Saturday, April 23, 2011

Curious Little Alien

I was doing a purge of photos at work when I came across this 2008 shot I took of Mr. Lenny, lamb-let extraordinaire. This isn't the actual shot, because I doctored it up a bit with some textures, but it captures the alien quality of gangly lambs.

Lenny was born at the sanctuary. His mom, Virginia, was confiscated along with two dozen goats and sheep from a live-market auction. These are places where people can pick out the animal they want and he or she is slaughtered onsite.

It's funny, actually - not in a good way - but when the animals were confiscated, many people were appalled. Folks were creeped out by the idea of picking out an individual animal, looking them in the eyes, and then having someone slit their throats. Since only 1% of the American population is vegan, I can safely presume these outraged peoples ate meat or used wool or drank milk. It struck me as comical, this outrage.

Which is not to say one cannot feel compassion for the suffering of nonhumans, despite eating them. I know this to be true - I loved animals when I was an omnivore, then vegetarian. But I soon discovered it was not the kind of love I wanted to share with others, since it involved the unnecessary taking of an individual's life.

Lenny has his own value and worth, outside of what we create for him. This value does not change when he is on an industrial feedlot or a small farm or a live-market auction or even a sanctuary. It exists, absent of us. We do our best at the sanctuary to nurture that value, to respect it and honor it. Sometimes we fail, because that is just part of being human. I hope that mostly we succeed.

Also, you should just respect aliens. They could decide to eat you.

Lenny the little alien

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