Friday, November 23, 2007

Emily the Cow

On November 14, 2005, Emily bolted from the killing floor and focused on survival by jumping over a 5-foot high gate out of a slaughterhouse. She escaped and spent a month in the snowy woods. She was very brave and very strong having eluded the police, slaughterhouse workers and animal control officers for forty days and forty nights.

This is a true story.

I met Emily and heard of her stories. When she escaped the slaughterhouse she was a two year old cow who could not produce milk, so the milk industry decided that she was not useful and unprofitable. Dairy cows are usually slaughtered when they are 5 or 6 years old because their milk production declines and those who cannot produce milk are immediately slaughtered. There are horrifying stories of how cows are treated before they are slaughtered.

Emily was found by the Randa family who recognized the connection between human suffering and animal suffering. They took her into their family and brought her to a sanctuary. The Randas bought Emily from the slaughterhouse and she was welcomed to her new home at the Peace Abbey on December 24, 1995.

Emily became the campaign for the Farm Animal Reform Movement, which is a non-profit public interest organization that promotes planetary health through plant based eating. This organization advocates plant-based vegan diets to save animals. Emily was involved in the conferences that voiced animals’ rights.

She was also an important member of the Hindu community. She attended religious events at the nearby Hindu Temple. In Hinduism, the cow is highly respected and worshiped. One of the reasons why Hindus worship the cow is because of a cow named Kamadhenu who was believed to be the mother of all the cows. In Hindu Mythology, Kamadhenu was a miraculous cow who could give her owner whatever he desired. Visitors from India came to bless her as a sacred cow and brought her a handmade sacred cow blanket. She was happy, healthy and safe.

Things began to change in early March. Emily began to lose weight and her abdomen filled with fluid…Emily had cancer. Her cancer had been growing inside of her since the age of two, which prevented her from becoming pregnant and producing milk.

The mammary gland of a calf and the udder is almost fully developed by six months of age. By this stage the udder has four separate glands and a median ligament, teat and gland cisterns. As the udder increases in cell size and cell numbers through lactations, the milk producing capacity increases. However, a cow cannot produce milk until she is pregnant. With Emily, a plausible explanation would be that as her udder increased in cell size and numbers, they must have produced and reproduced cancerous cells. These cells could have prevented her from becoming pregnant and prevented her from producing milk. There was very little that the doctors could do for her.

On Sunday, March 30, 2003 Emily died in her sleep of uterine cancer. The whole community came to give their respects to her. Lewis Randa summarized in his eulogy over Emily that “Emily was more that just a cow. She was, for people who loved her, an important creature who put them in touch with a greater understanding of animals and how humans should treat them. Her eyes would melt your heart and make you appreciate what animals have to offer.” She is now buried at the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Information taken from The Story of Emily the Cow compiled by Meg and Lewis Randa

© 2007 The Peace Abbey

Posted By: Nelina Bridge (9)


At 11:13 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Emily the cow seems very interesting! You did a good job intriguing the reader at the beginning and I think it's cool that you met her.

I only have a few suggestions: Maybe you could talk more about the Farm Animal Reform Movement, and more about their purpose. You explain that emialy became part of their campaign but you don't explain what they strive to do.

Also, as interesting as it is, maybe just add one little paragraph about the biology of the cow if you can find a way to squeeze it in there. (maybe in the beginning you could talk about why some cows produce milk right away and why others dont)

That's all I would say! nice work

Posted By:
Natalie Nicholson (9)

At 6:28 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Your introduction paragraph was very strong, it really got me interested to read the post. Like the person before me suggested, I really think you should consider talking about the animal reform movement more. Overall it was a very interesting post. This post is very interesting because it seems different from the other posts that talk review articles. Great job :)

Posted by:
Swetha Raghavan

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily was sentient.
Emily was omnipotent.
Emily was a cow from a different universe.
Emily was a doggone rival to man.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Great job! It is nice to see a topic posted like this. I had read about Emily and the Peace Abbey before. It is so nice that you got to meet her. I would of liked to. Hopefully this post alerts others to the many evils of the meat and milk industries and the unnecessary suffering of billions of sentient beings.

Posted by: Gina Sciartilli (9)

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Raghu said...

I am a Hindu and am dead against killing cows for meat. Emily as an animal was not just any animal. It saved a lot of humans be escaping death, probably it knew it had a health condition and its meat was not good for human consumption.

At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that be "1995" in the first line, instead of "2005"?


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