Bu'S Scoop Notes From The Field Enviro Blogs
Bu’s First Blog Written by Bu

THIS IS MY FIRST BLOG. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT A BLOG WAS UNTIL LAST WEEK….

THREE A.M.

I THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE…MOST PROBABLY THE END OF MY SHORT TIME ON THIS PLANET AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT THE GOSSIP AROUND THE BARN WAS WHEN A GIANT TRUCK WITH AN EVEN BIGGER TRAILER CAME RUMBLING UP TO THE DIRT CORRAL I’D BEEN HERDED INTO YESTERDAY JUST BEFORE FEEDING. THERE WERE SO MANY OF US JAMMED TOGETHER I REALLY COULDN’T EAT. NOT THAT ANYONE WAS DOING MUCH EATING. EVERYBODY WAS SCARED. WE’D ALL HEARD ABOUT “THE AUCTION” WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO OWN MY DAIRY WERE SENDING GROUPS OF US TWICE A WEEK. NO ONE EVER CAME BACK AND SOME I HEARD GOT KILLED THAT VERY SAME DAY.

I’M JUST EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD. I NEVER REALLY KNEW MY MOTHER ALTHOUGH I CAN STILL REMEMBER THE SOUND HER OF MOOING WHILE I WAS INSIDE OF HER…THE GENTLE SWAY OF HER BODY AS SHE SHIFTED HER WEIGHT PUTTING ME TO SLEEP. I REMEMBER HER TONGUE LICKING ME ALL OVER AND HOW SHE SMELLED AND THE TASTE OF HER MILK. I REMEMBER THE SOUND OF HER HEART BEATING AND HOW FAST IT RACED THE NEXT MORNING WHEN THEY TOOK ME AWAY FROM HER. I REMEMBER HER MOOING AND MOOING ...CALLING FOR ME BUT I COULDN’T COME. I WAS ALREADY LOCKED IN A STALL IN ANOTHER BARN. I COULD STILL HEAR HER VOICE, EVER SO FAINTLY THROUGH THE NEXT NIGHT AND THEN IT STOPPED. I LISTENED AND LISTENED UNTIL THE SUN PEEKED THROUGH THE SLATS OF THE BARN BUT I NEVER HEARD MY MOTHER’S VOICE AGAIN. I’M A HOLSTEIN AND HOLSTEINS AS A RULE ARE STOIC. WE ADAPT BUT WE DO NOT FORGET AND WE NEVER GIVE UP.

I HAVE TO ADMIT I CAME CLOSE TO IT WHEN THEY TOOK MY BABY AWAY. I THOUGHT I’D PREPARED MYSELF…TOLD MYSELF NOT TO GET TOO ATTACHED…BUT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO LOVE THIS BEING THAT WAS GROWING INSIDE OF ME AND WHEN SHE WAS BORN I HAVE TO SAY SHE WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. YOU ARE PROBABLY SAYING THAT ALL MOTHERS THINK THAT THEIR BABIES ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD BUT MY LITTLE GIRL WAS. THERE WAS NO WAY TO STOP MY HEART FROM BREAKING THE MORNING AFTER THEY TOOK HER AWAY. I HATE TO ADMIT IT BUT MY MOOOS FILLED THAT BARN FOR DAYS. MY HOLSTEIN STOICISM WENT OUT THE WINDOW.

SO, I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PUTTING OUT TWENTY GALLONS A DAY…THAT’S THE REASON THEY TAKE OUR BABIES…SO WE’LL HAVE TONS OF MILK…WELL I’M A THREE-TITTER AND I COULDN’T KEEP UP SO I ENDED UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT STARING AT A GUY WHO WAS COMING AT ME WITH A STICK AND AN ELECTRIC PROD.

NOON

I WAS STANDING IN A SMALL PEN…MAYBE EIGHT BY EIGHT WITH SEVERAL OF MY FRIENDS FROM THE DAIRY. IT WAS SO CROWDED WE COULDN’T MOVE…NOT AN INCH. I COULDN’T REALLY SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON ANYWHERE OUTSIDE OF MY PEN BUT I COULD HEAR THE OTHERS. THEY WERE DEFINITELY SCARED. SOME OF THE YOUNG BULLS WERE TRYING TO ACT ALL COCKY BUT I COULD HEAR THEIR HEARTS BEATING. THEY WERE SCARED. I COULD HEAR A MAN’S VOICE OVER SOME SORT OF LOUD SPEAKER…HE WAS TALKING REAL FAST…I WAS TRYING TO MAKE IT OUT WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE FRONT SIDE OF MY PEN OPENED AND COUPLE OF GUYS WITH STICKS STARTED BANGING ON THE METAL FENCE AND HITTING US TO GET US TO MOVE. I HESITATED… ASSESSING THE SITUATION…HOPING THERE MIGHT BE A WAY OUT… IT WAS CLEAR THAT THERE WAS NO REAL ALTERNATIVE BUT TO MOVE WITH THE MASSES. MY NOSE WAS RIGHT UP ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS TAILS AND SOMEONES WAS UP MINE AS WE MOVED INTO AN EVEN SMALLER, DARKER HOLDING PEN INSIDE OF A BUILDING. HEARTS WERE BEATING SO FAST IT’S ALL THAT I COULD HEAR. WE STOOD LIKE THAT FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE FOREVER. FINALLY, A BLAST OF LIGHT HIT AND ONE OF THE YOUNG BULLS WAS PUSHED OUT. THERE WERE TEN OF US LEFT.

