Save Goats from Cali. Meat Farm
Last year, under the direction and blessings of Venerable Lingtrul Rinpoche, we were able to release eight six-month-year-old baby goats who had been marked for slaughter.
We purchased the goats at a meat farm in Northern California where the owner gave us special permission to bring them back with us alive. We were lucky to find a wonderful home for these freed goats with a very kind woman named Terri and her family. The goats were incorporated into a herd of over ten thousand other goat friends! This year we plan to purchase and release more goats in early September.
These goats will "work" to help prevent wildfires by clearing brush and grass from the Bay Area's hills and will receive regular medical treatment. Later, they will be "retired" and allowed to roam and graze on Terri and her family's beautiful ranch. Terri has spent much of her life saving the lives of animals. The ranch is also home to Tibetan yaks, a camel, llamas, ducks, sheep, chickens, rabbits, cats, pigs, as well as specially trained dogs that protect these animals from wild predators.
Last year, we only asked a few close dharma friends and we raised $1800 in a very short time and we were able to save eight goats. This year we hope to do much more fundraising so that we can save many more lives. Terri has also kindly offered us the use of a truck so that we may easily transport more animals to her ranch.
Please give whatever you can to support this worthy cause. These goats will certainly be killed if we do not rescue them from the meat farm.
We expect that the price this year will be around the same as last year, roughly $200 or so for each baby goat.
Please give whatever you are able. Your donations will be tax-deductible. Also you can help by sharing our fundraising page.
With the funds that we collect, we will save as many goats as we are able to purchase. If we need more trucks, Terri will provide them. If there is any money left over, we will save it for next year's release and we will also try to make a small donation to Terri to help with the goats vaccinations and medicines.
Thank you so much! May all beings benefit!
(Photos by Joyce Tang)
Except for one family who purchased a goat and a puppy, the other bidders were almost all certainly ranchers and meat farmers who were looking to purchase animals for slaughter.
The scenes at the livestock auction were heartbreaking. The animals knew that their end was coming. Some animals were already bleeding, many were maimed or diseased. A group of baby calves were lying on the filth-covered floor, swarming in flies, waiting to die.
We were able to save 318 goats but we wanted to save more. It was difficult to leave goats and the other animals behind.
We were bidding against men who were buying the animals for meat. We went there with a budget of 22k, we ended up spending over 34k.
The auctioneer, the ranchers and farmers, and the workers at the auction house knew that we were giving the goats a good home. You could tell that they were refreshed and happy to see something different -- to see people who were buying the animals to save them and not to kill them for their meat.
Terri and Aegon are the owners and founders of Goats R Us and they have spent their whole lives saving and taking care of animals. Their family owns multiple ranches and over 10,000 goats that clear vegetation to prevent wildfires around the Bay Area. They so kindly agreed to give these goats a good home, to provide them with experienced care, and to let them live out their lives on their beautiful land.
Terri, her husband Aegon, their son Zephyr and his partner Nicki were also kind enough to accompany us to the livestock auction and to provide the goats with transportation back to one of their ranches. They also helped cover the financial costs to purchase the goats. In short, we wouldn't have been able to do this without them.
The goats were herded onto a giant double-deck livestock truck kindly provided by Goats R Us and driven by Zephyr. The workers at the auction house helped us load them up and you could tell that they were pleased to be helping us bring the goats to a good life.
The goats were released at one of Goats R Us' ranches in Lafayette, California. Venerable Lingtrul Rinpoche said prayers while people put blessed substances on each goat's head and into their mouths.
Later, as a small group of helpers and sangha prayed for the released goats and for all sentient beings, the goats wandered up to us and allowed us to pet them while they looked for snacks.
The first goat that we purchased was named Rama Gyalmo by Lingtrul Rinpoche. Her name means Victorious Goat or Goat Queen. She is a giant dairy goat with huge udders, a big beard, and a broken chain around her neck. Rama Gyalmo tried to eat Rinpoche's jacket to the amusement of all.
Terri told us that many of those goats had probably never been in an open field before. Goats helped themselves to hay and water. Some of them were so exhausted after their ordeal that they just laid down to sleep in the wide-open field, under the evening stars.
It was such a blessing and I feel so grateful to have been part of this successful release. Many thanks are in order as this would not have happened if it wasn't for the collaboration of many hands and hearts.
His Holiness Getse Rinpoche so kindly contributed a large amount of his own funds to make this release possible. Thanks to his blessings and enlightened intent, we were able to successfully complete this release.
Thank you so much to Terri, Aegon, Zephyr, Nicki, and the workers at Goats R Us. Thank you for giving the goats a safe and peaceful home. They have done so much for us that this release wouldn't have happened without their kindness.
Thank you to all the donors and friends who have supported this release, either financially or otherwise. Together we raised almost 30 thousand dollars!! Also thank you to everyone who attended the release and celebration. I rejoice in all of your great merit!!
And of course, none of this would have been possible without Venerable Lingtrul Rinpoche, who originally asked if we could find a way to save larger animals. Thanks to his blessings and constant support, we were able to help him fulfill his aspiration.
We plan to continue to save more goats in the future. I will keep people posted.
Thank you again to everyone! May all beings benefit!