More Than We Realize
Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
Although this happened many years ago, this story has come up to be shared in several sessions recently to support clients. So I'm bringing it forward here for everyone to have the opportunity to read.
I was feeling a longing to travel to Montana, not only to see friends but also to spend time riding horses on the land of wide open plains and big mountains. I had discovered a small family ranch that was open to a few visitors. A vegetarian at the time, I had come to the difficult acceptance of the fate of cows raised for their meat and felt I could be there open-heartedly and curious about the lives of the cows. The ranch owner and I had several conversations. She was willing to accommodate my vegetarian needs and I shared with her about the work that I do.
As soon as I arrived at the ranch, the 14 year old daughter glued herself to me, fascinated about deeper communication with animals. She asked me if I could her help with her 4H cow. Her young cow would not connect with her and ran away whenever she wanted to halter him. She told me that she loved her last year's 4H cow and that they had a good connection. She shared that after he won ribbons in competition and was slaughtered, she and her family enjoyed eating his meat.
For those who don't know about 4H. In farming and agriculture, children/youth from
5 - 18 years of age select a calf, learn all about cows, raise the calf, and compete for ribbons. They name their calves, form strong bonds with them, and devote themselves to their care for 6-9 months. And then they are taught the harsh reality of raising a "beef cow". After the competition and ribbons are won, the cows are either sold at auction for slaughter or slaughtered for the family's use.
I agreed to open a communication with the young cow... as long as he agreed. When it was quiet and I could be alone with the cow, I went to the large pen where he and another cow were. I leaned on the fence and asked if I could have permission to be in communication
He stood in the middle of the pen staring directly at me. He was enraged. I asked him
why he was angry and why he did not want to make contact with the young girl. He communicated that he knew exactly what the girl wanted from him and what her thoughts, feelings, and intentions were. He knew what had happened to the 4H cows before him and what would happen to him. Uncontrollable tears fell down my face, my heart broke feeling his helplessness and my own.
At that moment, something softened in him and he walked over to me at the fence. He leaned forward and pressed his forehead against mine and stayed there with me for a long time. I cried and we mourned his fate together. I explained to him that there was nothing I could do to change his fate and that from the depths of my soul, I was sorry. We rested there together, forehead to forehead, until there was stillness.
And then his energy lifted. He stepped slowly away and meandered off to be with his cow buddy to munch on some hay. Later that day, the young girl very excitedly told me that the cow came to her and allowed her to put the halter on him.
More than we may realize, animals know. They know who they are, they know about their lives and about life. They are aware of our thoughts, feelings, and intentions. They know.
In honoring this, we may be able to open into a deeper relationship with our own animal family members... and all animals.
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna