Clarabelle and Valentine
During her time on a dairy farm, each of Clarabelle’s babies had been taken from her shortly after birth so that her milk could be taken for human consumption.
At the age of eight, when her milk production had waned and she was deemed no longer productive, Clarabelle was slated for slaughter. This is the usual fate of dairy cows, despite their longevity being around 20 years.
And to make matters more tragic, Clarabelle was carrying another baby. But then kindness found her and brought her to safety at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary.
One day her behaviour told us that something was amiss, although her baby was not expected for another week.
Further investigation revealed that her precious little calf had indeed been born, and Clarabelle had carefully hidden her baby in the tall grassy stand of the paddock. She was determined this one would be ‘hers’.
Clarabelle’s baby was discovered on Valentine’s Day, and was aptly named Valentine in honour of the love between mother cows and their babies.
Years later, Clarabelle can still be seen grooming her sweet daughter, and their bond is stronger than ever.
Like many, we grew up with the romantic notion that dairy products were wholesome and good, and indeed they are if you are a baby calf.
Cows do not simply produce milk; they are mammals and will only produce milk for their babies.
Once born, the dairy industry dictates the babies are soon taken away from their mothers and the milk intended for the babies is taken for human consumption.
The males, who will never produce milk, are considered waste products and are killed, many in the first week of their life. Females may enter into the dairy cycle, and small or non-commercial heifers meet the same fate as the males.
Cows have an ancient knowing, a wisdom beyond their form.
Animal behaviourist Dr Temple Grandin has said that the fear memories of cows can never be deleted.
The dairy farm worker (from where Clarabelle came) shared that the cows remembered which vehicle came and took their baby away shortly after birth. Other passing vehicles would get no reaction, until the one vehicle that took their baby would return. At this point, the cows would become nervous, anxious and edgy, looking for the babies they would never see again.
If you love dairy products and don’t believe you can find an alternative, please remember this – mother cows love their babies many times more.
You Can Help
The simplest way to help cows like Clarabelle and Valentine is to leave dairy and beef off your menu. And with so many delicious alternatives these days, it’s never been easier!
When you make the pledge for Be Kind to Animals Week, you’ll get a free Kindness Kit and delicious plant-based recipes to help get you started.
Because no matter what animals look like, they all need and deserve kindness.