Mother’s Day

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Remember mother cows this Mother’s Day with the Cow Ribbon Campaign!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

 

© Farm Sanctuary

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! We launched the Cow Ribbon campaign in 2010 to recognize the suffering of dairy cows. Dairy cows must endure a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth in order to maintain uninterrupted milk production. Unfortunately, dairy cows usually only get to be mothers for a matter of hours because their babies are taken away almost immediately after birth so people can drink the milk meant for their offspring. Just like humans, cows grieve the loss of their young.

In fact, the voice of their grief is so loud that it has been known to prompt worried neighbours to call the police in the middle of the night. Strange noises from near the Sunshine Dairy Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts, turned out to be the bellowing and cries of cows who had just lost their babies. Police reassured the public that this was just a normal part of farming practice. While it may be standard practice, cows have strong maternal bonds and their cries are a reflection of their distress.

As for the babies, they lose their mothers shortly after birth, eat formula instead of the milk intended for them, and spend their first few weeks of life isolated in calf hutches or pens. The pens are so small they can barely move around. The National Farm Animal Care Council’s Codes of Practice, after all, recommend a minimum of just 35.5 inches by 65 inches for these 200 pound animals.  Females will usually become dairy cows, while the males are kept for a few weeks until they are ready to be sold for veal.

While dairy cows and their babies suffer year-round, Mother’s Day is a great time to be reminded that cows are mothers too. Wear a cow ribbon, and join us in commemorating the lives of cows who suffer so much loss just for a glass of milk

 

Get your cow ribbon!
Volunteers working hard to assemble the ribbons!

 

 

Mother’s Day Cow Ribbon Event

Monday, May 20th, 2013
emilia face

That is one adorable calf. (Photo: John Federico)

On Mother’s Day 2013, we headed out to Georgia and Granville again to spread the word about the cruelty of the dairy industry.  (Check out our 2012 Mother’s Day event.)  We had our cow ribbons on hand for people to purchase.

You can still get your own cow ribbon here for a donation of $5!

This year, we had a special guest: Emilia and her mom, Fabiola, and dad, Trent.

Unlike calves in the dairy industry, little Emilia gets to stay with her loving parents.  Dairy cows lose their children year after year, one after another.  Male calves are raised as veal–an industry that began as a way to make some money off of all the extra calves created by the dairy industry.  Females are kept around and raised to be dairy cows themselves.  It’s a vicious, horrible cycle and one that too few people are aware of but many are grateful–and disgusted–to learn about.

sophie with cow

Richa (as the cow with the snazzy matching umbrella) and Sophie hand out leaflets.

calf

Emilia with her parents

The cool, rainy weather wasn’t the best of timing as it cut down dramatically on foot traffic, but with the help of our amazing volunteers, we still gave out so many leaflets that we totally depleted our supply.

That means that between our May volunteer night on the 8th and our leafleting on Mother’s Day, we gave out 1500 leaflets about the dairy industry!  Great job, guys!  If you’d like to distribute some of our leaflets yourself, you can download and print them here.

emilia, fabiola, cow

Emilia meets her much larger counterpart.

cow hug

Our cow makes friends wherever she goes!

emilia in stroller

Even animal heroes get sleepy sometimes.

Our gratitude goes out to the wonderful volunteers who came out on a rainy Sunday to make this a better world for all moms!

Celebrate Mother’s Day…with tons of cute animal pictures!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Check out our collection of cute Cow Ribbon e-cards to send to the mothers in your life!

card 1

And a very, very happy Mother’s Day to all moms, whether they be…

turkeys

...turkeys... (Photo: United Poultry Concerns)

...cows...

...chickens... (Photo: Dave Wilson Photography via Flickr)

...pigs...

...pigeons... (Photo: dhruti via Merinews)

(It’s a cuteness blitz and I can’t stop!)

...sheep... (Photo: Jim Kirkpatrick via Flickr)

gull

...gulls... (Photo: Aiden Blake, Millionflame.com)

(As with pigeons, both parents take care of their babies, so this might actually be the father.)

...goats... (Photo: Farm Sanctuary)

discus fish with babies

...fish... (Photo: J. Buckley)

(Contrary to popular belief, some fish, like the Discus fish above, do stick around to protect and teach their young.)

