Sometimes it takes a while to feel like you are home — especially if the first few tries didn’t work.
A very tiny cow named Natalie had a rough start finding her way. First of all, she was taken away from her mother and transported, along with other young cattle, to a farm in Massachusetts.
Harris Ranch feedlot in California. The feedlot that Natalie and her friends escaped from was not this large, but it was a stopover, as this one is (and as all feedlots are) — a place to fatten up cattle so they are ready for sale.
She and two other calves were being transported to be raised in a feedlot. (These are farms, or even just buildings, where cattle are fattened up to be sold for slaughter.) On this feedlot, the tiny little family made a break for it and took off during a snowstorm just over a year ago.
Natalie on the run in a photo by Jenn Ferreira. Very sad and very lonely.
This family was going to be split up no matter what, because they were on a feedlot — but they were the only family Natalie currently had. So the three runaways, for a short time, were free and together.
Sadly, this ended when the other calves were hit by vehicles and perished. Natalie was definitely alone, very frightened, and in need of rescue.
“I wasn’t just finding out what animals looked like, but testing my
capacity to navigate that perilous space between harm and care that was
partly about understanding how much power over things I might have and
partly how much power I had over myself, knowing that I could so easily
Rescuing animals made me feel good about myself; surrounded by them, I felt less alone.
The deepest lesson that animals have taught me: how easily and unconsciously we see other lives as mirrors of our own.
But our minds still work like bestiaries. We thrill at the notion that
we could be as wild as a hawk or a weasel, possessing the inner ferocity
to go after the things we want; we laugh at animal videos that make us
yearn to experience life as joyfully as a bounding lamb. A photograph of
the last passenger pigeon makes palpable the grief and fear of our own
unimaginable extinction. We use animals as ideas to amplify and enlarge
aspects of ourselves, turning them into simple, safe harbors for things
we feel and often cannot express.
None of us see animals clearly.
They’re too full of the stories we’ve given them. Encountering them is
an encounter with everything you’ve ever learned about them from
previous sightings, from books, images, conversations. Even rigorous
scientific studies have asked questions of animals in ways that reflect
our human concerns.
You cannot know what it is like to be a bat
by screwing your eyes tight, imagining membranous wings, finding your
way through darkness by talking to it in tones that reply to you with
the shape of the world. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel explained, the
only way to know what it is like to be a bat is to be a bat.But the
imagining? The attempt? That is a good and important thing. It forces
you to think about what you don’t know about the creature: what she
eats, where she lives, how she communicates with others.
effort generates questions not just about how being a bat is different
but about how different the world might be for a bat.
For what an animal
needs or values in a place is not always what we need, value or even
notice. Perhaps this is why I am impatient with the argument that we
should value natural places for their therapeutic benefits.
that time walking in a forest can be beneficial to our mental health.
But valuing a forest for that purpose traduces what forests are. They
are not there for us alone.
These days I take emotional solace from understanding that animals are not like me, that their lives are not about us at all.”
Katarina M. Boné-Tsokolati
I’ve been told that I should Americanize my name when I start auditioning and for a while it tormented me because sure my name is harder to remember than Stacy McGee but… my name gives me a reaction I enjoy and it always is a conversation starter, people become curious of my ethnicity… I want more people to know about my family’s roots than to get forgotten among the Robinson and Smiths in the world.
Remember my name.
Saw this on Instagram a few minutes ago. April 3, 2017 (12:13PM EST):
vegantreats We are making a last minute plea for Athena. Athena is in the City shelter and is in danger of being euthanized today due to overcrowding. She is a staff favorite and friendly with people and other dogs (unsure about cats) The amazing people at @readyforrescue want to help her but need a foster home today. If you or anyone you know can help please email email@example.com right away. She can be transported within the tri-state area.