Raining "Veal" Calves

April 2nd, 2009 9:24 pm by Kelly Garbato

Yesterday, Gentle Barn sent out the following plea for donations. Coming on the heels of this post, I couldn’t help but consider the former in the context of the latter.

Read on, and see if you don’t agree.

When It Rains, It Pours

null

We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that because of the economy a lot of dairies are shutting down, which means a lot less needless suffering for mommy and baby cows. The bad news is that the now unaffordable dairy cows are being sent to slaughter. And, they are being sent to slaughter pregnant. When they get to the auction house to be purchased by the meat companies, some are having their babies in the auction house. The meat buyers take the moms and leave the orphaned newborns on the floor of the auction house to die. In addition, many of the older separated veal calves are also being sent to the stockyard sickly and premature due to lack of funds as well.

The Gentle Barn received a call from the auction house this morning asking us to please come get these babies because they didn’t want them to die on their floor and become a problem for them. We immediately sprang to action and drove the 2 hours to the stockyard where the site was absolutely devastating. Hundreds of cows terrified and screaming, crying for each other, many of them sick, blind, and some downed (an animal that can’t get up on their own due to fatigue and illness). Mommies and babies were being separated, best friends were desperately looking for each other – the pain and the fear was horrific. We loaded up six orphaned babies, one blind from malnutrition and one almost lifeless from having no nourishment since God knows when. The Gentle Barn rescue team had to physically carry these two downed calves into the trailer.

null

As we write, The Gentle Barn staff quickly heads home to meet the veterinarian. With the vet’s help, dedicated volunteers, and prayers, we hope that we can keep these babies alive. We know that if we can get through the next 48 hours, these cows are promised a peaceful, loved life at The Gentle Barn. As with all that we do, we cannot do this without you. For the next 48 hours, these calves will need round-the-clock care. They will need to be bottle fed, loved, and reassured that it will be OK. Even though the next 48 hours are especially critical, these cows will need the constant attention for at least the next two weeks.

Gentle Barn sent out a rescue update today:

The Gentle Barn staff was up late last night with the 6 veal calves and the veterinarian. All six of them have pneumonia, dangerously high fevers, pink eye, skin conditions, and they are grossly underweight. We believe these cows lived in veal crates until yesterday, so they are very weak and uncoordinated. These babies were on the way to slaughter when we intercepted them, because they were sick.

The vet gave them all shots of antibiotics and pumped nourishment, electrolytes, and algae into their stomachs to hydrate them and strengthen their immune systems. Today, they were all on their feet and eating and drinking, which is a very encouraging sign, but we are not out of the woods yet. We need to bring their temperatures down, heal their wheezing and coughing, and get their eyes healthy again. One of them is actually blind from having pink eye for so long and not receiving treatment. Before today, she had never walked free and when we put them out to pasture to enjoy the sunshine and exercise, she just kept spinning in circles, round and round and round. While in the pasture during the day, the blind cow needs constant human supervision to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself and learns to trust people…her abusers, until now!

The cows trust no one and they view people as the enemy. As soon as we overcome the hurdle of healing their bodies, we then need to heal their hearts. After being ripped away from their mommies at one day old and receiving nothing but neglect, abuse, and violence from humans, it will take many months before they let go of the fear and allow their hearts to receive the unlimited kindness, nurturing, and love that we have to give them. The vet left us with an $1800 bill and she is going to come back on Friday to check on the babies and collect payment. So please continue your support and spread the word.

Gentle Barn’s story provides further evidence of what I wrote about on Tuesday: Big Agribiz (and the patriarchy in which it operates) has little regard for women, children and (“lesser”) men (whatever their species), parental and familial ties, or indeed, even the value of life itself.

If you’d like to help out, Gentle Barn asks

If you have time to spend a couple hours with them, we would really appreciate it. Bring a book and a snack, and hang out with the babies. If you don’t have time, your precious dollars are greatly appreciated. Their vet care and special feed are going to be very costly. No amount is too small.

If you don’t have time or money, please spread the word to those you know, and keep us in your hearts and prayers.

To donate, please click here and then click the PayPal icon at the bottom of the page.

We know this second request for support is back-to-back with the horse rescue yesterday, but please continue to support us and allow us to do the good work that we do.

Thank you so much, we can’t do this without you!

