Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on May 23, 2014. Enjoy!
This week Animal Place shared the story of one heartbroken little goat named Mr. G who had seemingly given up on life when his rescuers realized the problem was that he was overcome with grief over the loss of his best friend, a burro named Jellybean.
The two had lived together for years but were split up and taken in by two different sanctuaries after being confiscated from a neglectful situation. Mr. G was taken in by Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch in Grass Valley, Calif.
According to Animal Place, Mr. G was inconsolable, refusing to eat and spending his days lying in the corner of his stall with his head down. No treats were enough to entice him to eat or move. After health problems were ruled out, it became obvious to his rescuers that he was mourning the loss of his best friend. They decided a reunion was in order and a volunteer took a 14 hour roundtrip to get Jellybean. They describe the reunion:
When Jellybean entered Mr. G‘s stall, he could not believe his eyes. In fact, he did a double-take! It was only when he smelled Jellybean‘s unique scent that Mr. G realized the truth – his dearest friend had returned!
Mr. G erupted from his prone position, snorting and inhaling Jellybean‘s presence. He rushed after her into their outdoor pasture. The magical moment came when Mr. G began eating from Jellybean‘s bowl!
The story of Mr. G and Jellybean is one among many showing us just how deeply animals feel and offers us a reminder that we’re not the only beings with individual personalities who are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, having preferences and forming deep bonds with each other.
These two will be permanent residents at Animal Place, which hopes their story will help visitors and others come to understand the emotional lives of non-human animals.
As of this month, Rescue Ranch has rescued, re-homed or given permanent refuge to 13,351 chickens, 25 turkeys, 6 sheep, 7 pigs, 1 duck and 16 goats since it opened in 2010. That’s a huge number of animals to deal with on an individual level, yet such a tiny fraction of the total who are raised and killed on farms every year.
Millions of cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and other animals who are born into this world are confined, genetically altered, mutilated, denied the companionship of friends and family, among other systemic abuses, because we’re taught to believe they are simple creatures who are less intelligent than us, or to ignore the ethical questions surrounding their treatment and use entirely.
Hopefully stories about animals like Mr. G and Jellybean, and dozens of others, will continue to inspire people to see them as individuals, instead of commodities for us to eat, wear and amuse ourselves with.
Animal Place is asking us to honor Mr. G and Jellybean’s lives and love by sharing their story to help raise awareness about the emotional lives of animals and by showing millions of others who are at our mercy compassion by ditching animal products.
For more information about their work, residents and how to help, visit Animal Place.
Photo credit: Animal Place via Youtube