They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it asks a thousand questions, too. Like this picture, taken at a dairy farm in Granby, Quebec. Canada.
Modern industrial agriculture, which is dominated by factory farms is so far removed from actual farming, that even including the word “farm” to describe it is a misnomer. Unlike actual farms, most of the animals living in today’s meat factories never get to see the grass or the sun. From the time, they are born they are removed from their mothers and deprived of even the most basic expressions of love. They grow up indoors in warehouses or in crowded, muddy runs, living their whole lives chained and standing in puddles of their own filth, literally waiting to die. If they are lucky, they will be fed a reasonably nutritious diet before being shipped off to slaughter, while the unlucky ones will be fed fillers, hormones, antibiotics and even the dead remains of their own kind.
Dairy cows have the added indignity of being artificially inseminated, experiencing pregnancy and anticipating motherhood over and over again, only to have their calves taken away after birth. There is nothing farm-like about it. It is a gruesome expression of the human dominance that is destroying this planet.
Most cats, by comparison, enjoy a different type of existence, overall. They are a one of a kind species, in that they are the only domestic animal that humans have not found a way to enslave. We keep them in our homes for companionship, mainly, and if we’re lucky, they’ll keep the mice away. Cats were worshiped as gods back in ancient Egypt, and it seems as though they still hold on to a bit of that nobility. Today most cats, even house pets, manage to enjoy some level of independence in their lives. How ironic then, that the independent cat in this photo is choosing to spend its day giving love to cows!
Studies have shown cows to be highly intelligent creatures with excellent problem-solving abilities, complex social structures and a deeply emotional connection to the world around them. Cows have excellent memories and reach out for the love of their human handlers. They too were considered sacred among the ancients. While the Hindu people once found them divine because of their docile dispositions and willingness to share milk, they are now being exploited for those very same qualities.
This photo of the sweet cat offering the cows some love shows us that that these two very different species are not that different when it comes to the need to be loved. The sad reality, however, is that the cat will possibly live out her life experiencing the love and respect of human beings and the dairy cows will be used as nothing more than a commodity.
The Sanskrit word Namaste means “I bow to you” and is more commonly translated to mean “the divine light in me recognizes the divine light in you.” This wise feline shows this principle in action, recognizing the dairy cow’s right to love and offering it to them. If only more humans behaved this way, what a wonderful world it would be.