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Meet the COWS
Before starting the sanctuary, it had been a daily dream of the sanctuary founder to rescue a couple of Holstein calves. Within a week of moving to the farm, she located a group of 25 or so young calves between 3-4 weeks old that had came through the local auction mart. Heartbreakingly, only two calves would be released to her knowing that the rest would be slaughtered for beef within the next 8 to 12 months.
On that unforgettable day, as the founder walked into their pen to pick two, the largest (although extremely underweight) and most curious calf picked her! He was instantly named Isaiah (cow names that the founder had chosen years before, when the sanctuary was only a far-off dream). Over the past 2 years, Isaiah has grown into a very big boy (and is still growing and will, keep growing until he is 4-5 years old!) and he also has a very big personality. He has continued to be very outgoing, overly curious, and mischievous, but also has a gentle and sensitive side to him. He is also the leader of the cow herd.
Jeremiah was rescued along with Isaiah. Unlike Isaiah, Jeremiah was the smallest, thinnest, and visibly sickest of the group and without intervention, would have died within the next couple of days. After he was rescued, he remained critically ill with pneumonia and then developed coccidosis (which are common and often fatal diseases in young dairy calves). However, with proper medical care and lots of love, along with his protective big brother (from another mother), he fully recovered and he has flourished over the last 2 years. Jeremiah can be quite shy but is very sweet and highly sensitive, and if he were a person, we think he would be a poet or a philosopher.
Ezekiel is a Jersey steer who was rescued from the dairy industry shortly after he was born and he came to live with us when he was about 3 weeks old in November 2019. He slowly was introduced to Isaiah and Jeremiah as he got older and moved in with him when he was about 6 months old and quickly bonded to his two big brothers. Ezekiel has grown up to be super friendly, inquisitive, and playful, and he loves to give kisses to visitors. Jersey calves because they are smaller and don’t produce much “meat,” they are considered as waste products and typically killed shortly after their birth rather than the Holsteins who are typically raised for veal and slaughtered about 3-5 months old and a minority are raised for “beef” and slaughtered between 8-12 months.
In April 2021, Daniel was rescued from the dairy industry when he was about a week old and was critically ill with pneumonia, scours (diarrhea), and stomach ulcers. He was also extremely underweight and had difficulty drinking milk because his stomach hurt so much. The first few weeks of his life were touch-and-go and he had many urgent vet visits. However, he was a strong-spirited little trooper who didn’t give up and we never gave up on him. He has largely recovered and he has been steadily growing and gaining weight. Unlike Ezekiel, Daniel is shyer but he continues to come out of his shell and certainly has another side to him, where he can be quite playful and also mischievous. As he gets a bit older and stronger, he will be able to meet his new big brothers and move in with them by late fall.
In Loving Memory
Esther Theodora Federica
In September 2020, the founder of the sanctuary was able to secure the release of Ezekiel’s mother. Like all dairy cattle, the calves are almost always taken away from their mothers within the first 24 hours after birth, so it was a dream come true thinking that Ezekiel and his mom could be reunited. When she arrived at our farm sanctuary, she was a crippled, lame, traumatized, and severely underweight 10 year old cow. We found out that she had 6 calves in her lifetime with Ezekiel the last, all of whom were repeatedly taken away from her as she endured forced artificial insemination pregnancies and was used and abuse for her milk for human consumption. We saved her just in time as she was scheduled to be sent for slaughter that fall as her milk production was starting to drop, as this is the fate of all dairy cows.
After she arrived at our farm sanctuary, Esther slowly settled into her new life and began to regain some health over the next couple of months.
For the first time in her life, she got to graze on grass for the first time in her life, sleep under the stars on the warmer nights, and would often lie down and relax in the sun, looking out across the river. She also seemed to start enjoying her new freedom and seemed to know that she was being taken care of. During this time, she received the best possible veterinary care and we did everything we could but her arthritis and hoof disease were too advanced and by early November, she was starting to decline. We had two independent veterinarians recommend euthanasia especially before winter set in. Although heartbreaking, we showered her with love and extra treats and made her as comfortable as possible for the next few weeks and on November 26, 2020, our compassionate veterinarian helped Esther to cross over into her fields of heaven.
Eden’s Way Farm Sanctuary
Located approximately 30 minutes east of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada