Dear Cow by Maureen Topa

Dear Cow,

I’ve been thinking about you every day. There’s so much I could say, but none of it will change your destination. I guess I’ll start with this: I’m sorry, I love you, we’re trying.I’m sorry for so many things, Cow, but you are gentle and understanding and I know you will forgive me. Dairy cows are intelligent and trustworthy, and have fewer fear genes than other cattle1. They were bred to be docile and easily managed by humans2, which makes the way we treat them that much more unthinkable and cruel.

I used to eat your meat, Cow, drink your baby’s milk and wear your skin and for all of that I am sorry. You trusted me and I let you down.

We understand that it might seem daunting to completely cut out animal products from your life, but when you learn the realities of the ‘animals as consumerism’ industry, it makes it that much easier to become a conscious consumer and find alternatives. Leather, for example, cannot be sustainable. The process is devastating to human animals, non-human animals, communities, and the environment. That’s just one of the reasons Nicora offers Kind Leather™, a material exclusive to the company. It’s OK to take transitioning to a compassionate lifestyle one step at a time, and we’re here to help.

 

"We understand that it might seem daunting to completely cut out animal products from your life, but when you learn the realities of the ‘animals as consumerism’ industry, it makes it that much easier to become a conscious consumer and find alternatives."

 
 

This letter has a purpose, Cow. I want you to know your life has not been lived in vain. I want to share your story. I want others to love you as much as I love you. I wish I could tell you that everything is going to be ok, Cow, but it’s not, so I won’t…

You look tired, Cow. Not one moment of your life has been easy and it shows. You’ll be traveling for more than a day with no food, no water, and no rest…if only I could give you a drink. Try your best to think happy thoughts, Cow. Here, I’ll help you…

In the United States, animals can travel for up to 28 consecutive hours without food, water, or rest, and this number can increase to 36 hours with a mere written request from the animals ‘owner’. 3

Think of your babies, Cow. Your time with each one of them was brief, but the only happiness you ever knew.

Pregnant cows carry their babies for nine months, just like human animals do, and when the time comes to separate them—which varies—it is extremely traumatic for both mother cow and calf, as “cows separated from their calves will mope and bellow for days.” 4 When out of the food system and left together, cows and their calves will remain grazing partners for years.

Remember your baby boy’s eyes, Cow? They were innocent, dark, shimmering. Your daughter’s pink, wet nose…can you remember? Your baby boy is gone by now, but your daughter is still alive, at the same place you just left...

Commercial calf slaughter totaled 487,700 in 2016, and commercial cattle slaughter totaled 30.6 million in 2016, both numbers up from 2015. Male calves born on a dairy farm can be sold for veal or beef production, while females—with invaluable reproductive systems but no bodily autonomy—will most likely remain on a dairy farm.

 

"Commercial calf slaughter totaled 487,700 in 2016, and commercial cattle slaughter totaled 30.6 million in 2016, both numbers up from 2015."

 
 

You’re so young, Cow. You would live for many more years if they hadn’t treated your body—and mind—this way.

Cows can live for 20 years but in commercial food systems, will be killed (on average) at six years old. 6 Slaughtered dairy cows account for about 18% of ground beef production in the United States. 7 Unlike cattle who are raised for beef, dairy cows often do not arrive at slaughterhouses in good physical condition and the reality is that sick cows are sent to slaughter. 8 Lameness (persistent foot infections or leg problems), mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue), and poor fertility are common reasons for early killing.

I wish I could save you, Cow. I would bring you home with me and we would lie on the grass and feel the sun and smell the seasons. That’s a nice thought, isn’t it, Cow? Keep thinking these happy thoughts, when you arrive, and when you wait…especially when you wait.

You’re almost there now, Cow. It will be over soon, I promise. Please know that if I could take away your pain and fear, I would. Soon you will be free and they will not have dominion over your fragile body anymore.

I should say goodbye now…

My dear Cow, remember the sweet faces of your babies, and just know that:

I’m sorry, I love you, we’re trying.

xoxo

Times have changed and technology has evolved. We no longer need to rely on non-human animals for food or clothing, and Nicora is part of that evolution. And although the meat, dairy, and leather industries might seem separate, they are all connected. If you have questions about going animal-free—whether in fashion, food, products or more—feel free to contact Nicora.

 
"We no longer need to rely on non-human animals for food or clothing, and Nicora is part of that evolution."

 

SOURCES:

1: (‘the intimate bond’ page 72)

2: (‘the intimate bond’ page 75)

3: [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title49/pdf/USCODE-2011-title49-subtitleX-chap805-sec80502.pdf]

4: [http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/31/magazine/power-steer

5: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/LiveSlauSu/LiveSlauSu-04-19-2017.pdf

6: [https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/5235185/the-life-of-dairy-cows.pdf]

7: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/08/23/159914915/so-who-sent-those-sick-cows-to-the-slaughterhouse

8: [http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/08/23/159914915/so-who-sent-those-sick-cows-to-the-slaughterhouse

 

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