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Angry Cows Kill Dairy Farmers

"If you prick us do we not bleed?
If you tickle us do we not laugh?
If you poison us do we not die?
And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?"
- William Shakespeare

A few weeks ago, it happened again. The headline read: "Cow kills dairy farmer's wife". When the cow was a calf, they cut of her tail with a carving knife. The dairy industry's term for that is tail docking. Tail docking keeps a cow from swatting its dirty rear end which is a buffet for stinging barn flies. This procedure is done so that tails do not also swat farm workers.

This time it was an English cow: The article explains that authorities are opening up an inquest. They are going through motions that are simply not necessary. At the time of death, the farmer's wife was loading the cow into a trailer. Where do you imagine that the trailer was heading, for a lovely ride in the British countryside? The cow knew. Yet, there will be a formal inquest. The magistrate must be a bloody twit.

Every time a dairy farmer dies after being attacked by a supposedly placid dairy cow, farmers pretend that they do not know the reason. They do, of course, but to admit understanding is to admit that the dairy business is the least compassionate of all farming methods.

Articles appear with writers searching for the meaning, but dairymen refuse to reveal what they know to be the cow's motive. In their hearts dairy farmers know. The dairyman's kids know too, and that is the reason many go off to college to major in dairy, and then do not return to their family farms which continue to torture and torment cows.

What makes a cow angry enough to attack and kill a human? During the Ides of March, 2012, a dairy farmer's wife became a cow's revenge.

Cows are not usually angry or aggressive creatures. The human act of separating mother from child is the least humane act to be found on a dairy farm. Those vegetarians who eat cheese must take responsibility for this horrible lack of compassion, for that is the nature of the dairying business. Everybody who has worked or lived on a dairy farm knows the painfully anguished cry of the mother cow, and the softer and more tragic call of the calf. The crying keeps human witnesses from sleeping for many weeks. Given the opportunity, the outraged mother cow often seeks revenge upon the clueless human caretaker who knows in his heart her anger. In a 100-cow herd, he sees this protest 100 times each year.

The insult of marketing "Happy Cows" in California is no more than a deceptive lie. To be witness to the angry crying of the mothers, or the pathetically sad moans from the calves is to know and be haunted by an infinite sadness which all mammals share in similar circumstance. A November 19, 2001 story in Canada's National Post revealed that "dumb farm animals" are smarter than they look and that they actually experience emotions and pain, which include separation.

According to the Post:

"Cows have the ability to reason. Sheep have remarkable memories. Pigs have sensitive feelings."

Canadian researchers have demonstrated that dairy cows are more sophisticated than farmers realize. We prick them. We tickle them. We wrong them. And then, we expect that they will not remember...

In the United States, we shall kill ten million animals today for our food, and as each one's neck is sliced, we expect that they will forget and forgive the sum of their life and death experience. We eat and absorb their pain into our own flesh.

Robert Cohen

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