My Friend, the Cow




I had a dream a few days ago that I’d like to share with you. It felt as real as if I was actually there. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life and yet I also felt heartbroken. I really do believe when we dream, the Universe is trying to tell us something. After I awoken from the dream I was inspired to write about it, but I did not know how or where to start. For me, I never wrote a fictional story before, and I believe it was something I would never be good at. But after giving it some thought, I decided to tell the story.

I was in a strange building. Animals were all around, some of them glimpsed at me. It was still light outside, drizzling, the air covered in fog, as I looked out the door. I saw a few workers, but they took no notice of me. As I walked around, I started realizing where I was. I kept looking at the animals, cows chained in stalls one next to the other. I was in a barn where farmers raised animals. Looking around, there weren’t many animals; I’d say about a dozen or two. All of them were tightly chained in stalls slightly larger than their bodies. They were munching on hay.

Just then I noticed I was in one of the stalls standing next to a dairy cow. Beautiful light brown and white in colour, she looked peaceful as she continued to chew on hay. She then turned her head slowly around, as best as she could, (considering that she was tightly chained in the stall) and put her face on my chest. Gently I put my arm around her neck and put my face on hers and we both stood there holding each other for a few moments. In a moment of silence, I looked in her eyes and I saw a beautiful creature. It was an utterly breathtaking moment, I will never forget.

As I sat down beside her in this tiny stall, barely large enough for the both of us, she tried to sit down. She couldn’t even turn around or sit down properly. The short chain was choking her. At that moment I sensed her pain, I understood the immense agony she was going through. How could anyone live in such terrible condition every day of their lives? At that moment I did not see her peaceful, but I felt her pain as she tried to lie down, the chain pulling ever so tighter around her neck. My heart cried out as I started to tear. The pain she was feeling was the pain I was also feeling.

Her backside was down, but because the chain was too short she couldn’t fully lie down, awkwardly kneeling, crushing me. Part of her massive 1500 pound body was on top of me. I tried to escape, but part of me was under her. She was not doing it on purpose; after all we loved each other. Because of her exhausted weakened condition, she wanted to lie down.

A moment later a worker was trying to pull me out when I had awakened from the dream. I felt so much gratitude that all I wanted was to be back in the presence of my friend. I felt gratitude for the experience, for being alive and being able to give her a few moments of happiness.

I’ve learned from this what animals truly go through, the misery they endure throughout their lives until they are slaughtered. I realized what it feels like not being able to turn around or the ability to properly lie down. I understand that’s its no fun living chained up in a stall, tethered at the neck your entire life. I know that even if animals are treated well they all end up killed in the end anyways. Though the animals may not be industrially raised in huge stinking warehouses with thousands of other animals, or abused and beaten by workers, they are not living their natural intended lives they were meant to. Just like us, animal feel pain, animals feel fear, and they experience loneliness and depression. These animals have no zest for life and no purpose. We steal their purposes thus losing our purpose.

My friend, the cow, though she’ll probably never get to experience the grass beneath her feet, feel the warmth of the sun, or be able to socialize with any of her kind, I’m glad at least she had one good friend like me. Even now I can still feel her gentle face on mine and my lips on her skin as I kissed her face. I clearly remember holding her and the gentleness of her face on mine. Today is the day we can all learn from animals, to empathize and to love them. They’re probably wiser than we ever give them credit for.

Much love,
Michael Lanfield

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5 Responses to My Friend, the Cow

  • Jo Konstantini says:

    Good story, but of course, not all stories end well. This did. Thanks for sharing !

  • deborah heller says:

    This story reminded me of an encounter I had many years ago when I was lost in the valley near Bakerfield, I think. i came across some veal calves in crates. At first, from a distance I couldn’t figure out what it was there by the road. As I got closer I was shocked to see these calves confined in these horrible wooden contraptions. My mouth dropped open and the tears began to flow down my cheeks. I inched my way forward, somewhat fearful, of what I don’t now, until I was up close enough to hear their soft mooing, mournful and low. I touched one softly on the side of his face and he turned his head only slightly, as he was held so tightly by the wood. He found and suckled my fingers which made me collapse onto the ground and bawl like a baby for some time. It was so sad. He was just a baby and his life was so full of torment and sorrow.

  • Will Tuttle says:

    Your dream has such a powerful message Michael – one our entire world needs to hear – may your dream go forth and multiply in others so they can see and understand what you see and understand.

  • Peacewriter says:

    What a beautiful dream Michael. I am sure, even though it was a ‘dream’ that you have comforted her wherever she is. I feel the animals are angels among us trying to awaken us.

  • anna nelson says:

    Thanks for this beautiful story of your dream. I too dreamed of cows a few years ago. In my dream I entered a barn where they were standing, some with their young. I immediately felt their fear as they were used to being treated very badly.

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