Thursday, April 21, 2016

At the Kuhrettung Rhein-Berg Sanctuary in Germany a dairy cow named Emma was acting nervous and not like her usual self. Earlier in the day she had been loaded onto a trailer and driven to her new home at the sanctuary. The dairy farm which she’d called home had recently closed down and she had originally been headed to the slaughter house before her rescuers stepped in.

At first Emma was terrified as her life was suddenly turned upside down. At the start of the video she can be seen crying visible tears of sadness and fear as she was placed in the strange trailer. It’s heartbreaking, but not for long. Once she arrived at the sanctuary she was released into a spacious pasture filled with green grass, rolling hills, and other cows. She slowly made her way into her new home and before long the other cows came up to greet her. They sniffed and checked each other out and enthusiastically surrounded her. It’s as if they were all reassuring her that everything was going to be just fine. By the end of the video it looks like Emma has quickly been accepted into her new family and the group goes running off happily into the field.

What started out as a terrifying ordeal ended the best way possible. Thanks to a group of dedicated people Emma was not slaughtered and instead was brought to the Kuhrettung Rhein-Berg Sanctuary in Germany to live. The group rescues dairy cows and retires them to a former farm where they can naturally live out the rest of their days.

Prior to her arrival at the sanctuary, Emma’s life was anything but natural. Cows are known for producing milk and associated dairy products. In order to make that milk a cow must become pregnant and give birth to a calf, whom it will nurse. However, in the dairy industry young calves are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth so that the milk can instead be collected for human consumption. This separation of mother and child is done early on in an effort to cause minimal stress to both, but it’s also done repeatedly in order to keep cows producing milk. Cows, like Emma, who end up at the sanctuary are retired, in that they are no longer impregnated and thus do not produce any milk.

Fortunately for Emma, she gets to stay with other rescued dairy cows on the farm sanctuary. Her life has changed dramatically for the better. Now she is able to live alongside other happy cows and can do all the normal, natural things that cows do. It’s a happy ending that she, and others like her, deserve.

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