Infanticide- The Monster Under the Carpet
Infant is found in a dumpster. Infant is left in a trashcan. Baby is abandoned. You have heard such appalling stories in the news yourself. Most often, as you read the headline, you were filled with feelings of anger towards the mother. You were filled with disgust at the horrific crime. But, after that, you probably did not think anything more about it. Unfortunately, that was my response too when I first started to research the topic of infanticide. Every article I read made me more depressed and disgusted with the perpetrator of this crime, who is often the mother of the baby. I got to where I dreaded doing more research on this topic and wondered why I had not picked something more uplifting than the murder of baby after baby. That is when it dawned on me that when we push something like infanticide under the carpet and try to forget about it, we are doing more than anyone to make sure it continues to happen. We must think further than the crime and see the person if we are going to make any difference in the lives of mothers and their babies around the globe. We need to ask the question of why would someone do something like this? And then, we need to take the time to find the answer and do something about it.
Sadly, in the medical world, infanticide is becoming more and more accepted under the names of “after-birth abortion” and infant euthanasia. An article in The Journal Of Medical Ethics published on February 23, 2012 called After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? has no qualms with stating exactly why someone would do something like this, and the reasons are shocking. Merely being an inconvenience to the family is now considered justifiable grounds to murder a baby. The article proposes that children born with disabilities or those that medical professionals and philosophers deem “will not have a life worth living” should now become victims of infanticide. Though the article can give no proof that a person with a disability finds life not worth living, and it even says “But, in fact, people with Down’s syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy. Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole.” Romans 1 verse 24a says “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts”. We must pray that God would raise up many godly people in the medical profession to counter the impact of ideas like this and save the lives of children that are made in God’s image.
But why would a mother kill her own baby? Social pressure is the single biggest factor pushing mothers to commit infanticide. In India, the societal pressure to have a boy is so great that there is an estimated 50 million girls and women missing in India’s population because of sex selective abortion and infanticide. In China, due to the previous one child policy and the fact that only boys can traditionally carry on the family name and provide support and security to their parents, there are around 40 million girls and women missing in China. In the United States of America, pressure comes from our society looking down on mothers if they have a child out of wedlock. The mother may also lack the resources she needs to take care of the baby. She ends up feeling isolated, desperate, and helpless, and believes getting rid of the baby is the only way that she can avoid shame and her feeling of worthlessness. Sadly, a mother sometimes thinks infanticide is her only way of escape.
Occasionally, a mother will commit infanticide because she is taking drugs or alcohol and is unwilling to turn the unwanted baby into a police station or other safe haven because she fears being prosecuted. Instead, she kills or abandons the infant. Sometimes a mother may truly be mentally unstable after giving birth, or have a mental handicap that does not allow her to think clearly about what she is doing. Infants from such mothers are at a higher risk of infanticide.
But, it does not have to be this way. We don’t have to let mothers get to such a point of desperation that they would kill their own child. Simply providing support and resources to these mothers could save their child’s life. And that is exactly what crisis pregnancy centers are doing. They are the valuable link between mothers and their babies, making sure they get the godly support and care they require. They are giving these mothers a chance to see clearly and make the right choice for themselves and their child. They are showing them, by their acts of service and love that both of their lives are worthy and beautiful in God’s eyes. They are saving babies from infanticide and the mothers from the sin of murder. They are not looking at the crimes the mother almost committed. Psalm 127:3 says “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” They are looking at a woman that God loves and has blessed with the miracle of childbirth.
Sadly, we cannot always reach every mother before she has made up her mind to abandon her child to die. But, sometimes, even though the mother is beyond our help, the child may not be. In South Korea, many babies are abandoned on the streets and left to die. Most people in South Korea are content to hide behind their walls and ignore what is going on every day around them, but not South Korean Pastor Lee. When he saw that babies where dying from abandonment along the streets of the city Seoul where he lives, he knew God wanted him to do something about it. So he created the “Baby Box”, a warm safe place that mothers could leave their unwanted children instead of killing them by exposing them to the elements. On the outside of the box is the simple message, “Leave babies here”. At first, he was not sure that any babies would be left, but he was wrong. Babies started being left in the middle of the night, in the middle of the day and all the times in between. Pastor Lee takes in each child that is left and gives it the love and care it needs. Since 2009, the “Baby Box has saved 600 children from infanticide. Most of the babies find loving forever homes with adoptive families. Pastor Lee and his wife have adopted 10 of the children themselves, which is the maximum number of children allowed by the South Korean government. Pastor Lee’s work was made public in the documentary “The Drop Box” which received lots of recognition and won numerous awards. I have seen the documentary myself with my family and we would all highly recommend it.
