When we think of pets and companion animals, there are a handful of animals that come to mind: cats and dogs are a sure shot, and maybe guinea pigs and rabbits make the cut too. But farm animals are hardly ever considered within this category. And why would they be? From a young age, we’re taught that some animals are our friends and others are dirty creatures that belong outdoors or animals who simply exist to become food – so we shouldn’t become attached.

Because of this, we get to know animals as their characterizations and stereotypes – pigs love mud, chickens aren’t very smart, the list goes on. But what if we told you that farm animals and our pets really aren’t that different after all?

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In fact, pigs are highly intelligent and can learn their names and perform tricks on command, chickens have amazing memories, and cows have best friends just like we do and get stressed when they’re apart. While the majority of people who have never interacted with farm animals might be content to ignore the truth about these animals, there are many others who choose accept and embrace them instead.

The kind people at Hof Butenland Farm Sanctuary are a few of those people.

As you can see from this stunning photo, to the staff at Hof Butenland there is very little difference between cows and dogs.

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Just like dogs, cows love their human friends – they remember their faces and ask for belly rubs and snuggles just as readily, and they have a knack for remembering people who were kind to them, holding grudges against those who aren’t.

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The truth is all animals just want to be loved and live out their days in a safe, comfortable environment. Sadly, this is something that most farm animals never experience. Most cows will either be subjected to a short life in a filthy, crowded feedlot before heading to slaughter or, if they’re in the dairy industry, repeatedly impregnated only to have their babies taken away and then hooked up to a milking machine for the duration of their lives. This is hardly the sort of existence these animals deserve.

If we could all see animals as someones instead of somethings, the world would be a much kinder place.

To learn more about Hof Butenland, click here.

Image source: Hof Butenland/Facebook

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