What a baby calf teaches all of us

By Tyler Bui | Assistant News Editor

My whole life, I have had a slight obsession with cows. I had no particular reasonjust that they are fluffy, cute and have giant noses. When I was young, I volunteered at an animal sanctuary and got to help take care of a cow. I’ve loved cows ever since, and it led me to become a vegetarian at the age of 10. After living in Texas for three years, I still get excited every time I drive by cows on the side of the road.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to help raise a 2-day-old baby calf after she was abandoned by her mom. Curtis Callaway is a senior lecturer at Baylor, photographer and cinematographer and not to mention one of my all-time favorite professors. He reached out to me for help with the baby calf knowing how much I love cows, and naturally I said yes.

The next day, I pulled into the driveway and was overwhelmed with emotions, not knowing what to expect or how she would act towards me. I opened the gate into her pen, and immediately fell in love with the tiny, black, fluffy cow laying in front of me. I bent down to pet her, and her head just fell into my lap like she was asking for scratches. We made her bottle, and she quickly drank the milk and asked for more. After spending time with her over the next day, I decided to name her Inky.

She quickly began to recognize me every time I would pull into the driveway. Maybe it was because I was the one with the food, or maybe it was because I would lay with her and scratch her head. I felt so special having the responsibility of Inky’s life in my hands. Her spunky personality began to shine through, and I could see her getting more comfortable around people as she bucked and ran around the pen with us.

Cows are just like big dogs, and Inky is just a big puppy. She sleeps a lot and gets her bottle at breakfast and dinnertime. She is cuddly, curious and loves to play. I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning—as an equestrian, I grew up around large animals but had never had experience with cows. I wasn’t sure if she would be affectionate like horses, or even allow humans to touch her, but I was taken by surprise. At the young age of three days, Inky was already comfortable around people and loved nothing more than being pet.

It may sound unpractical, but cows make great (big) companions. They deserve to live happy, free lives and be loved by humans just as much as any dog does. With cows being perpetually in demand for consumption, the meat industry is often guilty of the mistreatment of cows. Just because they may end up on your plate does not mean that they don’t deserve to live a humane life like an other animal does. Think twice about where your meat is coming from, and how those cows are being treated—because at the end of the day, they’re living beings too.