Molly expresses her desire for a
LIFE WORTH LIVING
We cows are very misunderstood. We are peaceful, sensitive and social. We have distinct personalities just like humans, some of us friendly, some bossy, dull, inventive or shy.
We are capable of making our own decisions as we each have our own preferences of such things as drinking from a pond, stream or trough. And we have individual dietary preferences just like humans.
My life as a dairy cow on an intensive dairy farm is very much a production line existence, in a boring empty field, or shed, forcibly impregnated, with my newborn calf taken from me, milked for what I would have fed my calf, every year of my short life on repeat....As a result I don't have much fun.
Not all farms are like this, and I'm so grateful for the kind farmers out there who look after us.
More Trees Please
We need shade from the blazing sun
Cows prefer temperatures below 20 degrees. So shady trees play such a major role in our well being.
During summer in the barren fields, we cows suffer under the fierce sun glaring down through the ozone depleted skies.
On hot days you will see us desperate for any piece of shade we can find - shade that typically doesn't exist.
Climate change is also upon us making matters worse.
Trees are my umbrella and my parasol and even scientists agree.
Methods to maintain cool cows, must be minimum requirements of the Code of Welfare review. There are other methods of cooling cows, that should be supported too.
I'm a Mother too
I have maternal instincts
This is Moolani.
Mother cows love their cows just as human mothers love their babies, and like humans we carry our babies for 9 months. Normally a calf can suckle from its mother for around eight months, creating a strong and loving bond.
More often than not our calves are taken from us immediately after birth. This causes immense stress to both the mother and the newborn. Some mother cows naturally become extremely disorientated and distressed at being separated from our newborn calves.
The cow Code of Welfare review needs to address the cruelty around cow-calf separation and the killing of approx. two million unwanted calves a year.
And a best friend
Cows form close friendships
This is Muriel, she is my best friend. We like to hang out together. We are generally not too far away from each other. Muriel is my saviour, when things are tough going, she is there for me. If you observed us for long enough you would see the affection and bonds we share. We can sense each others' trauma.
We like to sleep close to our family and friends.
The Code of Welfare for cows must make provision for cows' emotional and social needs.
Give me a name
I have a name, I'm not a number. I'm someone, not something
When you give me a number you can conveniently disassociate from the way you treat me and the way you look at me. But did you know if you call me by my name I produce more milk? We cows prefer to be treated with respect and a personal touch. Also if you called me by my name you might see me more than an animal in a field, or 'red meat' or the 'commodity' that props up the country's economy. I am a living being with an intelligence. I'm soft and gentle and prefer to be treated like a lady.
The NZ Animal Welfare Act recognises that animals are sentient, it's time the Code of Welfare treated us the same.
Then I'm put on a stock truck
Our final journey after a hard life, is traumatic and cruel
Transport to another farm, and especially to slaughter, are very traumatic to us and our friends.
It may appear we endure long journeys, but we are frightened, heading into an unknown, and suffering from fear and discomfort.
We can be left in hot stock trucks, crammed in together for long periods in traffic and on the side of the road whilst waiting for more cattle to be put in the truck.
The Code of Welfare on animal transport needs to manage transport, our welfare and our rights in transport more carefully.
As for the export of live cows, this needs to be banned right now!