The birth of a calf made me go vegan
We walk through a field of cows to get to the beach, we do this walk often. After a few hours at the beach we walk back through the same field where we hear this cow make the most incredible sounds. We debate if its in pain or hurt... then see this magnificent beast give birth in a few short seconds. The cows maternal instincts take over and she begins to lick her new born baby, cleaning him, nuzzling into him with her nose. I feel emotional. I cry on the inside not wanting to show how much this has moved me. She hasn't been on google reading how to be a mum or reading 100s of books like we would on what to do. I have not given to a baby but when I do I will remember this cow and I aim to let nature take over I want my mothers instincts to take over and show me how to birth my baby safely. She did this on her own following her own feelings and instincts. She stands and we watch her baby copy and take to his feet for the first time. She knows exactly what to do as does he She knows he needs nourishment. He begins searching for milk. The milk she has produced to help the calf grow into a big strong cow. We watch for a while as he struggles to learn this new task of feeding. After a while we leave them together, mum with her new baby. It was so great to experience this. I've never seen anything so magical. I did watch my cat have kittens once as a child but I was traumatized as I thought she was eating them. She wasn't, she was just eating all the other bits of labour...Yuk!
At home I cant stop thinking about this calves future. I had been playing with the idea of going vegan for a while but I just love cheese too much and couldn't give up chocolate...Blah blah blah and all the other crap people say before going vegan. I had terrible acne and had been reading about dairy and how it pays a big factor in causing skin problems. the more I read about eating dairy the more i realise the effects it has on my body. Then I learn about the dairy industry.... It wasn't enough to stop me though. I still carried on drinking cows milk and all the other foods containing dairy, covering up my bad skin with some doublewear makeup.
It wasn't until that evening at home that it all clicked. I know what that calves future holds and I know the heart ache the mum is about to endure. I am now vegan...or about to be. It was a learning period and journey I was about to begin.
Just like humans cows cannot produce milk untill they have a baby. Some people do not know this, I have told really intelligent people that fact and they believe cows just always produce milk! I have no milk now but when I have a baby I will. The mi I produce will help nourish my baby helping him or her grow. I get the choice on when I have a baby. The cow didn't. She was artificially inseminated with a bulls sperm to make her pregnant because the farmer wanted her to produce milk. So he could sell, to make money because you cant live without your cheese! She gives birth to this beautiful baby and then it is removed from her, taking away. This cow has feelings you know. She grew that baby inside her, birthed him and now its been taken away. (it is taken away so it doesn't drink the milk because that milk is for your cup of tea) So she is left heart broken, confused and now about to be used for the rest of her life as a milk machine. I do not know how often cows are milked but I can imagine its not pleasant. I've read a lot of cows udders become sore and blistered from consistent milking. If you have ever breast fed I am sure you may have some feelings about this. So that is her life now until one day someone decides she is no longer good enough to milk and she is killed for her body which is used to make food for you. Burgers, beef, mince. You may have your burger and enjoy it but is that 10 minute enjoyment really worth her life? I dont think so.
...and what happens to the calf you ask? Well if he is a male he will either be killed straight away or he will be allowed to live for a few years until he is ready to be killed and made into steak...if she is female she will sadly live the life her mother lived.
This story made me think of my childhood. I lived near a farm that I now know was a dairy farm. I would go passed weekly on family walks or bike rides, play near by with friends or even go on a school trip to learn where milk comes from. This was not teaching, more like brainwashing to think this is normal....ITS NOT KIDS!
Any way these cows were curious and I used to love when they came over and licked me. Big long wet tongues. pretty gross actually. There was sometimes caves in the barn, they were cute and I was an innocent child I wasn't aware they had been separated from their mum so they couldn't drink the milk because that milk was for us greedy horribe humans. Then there was the bull, a big brown beautiful boy called Charlie. Who now when I think about him I feel sad. I cannot remember seeing him in the fields often, I would usually see him in a barn. He was super friendly but now I now know he was just lonely. He was always by himself. And I now understand he had a job to do on the farm. He was there to be used for sperm to in-pregnant the cows.
One day he just wasn't on the farm anymore and I remember children telling me he was killed for food cause that is what a burger was (I didn't believe this) my parents didn't tell me this until I was older. Or my dad did anyway, he explained it through my love of chicken nuggets. Other kids just thought he died and we were sad. But as a child you soon forget. Its only now as a vegan adult I feel empathy for the cows in my childhood village.
I eat burgers, cheese and chocolate. I put butter on my toast. They all taste good (apart from vegan cheese, that is not the same but its getting better. It melts now on pizza). I am not asking you to go vegan I dont want to preach but fuck it you should. You may think its OK because you dont see it happening you think milking a cow is natural because that is what you have been told and its good for you. Its not! Its not good for the cows either. If you cant go vegan, just cut out one thing and begin the journey from there. No more cows milk, there are so many aternatives. Oat, rice, soya, almond... you must like one of those. If you can cut everything out but cheese go ahead do it, Every little thing you stop buying and spending your money on shows the shops, the farmers, the government there is less demand for it. We dont want it and they will produce less which means less animals will be harmed and killed. Vote with your money!
The next thing you will tihnk of and a lot of people say is Oh wont we be over run by cows if they are not killed for meat!!!! Duh, how stupid are you! (sorry) The answer is NO. It just means the demand is less, less cows will be needed, less cows will be impregnated and in the end there will be no need for these kind of factory farms (that is my dream). The farmers will have to adapt, times are changing and businesses will have to change. Grow vegetables and fruit. It is part of evolving. We no longer need to kill animals to grow and survive vegans all over the world are evidence of this. I am!
Do just one thing, make the connection, make a change in your lifestyle one at a time. Please. I could continue to write more and more.I am so passionate about this because I know it is wrong and there is another way. I could add facts, explain about the effects of factory farming on the environment but I feel if you read this, you feel something you will want to know more. You will go to google and search for this yourself. You can go to Netflix and find numerous documentaries. You can go to YouTube and search vegan bloggers and your world will change. Something will click for you. Just like it did with me when I saw that cow give birth one day...
If noting happens that is OK. Well it is for you, not the cows but it is your life sadly you are effecting others lives choosing to live this way but maybe one day you will make the connection. I still love you.