...alligators... (Photo: John Moran Photography)

...polar bears... (Photo: National Geographic)

...hawks... (Photo: Ugo Trocolli via Flickr)

(The above photo is of Big Red, a wild Red-tailed Hawk, and her three chicks.  You can watch her and her mate, Ezra, raising their babies–live!–at Cornell Birdcams.  Better than any zoo!)

...dolphins... (Photo: Chris Veese)

...albatrosses... (Photo: Steve Bloom)

There’s still time to get a cow ribbon of your own for a donation of $5 or more. Spark a conversation about the cruelty of the dairy industry and help protect mother cows and their babies.

get your ribbon

 

Cow Ribbon Campaign: Dylan’s Story

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

get your ribbonAs we approach Mother’s Day (May 12th), it’s time to spread the word about compassion for all mothers with our Cow Ribbon Campaign.  This is part five in a series of stories about mother cows and their babies. Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

But first, why wear a cow ribbon?  What do dairy cows have to do with Mother’s Day?

Sweet Dylan lives at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York now, but he was born on a dairy farm in 2005.  When he was discovered, he was tied to a post and lying in his own feces, a day away from being sent to auction as a veal calf.  This is the fate of most male calves born into the dairy industry, but Dylan was lucky: two caring people, concerned about the mistreatment of the newborn calves at the farm, talked the farmer into giving him up.

dylan calf

Dylan is just one of the countless male calves considered a nearly worthless byproduct in the dairy industry. (Photo: Derek Goodwin)

Dylan arrived at Woodstock just one week old, and though he was frightened at first, he very quickly became a fearless troublemaker, even following his caregivers into the house!

dylan with cake

One year and 800 pounds later, Dylan enjoys a birthday cake made of fruit, bread, and carrots. (Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary)

This Mother’s Day, speak out for Dylan and all of the calves who never get a first birthday! You can get a cow ribbon of your own for a $5 donation.  As we learned last year from Our Henhouse’s Jasmin Singer, it can spark some really great conversations!

Want to spread the word online?  Check out these adorable e-cards and icons that you can use on Facebook or Twitter!

Cow Ribbon Campaign: the story of Freedom, Summer, and Sadie

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

get your ribbonTwo weeks left until Mother’s Day!  There’s still time to get your cow ribbon for a minimum donation of $5.  It’s time to spread the word about compassion for all mothers with our Cow Ribbon Campaign.  This is part four in a series of stories about mother cows and their babies. Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

But first, why wear a cow ribbon?  What do dairy cows have to do with Mother’s Day?

Freedom and Summer live at Animal Place Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California.  Like all male calves born into the dairy industry, they were close to worthless, and were sent to auction at only a few days old.

Freedom and Sadie

Freedom and Sadie

Most of the time, dairy calves and their mothers are separated within hours, never to see each other again.  The maternal instincts of cows are powerful–they will bellow and moan for days after their calves are taken from them–and the calves’ need for motherly love and guidance cannot be understated.  At Animal Place, Freedom and Summer found Sadie, a former dairy cow who had lost many babies to the industry and who now acts as an eager adoptive mom to any young calves entering the sanctuary.  The three bonded immediately, and even as Freedom and Summer approached adulthood, she continued to mother them.  Whenever she felt that they had gotten too far away, she would call them back, and they would “begrudgingly” return for a grooming!

summer and sadie

Sadie and Summer spending time together. (Photo: Animal Place)

Speak out for Freedom, Summer, and Sadie this Mother’s Day! You can get a cow ribbon of your own for a $5 donation.  As we learned last year from Our Henhouse’s Jasmin Singer, it can spark some really great conversations!

Want to spread the word online?  Check out these adorable e-cards and icons that you can use on Facebook or Twitter!

Next up: the story of

Cow Ribbon Campaign: the story of Alexander, Blitzen, and Lawrence

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

get your ribbonAs we approach Mother’s Day (May 12th), it’s time to spread the word about compassion for all mothers with our Cow Ribbon Campaign.  This is part three in a series of stories about mother cows and their babies. Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

But first, why wear a cow ribbon?  What do dairy cows have to do with Mother’s Day?

Alexander, Blitzen, and Lawrence were discovered at an auction for dairy calves by Susie Coston, National Shelter Director for Farm Sanctuary:

The newborns, some not even a day old yet, were visibly frenzied and could be heard bawling for their mothers…their terror was only met with frustration from the workers who forcefully unloaded and moved them into holding pens by hitting them with canes or shocking them with cattle prods.

