you they greet you by opening their mouths up wide and grunting excitedly! If you do it back they copy you, it’s the sweetest thing!

Sadly the pigs at the farm suffer with their mobility. These animals are so huge, nearly 300kg, they are bred to get big quickly and then they would be slaughtered at 3-6 months old, so the ones on the farm can suffer on their feet a little. Pigs would usually live up to 15 years old!
The pigs also get fed 4 times a day, one of their feeds is fresh fruit which they love! They hold they’re mouths open while you put the chunks of fruit in, they sure know the routine!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI loved working with and getting to know these beautiful animals, they all had such different personalities and it was great to spend time with them. These are such intelligent animals that sadly suffer at the hands of humans, just so that people can eat their bacon rolls and sausage sandwiches…it’s awful. So next time you fancy a bacon buttie or a hotdog instead of thinking of this
undefined…think of this
THIS is the real face of bacon. The photo above is from 2015 and taken in the UK. Piglets are crammed into wire cages, stacked three high. This photo was taken at a farm in the UK, a farm which supplies meat to Morrisons and is ‘red tractor’ approved.

You can read more about the facts about farmed pigs in the UK here or watch the video below

We owe it to these beautiful animals to speak up for them and to open our eyes to the cruel lives that they suffer just so we can eat them! There is so excuse for it. If you are an animal lover you need to wake up to this because burying your head in the sand doesn’t stop the cruelty from happening, it just stops it from ruining your day or making you feel sad.
I’ll be honest I have found these segments difficult to write, I hate having to google the factory farming images because they break my heart, believe me, there are awful images on google, worse than the ones I’ve included in this post. As much as I hate seeing the images I feel it’s important to share them. I feel that people need to see this and find out the truth about what is happening to the animals in the meat and dairy industry. You can’t love animals and eat them too – sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. Being vegetarian or vegan may seem like a massive jump to some people but these days it’s so easy, there are so many alternatives out there and you will feel safe in the knowledge that you aren’t contributing to this cruelty anymore!

The average UK meateater will eat 10,252 animals in their lifetime (this statistic is of a person of 80 years old) That’s roughly…
3 cows
11 pigs
19 sheep
21 turkeys
19 ducks
1190 chickens
5668 fish
3275 shell fish
…….imagine you were in a field surrounded by those animals.  Would you harm them yourself? If the answer is NO why are you paying someone else to do it for you?

For up to date facts about the UK farming standards please visit

If you have questions about this subject, veganism or about my time on the farm please leave a comment below.

The website for the farm is here  it’s located in Dayboro, Queensland. They offer an intern scheme where you can stay at the farm for a month and volunteer. If you interested in knowing more about veganism there are great documentaries on Netflix including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

Please like and share this post to raise more awareness for the poor animals that are suffering in the meat and dairy industry.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post containing a video of my ‘Day in the Life’ at the farm! Cute animal overload!

Let’s not be sheepish about this…

This is the fourth segment of my series about farm animals, I recently spent a month living and working on a vegan farm in Daybroro called Farm Animal Rescue. The farm rescues animals from the meat and dairy industry and the animals live the rest of their lives at the farm, surrounded by other animals and loved by the owners and volunteers that work there. You can check out my previous posts about chickens, goats and cows – the video at the end of the cow post is amazing and well worth a watch!

Now it’s time for me to introduce the sheep, there are 8 sheep on the farm and they have come from the meat and wool industry. The sheep are always together, grazing or finding shelter under the trees. Many of the sheep were quite timid, the only contact they’d had with people had been negative so they were naturally quite cautious of us. Some of the other sheep loved a cuddle (if you had hay they were your best friend!)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is Isabella, she was being loaded onto a slaughterhouse truck when she was 6 days old, luckily for her a supporter of the farm shouted at the farmer until he handed her over and she was then taken to the farm! The sheep at the farm are free to roam, graze in their herd, find shade on the hot days and have a bigl barn to sleep in at night with fresh straw and plenty of space for them all. The sheep also have fans to sit under, these are kept on all day to help them regulate their body heat, sheep suffer very badly with the heat, imagine being out in 37 degrees with a woolly jumper on! Fans, a lovely barn, lots of cuddles, sounds like a great life, and it is for the sheep at Farm Animal Rescue but sadly sheep in the meat and wool industry don’t have the same luck.

