Heartwrenching Video of Rescued Lamb Shows the Darkside of Small Scale Farming

Few people will argue against the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in factory farms, yet a huge percentage of the population are under the illusion that there is such a thing as ‘humane farming’ and that small scale farms provide an ethical farming solution. Since starting the sanctuary, almost every animal we’ve taken in has been the victim of small scale farming, and Gunner’s story is another painful reminder of the inherent problems with all forms of animal agriculture.

This week we got an urgent message about a 4 month old lamb who had been badly abused and couldn’t walk. We didn’t know much more than this when we rushed to his rescue, and our hearts broke when we first saw this poor baby.

Gunner Lamb  Gunner Lamb

Suffering from severe pneumonia, covered in bleeding scabs and completely crippled in the back legs, he tried desperately to drag himself around with his legs dangling beneath him before finally collapsing in exhaustion.

The farmer had left him to die, laughing at the girl who asked if she could take him to try and save his life, saying that medical treatment would cost her more than he was worth.

His brother had already died just days before, and now the farmer was just waiting for him to die too.

The girl took him anyway and despite all his problems he still showed a strong will to live. When we got him back here to the sanctuary in the afternoon we cuddled him, and told him how much we loved him and how we would never give up on him. His tiny chest rattled from the pneumonia, and as he looked up at us with his beautiful brown eyes we truly believed there was a chance we could save him.

After administering his medication we named him Gunner and we nestled him in a warm bed of hay for the night. When we went to check on him just one hour later to give more medicine he had passed away.

We knew he was extremely ill, but in the few hours he had spent with us at the sanctuary he showed a will to survive and we were devastated that his short life which had been filled with neglect and suffering was not to receive the happy ending that we had so desperately wanted for him.

In the few short hours we were lucky enough to spend with Gunner, we took this video of him struggling to walk:

 

On Tuesday we got an urgent message about a 4 month old lamb that had been badly abused and couldn’t walk. We rushed to his rescue and our hearts broke when we first saw this poor baby. Suffering from severe pneumonia, covered in bleeding scabs and completely crippled in the back legs, he tried desperately to drag himself around with his legs dangling beneath him before finally collapsing in exhaustion.The farmer had left him to die, laughing at the girl who asked if she could take him to try and save his life, saying that medical treatment would cost her more than he was worth. His brother had already died just days before, and now the farmer was just waiting for him to die too.The girl took him anyway and despite all his problems he still showed a strong will to live. When we got him back here to the sanctuary in the afternoon we cuddled him, and told him how much we loved him and how we would never give up on him. His tiny chest rattled from the pneumonia, and he looked up at us with his beautiful brown eyes we truly believed their was a chance we could save him.After administering his medication we named him Gunner and we nestled him in a warm bed of hay for the night. When we went to check on him just one hour later to give more medicine he had passed away.This is the reality of animal agriculture. Animals like Gunner are nothing more than a product. Their lives are only valued by monetary worth. Gunner’s life was priceless. He was a precious, unrepeatable being that didn’t deserve to be subjected to the unforgivable cruelty that he was forced to endure. Gunner’s story is not unique to this one farm. Billions of animals are being treated in these disgusting ways every minute of every day, all around the world, because people want to consume meat, milk, dairy and eggs. If you don’t support violence, slavery and exploitation, and if you believe that animals like Gunner deserve to live free from fear and suffering then there is only one answer #govegan

Posted by Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary on Thursday, April 30, 2015

After posting this video onto Facebook it went viral, being viewed by over 60,000 people in 48 hours, and inciting a lot of comments in the process.

Witnessing the suffering and pain of poor gunner was heartbreaking for us, but we wanted to share his life with the world so that his tragic story could help to educate others about the horrors of the farming industry.

The video really touched a nerve with people and sparked a ton of comments, some sympathetic to his struggle, some angry at the farmer, and a whole host of others jumping to the defense of farmers.

These comments were a stark reminder of what we’re up against in the fight against animal exploitation; is not just the animal agriculture industry itself, but the attitude of a society which seeks to hide from the truth and make excuses for animal abuse in all its legal forms.

Despite what the industry tries to make us believe, the reality of animal agriculture is ruthless and uncompromising. Animals like Gunner are nothing more than a product. Their lives are only valued by monetary worth.

Gunner’s life was priceless. He was a precious, unrepeatable being that didn’t deserve to be subjected to the unforgivable cruelty that he was forced to endure.

Gunner Lamb  Gunner Lamb

Gunner’s story is not unique to this one farm. There are billions of animals being treated in these disgusting ways every minute of every day, all around the world, because people want to consume meat, milk, dairy and eggs.