So, the next time you hear of infanticide in the news, remember that there is now a mother out there that is in need of love and forgiveness. Remember that you could make a difference in the lives of other desperate mothers that are considering infanticide and help to save the life of their child. When you find out that a single woman you know is pregnant, don’t look down on her, forgive her and support her in choosing life for her child. The single biggest factor that is forcing mothers to commit infanticide is social pressure. We are all part of society and if we would look at infanticide thorough the eyes of God, then we could start to really make a difference and save the lives of precious children made in the image of God. Pray for and support people like Pastor Lee who are giving their lives to save abandoned babies. And with God’s help we can make a difference in the dark crime of infanticide.
I wrote this speech for the 2016 Tennessee Right to Life High School Oratory Contest. I won 1st in county and 2nd at the state contest. To God be the glory!
Shearing Jacob sheep is always an exciting part of each year. We get to see how each animal has faired over the winter months, see who looks like they are bred, and get LOTS of new wool to work with over the rest of the year.
The sheep must stay completely dry a few days before they are shorn to get a quality fleece.
When you shear the sheep, you want to do it with the least stress on the animal and you. That means that you don’t want to be wrestling with the sheep, so it is really important to hold the sheep in a way that it feels comfortable and does not struggle.
After the sheep are sheared, they must stay warm and dry until their metabolism adjusts to not having a fleece to keep them warm.
We are excited here on Our Father’s Gift farm as we see beautiful animals born with lots of potential.
No doubt the success (or lack thereof) of your goat farm over the coming year rests on a few short and crazy weeks called kidding season. For many people, this may be the most dreaded time of the year, but it does not have to be that way. By preparing a few weeks in advance and keeping your does in good health throughout their pregnancy, you will have much more time to sit back and cuddle with those cute babies when they finally arrive. Assuming that your does are already in good health, the next most important thing to prepare is a Kidding Kit. The last thing you want to be doing is running out at the last minute because you forgot something that you need for kidding season. Here is a list of some things that we have found important over over the years.
- Iodine for dipping umbilical cords
- Antiseptic lubricant in case you need to feel inside the doe to correct something (we have used mineral oil)
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Scissors to cut an extra long umbilical cords
- Scale to weigh the kids (we have used a kitchen scale in the past, but this year we are using an infant scale and it is wonderful!)
- Pen and paper to record each kid’s birth weight and other notes such as the order of the birth and sex of the kids, and which mommy they belong to
There are many, many more things that are handy to have around during kidding time, but this is just a list of some that we most frequently use. The other just as important factor to a good kidding season is having your facilities ready. That means you are prepared for any weather, and have a plan B and C too. There is nothing worse than losing kids because you did not properly prepare for their arrival. We like to have our does kid as early in the year as possible so that they are big enough to breed the coming fall and do well in shows. That means we have to be prepared for very cold weather. We also like to give each doe a separate pen to kid in and then let them and their kids bond for a few days away from the rest of the herd. Depending on what your facilities are and what time of year your does are kidding, being prepared could look very different for you. It is a good idea to have everything ready at least two weeks in advance of your first due date, so that you are prepared for any early births and your focus can be on the does.
To prepare our does in the last two weeks before their due date, we start to increase their grain ration to what they need during their lactation. They also get the hair trimmed from their tail and udder to help keep them cleaner after kidding. This also helps before kidding to see udder development and the loosening of the tail ligaments and vulva, signs of impending birth. As their due date approaches, it is a best to keep the does in their kidding pen at least overnight and in bad weather. Our experience has been that putting them away far in advance though only stresses them and (consequently you) unnecessarily, so it is best to let them run with the herd as long as they can. That said, if you are not able to check on them frequently, it would be better to have them safe.
