Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Cow in the Field

Today I was watching a cow in the field across the road. She was all by herself, just standing and staring off into space. She was standing there for a while and I wondered what she was thinking about. Had she just lost a baby? Tears came to my eyes as I thought about what she would have had to go through.

Being raped. Giving birth. The emotional pain of having her child taken away from her. Having a machine hooked up to her teats every day to suck the milk from her. Over and over until the day she is slaughtered.

The cow lay down. It looked uncomfortable to do with her oversized udder. And there she lay for some time, staring at the sky. Again I wondered what was going on in her mind. I had to go off to do something, and when I came back, I realised something.

She hadn't just lost a baby. She was about to lose one. Because she had just given birth. Her little baby was right there, suckling from her. I wondered how many children she'd had before this one. I think she knew what was going to happen, because it seemed like she was trying not to look at this baby, like she was trying not to get emotionally attached. The calf nuzzled his/her mother. And for a small precious moment, they were connected with love. But that wouldn't last. And she knew it. She walked away from her baby.

Mother and child eventually went to another part of the field, and I didn't see them again. I felt sad for them. When the farmer discovers the newborn calf, they will be taken away from each other. If male, he will be raised for beef. If female, she will become a dairy machine like her mother. Either way, they will be separated and will never get to see each other again. She will never have the chance to raise her child, all so that a selfish species can take the milk to drink themselves.

It's absolutely horrible what we force these mothers to go through every year. No mother deserves to lose her child like that. Like humans, cows are very maternal mammals and have a strong bond with their young. Imagine the grief they have to go through when they lose their beloved children over and over again. It's no wonder this cow was trying to disconnect herself from her calf to save her the pain. She'd had it happen to her before, and couldn't bear to have it happen again.

If you're not vegan, please go vegan. Then educate others about veganism too. Be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves. They need us.