The video of Gunner really touched a nerve with people on Facebook because it offered a glimpse into the unseen struggle and suffering that individual farm animals have to endure reminded everyone of the truly ugly nature of the industry. Gunner was a face for the suffering and pain that millions of other animals go through, locked behind closed doors, out of sight, out of mind, unable to affect the consciousness of those consuming their ‘products.’

The Harsh Reality of the Farming Industry

When Gunner’s video was shared on Facebook, it caused a strong reaction, with many people expressing upset, anger, and disappointment, mostly at the farmer who was to blame for his prolonged suffering and eventual death.

While it’s easy for us to direct anger towards the individuals who are directly responsible for exploitation and abuse, it is essential that we make the connection between what has happened to Gunner, and what is happening to every single animal raised in the farm industry, and to realise that it is consumer demand for animal products which is ultimately responsible.

When we’re faced with the upsetting and uncomfortable truth of animal exploitation, we often like to lay blame at the feet of those directly involved, but it is important to make the connection between individual cruelty cases and the laws, practices, and attitudes which allow these things to happen.

If society is to progress beyond blame and excuses, to a deeper understanding of what is wrong with animal exploitation and why under the current paradigm we will never be able to stop the abuse which Gunner suffered from happening, here’s what needs to be understood:

Nothing the Farmer Did Was Illegal

Lots of people asked if we were going to take action against the farmer for the neglectful way in which he treated Gunner, as he was left struggling to drag himself around on his front legs, without treatment for his viral skin infection, and was then left to die of pneumonia.

The sad truth of the matter is that farm animals are afforded almost no legal protection from this kind of neglectful treatment. In Gunner’s case, the farmer did absolutely nothing illegal, and so action cannot be taken against him, regardless of whether some people in society see this as a clear case of neglect and abuse. If Gunner was a dog, it would be a different story.

There’s No Difference Between Factory Farms and Small Scale Farms

One of the most shocking revelations to come out of the comments on Gunner’s video was the amount of people that were eager to jump to the defense of small scale farms.

An immediate defensive wall went up when people saw others being angry at the farmer for the way in which he treated Gunner, claiming that most farmers are loving and compassionate towards their animals.

While it may be true that some farmers would never dream of letting one of their animals endure this type of prolonged suffering, it would be a huge mistake for anyone to believe that stories like this are isolated incidents, or that animal farming is not inherently cruel and sadistic by its very nature.

Too many people get hung up on the details of how big the animals cages are, what food they’re eating, or whether they’re allowed to go outside or not, and are completely missing the fact that they are being murdered.

No matter what farm an animal is raised on or how they are treated, every single animal that’s born into the animal agriculture system has a death sentence over their heads, and the type of farm they are born on only determines the degree of suffering and abuse that they will endure before they are sent to slaughter.

Gunner Was Only Alive Because Someone Wanted to Eat Him

Gunner was a beautiful, intelligent, gentle soul, who deserved to live a life free from exploitation, but unfortunately his life was defined by the fact that he was brought into the world for one sole purpose: to be killed as a baby and eaten.

This means that while we might like to blame the farmer for his treatment, he was already the victim of the meat eating society we live in, as the best possible outcome for his life was destined to be death at six months of age.

This is not to take away from the fact that he should have been afforded better treatment and care, but to highlight the real issue that’s in front of us. Even if Gunner had been given treatment for his leg condition and pneumonia, and had been free to roam around in the fields with the other lambs, in just a few months time he would have been slaughtered because someone wanted to eat his body.

You Can’t Hide From the Truth

Some people claimed that the video was too graphic to be shown on social media, and that we shouldn’t have posted it in the first place. This is because as a society we’ve become hypersensitive to seeing the reality of what is happening in the world.

It is understandable that some people find it deeply distressing to view gory videos of animal mutilation and slaughter, but when we’re being told to censor a video of a neglected lamb struggling to walk, it highlights just what we’re up against in the fight to create a better world.

If we don’t share the truth, people won’t see the truth, if people don’t see the truth, they cannot change it.

How can we evolve as a society if people are being intentionally ignorant about all the bad things that are happening in the world? This was Gunner’s reality for every single day of his life, and yet some people are unwilling to experience it for just a few short seconds.

We owe it to the animals to watch these videos, to acknowledge their reality, and to act honestly upon to the feelings and emotions that are evoked. If you watch a video of animal suffering and are upset, angered, and deeply moved by it, that’s a sign that what you’re witnessing is wrong. Not acting upon those feelings is to deny the very truth of their existence.

There is a Better Way…

If you don’t support violence, slavery and exploitation, and if you believe that animals like Gunner deserve to live free from fear and suffering then there is only one answer is to ‪reject them outright.

Veganism is an ethical stance that promotes love and respect for all animals, regardless of species. There is no humane way to exploit and murder animals, and it’s time we stopped looking for the right way to do the wrong thing, and the only way we are ever going to stop stories like Gunner’s from being a reality is to stop exploiting animals altogether.

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