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With people all over the country honoring their mothers this weekend, we thought it was the perfect time to dip into the archives and share one of our favorite stories about a mother who overcame tremendous obstacles to be reunited with her baby.
Blackie, a 2-year-old cow, was happy just munching on grass and caring for her new baby, with whom she had spent nearly every moment of his young life. She had licked him clean after his birth, nudged him up onto wobbly legs, and watched him take his first tentative steps. But her bliss was short-lived. One day, Blackie and her calf were loaded onto a truck, taken on a frightening ride to market, and sold—separately.
Blackie, as any mother would be, was panicked and grief-stricken. Sometime during her first night in her new home, she broke out of the farmyard, jumped over a hedge, and set off in search of her calf. The next morning, she was found at another farm seven miles away, contentedly suckling her calf. When Blackie’s new owner was traced, he was so moved by Blackie’s maternal love that he purchased her calf so that mother and son could be together.
Is Blackie’s love of her baby unique, or was her sorrow and desperation typical of what millions of other bovine mothers go through—without happy endings? On dairy farms, cows are impregnated every year, and their babies are torn away from them within hours of birth, just so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for calves. This Mother’s Day, you can do much more than send a card and flowers—you can help prevent cows from going through the agony of losing baby after baby, simply by boycotting dairy products and choosing milk made from almonds, rice, or soy instead.
Written by Michelle Sherrow