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Though they are often mistakenly perceived as being unexpressive, cows are inquisitive, emotionally complex individuals who communicate with each other on many levels. They are loving and affectionate, and form deep friendships. Cows are also very sensitive–they don’t forget being hurt, and often seem to hold grudges not only against other cows, but also against people who have hurt them or their family members. Under natural circumstances, cattle live in herds with social hierarchies and form lifelong bonds with each other.
The most important and lasting relationships for cows are between mothers and their young. The powerful bond between mother and calf persists long after the calves have matured, with mothers and their offspring remaining together as grazing partners for years. But on dairy farms, calves are forcibly taken from their mothers within a few hours of birth in order for humans to take the mothers’ milk. This cruel separation is highly traumatic for both of them. Cows raised for beef suffer horribly as well, and are killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan. Approximately 35 million cows are slaughtered for beef every year in the U.S. Please learn more about the plight of cows at our Learn pages: Cows for Dairy, Cows for Beef, and Veal Calves.
MEET THE WOODSTOCK COWS!