Margie the Cow
Cows are some of the gentlest giants to have ever existed. These beautiful, sweet creatures are emotionally complex, and they take their time to establish friendships. Animal behaviorists have found that cows are capable of holding grudges against other cows for extended periods of time, a testament to their powerful memory!
Cows suffer immensely from the loss of a loved one. At our sanctuary, our cow Margie has been in mourning since the loss of her best friend C.W. the camel. Cows are even capable of shedding tears, and mother cows in the dairy industry have been known to cry and frantically call out in search of their babies after the calves have been taken away to be sold to veal and beef farms.
Sergeant Margie, as we like to call her, is one of our long-time residents on the sanctuary. Margie was being used for educational purposes and her career was nearing its end. The idea of Margie being shipped to slaughter broke our hearts so much that we knew we had to rescue this angel.
Margie is great with people, being both trusting and affectionate. She LOVES to eat and has an extremely acute sense of smell which she uses to find any and all sweets in the vicinity! Margie also loves a good nuzzling session, and will often rub her head up against your leg as a way to prompt you to "pet me more please!"
On nice days, Margie can be found out in the pasture, enjoying the cool breeze and watching our volunteers hard at work. On hotter days, Margie retreats to the barn where she hangs out with her alpaca subordinates.
When Margie arrived at the sanctuary, she was quite afraid of C.W. the Camel, but in recent years she became very fond of him. The love wasn't exactly requited, but Margie didn't seem to mind, and would happily follow C.W. around the pasture while maintaining the distance he needed.
Since our beloved C.W.'s passing in June 2014, Margie has experienced a slight personality shift, and is more melancholy than usual. We're hoping she will be able to find a new best friend among the alpacas, and we suspect that Little Gary has assigned himself the task. Good luck, Little Gary!
Sadly, most cows don't experience the peaceful existence that Margie lives. Cows suffer some of the worst abuses of any animals in the factory farm industry. Dairy cows live in abysmal conditions for years, perpetually impregnated only to have their babies taken away form them upon birth. More than 9.3 million cows are used in meat production each year in the U.S., and over a quarter of them are slaughtered annually when their production decreases. Cows naturally live 20+ years, but in the dairy industry they are slaughtered after just 5 years.
The beef industry slaughters 34.2 million cows a year in the United States. Baby calves suffer painful mutilations after birth, including castration, dehorning, and branding, and are fed an unnaturally fattening diet so that they can reach market weight of 1,200 pounds gained over just six months of life. Beef industry cows typically endure long and stressful journeys without food, water, or protection from the elements during transportation to and from feedlots.