Now, just a quick heads up. There are some not so nice photos in this post BUT they are important. Now before you chime in with ‘but it upsets me, I hate to see animals in pain, It makes me wanna cry, how can people do this?…’I hear ya people, they do suck to look at, I get it! I’ve had to google all this shit and believe me I chose the less gruesome ones but if they upset you that’s a good thing. It should upset you, that means you’re a nice, decent human being, no normal person likes to see animals getting abused and that is why we need to start doing something about it. We can’t keep covering our eyes and letting over people do the dirty work but being first in line to buy the products. I’ll let Johnny Depp summarise it for you…
Sheep bred for meat obviously suffer the same awful neglect as any other animal in the meat industry, living in cramped conditions, suffering from illness and neglect and then making the horrible journey to the slaughterhouse on a truck, piled in with hundreds of other poor souls awaiting a barbaric death….just so someone can have a lamb chop on a Sunday!

Sheep that aren’t bred for meat are used for milk or wool. The sheep that are being bred for wool have been specifically designed to produce more wool than would be normal for a sheep, they even have wrinkled skin so that more wool can grown on the skin, causing the sheep to produce and carry more wool than they need. Wrinkled skin, causes more wool but also causes more bacteria, in humid countries such as Australia, the flies are attracted to the wrinkled skin and lay their eggs in the fold of skin, this is called Flystrike, but don’t worry because we humans have come up with an ingenious idea to stop this happening and it’s called Mulesing. Mulesing involves tying the sheep up on their back and using a knife to slice off the skin of the sheep’s rump to leave only smooth and unwrinkled skin behind, this is done without any pain relief and the sheep are left this way until the wound heals. (see we humans think of everything!)
This procedure happened to one of the sheep on the farm Ethel, luckily she is now an old lady who is happy with her herd but sadly she is still scarred from having this done to her.
Now you’ll be pleased to hear that Mulesing is illegal in the UK but sadly it still happens in Australia.
*had to insert photo of a cute lamb because googling all these horrible things we do to these animals is making me crazy!*

Lambs, like the one smiling in that photo also have their tails cut off, when they are 24-48 hours old, this is done without pain relief. It is done by either burning the tail off with a hot rod or by attaching a tight rubber ring around the tail and waiting 7-10 days for it to drop off. Male lambs are also castrated in a similar way, by using a band tied around or even more gruesome is where the scrotum is cut open and the testes are pulled out. yep. pulled out!

Now onto these bad boys….
these are big in Australia, they are everywhere! In all the tourist shops and when I first came to Australia in 2013 (before I was vegan, but still vegetarian) I was going to buy a pair of these, I repeat, I was going to buy a pair of shoes made from the skin of an animal. Why?…’because they’re loads cheaper in Australia than in the UK and they’ll keep my feet really warm in the winter…DUH!’
I just didn’t think about it. I didn’t think that these shoes were made from animal skin. Would I buy a fur coat? Absolutely not? Would I ever wear fur? No way! but I was going to buy a pair of these…(I didn’t in the end because I’m a tight arse and even though they were cheaper than the UK they were still too expensive for me! thank.god)
This video will tell you all you need to know about Uggs, if you own a pair you should give it a watch before you put your feet in them again.

Luckily for the sheep that live on the farm like Ethel, Lily, Isabella and the others the horrors of the industry are far behind them and they have the rest of their lives to live at the farm. They graze in fields, wander around the 55 acres together and have lots of cuddles from the staff and volunteers. It’s the least they deserve considering what some of them have been through. The newest addition to the farm is called Marigold (Maggie). Maggie had her ear tags ripped out by some bastard so understandably she was cautious of people when she first arrived at the farm but we all gave her space and made sure to move slowly around her and she was getting better and better everyday. All of the animals on the farm have sponsors and because Maggie is new she needs one! You can sponsor Maggie here Look at how beautiful she is!
Sorry this post was a bit gruesome and if you’re reading this well done because it’s never nice to read these kind of things, if you’ve also watched the videos a big well done, that takes some balls. As I mentioned previously we can’t bury our heads in the sand, that doesn’t help these animals. They are voiceless unless we speak up for them.If you have questions about this subject, veganism or about my time on the farm please leave a comment below.

