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Life Lessons from a Goat

Sure enough though, after mating season was over, the vet came and confirmed that, against all odds, Mariolana had conceived what would most likely be her last child. Because she had struggled so much with her pregnancy the year before, it was unclear what this would mean for her, but both Mariolana and I knew she was still full of life. If only her child birthing years were over and she could simply be …

Eventually the goats got into the neighbor’s cabbage patch one too many times and my host thought it was a good time for me to move on. Little did I know then that my time herding goats had launched me on a path to veganism and creating a world in which I would not be warned against caring for my fellow animals, but encouraged to do so.

I’m sad to say I do not know if Mariolana made it through that winter, as I could not bear to write and ask. Whether she died on her own or was killed, I wonder how many years were taken from her through the continued weight of birth, milking and loss that she bore throughout her life.

When I get the chance to visit with a goat now and again, I often see Mariolana reflected in their eyes. I remember feeding her chestnuts and praying that somehow my love and the extra chestnuts would save her.  But in the end it couldn’t … Only helping my Italian host to see Mariolana as a sentient, unique being whose body was her own, would have.

I now live my life as a vegan educator for her and for the billions of animals who are being used and discarded, who pay the price for our lust for milk, eggs, and flesh with their children, with the wear on their bodies and finally, with their lives.


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Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Global Healing, Health, Life, Nature, Peace, Pets, Raw, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian, , ,

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


+ add your own
1:41AM PDT on May 17, 2015

This answers the question "OK I get the meat is cruel thing, but what's wrong with milk?".

12:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Thank you

8:58AM PDT on May 20, 2014

great article, thanks for sharing :)

12:20AM PST on Nov 8, 2013

thanks for sharing

7:51PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

I thought it to be a lovely story. TY for writing it. It's inspiring for me to continue preparing our lives for one day to have goats on our small farm!

4:30AM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Interesting Story. Thanks for sharing.

5:27AM PDT on Sep 23, 2013


6:20PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing your story.

2:32AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:31AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013


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people are talking

thanks for the tips...will try the light bulb vase

Coconut sugar is a good alternative and definitely healthier sweetener. Anyways would like to share …

I have a horrible time buying good melons of any kind. Fruit generally doesn't last long here.


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