We don’t have children but we do have critters. Although some people may think there is little comparison, to us each critter is as deserving of attention and love as any child. We clean their poopy bums, trim their nails (or hooves as the case may be), fuss over them when they are sick, and watch in amazement for hours on end, entertained by antics that most people would find mundane and unremarkable. I’ve never felt a maternal instinct towards humans, but the animals help me truly understand the motherly state that a friend of mine refers to as “Crazy Lady Syndrome”.

The unfortunate part of loving critters is that unless you hoard sea turtles, parrots, or crows, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to outlive your “children”. And so it is that my children also help me to accept the most certain inevitability of life – death.

Some of our beasts are pets, some are workers, and some are food. Regardless of the category each occupies, we firmly believe that they deserve the happiest life possible for the time they’re in our care. People are beasts too, and our beasts make these beasts feel fulfilled and needed. Isn’t that what kids are supposed to do?

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