Warmly,
Ellie and Jay
(661) 252-2440

Gentle Barn is located in Santa Clarita, California, by the by. Please help if you can, in whatever way you can. (Hint, hint: going vegan is a good start. And it can be rather cheap, too!)

——————–

Update, 4/6/09: Gentle Barn has sent out several rescue updates since I first wrote this piece, which I’ve excerpted below.

Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 11:40 PM
Subject: Rescue Update #2

null

Thank you all so much for your financial support, for volunteering, and offering your well wishes and prayers. It was a rough night last night. The Gentle Barn staff and volunteers were up through the night caring for these most delicate babies. We gave them alcohol baths when their fevers spiked. We gave them special medications to not only promote a productive cough, but to help make them feel better and reduce their fevers. Two of the six did more poorly than the others, one of which ran a fever until about 2:30 p.m. today. Last night ranked up their as one of the most intense nights in our history.

The vet came out again today and examined our new arrivals. Four calves are still coughing to clear the fluid in their lungs, but their fevers seem lower. They are eating, drinking, and walking around. They’re even allowing volunteers to brush them. The prognosis for these calves looks really good.

null

The fifth baby is still coughing a lot, is having trouble breathing, but is eating and drinking. The sixth baby, who was the downed calf, is very, very sick. He is really struggling to breathe and has more fluid in his lungs than the other calves.

The vet is deeply concerned about this one and even suggested putting him down. But, we want to give him a little more time and see if we can turn things around. We pumped nutrients and fluids into his stomach again, giving him a huge dose of super blue green algae to boost his immune system. He will be monitored throughout the night by volunteers lying next to him, keeping him warm and telling him of the paradise that awaits him at The Gentle Barn should he choose to live.

Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 4:50 PM
Subject: Made it Through the Night

null

As you may already know, last night was crucial for the downed baby cow. If he took a turn for the worse, it was the veterinarian’s advice to put him down.

Fortunately, that is NOT the case. After caring for him through the night, this morning his fever broke. So, at this point, things are looking up.

This morning, “Chai” finished up his slumber party complete with a brunch of alfalfa and grass hay, and fresh clean water on a bed of straw and shavings. They all spent their morning lounging around the barnyard sporting their new blankets.

All joking aside, the ones who are having the major issues are doing better, however, they still have a hill to climb, as two of the others have spiked a fever.

null

The outpouring of support has been heartwarming to say the least. We thank you on behalf of the new baby cows; Chai, Forgiveness, Star, Crystal, Faith, and Courage. Thank you so much for helping us do the work that we do. We feel so supported.

Due to limitations placed on us by our insurance company and because the calves are sick, we cannot have children come and volunteer with the babies. We love and appreciate that they want to help, but we want to keep everyone as safe as possible. So please make sure that you are over 18 if you are coming to volunteer, and please call ahead.

Volunteers are greatly needed in the evening to late night hours.

Much love and gratitude.

Ellie and Jay
www.gentlebarn.org
(661) 252-2440

——————–

Update, 4/10/09: Here’s the latest update from Gentle Barn which, thankfully, brings good news…

Long Road Ahead

null

It is with great relief and gratitude that we get to report that ALL of the baby cows are still alive. They are really starting to trust us and allow us to be close to them. This process is a long one, getting them healthy. It takes a lot of people and round the clock attention to save calves in this condition. These are very sick babies, but it isn’t like a flu or sickness that a child might get, treatable with antibiotics in a few days. It is more like an elderly person who gets pneumonia and needs to be hospitalized for a month. In the elderly person’s case as well as the calf’s case, if they go untreated, they most likely will die.

So, we are in this for the long haul (about a month or so) before they are “better” and their bodies’ immune systems can be strong enough without support from medications.

With that said, here is where we are at; All of the calves still have pneumonia with a lot of fluid in their lungs, making it hard and a bit painful to breathe. Their eyes are runny and glassed over with pinkeye. Two of them have advanced stages of pinkeye and might end up losing an eye. The advanced stage of the disease shows up like a pimple in their eye (pictured above).

They all still have a horrible skin condition and are still weak and wobbly, but better than the day before. They need to be bottle-fed twice per day, washed off during the day to bring down their fever, and blanketed at night in the barn to keep them warm. They need to be given injections and an oral paste for infection and fever control. They need round the clock supervision.

null

This is our wish list in case you have these items lying around:

Towels
Wash cloths
Cases and jugs of water
Rubbing alcohol
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Blankets
Batteries
Flashlights
Extension cords (50-100 feet)

All items can be dropped off over our front gate. Please make sure they are in packaging that will prevent them from getting wet.