 

The scene turned even grislier when she came across the poor babies who were obviously very ill. She found one – a little calf who couldn’t even stand – collapsed and left freezing in the less than 20 degree weather near a loading dock. The other two she would rescue that day were shoved into the auction ring when the sale began. One was so sick and weak that his legs kept buckling beneath him as workers prodded him to get him on his feet. The other, weighing only 37 pounds, was so small that the bidders made a joke of him – calling him “trash.” Treated with the same indifference as all the others, these little ones were only mocked in their distress and ultimately deemed as being worthless when they failed to sell for even $1.

All three calves needed intensive care for renal failure, pneumonia, cysts, and a host of other conditions brought on by neglect and a lack of basic medical treatment as well as the fact that they were denied their mothers’ colostrum. But now they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives.  Most are not so lucky.

Speak out for Alexander, Blitzen, Lawrence, and all the millions of nameless calves this Mother’s Day! You can get a cow ribbon of your own for a $5 donation.  As we learned last year from Our Henhouse’s Jasmin Singer, it can spark some really great conversations!

Want to spread the word online?  Check out these adorable e-cards and icons that you can use on Facebook or Twitter!

Next up: the story of Freedom, Summer, and Sadie.

Cow Ribbon Campaign: Maybelle’s Story

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

get your ribbonAs we approach Mother’s Day (May 12th), it’s time to spread the word about compassion for all mothers with our Cow Ribbon Campaign.  This is part two in a series of stories about mother cows and their babies. Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

But first, why wear a cow ribbon?  What do dairy cows have to do with Mother’s Day?

Maybelle lives at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York now, but her origin story is a bit unique as compared to most dairy cows.  She was born on a large-scale farm in Pennsylvania in 2005.  When she was three years old, however, she was transferred to a New York historical site where people dress in period costumes and do demonstrations for the public to give some impression of life in 18th century America.  One such demonstration involved Maybelle, who was displayed for their milking exhibit.  Of course, she needed to give birth in order to produce milk, and as a result she was impregnated four times in the four years that she lived there.  One calf was born prematurely and died, and the other three were taken from her and sold.  Pretty standard stuff for dairy production, even in circumstances such as these.

When the staff at the historical site decided to end the milking demonstrations, they fortunately contacted Woodstock, who gladly accepted her.

maybelle and kayli

Maybelle (left) and Kayli (Photo: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary)

One of Maybelle’s lost babies was sold to a petting zoo, and Woodstock has been attempting to reunite the two…but so far, the petting zoo has refused to give him up.

Speak out for Maybelle and her lost babies this Mother’s Day! You can get a cow ribbon of your own for a $5 donation.  As we learned last year from Our Henhouse’s Jasmin Singer, it can spark some really great conversations!

Want to spread the word online?  Check out these adorable e-cards and icons that you can use on Facebook or Twitter!

Next up: the story of Alexander, Blitzen, and Lawrence.

Cow Ribbon Campaign: Jasper and Poncho’s Story

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

get your ribbonAs we approach Mother’s Day (it’s on May 12th!), it’s time to spread the word about compassion for all mothers with our Cow Ribbon Campaign.  This is part one in a series of stories about mother cows and their babies. Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

But first, why wear a cow ribbon?  What do dairy cows have to do with Mother’s Day?

Like humans, cows must have babies in order to produce milk. In the dairy industry, they are kept in a state of almost constant pregnancy, and the calves that are born are taken from their mothers within hours. Females are usually kept to replace their mothers, and males are considered a byproduct. They are sold for veal or simply thrown away. (The veal industry was developed as a way to use these “extra” calves. Learn more here.) Two months after their calves are born, the cows are re-impregnated via artificial insemination and the cycle begins again.

Most dairy cows live and die in anonymity, as do their babies.  Once in a while, though, a lucky cow or calf escapes the industry.  We’ve decided to share a few of their stories.

