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Dangerous Compassions

goats

goats

Hello, how are you doing?  Do you like goats?  Ming and I have been milking a goat on this farm in Oregon.  Her name is Beatrice, and she’s a badass.  She’s feisty and sticks her tongue out at us sometimes.

I embroidered a purple goat with heavy udders of milk, to represent The World tarot card.  Her tongue out was inspired by Beatrice.

goat

Thinking about wholeness, completeness, end of a cycle, deep goodness, and the World made me think of love, mother love, milk.  So goat was the obvious choice.

milk

Goats are pretty amazing, and I’ve loved goats for a long time.  They are expressive and can be very cute.  But I never knew I would milk one.

Ming is the main milker.  He’s getting better and better at it.  Every day is easier.

goats

Check out this pic with two streams at once.  Yes, so glad both hands can do it at the same time now.

goats

I go into the pen with Ming every morning.  He’s getting good enough that I’m not afraid I’ll have to take over.  This time I brought my phone, so we have these pics.  The first five or six milks, it was like an emergency!  Things go smoother now.

Being with non-human beings who can’t be reasoned with is hard sometimes.  Ming has his own pace, but he had to learn to speed up while milking.

goats

I’m very patient with Ming.  But a goat is not patient.  Beatrice gets restless and stompy after a while, even with the sweet food in her dish.  She’s still getting used to us.

agency

I like to sing to the goats–you know me.  Singing is one of my ways of helping and showing up for love.  It’s a way I connect.  My voice vibrations change the mood, and I can touch someone with my voice if not my hands.  My singing seemed to interest and calm the goats.

There are songs I sing almost every day for my well-being, and a favorite is My Body by Beautiful Chorus.  It has these lyrics.

My body is fly.

My body is beautiful.

My body is bold.

My body is mine.

I wanted to sing this song to the goats, but I realized the goats don’t enjoy bodily autonomy.  My body is mine, which is so important to me.  But the goats don’t enjoy that freedom.  Their bodies are for farm stuff, although they are also loved.

It made me feel like my previous vegan self, which surprised me.  Mammals are mammals–I’m just like them, and we deserve life similarly.  That’s part of why I stopped eating mammals about 30 years ago.  Mammals are my soul siblings.

Realizing that Beatrice doesn’t have agency over her own body and I’m part of that was sad.  It’s good to try out helping on this small farm and learn new things.  But I learned something important about me.  I don’t think I will become a goat farmer, if Ming and I ever have our own place.

goats

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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