Animal Appreciation

Recently I received an email from an individual looking for help with a sick ewe. The lady had gone through great lengths to help her ewe live and there was little more that I could offer her (besides that, I’m just not an expert on sick sheep). Unfortunately that ewe died.

The lady emailed me again and commented that losing sheep might not be so tough if she didn’t get attached to them and give them treats and call them by name. That she needed to learn to raise them as livestock. Her comment struck a chord with me and I thought my reply and further musing worth sharing.

Sheep are compelling and amiable creatures. They’re smart, they’re inquisitive, they’re winsome and engaging. You know what I think, there is no need to view them differently if seeing them the way you do is what makes you smile inside. And you can still say you’re raising them as livestock in my books. There is no reason to fit a mold, is there? There is precious value in appreciating animals as animals. Maybe what the world needs is more people who view them as the creatures they are and not just as livestock.

I have favourite ewes in my flock, for sure. It hurts to lose them and any other animal. But I read emails and blogs of people with their precious small flocks, full of favourite ewes, and I wish for a bit more of that. There are liberties we take with small flocks that we may not take with large ones and vice-versa. I guess we all get to choose and the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Some days I look at this flock and think, wow, I’m so glad for this life. Some days I really just want a small flock of tidy sheep, that I can easily call by name.