Calf being born shows the miracle of birth on the farm
Eunice is a very dedicated mother cow. She has chosen a spot in the sun to give birth on this beautiful farm in Ontario, Canada. She knows that her calf is on the way and she settles down in the meadow at the edge of the herd. Often, a cow will pick a secluded spot to have her calf so that she can make sure it isn't stepped on and that she has some privacy to nurse and look after the new baby when it arrives.
But Eunice seems unconcerned with the rest of the herd being close. They are curious, but respectful as she begins to deliver her baby.
A seasoned mother, Eunice doesn't need much time from when her water breaks to the time that she pushes out her baby. Gladys slides smoothly out onto the grass and Eunice springs to her feet to check on her. A mother cow relies on instincts that tell her to quickly eat the afterbirth and lick the calf clean. This serves several purposes. Cleaning the calf and the area will prevent predators from smelling blood and the scent of a birth, signalling that a vulnerable baby has just arrived. The licking also helps stimulate the calf and make it more alert and ready to walk. A calf must be on its feet as soon as possible to nurse and to move with her mother to avoid any threats. The rest of the cows will also protect the young, but it's only possible if the calf is able to get its legs under it.
Gladys is quick to try getting up and she is adorably clumsy in her first attempts at standing. Eunice waits patiently, encouraging her with soft moos and gentle nudges and licks. Eventually, Gladys finds the milk supply and begins to nurse. She will receive the colostrum that builds her immune system in this first milk. It's crucial to the calf's future health.
The licking and early nursing will also solidify the bond between mother and calf, allowing them to find each other by voice and by smell, as much as by sight. Gladys will stay close to her mother in the early days and will gradually gain independence as she wanders farther away when she is strong enough to run quickly.
Gladys and Eunice could not have picked a better place to live. They will wander over lush green meadows, drink from ponds full of fresh water, and roam through a forested area. It is an ethical farm where calves are not separated from their mothers. The farmers do not produce veal or dairy. Both of these cows will enjoy a long life that will be as close as possible to what nature intended for such gentle creatures.
For those who commit to a vegetarian lifestyle, their choice is commendable. Those who chose to eat meat can source their food from ethical farms such as this one so that they are not contributing to factory farming. Supporting the farmers who do things right will mean a life free of the cruelty and suffering associated with larger, profit-driven operations.