The website for the farm is here  it’s located in Dayboro, Queensland. They offer an intern scheme where you can stay at the farm for a month and volunteer. If you interested in knowing more about veganism there are great documentaries on Netflix including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

Please like and share this post to raise more awareness for the poor animals that are suffering in the meat and dairy industry!

Dairy is scary…don’t give a cow man!

This is the third section in this series about the animals I spent my time at the farm with, you can catch on my previous posts about chickens and goats!
Now it’s time for me to talk about the cows on the farm. At the farm there was a herd of 12 cows and I’ll admit that at first I was a little nervous around them. It can be very overwhelming to be faced with a herd of 12 cows that surround you wanting food. Being up close to these animals you can’t get over quite how huge they are, they stand so tall and you can see every muscle in their bodies, they really are magnificent!
The cows on the farm have glorious fields to roam in, dams to cool off in, trees to shelter under and grass to graze on, a far cry from the life they would have led.

Cows in the meat and dairy industry live awful lives, the ways in which we treat and exploit these beautiful animals is beyond barbaric. Firstly there are the dairy cows. Now here’s a fact that shocks a lot of people, cows only produce milk when they are pregnant, the same as a human or any other animal for that matter! A lot of people never really think about that, we are told that milk comes from cows and so we just believe that they are milk making machines! Now if we see that cows and humans only produce milk when they’re pregnant we’d naturally see that the milk is for the offspring of the pregnant mother – regardless of whether they’re human or an animal! Why do we use cows? Firstly they’re huge, producing large quantities of milk and secondly cows are pretty defenseless, try to take a lionesses cubs and you’d probably have your throat ripped out! A cow produces milk for her baby – it’s as simple as that! The baby is torn away from its mother and she will be milked, the milk which should be for her baby will go for humans (…fucked up, right?!)

How a calf will live until it is slaughtered. Source: bullshit dairy farmer website dairymom

Cows in the dairy industry are forcibly impregnated every year to keep their milk flowing. Once the babies are born they are taken away from their mothers, this is the part that really angers me. We would never question a human mothers maternal instinct, or that of a female lion protecting her cubs, yet when it’s a cow people gloss over it, thinking a cows instinct wouldn’t be as strong. Why? All mothers protect and yearn for their young, regardless of their species. Male calves born into the industry are slaughtered at 6 days old, used as leather (the softest leather is usually from calves) or cheap meat. Some of the become veal calves and are slaughtered at a few months old.

Dairy cows will be exploited in this way for years, constantly pregnant, constantly milked, baby after baby ripped away from them, until one day, her time will be up. These cows are referred to as ‘downers’ because they collapse from pure exhaustion and years of being used and abused. They will be sent to slaughtered. The natural lifespan for a cow is 20-25 years, a cow in the dairy industry is usually spent after 5 or 6 years.
Talking of the lifespan of cows, Mary, one of the cows on the farm is 20 years old! She is beautiful old soul, who is the most gentle girl on the farm. Mary lived 17 years on a farm with no other cows and struggled to adapt to living with a herd when she first came to the farm but now Mary is the herd matriarch and has the love and respect of the rest of the herd. Mary gets spoilt rotten at the farm, she is given special feed, medicine for her arthritis and a bountiful amount of carrots everyday!
Learning about the herd dynamic was really interesting, the herd will always look out for one another, they call out if they can’t find each other and keep each other close. Two babies Alfie and Cale recently joined the herd and the whole group dynamic changed Murray, one of the large males in the herd would always wander on the farm and would have to be retrieved from nearby paddocks but as soon as the calves arrived he stayed put, keeping a close eye on the newest members of the family. All the herd would take it in turns to babysit!
Now onto a very special member of the herd called Sam. When I started at the farm Sam was very sick, he’s been ill for a long time. Sam was two years old and had a condition called Lumpy Jaw, this condition causes large lumps to form in the jawbones, throat and neck. Sam was born on the farm, his mum Precious, who is a member of the herd, wasn’t given the correct care while she was pregnant so when she came to the farm and gave birth to Sam sadly his fate was already sealed.  Sam was slowly loosing his fight, we would feed him 4 special meals a day, with medicine, electrolytes, molasses, carrots, hay, anything that we thought he could manage. Some of favourite times on the farm were spent with Sam, he was such a gorgeous boy and so sweet-natured. You would walking into the filled, wave your arms to greet him and he knew to follow you for his food. There was one particular evening, the sun was setting and I greeted Sam in the field, it was so quiet and peaceful as we walked across the field back  the barn together, it was a lovely moment to share with him. 

