Sleepy newborn calf chews its cud in the sunshine
Helen is a three day old calf who is enjoying a beautiful life on a beautiful farm in Millbrook, Ontario. The farm has acres of lush, green pasture, ponds full of fresh water, a forested area and hills that stretch out over a peaceful landscape. Helen wanders freely in these meadows with her mother and the rest of the herd. There is even a giant, but gentle bull named Gus who watches over them.
This is an ethical farm where they refuse to produce veal. They don't produce dairy products, so the babies get every drop of their mother's milk. The calves are not separated from their mothers. It's life as close to what nature intended for these gentle souls.
Helen is enjoying the fresh air and sunshine on this warm morning in May. The sun has just come up on her third day in this new world and she looks like she has gotten used to it perfectly. Her eyes are closed contentedly as she chews away. She is likely just imitating her mother since she does not actually graze yet. She will rely on her mother's milk for a few more months until she matures and can digest grass properly.
Helen has more than twenty little playmates on this farm. She runs and frolics with the other calves in the afternoons and evenings. She is a happy little calf who couldn't ask for anything more.
Helen's mother is Pam, an enormous, but calm and contended cow. Pam grazes most of the day but she is always close by, keeping an eye on her new baby. Pam and the other cows sometimes share the maternal duties and they look after each others' calves for part of the day. Often, one cow can be seen grazing beside five or six babies, as if they are running a little cow daycare.
Cows are surprisingly social animals and each has its place in the herd. They are lovable and gentle creatures and far more intelligent than we give them credit for. Ethical farms like these are not hard to find. It is important to support those farmers who are doing things right. Even if our food costs a little more, it is worth it for the reduction in cruelty that we see in factory farming.