Friday, February 25, 2011

...Alone and afraid...

"..alone and afraid in a world I never made.." comes from A. E. Houseman. You can read the full work containing this phrase here.

The video is of a Canadian dairy cow that has reached a point in her life where the human or group of humans that had her enslaved have decided she is no longer "profitable" in terms of the amount of milk her body is able to produce so she is awaiting "sale".... after that sale she will be killed and her exhausted flesh will be used to make something some human somewhere can order at a fast food place.

The video is brief (about 37 seconds) and only shows this one cow person...there is no violence shown. As you look at her think about the children she was forced to give birth to who were then taken away from her, think about her grief, her suffering....her life used up so human animals could make money and drink baby cow food (milk) or eat sugared up frozen baby cow food (ice cream) or use the fats from baby cow food (butter) to spread on their toast with jam.

Her life, taken from her...now she awaits the ending of that existence. It may be that it will be a relief for her...I don't know. She is likely only 5 or 6 years old and not near the end of her natural lifespan...I don't know her thoughts or her feelings...but I can guess.

Look at her and know that she is where she is and feeling how she feels and looking like she does because the nice and kind and clean and smiling humans go to the "dairy" section of their "supermarket" and pick up some "milk" or some "butter" or to the frozen food section and pick up some "ice cream" or to the "custard" place for a treat. Those nice and kind and clean and smiling humans who would not be cruel to an "animal", who would not harm an "animal", who would not neglect an "animal".

Somehow all those nice and kind and clean and smiling humans, only wanting something that "tastes good" end up being responsible for this forlorn and sad and hurt and exhausted and doomed cow person's situation.



I look at her and know that for years I drank "milk" and ate "ice cream" and spread "butter" with virtually carefree abandon and thoughtlessness...thoughtless at least as far as thinking about who was actually paying the price for the drinking and eating and spreading. If the being that the "milk" came from crossed my mind at all it was only in passing and only...maybe...that cows "give" milk and it didn't hurt her. For the cow babies taken from her no thoughts occurred...they didn't exist in my universe. Ignorance was bliss...for me...but not for her, not for her children.

I didn't think, I didn't consider, I didn't wonder, I didn't investigate...and I didn't feel responsible...what was there to be responsible for? And she and her children paid daily for my ignorance and carelessness and I blithely drank and ate and spread misery and suffering and horror...on her and her babies.

The world lied to me, corporations lied to me, 4-H lied to me, FFA lied to me, farmers lied to me, my family lied to me, and I lied to me. We all said it is ok to "use" animals, we all said it is "necessary", we all said it is not cruel, we all said it is "humane", we all said "don't worry about it", we all said "they don't have feelings", we all said "they don't care".

Look at the video, look at her exhaustion and despair and hopelessness and see the result of our lies.

I can't tell you how painful it is for me to watch her...but it is appropriate that I feel horrid...it was because of me and others like me that she ended up where she is. I was doing things that caused pain and misery but not feeling the consequences of my actions...she was feeling those and she was doing nothing to cause the pain and misery she experienced. It was me, us that were causing it and it is fitting that I now feel some small measure of the pain I caused and it is only a small measure...I can never appreciate the depths of her suffering...I can never take it from her and place it on me...which is where it belongs.

She represents a segment of my "breaking the world". And I shall never be able to repair that segment, only to regret it...and to acknowledge it by showing this video of her suffering....her being broken.

If you are still participating in causing this kind of misery, please stop, no one has the right to inflict this kind of suffering on someone that is innocent of doing any harm ... who only wants to live her own life how she wants to. Who only wants what each of us want.

10 comments:

Krissa said...

It's hard to copy/paste and type through tears. This exactly sums up what I feel though, these words of yours:
"I can't tell you how painful it is for me to watch her...but it is appropriate that I feel horrid...it was because of me and others like me that she ended up where she is. I was doing things that caused pain and misery but not feeling the consequences of my actions...she was feeling those and she was doing nothing to cause the pain and misery she experienced. It was me, us that were causing it and it is fitting that I now feel some small measure of the pain I caused and it is only a small measure...I can never appreciate the depths of her suffering...I can never take it from her and place it on me...which is where it belongs." ... There just has to be some way to make other humans see our fellow beings as the same as us. Because they are. So thanks for posting the video. Thanks for your words. And I believe more strongly now than ever that people who eat/drink/wear any product made from any animals should have to spend at least one day with them in their miserable lives and at least one day in a slaughterhouse. Anyone who can't be reached doing that....that's where eugenics comes in, but of course we can't do that. We can breed and manipulate every other species on the planet but let's just let our own run rampant. Never mind that we're the ones who need breeding in order to achieve certain characteristics (none to do with any outward appearance). We've done it all backwards. Entirely backwards.

veganelder said...