Sadly Sam grew weaker and weaker and we all knew that the time had come for him. This beautiful boy was fading away in front of us and it was upsetting to see. Sam was put to sleep, the other cows were nearby and he was surrounded by staff and volunteers that loved him. After he passed away his mother Precious came over and licked and nuzzled him for a while before walking off. She spent the next two days on her own away from the herd. Sam was such a beautiful Boy and I’m honoured that I got to help care for him in his last few weeks. This is the last photograph that I took of Sam before he passed away, grazing in the flowers enjoying the sunshine.
 The way we treat these beautiful creatures is awful, as a cow you can’t win in the meat and dairy industry, if you’re bred for meat you’re led to slaughter, if you’re used for milk you are used your whole life THEN led to slaughter, or shall I say dragged. It saddens me to think that the cows on the farm are considered the ‘lucky ones’ because they are leading a ‘normal life’!

This video is amazing – WATCH IT!

If you have questions about this subject or about my time on the farm please leave a comment below.
The website for the farm is here  it’s located in Dayboro, Queensland. They offer an intern scheme where you can stay at the farm for a month and volunteer.

If you interested in knowing more about veganism there are great documentaries on Netflix including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

Please like and share this post to raise more awareness for the poor animals that are suffering in the meat and dairy industry!

You’ve goats to be kidding me?!

My time at the farm has come to an end and I left 4 days ago, it was sad to say goodbye to all the animals as I loved being around them all everyday (for anyone that doesn’t know I have been volunteering at a vegan farm for the past month, you can read about my first two weeks on the farm here)
Since being vegan I’ve wanted to help people out by educating them about what happens to these animals in the meat and dairy industry. So this is the second part of a little series on this blog about the animals I spent a month with on the farm, looking at the life they now live, compared to the life that was destined for them in the meat and dairy industry (don’t worry, no gruesome photos in this post!)
I have already written previously about the wonderful chickens that I met on the farm, you can read that here. This post is about, you’ve guessed it…goats!

There are 13 goats on the farm and they are all such funny characters. They all have such individual personalities, some are a little more timid than others and some are just like dogs that will follow you around for attention!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese guys sleep in the strangest positions, they really like to chill out! We would open our door in the morning and these guys would be chilling out between the two houses, you’d have to step over them to get outside!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the beautiful Lucy, she is the sweetest little goat. Lucy was born into a wild goat herd who had wandered onto a farmers property when Lucy was 16 hours old. The farmer saw an opportunity and started rounding up the goats to take them to slaughter. Lucy’s mother sensed danger and hid Lucy hoping to come back to her but sadly that never happened. Lucy hid for 3 days but soon starvation got the better of her and she went bleating into the house next door, she was starving and freezing cold. The kind people took Lucy to the farm, where she was hand reared and she has lived there ever since.

