Mahatma Gandhi described a cow as “a poem of compassion.” We have seen this first hand with our small family herd.
We have a small herd of cattle and we need your help to save them through this drought that has engulfed most of our state causing Florida governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency as destructive wildfires continue to rage across the state.
We have a problem, some would say a weakness, others would say we simply love animals too much – yes even those most others only love as a T-bone steak on their dinner plate. We started with 6 cows basically to help us keep our land cropped and to qualify for the greenbelt tax reduction. Now, ten years later we have about 26. What happened?
Once we observed how gentle, how affectionate, emotional & intelligent they were, we fell in love with them. We could not bring ourselves to take their babies away from their mothers or to sell them at auction not knowing how they would be treated. Yes it is true, we may love animals too much but they bring us joy and make us smile in a world that is not very easy to find a reason to display a happy countenance.
Unfortunately they have brought us much tears and sadness this past few weeks. Our “Daddy” bull Achilles – the dad, and grand-dad & even great grand-dad of our little herd went down in the wetlands. Because of the drought most of the wetlands have dried up with just some small mud patches being left. Sadly these small patches are like quick sand and once they sink down into them it is very – very hard to save them. We were able to pull him out and bring him back to our pasture with the help of the Polk County Sheriff's Office Agricultural Unit. Sadly though, after trying to get him back to health he lost his will to live and we had to put him down. Several others have gone down in the wetlands and most we were able to save but some we could not.
We have seen our cows help each other, learn from each other and make decisions based on compassion and altruism. They have strong family bonds and friendships. We have personally observed and learned that, like us, cows seek companionship. They are also very emotional (like some of us) and can be moody and sensitive. They may dislike certain individuals and can even hold a grudge for years against other cows and people who have crossed them.
They are very affectionate grooming & cleaning each other daily. They love to be petted, stroked and scratched behind the ears. Some will even let us brush them down like a horse, especially one of our bull's Latinon – he will stand there for hours taking it all in!
One of the most powerful relationships we have witness first hand is between a mother and her baby. Cows have a strong loving maternal bond and attentively watch over their young. Mothers and their children remain close to each other for life. We have seen sisters, grandmothers, and aunts care for & console calves that have lost their mother. We have seen brothers (bull's) that are inseparable from one another and will call out for hours until they find each other in the pasture and are reunited.
Because cows form such strong bonds with their loved ones, it is only natural that they show signs of grief when separated from them. Many of our neighbors have cattle. When they sell their calves and the calf is taken away, the mother will cry and bellow for hours, even days, and fall into a deep depression. Mother cows will search for their babies, visibly distressed, just as the calves cry for their mother.
This years drought has caused us to face a very sad situation in which we need to relocate and or sell most of our herd in order to save them. Due to lack of rain our ponds have started to dried up and the grass has not grown. Hay is in short supply since many others are in a similar situation. However since they raise cattle as a business they are able to afford to supplement their large herds through the continuous sale of their calves and yearlings.
While we already have several people who are going to try to help us relocate some or all of our cattle in the coming weeks, we need your help and support to supplement them until they are relocated and/or this drought comes to an end.
We thank you in advance for your support! To support our cause just register your name & email then you will be able to make a donation (minimum just $1 dollar) and you will be listed as one of our backers!
Your donation is truly appreciated! Please share this with your friends and family.
With warm regards,