A cow named "Heidi"
»Heidi« is no individual case.
Hundreds and thousands share this affecting destiny with her, hidden from publicity. »Heidi« - a pseudonym, the correct name is known by the editorial office, - breaks her silence with the hope to change something possibly.
Heidi tells her story
Veg: Heidi, you let us know that you would like to tell us the story about your life today.
Heidi (name changed by the editorial office): I was conceived, born and reared in the world of shadows of milk production. When I was 18 months I was fertilised artificially so that I give birth to a child. For that purpose, my owner bought deep-frozen sperm from a so-called top level father which he has chosen from a mail-order catalogue of an artificial insemination centre. 65.000 of my fellow sufferer have been already fertilized by him. I had to take some hormone preparations so that the expensive sperm will fertilize me definitely.
Veg: Did you give birth to this child?
When I was 27 months I delivered a stalwart boy named Moritz. He weighed grand 40 kg which is a remarkable achievement for me as such a young mother. According to human growth criterions I would be just 15 years old.
Veg: Were you happy about the birth of your son?
Yes, of course! But my joy of motherhood lasted just two hours. After that, my child was snatched away from me. I do not know what has happened to him. For many days, I could hear his callings. They hold him captive in the same house. I was crying and calling for my son desperately for a long time. As I did not want to stop with my crying they shouted at me and hit me many times. I have never seen my son any more.
My friend told me that he is maintained separately and is brought up with artificial milk. With it, he is fattened and when he will be just few weeks old he will be transported to a man who will slash the brain of my baby with a metal bolt. This man will hang the little body of Moritz on one leg; he will slit the carotid artery with the cut-off knife and will dissect the still warm body after bleeding.
People love to buy the parts of the dead body of my baby as these parts are very delicate and bright. They prepare them as delicacy for celebrations within the family or for invitations of guests. I couldn’t believe that my owner has done such a thing. He often patted me and talked to me. I still cannot believe it. No, these were conspiracy theories for me. I though this can not be real. Today, I know much better.
Veg: That is an unbelievable story – how did it go on?
Well, they fix a machine at my breast and suck out over 30 litres milk. Every day, at 6 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock in the evening. It is not my baby who gets this milk. No, the milk is driven away with a lorry. Together with my fellow sufferer I vegetate in a very tight dungeon the whole day. The enormous milk deprivation etiolates me and because of it I am hungry and I have thirst all the time. I just eat most of the feed so that my body can produce milk.
My lying area is just a little bit bigger than one of your beds. I am lying there 12 hours a day to cud and to sleep. The surface of the dungeon which I share with up to 200 colleagues is covered with excrements, as we can not relieve ourselves anywhere else. There is a huge urinary collecting basin under the slotted surface were everything is collected. It stinks terribly and it is full of flies and other teases…. I would love to escape of this torture cellar. I dream about green grassland, about the wind and a big ball at the sky which warms me. I do not know whether this really exists.
Veg: Heidi, how is your everyday life arranged?
Milking, then eating a bit, then cudding, then sleeping, then milking again, then eating again, then cudding again, then sleeping again – everything from the beginning, day in, day out. I do not understand what the people do with me. I do not want eat so much – but because of the milking and the deprivation of energy I am forced to. I can tell you this is a miserable feeling.
Veg: How could you get over the lost of Moritz?
I had no time to get over it. Already two months after the birth of Moritz I was fertilized artificially again. Now, I had a double burden: giving milk and letting a new baby grown in me. This double burden weakened me exquisitely. And there was this fear: perhaps they will take this baby away from me, as well! That is not life. My udder inflamed, last but not least because of the permanent contact with contaminated concentrated feed and all the excrements which are bacterial polluted. My fever and my inflammations were medicated with antibiotics by a man in a white overall. My owner was annoyed about me because he had to throw away my milk for some days due to residue of antibiotics and purulence bacteria. Serves him right! But my friend told me I should become healthy quickly otherwise they will do the same with me they have done with Moritz.
Veg: What happened with the second child?
Well, I became healthy and gave birth to a little girl. But as they wanted to take away the sweet Vroni as well I was at panic stations. At least, they let my daughter alive. My friend took the little comfort as she told me that they just rear Vroni so they can replace me soonest.
After two months I was fertilized again. It follows a further exhausting pregnancy and the birth of Oskar. As they took him away I did not scream anymore. I just cried apathetically. I was not able to do anything.
(Remarks of editorial office: As we found out Oskar was fed up as a bull and was brought to the slaughterer at the age of two – as a human being he would have been 15 years old. Parts of his body were cut into bite-sized pieces with a steak knife and these parts were scoffed still half-bloody – by elegant dressed human trencherman of production animals who speckle neatly his blood off their lips with damask napkins before they drink exquisite red wine out of crystal glasses.)
Veg: How can you weather through all this?
I am totally pooped. This permanent leaching of the milking machine like a vampire and the three exhausting pregnancies under these miserable circumstances made me weak and discouraged. The inflammations of my utter become more frequently and the bills of the veterinarian get higher and higher. I think I will be soon replaced by my daughter Vroni as I am not profitable for my owner any more.
My owner and another man appraised me and I heard that my owner told this man that I have reached my life performance of nearly 30.000 litres milk. Therefore I have amortized myself according to his calculations. As you human beings say; I am written off. Both for the accounting department and as a creature. The last turnover he will make with me will be the blood money from the slaughterer. But I will not bring him a lot of money: the parts of my dead body are stringy due to of all the strenuousness. As I find out from a conversation the parts are “just suited for goulash, marinated beef or for sausages“. Furthermore they can just use 1/3 of my living weight as many organs are diseased and poisoned by the residue of the medicament misemployment over years. As I heard I am considered as an „old cow“ although I would just have reached the age of 20 years if I were a human being. I am just a “disposable cow«, as they say in England: three years of huge amounts of milk and good descendants, then illness and slaughter house.
Veg: How does it go on now?
Have a look at me! I am on the ropes. Tomorrow, I feel that they will kill me in the same excruciating manner as they killed my loved children. It was a terrible life – full of fear, sorrow and pain. I ask you to print our conversation in your magazine so that people hear about the immeasurable sorrow of us „animals for slaughter“ and that this story can touch their hearts. Some people may change their eating habits because of this and will stand up for us who have no rights. Then, my suffering would have effectuated something...