Our first featured story is that of Poncho and Jasper, who live at VINE Sanctuary in Vermont.  Poncho and Jasper were found with four other “useless” dairy calves, tied to a tractor and left to die.  They were rescued by Farm Sanctuary, who provided them with the immediate medical attention they desperately needed.  Jasper was particularly sick and required several days of stay in an intensive care unit for medication, fluids, and a blood transfusion.

poncho and jasper

Poncho and Jasper as calves. (Photo: VINE Sanctuary)

After their recovery, Jasper and Poncho were transferred to VINE.  (The other three calves, named Blake, Phoebus, and Sixer, stayed at Farm Sanctuary.  Read their story here.) Now, anybody who has known a dog or a cat is well aware that each individual animal has a personality (for lack of a better word) of their own.  But the same rule applies for other animals, too, including those that are more typically considered a food source rather than a companion.  Here’s what caregiver Cheryl Wiley has to say about Jasper and Poncho…

“Poncho loves the world and never passes up an opportunity for attention—even from the vet! Irrepressibly curious, Poncho looks for chances to explore new things, often demonstrating just how ‘helpful’ he can be with projects.  He is also perhaps the most athletic cow we have ever seen. He can jump a four-foot fence from a standstill and will take the most difficult path around any obstacle, always arriving safely on the other side.

 

“Jasper is sweet and shy. He tends to be reserved with strangers but loves treats and never forgets those who have brought him a carrot or (even better) an apple. He can spot a vet in a heartbeat, though, and keeps his distance despite bribes! Jasper loves to play in the chickens’ water dish and is fascinated when it slides across the ice. Jasper loves to have his head and ears rubbed and makes it clear that he does not want the scratching to stop.”

Simply because humans like to drink the milk of mother cows, these two calves–now “big, gawky yet graceful, good-looking cows”–were abandoned and left to die.   According to VINE, their personalities have not changed as they’ve grown: Poncho remains more outgoing and high-spirited; Jasper, who required such intensive care after his rescue, remains “the quiet thinker”.  We’ll never know who their mothers were, but it’s more likely than not that they are no longer alive: the stresses of life as a dairy cow mean that they are “spent” at a young age, at which point they are usually turned into cheap meat like ground beef or dog food.

P and J today

Poncho and Jasper today. (Photo: VINE Sanctuary)

Speak out for Poncho and Jasper and their mothers this Mother’s Day! You can get a cow ribbon of your own for a $5 donation.  As we learned last year from Our Henhouse’s Jasmin Singer, it can spark some really great conversations!

Want to spread the word online?  Check out these adorable e-cards and icons that you can use on Facebook or Twitter!

Next up: the story of Maybelle.

Successful Demo for Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Liberation BC launched a cow-led search party on Wednesday May 9th to find calves that are stolen by the millions each year from mother cows by the Canadian dairy industry.  We gathered to promote our Cow Ribbon Campaign, which raises awareness about the suffering of mother cows and encourages the public to choose dairy alternatives.

Has anyone seen my calf?

A grieving mother cow with tears in her eyes and a hankie held up a sign with the details on her missing calf and led the public vigil.  Many people wanted to take pictures with our cow volunteer!

Our super-sized milk carton also got a lot of attention.

The enthusiastic group of volunteers handed out approximately 400 pamphlets over lunch and talked to the public at the City Centre Skytrain Station at Georgia and Granville Streets.

Milk comes from a grieving mother.

Our message that Mother’s Day is for mothers of all species, not just humans, was positively received by many people. A number of people I spoke with told me they didn’t eat dairy, and there were even a few vegans who came to say hello.

We even received coverage of the event in the Georgia Straight!

To honour these grieving bovine mothers, we are encouraging supporters to wear a cow ribbon.  For more information, visit CowRibbon.com.

Mother’s Day: Harry and William’s Story

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

This is part three in a series of stories about mother cows.  Have you gotten your cow ribbon yet?

Harry and William were born in 2011.  Like the mothers of Arnold and his friends, Harry and William’s mothers are anonymous, lost to the industry like so many other dairy cows.  They may still be alive, suffering through repeated artificial inseminations and pregnancies only to have their calves taken away within hours, or they may already have gone to slaughter, their bodies exhausted after only a few years of intensive milk production.

Harry and William were on a truck with nearly 100 other orphans of the dairy industry, en route to the slaughterhouse, when they were rescued by wildlife rehabilitators.  Emaciated, hypothermic, and suffering dehydration as a result of severe diarrhea, they were so sick that the veterinarians did not expect them to live.  It took some time and a lot of intensive care, but Harry and William pulled through.

The pair now lives at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres in southern California. You can see a video of them enjoying their freedom here:

(Harry and William’s story is one of Farm Sanctuary’s 2011 Featured Rescues.)