Jan 15, 2012

Life is Fragile

It's hard to know how much to intervene in order to help a suffering animal.  Especially a domesticated one - one that we humans are responsible for, and ultimately, for bringing into this world.  Baby Red cow was born a few days ago, and seemed happy and healthy her first two days in the barn.  But on day three, she stopped suckling and became listless.  Is she blocked up?  Does she need a cow enema?  Does she have an infection?  Will a shot help?  Is the below freezing weather too much on top of whatever is ailing her?  Should we put a blanket on her?  Take her indoors for the night?  That would really stress out mama.  The farmers are keeping a close eye on her, force feeding her milk through a tube, taking her temperature every few hours, encouraging her to get up and move around…but at some point, the life may leave her little body in spite of their efforts.  And for all we know, it may be for the best.  There may be something really wrong with her, something that would make a long life difficult for her and difficult for the farmers.  A farm is not an animal sanctuary, though the animals may be well cared for and even cherished at some.  Still, I know some human hearts will break a little if baby Red doesn't pull through.  Mine included.

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