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In the meat industry, breeding cows, like most farm animals, are often perceived as mere commodities – available only to push out calf after calf until they too follow in their babies’ footsteps and are sold for slaughter.

A mother and calf rarely spend more than six months together, most calves are taken soon after birth.

As Kris Ingram, manager of Signal Hill Sanctuary in Yass River, Australia tells OGP, “A breeding cow isn’t allowed to wean her calf naturally, because she takes too long. Calves are given high fat, high protein feed for a few weeks to allow them to adjust, then they’re forcibly removed from their mothers.”

“Calves and cows are in separate paddocks, never to touch each other again. Both will grieve, both will try to find their way back to each other, and both will suffer the trauma that you and I would suffer if we were separated from our children by force, before we are ready to let them go,” Kris continues.

A Murray Grey cow named Granny, who came to live at Signal Hill just a few months ago, spent 15 years of her life as a breeding cow.

Unlike thousands of others in the meat industry, she was treated quite well at her cattle farm, which is known for the high quality, health, and condition of their animals.

Despite this better environment and the fact that Granny was known by a name instead of a number, Granny was still forced to be separated from the 12 calves she birthed – all of whom eventually were destined to be sold for meat.

After 15 years of service, Kris tells us that a person with connections to her cattle farmer decided that “she deserved to live out her twilight years in peace and comfort, rather than being sold on to a meat auction.”

And so, Granny arrived into the caring hands of Signal Hill – a relatively new sanctuary set out on 200 acres of natural bushland near the Yass River. The land once served as a large milking farm, but as the organization writes on Facebook, “its future will be very different.” The sanctuary is currently seeking funds to make this a fully realized dream via a crowdfunding campaign.

Since Granny’s arrival, this gentle and beautiful girl has become the “cow in charge,” keeping watch over everybody.

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

About a week or so ago, Kris and sanctuary partner, Lyndel, discovered that Granny was pregnant…

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

…but what they didn’t expect was that her baby would come so soon, arriving just yesterday, a day before Valentine’s Day!

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

In honor of the international day of love, Kris and Lyndel named Granny’s calf, Valentine.

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

Kris reports that Valentine has been doing very well since she arrived into this world not long ago. Granny has already introduced her to the team to ensure that everyone “will follow the rules and back off when she tells them to.”

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

Granny is even skeptical of having Kris and Lyndel near Valentine, unable to yet understand “the difference between bearing a calf [at the sanctuary] and bearing a calf at a farm,” as Kris tells us.

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

“That difference of course is that Valentine won’t be tagged. She won’t be taken. She won’t be hurt. She won’t ever experience anything but love, respect, and adoration from the humans in her life,” Kris says.

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

“[Granny] knows what she’s doing, she’s done this plenty of times before. The difference is that this baby will stay with her until the end,” Kris writes on Facebook.

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

For the very first time, Granny will now be able to experience the full life of her baby — she will be her Valentine forever!

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

As Kris tells us, “She will never grieve the loss of her baby. She will never have to watch her be put onto a truck and driven away, never to be seen again. This time, she will truly be a mother.”

Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)

Signal Hill Sanctuary

To help Signal Hill Sanctuary continue on with their amazing rescue work and care of animals like Granny and Valentine, please consider supporting their crowdfunding campaign today, which has currently reached about 25 percent of its $3,000 goal.

UPDATE (2/19/14):

Signal Hill Sanctuary has reached their crowdfunding goal! The campaign will continue until April 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST, and so additional donations are welcome since there is always something needed to help the animals. After the funding period is over, donations can be made to Signal Hill Sanctuary’s vet account at Hall Vet Surgery by calling them at (02) 6230 2223.

Signal Hill manager, Kris, writes to campaign supporters, “You’ve rid us of the vet bill that’s been accumulating over past months, and we’re free! The response to Granny and Valentine’s story has been nothing short of incredible, and the support, both financial and through the messages we’ve received, has been truly humbling. It’s an absolute privilege to be in a position where so many compassionate, kind and caring people have reached out to us, and wanted to be involved in what we do in whatever way they can. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all. We can’t seem to find the words to express our appreciation for what you’ve all helped us achieve. The support has been beyond our wildest dreams and all the thank you’s in the world just don’t seem adequate.”

Lead image source: Signal Hill Sanctuary

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166 comments on “Ex-Breeding Cow Gives Birth to the Very First Calf She Will Keep Forever (PHOTOS)”

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Eileen Sewell
1 Months Ago

Such a lovely story. I remember going to stables to collect daughter\'s pony when the cows in the adjoining field starting mooing madly. The farmer was in front of me and he turned and said, \'Listen to that! i took the calves away yesterday so they think I\'m bringing them back today!\' And he laughed as though it was funny. How desperately sad that he felt no compassion for them. Good luck, Granny and Valentine!


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Light Being
4 Months Ago

This is very moving and how things should be, I would like to see farming cattle phased out as a practice and remaining animals sent to sanctuaries such as these, to heal the collective history of our relationship to the cow. Peace to all beings,


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Rosemary Meding
5 Months Ago

Hi...I think that is just wonderful ..and a kind gesture that will receive good kartma I try to share the raising of the calves which does work because that\'s what I did with their mothers...works pretty well, too.


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Stephanie Juge
6 Months Ago

Human family respect animal rights to have same things.


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Stefan Davis
6 Months Ago

Thats how it shold b!!!


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Jenna Anne
6 Months Ago

get to? fack aff


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Jan van der Knijff
6 Months Ago

Patricia,wat heb jij een grote en gevarieerde veestapel. Heb je daar wel genoeg eten voor? Oom Jan uit Nijkerk


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Mary Anne Gardner
6 Months Ago

Saw this before but love this story with an happy ending!!


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Patricia Palermo
6 Months Ago

We are so cruel to animals it makes me sick.


Reply
Ava Palava
6 Months Ago

this is just wonderful <3


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