We use goats for many purposes in the meat/dairy industry. They are used for meat, their hair and skin and milk.
‘Goats live for 10-12 years, some as long as 30 years. Male kids, surplus to the dairy herd, are slaughtered at 12 weeks old for meat. Breeding goats are usually slaughtered after 6 years’ – source VegSoc
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike dairy cows mother goats are exploited for their milk, they are always pregnant and milked constantly. Their babies will never get their mother’s milk. The babies are usually sold at markets when they are only hours old. The majority of goat meat that is sold in Australia actually comes from wild herds that are rounded up, like Lucy’s herd, and shipped all around the world. Goats are the third largest live export out of Australia. The animals are crammed into wooden crates and put onto ships, or planes! Yep…planes!! Many animals die in transit and many pregnant mothers will give birth while in transit.
Goats in crates fly from Sydney airport to Malaysia approx 61,000 animals are exported each year.
Some of the beautiful goat residents on the farm, this is Gabriel and Simon!
Luckily, the goats on the farm have escaped that fate. They now live their lives in comfort, spending their days sunbathing and grazing –  goats need to eat between 6-10 hours a day! they also enjoy playing, climbing the rocky hills and following us around for a fuss! These guys were so funny and I could have watched them all day, they have a real mischievous nature and are so comical!
As you can see Vicky, James and Carl are very happy spending their days lounging around the farm! If they’re not eaten, they’re chilling!
This is the Jackson, he is such a handsome boy! Jackson lives with Lucy, they both decided that they’d rather crash with the sheep at night so they sleep in the sheep barn. These two are so cute together, Jackson is very tall and slender and Lucy is like a little barrel, tiny little legs and a big round belly!
This is the wonderful Oliver, he came from a children petting zoo. He was kept in a 3 metre x 3 metre cage and only taken out when he was used to entertain the children. Children would pull on him and could be rough with him so understandably he doesn’t like kids now! Oliver likes a fuss but when he’s had enough he’ll give you a nudge with his head, he is like a grumpy old man. He’s 16 now and gets spoilt on the farm, getting a special helping of 6 carrots everyday, which sees him hang around the house until he gets them! He’s not very subtle!
Henry was one of 3 goats at the farm who were being transported for live export but escaped! Luckily for them, by the time they were caught they had missed the ship so made their way to the farm instead. James, another one of the goats took 6 weeks to catch!
Now this is the beautiful Joshua and he is such a character! Joshua was born on a free range organic farm, he was rescued and taken to the farm when he was only a few days old. As Joshua was bought up on the farm he is stupidly friendly and loves a fuss! You call his name and he’ll come running over, he is very tall and will lean on you while you stroke him, if you walk off and he hasn’t had enough he’ll just follow you! It can be difficult to get your jobs on the farm done when Joshua wants a cuddle! Looking at that last photo of Josh, I think it’s fair to say that he’s very pleased that he gets to live an amazing life at Farm Animal Rescue!

If you have questions about being vegan or about my time on the farm please leave a comment below. The website for the farm is here  it’s located in Dayboro, Queensland. They offer an intern scheme where you can stay at the farm for a month and volunteer.

If you interested in knowing more about veganism there are great documentaries on Netflix including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken lay a little egg for me…oh, actually..don’t!

I have been lucky enough to spend the last month living and working on a vegan farm in Dayboro, Australia. What’s a vegan farm I hear you ask, well let me tell you. Farm Animal Rescue is a farm that is run by vegans (vegans running a farm = vegan farm…easy!) and has saved the lives of over 60+ animals who had once been victims of the meat and dairy industry. These animals had been destined for awful lives and even worse deaths but now they get to live in harmony at the farm. Sounds great doesn’t it!

As my time on the farm is coming to an end I thought it would be nice to pay homage to the amazing animals that I’ve spent my time with over the last month and tell you how their lives were destined for a very different path.
I’ve been vegetarian for 20+ years but since becoming vegan 3 years ago I’ve become more passionate about educating people about the lives that animals in the meat and dairy industry live. I also would like to say that I don’t believe that the average person intentionally contributes towards animal cruelty, the majority of us love animals and are appalled by animal abuse, the average person is just not informed as to what is actually happening and the process that takes place to get their food onto their plate. I was vegetarian for over 20 years and it wasn’t until I started researching into these subjects that I found out the truth, the truth which I’m sure more people would be keen to hear, so that they can make informed choices regarding the meat, dairy and eggs that they buy.
First off lets start with the chickens. There are currently 18 hens, 4 roosters, 3 baby chicks, (1 duck and 1 guinea-fowl) that live on the farm at the moment. The hens that live on the farm have come from either battery cage facilities or cage free sites.
Battery Cage facilities are huge factories full to the brim with rows and rows of cages, 6 to 10 birds in each cage, the space for each hen is approx the size of an A4 sheet of paper, a chicken will live her entire live in this cage, unable to turn around, unable to see daylight, unable to stretch her wings or legs, unable to dust bath or scratch in the dirt – instead she will spend her whole life, sitting down, producing eggs, day in, day out, until the day that her egg production slows down and she is sent to slaughter. By this point her body will have been pushed to the limits but still she will be seen as worthless and will usually end up as chicken nuggets or go into pet food. She will be 18 months old, a baby.


