Made to Be Mothers

Response to the blog entry “Made to Be Mothers”:

From the perspective of a cow, raising calves is only one of her missions, albeit an important one. She also likes to explore, be with her friends, discover new and interesting things, eat tasty food, and, in many cases, be petted by friendly humans and licked by friendly cows.

You learn all these things when volunteering at a sanctuary where cows live their full lifespans and make lifelong friendships – including with their calves. Our spayed cows have fulfilling and happy lives, as do the ones who arrive pregnant.

When we’re vested in exploiting either humans or animals – and this includes killing them when young for profit – we tend to do two things:

– Dumb down the victims
– Pretend we’re not being mean

This has been the pattern through history. You’re doing both. Do you see that?

If we’re dominating innocent others, for our own selfish reasons, we want them to be rather stupid and simple. So that’s what we’ll see. It superficially makes us feel better about using and destroying them. But if we open our hearts, we can see that cows have rich, emotional lives and a strong will to live. Science shows that cows experience the “rush” of a new discovery, and simple observation shows that cows like to play and explore. Since we know they like their lives, we’re obligated to try not to end them.

Many animal exploiters – sorry, just being accurate here – misappropriate the term “respect.” Again, this superficially salves the conscience. We want to believe we’re good people. But mass-killing young animals is hardly respect.

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ll realize that we need not – and thus should not – be inflicting easily avoidable harm on innocent creatures, no matter what lies we’ve repeatedly told ourselves. This cattle rancher from Montana saw the light: 

So did this one:

And so can you.

Author: Gary L. (farm sanctuary volunteer & rabbit rescuer)

The following text is from:

I have a love-hate relationship with winter. It’s my favorite season on our farm because it brings a new crop of baby calves and proud mother cows. But it also creates long, sleepless nights for my farmer hubby and the occasional sad news of a calf that just didn’t make it. 

But as I soak up the joy that is new calves playing in our backyard, anti-animal-agriculture groups continue to criticize animal owners like my husband and I for breeding our cows each year. They consider it abuse for our animals to be continually pregnant and instead advocate for cattle to spend their days mindlessly munching on green grass and carrying a calf every few years. 

But I disagree. Our cows are born to be mothers. Not just in the literal sense of reproductive organs and hormones, but in their behaviors and temperaments. It’s their genetic make up and natural calling to carry a calf.

Our cows deliver a calf each winter and nurse it through the spring and summer months. In late April and early June they are usually impregnated again. All the while receiving the proper feed and nutrition – which varies according to their stage of pregnancy. We work to ensure all of our cows get pregnant around the time same so that we know when to expect calves. 

The mothers provide all of their calf’s nutritional needs. She protects it from wildlife and the weather and watch over it as it runs, plays, grows and explores.  Mothers lick their newborns warm and dry and clean a dirty behind with a quick pass of the tongue. Mother cows and calves communicate with moo’s and bellows and pair up each night and throughout the day for food and protection. It’s a relationship not unlike that of my son and I’s and as I hear for the mothers call to their calves at the end of each day I know that motherhood is in their DNA.

We treat our cows with respect and a gentle hand and they, in return, allow us to participate in raising their calves. A cow’s job is to raise calves. That is her mission and purpose in life. Cows allow us to grow our herd and continue our dream of handing this farm and way of life to our children. Motherhood is not abuse, it’s a continuing of the life cycle we all depend on for food and fuel and it’s what our cows love to do.


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