Losing an animal at the sanctuary is always hard, always sad. It's easy to get bogged down in the memory, the past that gets foggier by the minute. We get told or it is suggested that the toughest part of sanctuary work is the euthanasia. It isn't. These animals have wonderful lives, are given optimal treatment, are loved and respected. Freedom to roam and pick where they want to sleep, who they want to hang out with are all theirs for the taking.
The bitter pill is the other animals, the true reasons why Animal Place continues to educate and operate. In this country, there are ten billion reasons. They have no names, only numbers (and sometimes not even that). For them, life is absence, longing, want, frustration, horror and fear. It is painful and cruel. They live in the large sheds of Foster Farms. Their hooves stamp upon the dry lots of Harris Ranch. They push and shove in the battery cages of Gemperle Farms. They cry for their babies in the crates of Smithfield.
Flo and all the animals at the sanctuary are ambassadors. They are the messengers telling us we do not need their flesh, milk or eggs to survive; that they are feeling, intelligent beings - not so much unlike ourselves.