In Memory of Freedom

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In Memory of Freedom

From Animal Place Sanctuary
July 2013

And so while Freedom should have lived another 10-12 years, his life was stolen from him by a virus directly connected to the unnecessary dairy industry. He was only four when he died.

On a warm day in June 2009, Freedom and Summer arrived at Animal Place. Two small forms - one emaciated and frail, one bold without a tail. Both orphans of the dairy industry, unwanted male calves disposed of at auction. [Read more about their arrival and see how they grew - Summer and Freedom.]

calf sanctuary rescue FreedomFreedom was born with a congenital defect - no tail. He would require lifelong special care - loving caregivers would traipse the property to find him and apply special creams to protect him from flies and infection.

Freedom is one of many bovines born into the dairy industry with a virus called BLV (Bovine Leukemia Virus). Around 80% of dairy farms have cows with this virus. In some animals, no symptoms develop. But in other animals, especially those with compromised immune systems like unwanted male dairy calves, BLV can cause cancer.

And so while Freedom should have lived another 10-12 years, his life was stolen from him by a virus directly connected to the unnecessary dairy industry. He was only four when he died.

I will hold onto the first second I laid eyes on him, the murmur of farmers as they eyed the brown calf, the whispers of “defective", “don’t bid on him" floating in the acrimonious air of the auction room. I saw a who, a someone, a tiny baby searching for his mom. They saw a commodity, a what, a thing.

He was so small I could pick him up. He was so frightened, his eyes were more white than pupil. He wanted his mom with a quiet desperation.

Freedom grew up to be a playful, boisterous, gentle steer. He loved his adopted brother, Summer, and loved having his back massaged. Freedom exuded joy.

He is profoundly missed.

- Marji Beach, Education Director