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Home / Articles / Features / Feature Articles /  Number One Back to Sxhool Golden Rule
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Wednesday, September 5,2018

Number One Back to Sxhool Golden Rule

By Susan Hargreaves  

"Free Mule,” the plain white page-size sign proclaimed – that’s all, two words and a phone number. I dialed the number as I stood at the bulletin board where I saw the sign outside my neighborhood grocery store. I prepared my usual diplomatically worded warning of animal “bunchers,” B Grade Animal Dealers, and dog fighters who prey on other animals who are being given away for free. By the time my conversation ended I knew I had to do everything I could to help Leroy the mule find a safe home, as he was scheduled to be picked up by someone responding to a free mule listing on Craigslist.

I called every horse sanctuary, every farmed animal sanctuary, only to be told they were all full. There are so few farmed animal sanctuaries in Florida and they are at full capacity most of the time. It was time to turn to individuals who may have a little land, or live in an area where hoofed animals are allowed. After a lot of calling of many compassionate people and multiple tellings of Leroy’s situation – success!

Two people who had never had a mule live with them before took on the challenge of caring for Leroy. Yvonne and Julian Gibson-Serrette, the vegan bodybuilder owners of Superfit Gym in West Palm Beach didn’t just flex their triceps muscles the day they decided to help Leroy, they flexed their heart muscles, too. The kindness education youth empowerment charity I founded,, covered the costs of Leroy’s five-hour trip to his new home. I was filled with relief the day I coaxed Leroy out of the travel trailer with cinnamon treats. Leroy was safe.

It Takes a Village….

When taking on responsibility for the care of another being, it is vital to constantly be aware of their best interest, and after the massive rains, Leroy’s space at Yvonne and Julian’s became much smaller, as their pond expanded. So today, another vegan body builder with more land for Leroy to run stepped up. Jordan David of Conscious Muscle Vegan Fitness and Nutrition accepted Leroy into his sanctuary, “Friends Not Food Rescue.” Thanks to Jordan, Leroy has more room to run, and has just had a small barn built for him.

Currently, Leroy is alone in his lovely paddock, and needs some fourlegged friends. The next step is to build new fencing beside Leroy as a temporary gradual introduction area, and then goats and pigs can gradually be introduced to Leroy. I have been compelled to help make an optimal, happy existence for Leroy ever since I first saw the “Free Mule” sign. Each person who has met and helped him on his journey feels the same way – Yvonne, Julian and now Jordan. Each and every animal harm. This is the reason I became vegan deserves a natural existence, free from 34 years ago. If you, the reader, can help with costs or materials associated with Leroy’s happy ending, please go to


School is in session again. I am looking forward to meeting new students  at Animal Hero Kids interactive school assemblies to foster empathy and critical thinking in the South Florida area.

I recall asking my ninth grade math teacher “When will I ever use algebra again, why not teach kindness instead, something we all need to use in life?” I spent a fair amount of time at the principal’s office for asking the later – yes, do the math (and it won’t “wrong” questions. Forty-four years still maintain the number one golden be algebra!), I am 59 years old now – I rule is to be kind. Some people choose you would wish to be treated, or walk- to describe this as treating others how ing a mile in another person’s shoes.

It is with great pleasure I hear stories of kindness from students when I visit schools. I ask teachers to give me the names of students who may like show a new student around the have done a particularly kind thing, school and have lunch with them, or speak up against bullying, or rescue an animal in need.

Due to our small charity budget at, you will not see the free, interactive presentations any advertising telling people about on word of mouth to get the message inspiring compassion, so we depend out. If you know a teacher, any grade level including university, who would like to choose from the variety of free programs available, please ask them to look at the education org. Practicing the page on animalherokids. whether in or out of golden rule of kindness, school, is a key to happiness – exactly what the Happy Herald is all about.


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