ONE P.M.

I’VE JUST GOT TO SAY THAT STANDING IN THAT SMALL, CROWDED HOT SPACE FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE FOREVER WAS DEFINITELY CHALLENGING. I’M NOT PARTICULARLY CLAUSTROPHOBIC. I MEAN I’VE SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE STANDING IN A NARROW CUBICLE WITH COWS ON EITHER SIDE OF ME EITHER BEING MILKED OR WAITING TO BE MILKED. BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE PEN AND THE FEAR, THE LOUD WAILING THAT WAS DEFINITELY GETTING TO ME. BY THE TIME I WAS AT THE GATE, IT OPENED. I LEAPT OUT INTO A SMALL ARENA WITH A GUY ON A MIKE SHOUTING OUT INTO THE AUDIENCE, “WE GOT A FRESH HEIFER HERE BOYS. HOW ‘BOUT A THOUSAND DOLLARS. DO I HEAR A THOUSAND DOLLARS?”

I FELT MYSELF SCAN THE ROOM HOPING SOMEONE WOULD RAISE THEIR HAND OR SHOUT OUT “I WILL!” NOTHING. “NINE HUNDRED…HOW ‘BOUT NINE HUNDRED BOYS!” NOTHING. I SUDDENLY FELT MYSELF GETTING MAD. I’M A GOOD COW. I HEARD THEM PAYING MONEY FOR ALL OF THE OTHERS. WHY NOT ME? “OKAY THEN, SEVEN HUNDRED…” I DECIDED I NEEDED TO GRAB THEIR ATTENTION SO I STARTED TO MOVE AROUND THE PEN. I DIDN’T JUST MOVE I PRANCED…WELL AS MUCH AS A HEIFER CAN PRANCE AND I SHOT MY BEST GLANCES OUT AT THE AUDIENCE. “SEVEN HUNDRED…NO…GO-TO-BEEF.”

WHAT DID HE SAY? I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND. WAIT. A GUY WITH ANOTHER STICK WAS PUSHING ME BACK DOWN THE BARN AISLE. SECONDS LATER I WAS SHOVED INTO A PEN WITH FOUR OTHER COWS AND A YOUNG BULL WHO TOLD ME WE WERE GOING TO THE KILLERS. I’M NOT GOING TO LIE. MY HEART STARTED BEATING AND I BEGAN PACING…LOOKING FOR ANY WAY OUT. I THOUGHT ABOUT JUMPING BUT AFTER SCANNING THE FENCE I COULDN’T FIND A SPOT THAT SEEMED LOW ENOUGH. I’M NOT A HORSE. THEN I THOUGHT THAT MAYBE I’D FIND A WEAK SPOT…YOU KNOW A PANEL THAT HAD BEEN RUSTED OR KICKED IN THEN I COULD BASH INTO IT, BREAK IT AND MAKE A RUN FOR IT BUT THE PANELS WERE SOLID. I DECIDED THAT THE ONLY ANSWER WAS TO START DIGGING, WELL PAWING WHICH WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING WHEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED.

1:45 P.M.

I WAS PAWING AND PAWING NEXT TO ONE OF THE FENCE POSTS. I FIGURED IF I COULD DIG DEEP ENOUGH I COULD LOOSEN THE POST THEN PUSH MY WAY OUT BUT IT WASN’T GOING FAST ENOUGH. THE GUY DRIVING THE “GO TO BEEF” TRUCK HAD JUST COME OVER, DONE A HEAD COUNT AND WAS HEADING OVER TO HIS TRUCK WHEN I HEARD, “THERE SHE IS!” I LOOKED UP AND SAW TWO MEN RUNNING TOWARDS ME. “I THINK THAT’S HER, THE ONE IN THE CORNER.” PART OF ME WANTED TO HIDE, WHAT IF THEY WERE THE KILLERS. ANOTHER PART OF ME STILL HAD HOPE. “YEAH, THAT’S HER. WE WANT TO BUY HER. HOW DO WE BUY HER?” SUDDENLY THE TWO MEN WERE SEPARATING ME OUT. CALL ME STUPID BUT ONE OF THEM TOLD ME IT WAS GOING TO BE OKAY AND I BELIEVED HIM. THEY WEREN’T LIKE THE OTHERS. THEY WEREN’T SCREAMING AND HITTING ME WITH A STICK.