Thank you Krissa for commenting.

The cow person in the video is likely long dead. She will long live in my memory though...watching her...I wanted to hug her and apologize...which would probably only have terrified her even more. The whole godawful mess we have created is sometimes overwhelming.

Feedback about the consequences of our actions is one way we learn...having these victims hidden away or out of sight and hearing means information about the consequences of behavior is reduced. Whether it would make a difference for some is a question...but at least denial would be more difficult.

Interesting (and maybe quite accurate) that the animal that most needs some "breeding" is us...yet as you note...it is all backwards.

Krissa said...

"I wanted to hug her and apologize...which would probably only have terrified her even more." - I am not so sure about that after my own experience with my cow friend (now dead, too). While it is certainly possible that it would be frightening, it is amazing how our fellow beings who have no reason to trust any of us seem to be able to see our hearts and know when one of us is a friend. And I guess that's almost as painful to know as it would be if they couldn't see those of us who are friends.....because their human friends can't help them most of the time. And I will always wonder if my friend/s wondered why I wasn't helping them. But probably, they knew that too. :(

Patty said...

Her silent suffering is heart breaking beyond words.

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

So sad.

But thank you for the introduction to CEFTA. As a Canadian it's nice to know there's an agency in my own country who, though not vegan, at least try to make life for farmed animals a bit better. It's not enough, obviously, but it's a step.

veganelder said...

Thanks Krissa for your follow-up comment and thank you too Patty and SITOGV.

Patty: Human language is rendered inept quite often isn't it? The image of her being and her suffering transcend paltry things like words.

SITOGV: Yes, sad, sad. You're welcome for the intro. I keep telling myself...every little bit is more than nothing. I noticed too that they aren't vegan...always astonishing (though not unexpected) to me.

Krissa: You're right about the perceptiveness of the other animals, I was just thinking of her suffering at the hands us human animals. Hypothesizing about that further...they must know how deeply flawed and deficient we are...maybe that's why they offer such incredible forebearance?...I don't know. I just know the great majority of us fail to live up to the offerings of friendship and trust from the other animal folk that they continually present us with.

Andrew Hunt said...

That is an absolutely heartbreaking video. This precious life deserves to be free, not caged and frightened. I feel the same profound sense of grief that I consumed these kinds of products for so many years. The good news is, if we broke free of the lies and myths and cruelty, countless others are capable of doing the same. This precious sweetheart - and all animals - need us out there fighting the good fight for them. Thank you so much for posting this deeply moving video!

Andrew Hunt said...

By the way, I'd like to put in a good word for Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals. They're fighting a brave and often very lonely fight on behalf of the wonderful animals here in Canada. Twyla Francois, an impassioned spokeswoman for these beautiful beings, has fought day and night on their behalf. Go, Twyla!

veganelder said...

Thank you Andrew for commenting. Yes, we all must keep struggling...to end the conditions that resulted in the lonely, sad and miserable life that was inflicted on that cow. We must.

Good for CETFA and for Twla Francois, reducing suffering is always a move in the right direction.

Bea Elliott said...

I know we've discussed this before, on this blog and elsewhere... The awful toll that these lies from 4-H, to corporations to our families and the world, takes on us emotionally. The betrayal (for me) creates such an anger that it becomes hard to see past... Although to change anything I know I must.

I don't know that it will do much good to say to at least forgive yourself for your own deceptions. We were all trained so, so very well! It would almost have taken an omnipotent mind to see and question the ruse! We came to them as trusting children... And they filled us with false bravado so that our fragile little half-selves wouldn't and couldn't even bare the slight chance that we (or they) were wrong. :(

This use of animals is not only wretched because it leaves beautiful cow people such as she alone and afraid... But it does so with it's "exceptional" human children as well.

If I could I would so gladly turn against, give back, send away with urgent haste, every single bit of the lies I was literally "forced" to consume. That makes most of my life not even "real"...

The whole system is a miserable failure - with blood and tears on it's hands. It makes victims of us all! Poor lovely lady... I know I'll never forget her either. :(