To the editor:
I was filled with emotion Oct. 23 when I read the article on page 4, “Strange noises turn out to be cows missing their calves.” I had heard stories about this and having it described as the worse day on a farm, the day the cows were separated from their calves. The cows would bellow and the calves would cry endlessly and, for anyone who has compassion, these sounds would certainly be heartbreaking.
Although I have known about this for years, I have suppressed it because it was too painful to think about. This article brought it home for me. This sad occurrence wasn’t out in the Midwest somewhere; it was just up the road from where I live in the South End of Newburyport. How can anyone hear the cries of these mother cows and believe that this is not real emotion here? These cows feel the same as any human mother would feel if her baby was taken away from her shortly after birth, never to be seen again. This painful experience for these cows just doesn’t happen once in their lifetime, it happens again and again in the life of a dairy cow.
I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years because I could not contribute to the horror that animals experience when they are slaughtered, especially at factory farms. I am not a vegan, which would mean that I would not eat any animal products, including dairy. I have thought about it and find it hard to give up the yogurt and cheeses and cream in my coffee. However, after reading this article, I am more convinced than ever that the vegan lifestyle is a moral way to live one’s life.
One more point: I saw the documentary “Black Fish” at the Screening Room last week. It’s about orcas in captivity at SeaWorld. Contracted divers go to the areas of the ocean where orcas live where they trap and take the baby orcas away from their mothers and their families in the same wrenching way baby calves are taken from their mothers. The whole family of orcas surrounds the boat that is taking away their babies and they are helpless to do anything about it. When captive mothers give birth, their babies are also taken away from them to go to other parks such as SeaWorld. The poor mothers go to a corner of the tank in which they live and cry out pitifully. The emotional section of the orca’s brain is large and clearly, from the way the mother’s mourn the loss of their babies, it is equivalent to human emotional pain.