Doesn’t it make your heart sing that our “official” birthday fairy godmother’s wishes are granted for the bovines, too!? Thank you, Paulette, for sponsoring a day of sanctuary in honor of Honey Cow and her 14th birthday!
As a Jersey cow who began her life on a dairy farm, Honey’s path took a very different direction than most of the nine million plus cows who produce milk for human consumption in the U.S. Several years ago, Honey and Betsy were both purchased by TV producers for a reality series called, “Utopia”, to be used for their milk on the show. Of course, this meant that both Honey and Betsy were pregnant (with Meredith and Nutmeg) at the time and Meredith was actually born during filming.
When the series ended, they didn’t want to send Honey and her family back to the dairy industry and thankfully, Farm Sanctuary stepped in and offered a home to them all. This tiny bovine family lived at Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California shelter until 2018 when we were able to welcome them home to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. We just celebrated their three year arrival anniversary on the 2nd!
We often laugh because it’s so common to see farm animals who live in sanctuary enjoying sweet interactions with their caregivers like playing, receiving pets and hugs, and even just lying around together. So naturally, we couldn’t wait to get our arms around this sweet family. Of course, while all those images are true, it’s also true that bovines, just like any other living animal, have their own unique personalities, likes and dislikes, and well, personal space bubbles. This family isn’t exactly the hugging kind. And Honey is a big fan of the personal bubble. Oh, they seem to enjoy occasional scritching and scratching, a little brushing, maybe offer a few licks to bare arms, but they don’t really have a lot of use for the humans outside of meal delivery. And of course, that’s just fine. After all, that’s what sanctuary is truly about. Meeting everyone where they are at with respect and love while providing them as much agency over their lives as possible.
Honey and her family are the stars of their own show. If we’re lucky, we get to stand in the periphery and watch, maybe even truly see. While we humans were a little saddened at having our visions of cow hugging dashed, we are no less than delighted by Honey and her family every day. It’s a joy to watch the tremendous courage and adventure they’ve shown in the relatively short time they’ve been with us. And it’s a privilege to be able witness what a tight-knit family they are, to be able to watch Meredith and Nutmeg grow up and spend their lives with their mamas and to see how emotionally bonded they truly are. Just as any other family might be. A gift we don’t often get to see, and certainly one they don’t often get to live. We’re so grateful to you all for making that possible.
And thank you again, Paulette, for making Honey’s special day even more special! We truly appreciate you thinking of her.
Be sure to tune in later to hear how Honey and her family are celebrating her birthday!
Happy Birthday, beautiful Honey!:
Honey and her daughter, Meredith (background):
Meredith “smooching” her mama, Honey, with Betsy (far right):
I bet it’s safe to say Honey and her family never imagined having such strange neighbors, let alone going along on walks with them.
And while most of you may be familiar with our Chimpanzee Pal program, you may not be aware that we also have a Bovine Buddy program! So if you’d like to be, like us, a virtual cow hugger to Honey, or any of her lovely family members, click here to find out more.