battery cage chickens

Next we have the ‘cage free’ sites. Now as a conscious consumer of eggs you would be lead to believe that battery hens suffer a horrible life, where as cage free hens are free to roam, probably live in fields, have a nice life? Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that isn’t true (sorry). I would also like to say at this point that I feel sorry for people who try to do the best for animals when they are considering which eggs to buy etc, the photos on the boxes of hens living in huge fields and having amazing lives leads you to believe that is the life these chickens lead! I mean why wouldn’t you think that?! But as I said, this sadly isn’t the truth. ‘Cage Free’ means just that, the chickens don’t live in cages BUT, and here’s what they don’t tell you, the chickens instead live in huge barns, about 10,000 chickens in one barn! No sunlight, no grass, no field, no lovely farmer who gives them cuddles and tucks them into bed every night. Nope, just a huge barn where chickens trample each other, peck each others eyes out and rip each others feathers out. Some birds will get ill and die, the bodies will stay in the barns for other chickens to peck at and sleep on. It’s appalling. Brad King, who runs Farm Animal Rescue describes the differences between battery caged chickens and cage free chickens as ‘with cage free hens it’s like living your whole life in a prison cell, small, cramped, isolated, with no stimulation from others but cage free hens live a life in the prison yard, fighting to survive everyday, survival of the fittest’


cage free chickens

When the chickens are rescued and arrive at the sanctuary they are very confused, they have never seen daylight before, they have never been able to interact with other chickens before, they have never been able to roam free, dust bath and scratch the ground so it all takes a bit of time for them to get used to the routine and fit in. Saying that, after a few weeks they soon learn the routine and they start to have a ‘normal’ life! During my time of the farm we have had 3 new residents arrive and watching them grown in confidence and start to explore their surroundings and interact has been great!

Now let me introduce you to some of the residents on the farm…
These girls are all so inquisitive. If you’re cleaning out the barns, or sweeping up, they come running over to see what you’re doing. They peck little patterns on your trousers or shoes and love to get involved with everything! They have such sweet, funny personalities and are real characters!
As you can see some of these girls still show the signs of their cage free/battery cage days. They are slowly growing back their feathers and getting more and more colour in their cheeks everyday. They also grow in confidence with us and the other hens too.
This is the wonderful Arthur, just look at him! Arthur is one of the four roosters that live on the farm. You’d probably think that male chickens have an easier life as they don’t produce eggs but that’s also not true. To be honest male chickens don’t even get to have a life. Male chicks are destroyed when they are 1 day old, generally by being gassed, shredded in a blender (yes, you read that right, a frikkin blender) or just being thrown into a rubbish bin.
Luckily the roosters at the farm were saved from such a fate and now live happily on the farm with their hen girlfriends, they all have various hens that follow them around, cleaning them and keeping them company. These guys are true gentlemen who call their ladies over when they find food for them, letting their hens eat first (how sweet!) and generally looking out for them. There is of course Colin who is a bit frisky and loves the ladies!
P2030652_thumb.jpgAnother rooster, Bubble has a small love affair with the only resident duck Squeak! These two are inseparable and spend most of their time together. They also have their own little house together which is adorable! Bubble and Squeak were actually the first residents at Farm Animal Rescue!
I was very lucky that while I was here we have had babies born! One very broody chicken had been secretly sitting on some eggs and would not give up the hope of becoming a mum. We forget that these animals lay all of these eggs and have them taken away from them, they never get to hatch any of them out but this hen was adamant! Chickens are very dedicated mothers, even before the eggs hatch, they will sit on the eggs all day, sometimes they don’t even leave them to eat or drink! This hen was like this and we would have to make sure her food and water were topped up, we would also give her dishes of watermelon multiple times a day, each time taking your life in your hands as she was very protective of her eggs and would peck you! After a few weeks the eggs hatched and the adorable chicks are just over a week old!
It’s so sweet to watch the change in this hen, she was very grumpy and was making her self ill while sitting on her eggs, she was so dedicated to making sure they hatched but as soon as the babies were born she was happy! She had got what she had wanted, to finally bring up her babies! These little chicks are obviously ridiculously adorable, they follow Mum around and even at 2 days old are eating and scratching in the dirt (…what can human babies do at 2 days old!) Hens are also brilliant mothers, she is so protective of them, always calling them back if they stray and shielding them from any harm with her wings, it’s incredible to witness and it’s amazing to see them grown and change everyday. It’s awful to think that if they were born into the industry and turned out to be males, they would be blended alive! Even as I’m writing this I still can’t believe that is someone’s job! Like seriously WTF?!
P2030635.jpgP2030637.jpgP2030639.jpgP2030636.jpgWatching this mother and her chicks, the bond they have and the instinct that she has to be a mother is incredible. These animals are not stupid or worthless and they deserve to live a happy life just as much as the dogs and cats that we share our homes with.

