Posted on May 20, 2015
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
A while ago we were in a hospital with one of our animals and met a cow there that made a lasting impression on us and I just had to tell her story.
She was a cow from the dairy industry who was impregnated, carried her child for nine months, felt him grow and move inside her, gave birth to her precious baby, nursed him, cleaned him off, bonded with him, vowed to protect him always, and, then watched crying and helpless as they took him away to steal the breast milk for humans to drink.
Engorged and devastated, this new mom stopped eating and stood listless and hopeless for days. She was finally brought to the hospital but the veterinarians were unable to increase her appetite because the only thing she wanted was to have her baby back. After four days she was euthanized and her miserable life ended there on the floor of that hospital: her soul invisible, her pain unseen, and, her voice unheard.
I share her story with you because I was her witness and because she mattered to me. I saw her. I heard her cries but was unable to help because the world we live in does not see cows as sentient beings that deserve rights or respects.
Every time we buy an ice cream cone, a slice of pizza, or a glass of milk, we are paying someone to steal it from a calf, causing pain to cows, like this new mom. Every time we buy dairy, we are voting with our dollars that this is OK. However, every time we abstain from dairy, every time we pay our dollars to sustainable, cruelty free dairy substitutes, we are voting for the solution, for peace, for kindness, for gentleness.
There were not enough of us choosing differently to stop the pain for this mommy cow and her newborn baby. Maybe, if enough of us choose differently now, we can make a difference to cows in the future, in her memory.
If someone takes my baby away, it is called kidnapping and there are laws against it. Why should it be any different for this cow? Please help me create a gentler world, for all of us. Please help me be her witness!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn