My Barn: A Life Or Death Experience

Show-Me Life

What would an animal activist do?

Published on: March 20, 2013

They could stand outside the pen and watch as a ewe constantly calls for her lamb that no longer exists. I would like them to tell me just what to do to help that ewe overcome loss.

Better still, I would like them to look into the tear-filled eyes of my daughter and tell her she doesn't care about the well-being of her animals.

But they won't come to the farm. They would rather show their compassion by having millions of people reach for the tissue box when an ad with neglected animals pops onto the television screen.

I guess I would rather experience compassion out in the barn, sitting in the pen, wiping my daughter's tears with my sleeve.

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  1. Diana Stornetta says:

    I've been lambing out 50+ ewes every year for 40+ years. You nailed exactly how I feel everytime I walk into that barn during lambing season. I can't tell you how many life lessons my daughter's learned in that same barn. Many lessons that have made them the compassionate caring young women they are. I too wish that the animal activist would just spend a day in my shoes and then tell me I don't care and love my animals sometimes more than I care for myself. I spend many long nights in the barn sitting with ewes, feeding bottle babies, helping ewes through the first critical moments with their lambs. Thank you for your great article! Even though I live this on a daily basis - it still brought tears to my eyes. Glad someone else sees things through the eyes of our animals.

  2. Michelle Wade says:

    Love this story. I, too, have cried over a difficult birth that ended with a ewe without a baby. Never thought of the animal rights activist take. My thought on animal rights activists has always been that I AM the animal activist. I believe in humane treatment of animals. And unlike the people protesting, I am actually helping animals to live safely and well cared for.

    • Mindy Ward says:

      Well put, Michelle. That is truly what farmers do on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

  3. sue duncan of facebook says:

    Mindy you have done such a wonderful job with your children....I have a feeling you also where taught the same kind of love

    • Mindy Ward says:

      Sue, without a doubt! From an early age, my parents displayed a love of animals, love of family, love of community and love of people. I believe that is a legacy many farmers and ranchers pass on to their children as well. Thanks.

  4. Kristie says:

    So wonderfully stated. I sat and cried as you described the scene in the barn. I have been the daughter growing up in that situation and the mother with her own children in that same situation. I and my children understand that in life there is also death. It is, however, LIFE that generally out-weighs death on the farm. Without life there would be no next generation. Thank you for a wonderfully 'described' scene from many farmers lives!

    • Mindy Ward says:

      I agree that life out-weighs death on the farm. Thank you for reminding me of that fact. Truly that is why we farm--to bring life to the land and livestock.

  5. Jan Case says:

    As I read this blog post my coworkers are wondering why I am crying at my desk. Very well written eloquent recount of the sad reality that some do not make it. Most of my coworkers read the daily news blast, then they try to recount the heinous actions that one human has taken against another at that point I plug my earphones in and read agriculture and farm blogs, Thank You for sharing.

    • Mindy Ward says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read farm blogs. Sorry to create tears in the workplace. But, as ag writers, we appreciate being a part of your day.