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Cows are incredible creatures. One look into their long-lashed eyes, and it’s love at first sight for most people who meet them.
And cute looks aren’t their only asset. Cows are social and intelligent. They form close friendships, choose who they prefer to spend time with, and even hold grudges! They’re smart, and enjoy solving problems. Cows are doting mothers, and if left to be themselves, moms and babies will stay together.
Despite weighing a ton (literally), they also love to run and jump and play!
Unfortunately, most cows never get to display these natural behaviors. The majority live short, miserable lives on dairy farms or feedlots. Calves are taken from their moms immediately after birth: Males are sold to be raised as veal or beef, and females are used to continue an endless cycle of impregnation until they are sent to slaughter. In animal agribusiness, these magnificent animals are seen as commodities, not individuals.
Despite all this sadness, there are many happy tails of rescued cows living the dream at sanctuaries around the world. They’re bovine ambassadors, and they help to show the world what a cow’s life should look like.
With that in mind, here are three rescued cows who’ll make you swear off steak forever:
Dudley’s story is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This genial bovine boy lives at The Gentle Barn’s Tennessee location. In fact, the entire sanctuary sprung up due to his rescue.
Dudley was born on a beef farm. When he was a baby, some twine got wrapped around his leg. None of his human caregivers did anything about it, and eventually his foot fell off. For almost a year he was forced to hobble around on a stump.
Thankfully, a good samaritan contacted The Gentle Barn and they were able to arrange for Dudley’s rescue. His
legs, back and body were in bad shape, thanks to the injury being ignored for so long, but they spared no expense in getting him the best medical care.
Eventually, Dudley got a prosthetic foot, and he’s now the happiest three-year-old cow. He runs, jumps, and plays with his sanctuary friends — and even has a wife, a gorgeous black cow named Destiny.
Dudley is a famous farm animal ambassador, and he’s changed countless lives with his positive attitude and gentle spirit.
Still a young man, Shiloh (pictured above) has seen a lot in his short life. In May of 2016 he was found in the woods in Florida, completely alone. He was only about four weeks old, and severely emaciated and dehydrated. No word on how he got there, other than he may have been left behind when a farmer brought their herd through.
From there, Shiloh spent several days in the hospital recovering and regaining strength. Luckily, he made his way to Kindred Spirits Sanctuary.
He has a best friend, Eliza Moolittle, a female calf who was also rescued as a baby. The soft, sweet duo spend their days grazing green pastures and getting lots of love. Despite all he’s been through, Shiloh has a gentle, friendly disposition that wins everyone over.
Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary
Jason was among a horrific cattle truck accident in 2000. The transport truck was on its way to a feedlot, where the cows were scheduled to be fattened up before being sent to slaughter. But the driver hit a guardrail and the trailer rolled over, crushing and killing 100 animals instantly. Amid this horrific scene, Jason managed to escape unharmed.
Sadly, many of his injured companions still ended up at the slaughterhouse. He and several other calves, however, were lucky enough to make their way to safe forever homes, and Jason ended up at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary.
Since his arrival, Jason has been living a peaceful, happy life in the company of his bovine friends. He now weighs nearly 2,000 pounds and spends his days lying in the grass, getting pet by visitors, eating delicious hay, and enjoying his freedom.