We need funds for:

Algae/vitamin supplements ($500)
Hay ($250)
Straw/shavings ($500)
Veterinary care/antibiotics ($5,000 so far)

We need volunteers for all hours of the day, especially overnight. Please call our office if you are available to come spend the night, or day, with the calves (adults only please).

——————–

Update, 4/13/09:

Sad news from Gentle Barn (email circa 4/10).

Chi the Calf does not make it

null

We named him Chi, which means life. We thought that if we named him a powerful name, and gave him 24-hour care, and told him of the life he would have here with us, that he would make it, that we could make him better. We bottle fed him and gave him vitamin supplements (algae), antibiotics, and alcohol and cool water baths to reduce his fever. We showed him kindness and love. We tried so hard.

But no amount of love, care or kindness could heal the fear and the pain he had inside him. Fear caused by being taken away from his mom when he was just a day old. Fear caused by kicks and punches, and cruelty. Fear caused by living in a dark box, alone. The fear took its toll on his body and turned into illness. Illness so bad that it had no cure.

Chi lived two months of fear, loneliness and pain that no baby should ever know. So today, The Gentle Barn mourns. We mourn the loss of our little Chi. We mourn the defeat of not being able to save all the calves. And we mourn the knowledge that there are thousands of baby cows just like Chi still in veal crates, still living in fear and pain and loneliness.

We are deeply grateful to the wonderful, dedicated volunteers who filled Chi’s last days with constant love and kindness.

Chi’s story will not be in vain; we will keep working hard for the hope that one day there will be a more peaceful world where all babies can dance in the sunshine and feel safe and loved. Where there will be peace and happiness for all living beings. One day, we will get here, one day…

With gratitude,
Ellie and Jay
www.gentlebarn.org
(661) 252-2440

Rest in peace, Chi. At least you knew some amount of love and compassion in your final hours.

——————–

Update, 5/7/09:

Here’s the latest news from Gentle Barn, as of May 1st.

Calves Running and Playing

null

When the calves first arrived we whispered to them as they lay listless, wheezing and coughing, that one day they would be healthy baby cows and would run, kick and play. We have held our breath and waited most impatiently for this moment. We are so proud to let you know that they are now running and playing!

Faith, the biggest of the calves who is blind, loves drinking from a bottle so much that she practically knocks our volunteers over to get her third bottle. She has learned the perimeters of the property and seldom bumps into things.

Crystal, the smallest mostly white calf, is the friskiest and just loves trying to get her siblings to chase her.

Star, with his white legs and star on his back, has a most voracious appetite.

Forgiveness is sweet and cuddly and kind.

Courage is still coughing but we are hopeful that he will be 100 percent healthy very soon.

The calves are of course still being monitored closely by the vet, and we still need volunteer help to care for them. Thank you so much to all of you who have delivered supplies, volunteered your time, and have passed these updates along to your friends. Please continue to help us, we are not done yet, even though we are very close.

With love and gratitude,
Ellie and Jay
www.gentlebarn.org
(661) 252-2440

——————–

Tagged:

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Raining "Veal" Calves”

  1. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » On mares, wet nurses and shared exploitations. Says:

    […] male calves born into the dairy industry, “inferior” and “useless” foals born into the horse racing industry are […]

  2. Creamy Mac & Cheese – now with Heart! » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] In terms of cooking with Teese versus Vegan Gourmet, I think the two are tied for convenience, meltability, etc. Both seem to have their own “sweet spot” for achieving maximum gooeyness. For example, when sprinkled atop mini pita bread pizzas, Vegan Gourmet melts best when cooked at 450 degrees F for about 15 minutes. But, um, that’s in the Garbato-Brady oven; my sister has had slightly less luck at these settings. Likewise, the reason we tried so many mac & cheese recipes is because the cheese sauce congealed at different rates, depending not just on the brand, but also how and when the cheese was mixed with the soy milk, margarine and macaroni. So no matter which brand you favor, there’s no small amount of experimentation and guesswork that goes into cooking with vegan cheese. But hey, it’s totally worth it, dontchathink? […]

Leave a Reply