God Save the Sheep

God Save the Sheep

Do you ever wonder about the lives of those punk rock sheep? They who roam the Irish countryside in mangled crowns of horns and neon, spray-painted coats. They who live far outside the bounds of society. They are bold in their shaggy glory. They become bands of derelicts, busting through fences, taking over the streets, climbing atop stones to pose and sound their battle cries. “BAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!” Listen closely. When they defiantly shut down traffic to chew their cuds, they are telling you “there’s no future in (Ire)land.” They know how to projectile spit too, so keep those windows rolled up.

Sheep farming is just not profitable anymore. Back in the day, sheep brought home the bacon for a family. Nowadays, wool and lambs don’t sell for as much as they used to, and sheep are finding it hard to make a buck. Out of sheer desperation, knowing their value to family farmers has diminished, sheep have turned to other means for survival.

So the ewes and lambs maraud tourists, out to get crisps or biscuits or maybe a warm spot in the backseat of your car. I know, I’m tempted as much as you to scoop up one of those cute creatures and take them home. But now there’s a more human way to save them from their bleak fate as roadside attractions.

At Kissane Sheep Farm, you can Adopt-A-Sheep and help preserve the more classic Irish heritage of family farming. You can help the good sheep before they go bad, keeping them in their mountain homeland of Moll’s Gap.

John Kissane, fifth generation of the Kissane family, runs the farm with his wife Anne. They own a flock of 1,000 Black Faced Mountain Sheep who have been carefully bred by his family for 100 years. But now, due to changing European regulations, increasing food and medical costs, and declining prices of lambs and wool, it is less economically viable to raise sheep in the traditional way.

You can give these sheep a fighting chance by adopting one for just 45 euro per year. Sheep need a lot of care, especially in the winter months when food is scarce. Your contribution goes toward securing food and care for your sheep year round. As an adoptive parent, you can enjoy all the privileges of the farm too. Spend time with your sheep it its natural environment, to better understand the challenges it will face in the future. Experience the shearing demo, a summer ceremony in which your sheep loses its ragged symbol of defiance in exchange for a clean-cut, shaven demeanor. Meet the sheep dogs that strive daily to keep your sheep in line.

So, next time a little dreaded puffball on peg legs jumps up for a picture, don’t let it pull the strings of your heart. Your hair would look like that too if you squatted in a rainy field, eating grass all day. Contact Kissane Sheep Farm and take a serious step to improve the sheep’s life. Help stop their hopeless rebellion - let’s get them all off the streets.

For more information, visit www.Adopt-A-Sheep.ie. Kissane Sheep Farm is located at Moll’s Gap, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Tel: 353 (0)64 34791.

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