BEFORE I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING I WAS HERDED BACK INTO THE BUILDING… “WE WANT THIS COW. SHE ALREADY CAME THROUGH ONCE. NOBODY BOUGHT HER AND WE WANT HER.” MY HEART STARTED TO SLOW DOWN. MAYBE I WASN’T GOING TO BE KILLED AFTER ALL. “BUT SHE’S A THREE-TITTER. YOU SURE YOU WANT A THREE-TITTER.” THE GUY WITH THE MIKE WAS TRYING TO TALK THEM OUT OF TAKING ME. I HAD DO SOMETHING, LET THE TWO MEN KNOW THAT I WOULDN’T DISAPPOINT THEM. I MOVED TOWARDS THEM AND LOOKED RIGHT INTO THE EYES OF THE ONE IN THE BASEBALL HAT. HE WAS DIFFERENT THAN THE REST. THERE WAS A KINDNESS IN HIS EYES AND THEN HE SMILED, “WE’RE TAKING HER.”

2P.M.

THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES OF MY LIFE WERE FILLED WITH SO MUCH EMOTION I COULDN’T FIGHT BACK THE TEARS. I KNOW THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK COWS FEEL ANYTHING BUT THAT IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH. MY HEART BROKE INTO THOUSANDS OF PIECES. DON’T GET ME WRONG. I WAS GRATEFUL THAT THE TWO MEN HAD SAVED ME BUT AS I HEADED BACK DOWN THAT BARN AISLE TOWARDS MY FREEDOM I WAS LEAVING SO MANY FRIENDS BEHIND. THERE WERE SEVEN HUNDRED COWS AT AUCTION THAT DAY AND ONE HUNDRED OF THEM HAD COME FROM THE SAME DAIRY AS ME. I’D KNOWN THEM MY WHOLE LIFE AND I WAS PROBABLY NEVER GOING TO SEE THEM AGAIN.

4P.M.

“HI BU…” WHO’S BU? A WOMAN STANDING NEXT TO THE TRAILER STARING IN AT ME SAID, “YOU’RE HOME.” I’M HOME. AND I GUESS I’M BU. WEIRD. I NEVER HAD A NAME BEFORE. JUST THEN THE TRAILER GATE OPENED. THE GUY IN THE BASEBALL HAT WAS STANDING NEXT TO THE WOMAN. THEY WERE SMILING AND GESTURING FOR ME TO COME OUTSIDE. I LOOKED OUT OVER THEIR HEADS AND THOUGHT I MIGHT BE DREAMING. THIS PLACE LOOKED LIKE HEAVEN OR AT LEAST WHAT I THOUGHT HEAVEN WOULD LOOK LIKE. THERE WAS GREEN PASTURE FOR AS FAR AS I COULD SEE…AND COWS GRAZING. I’VE NEVER GRAZED IN MY LIFE. I’VE NEVER EVEN TASTED FRESH GRASS. I JUMPED OUT OF THE TRAILER AND HIT THE GROUND. IT WAS SOFT AND THE AIR SMELLED LIKE NOTHING I HAVE EVER SMELLED BEFORE…SWEET AND FRESH. I WAS AWESTRUCK.

I LOOKED UP AND SAW FOUR PEOPLE…RANDY, DENISE, AARON AND TIO…I DIDN’T KNOW THAT WAS THEIR NAMES BUT I DO NOW. THEY WERE ALL SMILING AND TELLING ME TO GO OUT INTO THE PASTURE, THAT I WAS HOME AND NO ONE WAS EVER GOING TO HURT ME AGAIN. THE NEXT THING I KNEW I STARTED TO RUN. IT FELT REALLY GOOD…SO GOOD I BUCKED AND LET OUT A SQUEAL! I KEPT RUNNING AND DIDN’T STOP UNTIL I HIT THE HERD. I WAS HOME.

I HAVE A NEW FAMILY, MALIBU COMPOST: COLUM, DENISE AND RANDY. I LIVE ON EIGHT HUNDRED ACRES AT ORGANIC PASTURES DAIRY IN FRESNO WITH MY GODPARENTS, THE MACAFEES, TEO MY COW WHISPERER AND ALL OF THE GIRLS IN THE DRY HERD. I’M LEARNING A LOT ABOUT PEOPLE, BIODYNAMICS AND COMPOST. STAY TUNED THERE’S A LOT MORE TO COME.

Tags: Easy, Going Green, It's not

Comments

Malibu Compost

dstevenot@charter.net Says

Made me think of the movie Temple Grandin. Loved the blog. Pleasure meeting Denise at Dairy Barn Hearst Castle last night

October 24, 2010
Malibu Compost

horsesandboxers@comcast.net Says

A friend referred me to Malibu Compost tonight, telling me that it’s a beautiful place that rescues dairy cows instead of breeding them, taking their babies away, milking them and then killing them for burgers. Having just read Bu’s Scoop, I’m thrilled to know that not only do you not treat Bu and the other cows as friends and equal partners in your earth-friendly business, but you don’t turn on them and kill them for profits or palates. The fact that you understand and appreciate the emotions of cows sure makes me think that you must treat all other animals with just as much respect! Bless you, Randy, Denise, Aaron, Tio, and all your helpers and supporters.

December 03, 2010
Malibu Compost

mattbrady@suremail.info Says

I love the creativity of this blog entry.

October 13, 2011
Uh oh! You're not logged in!
Please login or register with the site to add comments.