If you would like to learn a bit more about the egg industry this is a great article that was recently published in The Guardian you can read it here or a quick google search will tell you all you need to know.

There are also great documentaries on Netflix which handle this subject including, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food for Thought and Veducated. They are all worth a watch!

If you would also like to ask any questions or find out more please comment in the comment box below.


Get Lost in Film: LION

I love going to the cinema and when I was back in the UK I used to go at least once a week, I had a Cineworld unlimited card (otherwise I would have been broke!) I also like going to the cinema on my own, I felt really self conscious the first few times but seriously you should try it, it’s great! Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy the company of other people but there is just something so lovely about seeing a film on your own. I find it really relaxing (true story, I’ve often been so relaxed during some films that my Fitbit has tracked my cinema visit as a nap!) The reason I like going to the cinema on my own is that I find I can just turn my brain off , I don’t have to speak to anyone, I don’t have to worry whether the person I’ve gone with is enjoying the movie etc, I can just focus on the film…also, if the films a real tear jerker, which, spoiler alert – this one is, I can just let go and have a good old cry, without fear of embarrassing the person next to me with my constant sniveling!

I’ve decided to start a new segment on the blog called ‘Get Lost in Film’ where I have a little chat about recent films I’ve seen, ones that have really stuck out to me, whether good or bad! It’s great when you leave the cinema after seeing a good movie, something that’s original and exciting, or just a great story, or one that made you laugh your head off! Also this will be a great segment for me to look back on because anyone that knows me knows I have a mental block when it comes to films, I basically forget what happens in most of the films that I see and it drives me crazy…literally like even the next day!

So…the first film I wanna chat about is Lion, this film really touched me and led me to start this segment because I really enjoyed seeing this movie and I’ve thought about it on and off since I saw it last week. I had seen the trailer for Lion a while ago and thought it looked amazing, it seemed like such an interesting story to me. Any film that is a true story always grabs my attention.


Credit: Vanity Fair

If you havent seen the trailer yet, Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierly, a five-year old boy who loses his family at a train station in Calcutta. Saroo struggles on the streets until he’s adopted into an Australian family to start his new life. Twenty five years later, Saroo wants to find where he came from and find his family back in India. With the help of Google Earth (…sounds like a superhero) he starts to retrace the steps he took as a five year old boy in the hope of finding ‘home’.

Firstly the cast in this film are great and the young actor that plays Saroo, Sunny Pawar is incredible, he is such a sweet little boy and the scenes where he is searching for his family broke my heart, this actor is only 8 years old but he had so much emotion and he made me cry pretty much everytime he was on screen (…in a good way…I cried a lot during this film)

Dev Patel is also incredible in this film, the protagonist struggles a lot with guilt, he feels guilty that he wants to find his family in India because he was given such an amazing life in Australia and eventually his feelings build up and get the better of him. Dev Patel played out Saroo’s emotional struggle really well and you can see how the emotion builds in the character over time. There was a particularly touching scene with Dev Patel and his adopted Mother, played by Nicole Kidman, which I found very honest and very powerful.
Side note – as soon as I got out of the cinema I googled Dev Patel as I was interested in seeing more of his films (…and have a little snoop on google images…c’mon, he looks gooood in this film!) I was delighted to see that he’d been nominated for the oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role!


