I'd always been interested in agriculture, so five years ago I interned on a goat farm in North Carolina—milking goats, making cheese, shoveling poop. I'd never met a dairy goat before, and once I did, I just fell in love. They're intelligent, loyal, loving, emotionally high-strung and stubborn, of course—like a concentrated version of my own personality. The terrible part was the goats were regularly sold for meat, and when the buyer loaded them on the truck to be slaughtered, I'd watch with burning hot tears running down my face.

Then one day when my partner, Brent, and I had just come back from vacation, a neighbor told us he'd seen a goat with its leg stuck in the fence, crying. She'd been there for three days. We went to help her, and she cried even louder and tried to scramble away. She was so scared. We finally got her out, and for two days we massaged her leg and soaked it in Epsom salts. But my boss told us to put her back in the herd headed for slaughter because it was a waste of time and money to do anything more.

I knew this goat might die from her injuries, but I couldn't give up, so I bought her for $50. We took her in, fed her, and doted on her. Her leg had to be amputated, but she recovered and we named her Tripod. Eventually, we bought ten acres of land in Colorado and took her there, along with 15 other goats we'd saved from slaughter.

Tripod was the inspiration for our no-kill dairy, Broken Shovels Farm. Now when we call her name, she runs over for animal crackers and love as fast as her three little legs will carry her. We say that if she hadn't lost a limb, she would've lost her life. I'm so grateful she survived. Without her, we wouldn't be here.


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