Often when visitors come to the CAPE Animal Sanctuary, they are surprised to meet goats who had been destined for slaughter before being rescued and brought to the sanctuary. According to United Nations data, more than 450 million goats are slaughtered for food worldwide. USDA slaughter statistics indicate that nearly 1 million goats were slaughtered for their meat last year in the U.S. alone. However, since much of the slaughter of goats for meat is not included in federal slaughter figures, that figure most likely represents only 50 to 60 percent of actual goat slaughter within the U.S.
Goats are very playful, inquisitive and intelligent animals. They love climbing on rocks and often stand on their hind legs to reach tree branches, Goats communicate with each other by bleating. Mothers often call to their young kids to ensure they stay close-by. Mother and kid goats recognise each other’s calls soon after the mothers give birth.
Female goats are called nannies or does. On goat meat farms they are often made to give birth to one or two offspring in the spring. Gertie, who was on a goat meat farm in Grass Valley, gave birth to triplets six years ago. Her pelvis broke during the birth due to complications of being continuously bred. One of her babies was born totally blind. She quickly formed a deep bond and became very protective of him.
The owner of the meat farm was so moved by the connection between Gertie and her son that she shut down the farm. Gertie and her son, who we named Stevie, both came to live at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary. For years, Gertie wore a bell so Stevie could always find her in the pasture. She has always kept a close eye on him and over the years, as he gained independence and confidence. She is still always within 20 feet of him - such a loving and protective mother.
Now that Gertie is older and Stevie has grown into an adult, we often see Gertie lying comfortably under an oak tree keeping an eye on her beloved son. Stevie has made many friends at the sanctuary and he now navigates the pastures with ease. Want to learn more about Gertie & Stevie? Go here!
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“"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr