Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on July 6, 2008
We’ve all got our emotional vices. Some people love a good chick flick. Others get turned on by the exhilaration of a hockey game. For me, the best feel-good stories are animal stories. Real ones. Especially ones featuring an underdog (or, in this case, undergoat) that bucks the odds and ends up living a good life. Like this one from the New York Times.
Last August, a stray goat was picked up from a park near Woodstock, New York and taken to an animal sanctuary run by a woman named Jenny Brown. The former television producer turned animal rights activist named the goat Albie (after Albert Schweitzer). The poor malnourished and sickly animal had been hogtied, she surmised from the injuries on his limbs, and his left leg was so infected from the injuries that it had to be amputated.
Not so uplifting, right? The interesting thing is that Ms. Brown could relate, since she’d lost her right leg to bone cancer when she was ten years old.
While little is known about Albie’s life prior to his rescue, Jenny Brown grew up in Kentucky and was raised by a single mother. She stopped eating meat at 18 and dairy at 30, and now devotes her life to animal welfare. Her Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (which survives on donations) provides refuge for dozens of abused animals.
Knowing that she herself had lived a productive, happy life despite the loss of a leg, she figured Albie deserved the same shot. He’s now awaiting a prosthetic, which is rare for a farm animal as its cost is generally more than the market value of the animal itself. Luckily, Albie has found some benefactors, including a New York book publisher.
Interestingly enough, the prosthetic is being fitted by the same technician who designed Ms. Brown’s. “I’m not an expert on fitting animals,” the technician told the Times, “but I’ve fitted some complicated humans, so I thought it wouldn’t be much more difficult to fit Albie.”
For Jenny Brown, the decision seems to have been a no-brainer. “This is about giving one of our animals a better quality of life, just like you would do for a house pet or a kid,” she says in the article. “And what we’re hoping here is that Albie will walk again on four legs.”
I hope so, too. Call me warm or fuzzy or any of those euphemistic terms for emotional, and I won’t challenge you. In a world where it’s easy to get caught up in the war or climate change, it often takes a nice animal story to remind me of the good that’s also prevalent on this planet we share. And if that makes me a big sap, I can handle it.
For more information on Albie or any of the goings on at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, click here.
(via New York Times Photo: Joyce Dopkeen/The New York Times)