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My name is Anisha and I'm a UK trained vet surgeon and practising herbalist, currently living and working in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Over the past years, I have had the opportunity to work in various animal welfare/community education projects around the world, including The Millennium Elephant Foundation, Sri Lanka, and India project for Animals and Nature, Tamil Nadu.
Of course I went in there guns blazing, wanting to Save the World and all animals in it, but over the years, I learnt more than anything to observe, listen and respect the wise and wonderful local communities...... and above all be patient. My anger towards maltreatment of animals turned more to sadness and understanding as I realised the hardships and beauties of the owners of most working and farm animals. The animals got beaten because the owners were beaten. I was giving dental treatment to animals whose owners had no teeth. Most rural people across South Asia and Latin America have very little access to good diet, education, medicine, waste management or comfortable housing.
What they do have in abundance and in differing ways is a rich knowledge, wisdom, a deep respect for community and incredible skills to survive in almost any situation. All of them live and breathe together, telling the same magical stories, suffering the same poor conditions.
I realised that working and farm animals are inextricably linked to their owners, who are connected to their community, who are all affected by the environment they live in.
Every day I am compelled to listen, learn and be humbled. The project I am now establishing is not about Saving The Natives. It's about mutual respect and exchange. For the whole community ecosystem.
So all of that said, I have realised that, for me, the central focuses for me should be:
- Living by example
- Producing examples that are truly contextual and accesible to the local people
- Valuing the skills, knowledge and opinions that already exist whilst seeding new and relevant ideas for welfare and health
To this mission, Animal Nature is starting a small scale, organic, ecological mixed homestead, with an idea to open it as a demonstrative space for the village, the surrounding region, international volunteers and hopefully the educational community of the country.
Click 'The Farm' for more details...