Credit: Variety

This was such a well shot film too, the cinematography was great, the landscape shots in it were beautiful, it really gave you a sense of life in Calcutta and the atmosphere of India.


Credit: Variety

So although this film made me cry like a baby I bloody loved it! The story was so incredible to me that I had to find out about it in more detail so I downloaded the book and started reading it the very next day, the book is great because it goes into a bit more detail about Saroo’s search and his upbringing with his adopted family.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know we’re only in January but this will be a stand out film of the year, for me anyway. The story is one that you have to see to believe, it’s such a heartwarming tale of human struggle and perseverance. The film is two hours long and I can say that I started crying about 10 minutes in and continued to cry on and off for the rest of the film. I’m sorry to the people around me in the cinema, it was embarrassing how much I cried….but in all seriousness, if you watch this film and don’t cry, you’re a cold hearted robot…there I said it.

Has anyone else seen it yet? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the film, I’d love to know what you thought of it! While we’re on the subject of films and cinema check out my previous post about my new years film resolution here

Exploring Dayboro ‘The Town of Yesteryear’

I have been living and working at Farm Animal Rescue for three weeks now, it’s a vegan farm about an hour from Brisbane, the farm rescues animals from the meat and dairy industry. You can read about some of the animals and my first two weeks on the farm here.

On my days off I like to walk down to the local town for some coffee and civilisation! Dayboro town is a 20 minute walk from the farm. It’s a tiny little farm town with a population of about 1,600 people. The first time I went there I was captivated by how small and quaint the town was. It has a really ‘old farm town’ feel to it with its old wooden clad buildings, little independent shops and peaceful laid back vibe. I mean even the town sign is adorable! ‘Yesteryear’…like c’mon!When you walk around the town you really feel like you’ve gone back in time! The place is so idyllic and it’s lovely to see all the little quirks that this town has to offer.

I fell in love with the petrol station and the church, I mean look at them! They are so cute and remind me of something from 1940’s America (…the church also reminds me of the church from The Walking Dead!…thankfully there aren’t any creepy messages carved onto the side of this one)My days in Dayboro are usually centred around food (duh!), coffee and free wifi! There is a great little cafe which has vegan options too, I’ve had breakfast and lunch there a few times, their smoothies and Frappes are to die for!

My next stop is usually one that I spend most of my day at and it’s a real gem. It’s a lovely coffee/book shop called Rendezvous which has a really nice, relaxed atmosphere and it also has a really sweet book exchange outside which is too cute! The books that are on sale in the shop are really great books too, lots of art and photography books, nature books and adult colouring books. I’m now one of those annoying people who buys endless cups of coffee so I can scrounge the free wifi. It’s nice to do it in this cafe though because the people are really friendly, the coffee is amazing and they once played a Bright Eyes song in there so I’m always gonna go back!

Another random little place that I stumbled across in Dayboro was a weird flower shop/antique shop/saddle shop. It was incredible and so unique! It’s starts off as a really cool plant shop…
…which has lots of cool handmade furniture and statues and an art gallery upstairs!
…you then turn the corner and it’s an antique shop! The lady who runs the shop was really lovely and was telling us all about the building, it used to be an old butter factory. The building itself was amazing with beautiful high ceilings and lots of character. What a unique place to find in such a tiny little town!
This is one of the things I love about travelling, you stumble across little places that you’d never normally encounter. Dayboro isn’t in any of the travel guides for Australia because it’s so small but I love little places like this, they have so much character and they are great to explore. Even though there isn’t much to do here, I’m going to miss my days in Dayboro…..and the chai lattes… and lazy afternoons surrounded by books and good music!

I’m going to end this post with a creepy photo of the view as you leave the town, the name on the sign doesn’t help, obviously I had to edit it to make it look even creepier…