Posted on Mar 10, 2016
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
We rescued a dairy cow in Tennessee this week. She was impregnated each year, had her babies taken away every year, and the breast milk taken for humans. Thankfully, she belonged to a family who wanted to see her retire after her years of service instead of being sent to slaughter. We heard about her and offered to take her home to The Gentle Barn where she could have the retirement she deserved.
We were told that the last time she had a baby was nine months ago but that they no longer had the baby. We brought her home, named her Maybelle, and told her we would love and take great care of her for the rest of her life.
For two days Maybelle paced, kept looking over our fences, and cried. Everything about her seemed like she was calling a baby. Even though we were told she didn't have a baby, Maybelle was telling us otherwise. We listened to our instincts and went back to the farm to double check. Sure enough they did have her baby in a separated area being raised for slaughter. We begged to have him and after much negotiation were able to bring him home to The Gentle Barn to be reunited with his mom.
Maybelle has never been allowed to raise a baby before. She was used for her milk and treated like a machine. Maybelle will get to raise, care for, and love her baby for the first time in her life! We are so happy for her!
Maybelle is an amazing mom, nurturing, loving, and strong. She allows her son to explore and play with Dudley and Destiny but when he gets too far she calls him back with a moo and he comes running. Dudley and Destiny love the new baby so much and are honored to play uncle and aunt.
She doesn't believe us quite yet but Maybelle will soon understand that from now on her baby belongs to her forever. She will come to know that we see her as a sentient being deserving of respect, safety and love!
The Gentle Barn