The birth itself is the climax of the kidding season. All your hopes and dreams are hanging on this moment. Is it a boy or girl, is it pretty colors, will the birth have complications, how many babies? Soon all will be made known. The first signs of labor can be easily missed to someone new to goats, but there are some things that you can look for. Most does will move away from the rest of the herd and look uncomfortable. In the early contractions, she will stiffen her hind legs and arch her back, moan or groan and sometimes cry out, and she may stretch, which helps get the kid into the right position. This can go on for hours before anything “big” happens, but is a good sign that it is time to put her in her kidding pen if she is not already there and keep a close eye on her. The second stage of labor can best be seen in this video of our doe, Bella, kidding.
After the kids are born, they should have their umbilical cord dipped in iodine, their weight recorded and then they need to be up on their feet and nursing right away. For some of the large-teated dairy does, you may need to help the kid get the teat into its mouth. As a special treat for the doe, we like to give them 1/4 cup of molasses in a bowl of warm water. Most of our does suck it right down and it helps to replace some of the fluid that they lost during the birth. The final stage of the birth comes after the kids are born when the doe sheds the placenta (afterbirth). She should do this in the first few hours after the birth, but you may not see it because most does will eat it. If you do see it hanging out, don’t pull on it or you could cause the doe to hemorrhage.
Now, all that is left for you to do is to cuddle those sweet kids, and praise God for the miracle of birth!
Written by Lenore Thorne
Wolves are most likely the ancestors of modern domesticated dogs today. Probably people tamed wolves, and then through years of selective breeding came up with the dogs of today. Some dogs are still very wolf-like, such as the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, and some not so much, like the Standard Poodle. It sometimes helps to watch the wild habits of wolves to better understand domesticated dogs. Also some dogs, such as german shepherds, are bred with wolves to make a wolf-dog hybrid. But however much wolves look and act like dogs they are still wild animals and should be known as such.
The German Shepherd
This amazing breed of dog was first bred by a man named Von Stephanitz. Originally, the breed was created to herd and protect sheep. The same traits needed to protect sheep are needed for search and rescue dogs, as well as military and police dogs, making the German shepherd great at both. German Shepherds make very strong bonds with its family and can become overly aggressive, especially if not socialized correctly. But overall, the German Shepherd is a good family dog.
The Dingo lives mostly in Australia. It is a very dangerous wild dog that (most likely) descended from mostly domesticated dogs from Asia or India, and then became feral when they came to Australia. The Dingo is about 20 to 24 inches to the shoulder and 46-61 inches from tip of tail to tip of nose. As spoken about last month, the dingo’s coloration depends on where it lives (tan on the seashore, brown in the forest) and lengths may vary. Dingoes eat meat, insects and even fruit. Though they are wild dogs, some people tame them as pets.
The Painted Wolf
The painted wolf is the second-largest wild canine, after the grey wolf, and the largest in Africa where it lives. Its conservation status is endangered. Painted wolves have 2-19 pups in a litter and may have them any time of the year, though usually only the alpha pair have pups.
Photo credits: 1-5 Wikipedia
Hartsville TN Christmas Parade 2015
Alfred (Goat) and Sunshine (Carting Dog) lining up.
Sunshine on the go.
Alfred did awesome in this, his first parade, and helped people remember the real reason for Christmas. So many people were surprised and delighted to see a goat in the parade and a dog pulling a wagon. After the parade was over, Alfred stayed and let people pet him and learn more about goats. For some of these people, it could have been the first time in their lives that they’ve petted a real goat. We are looking forward to next year!
Eggplant Mini Pizzas
This recipe is an all-time favorite in our family due to its quick preparation and wonderful taste! Grain and gluten free. Serves 4-6 people.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Take one large eggplant, wash, then slice into 1/2 inch thick circles. Do not peel. Arrange slices on a baking sheet. Paint each slice with olive oil until it looks wet.
Eggplant with olive oil.
Next paint each slice generously with spaghetti sauce.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese, salt, basil, and onion powder on top each slice.
Place the eggplants in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until well browned and soft.